War: Strategy, Grand Tactics, Logistics, Engineering, Tactics, Policy, Diplomacy
Offensive v.
Plan of War
Favorable v.
Doctrine of War
Military Power
Know the Enemy
Know Thyself
Essence of War
The End Justifies
  the Means
Predator v. Prey
Art of War
Grand Tactics
Theater of
Zone of Operations
Battle Field
Plan of Strategy
Plan of Tactics
Principle of War
Decisive Points
Mass of forces
Proper Time
Defender v. Attacker
Concept of War
Concentrated Attack
Center of Gravity
Convergent v.
Guerilla Warfare
Principle of Concentration of
Guerilla Strategy
Nuclear Weapons
Nuclear Bomb
Atomic Bomb
Hydrogen Bomb
Radius of
Human Values
Ownership of Land
Military Situation
Sabotage v.
The People
Overthrowing the
Civil Disobedience
Non-Payment of

The Art of War. 

SUN TZU said:

"All warfare is based on deception."1a

" . . . [T]here has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited."1b 

"Your aim must be to take All-under-Heaven intact. Thus your troops are not worn out and your gains will be complete. This is the art of offensive strategy."1c

"Invincibility lies in the defence; the possibility of victory in the attack."1d

"There are occasions when the commands of the sovereign need not be obeyed."1e 

"By taking into account the favourable factors, [the wise general] makes his plan feasible; by taking into account the unfavourable, he may resolve the difficulties."1f 

"It is a doctrine of war not to assume the enemy will not come, but rather to rely on one's readiness to meet him; not to presume that he will not attack, but rather to make one's self invincible."1g 

"In war, numbers alone confer no advantage. Do not advance relying on sheer military power."1h 

". . . 'Know the enemy, know yourself; your victory will never be endangered. . . '"1i 

"Speed is the essence of war. Take advantage of the enemy's unpreparedness; travel by unexpected routes and strike him where he has taken no precautions."1j

"Now the reason the enlightened prince and the wise general conquer the enemy whenever they move and their achievements surpass those of ordinary men is foreknowledge."1k 

"Delicate indeed! Truly delicate! There is no place where espionage is not used."1l 

The Peloponnesian War.

" . . . Archidamus their king, a man reputed both wise and temperate, spake as followeth.
' . . . war is not so much war of arms as war of money by means whereof arms are useful, especially when it is a war of land men against sea men. . . . '"

" . . . Archidamus, king of the Lacedaemonians, . . . called together the commanders of the several cities and such as were in authority and most worthy to be present and spake unto them as followeth:
' . . . For the accidents of war are uncertain, . . . And oftentimes the lesser number, being afraid, hath beaten back the greater with the more ease; for that through contempt they have gone unprepared. . . '"

" . . . Pericles the son of Xantippus, who with nine others was general of the Athenians, . . . advised them concerning the business in hand . . . ' . . . that the victory in war consisted wholly in counsel and store of money.'"1c

"' . . . he that is wronged without cause and escapeth will commonly be more cruel than if it were against any enemy on equal quarrel. . . '
To this purpose spake Cleon."

"' . . . either some greater terror than death must be devised, or death will not be enough for coercion. For poverty will always add boldness to necessity; and wealth, covetousness to pride and contempt. . . '
Thus spake Diodotus."

"' . . . democracy is a name of the whole, oligarchy but of a part. . . in the oligarchy they allow indeed to the multitude a participation of all dangers, but in matters of profit, they not only encroach upon the multitude, but take from them and keep the whole. . . But yet, O ye the most unwise of all men, unless you know that what you affect is evil, and if you know not that, you are the most ignorant of all the Grecians I know; or, ye most wicked of all men, if knowing it you dare do this. . . '
Thus said Athenagoras."


The Prince.

" . . . [T]he conqueror must arrange to commit all his cruelties at once . . . "1a

" . . . [A prince] must abstain from taking the property of others, for men forget more easily the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony."1c

" . . . [I]t is necessary . . . to be a great feigner and dissembler; and men are so simple and so ready to obey present necessities, that one who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived."1d

" . . . [I]n the actions of men . . . from which there is no appeal, the end justifies the means."1e

The Discourses

"Money . . . not only affords you no protection, but makes you the sooner fall a prey. . . it is not gold, as is acclaimed by common opinion, that constitutes the sinews of war, but good soldiers; for gold does not find good soldiers, but good soldiers are quite capable of finding gold."2c

" . . . [A] prince who wishes to do great things must learn to practice deceit."2d

" . . . [N]othing is more essential or more useful to a general than to discover what the enemy has decided and is planning to do."2e


Perpetual Peace.

" . . . [A]s an instrument in the struggle among powers, the credit system -- the ingenious invention of a commercial people [England] during this century -- of endlessly growing debts that remain safe against immediate demand (since the demand for payment is not made by all creditors at the same time) is a dangerous financial power. It is a war chest exceeding the treasure of all other nations taken together . . . This ease in making war, combined with the inclination of those in power to do so . . . is a great obstacle to perpetual peace. Thus, forbidding foreign debt must be a preliminary article for perpetual peace . . . "1 JEFFERSON MARX SPENGLER RAND


The Art of War.

"The art of war, as generally considered, consists of five purely military branches,--viz.: Strategy, Grand Tactics, Logistics, Engineering, and Tactics. A sixth and essential branch, hitherto unrecognized, might be termed Diplomacy in its relation to War."1a*

" . . . Strategy is the art of making war upon the map, and comprehends the whole theater of operations. Grand Tactics is the art of posting troops upon the battle-field according to the accidents of the ground, of bringing them into action, and the art of fighting upon the ground . . . Logistics comprises the means and arrangements which work out the plans of strategy and tactics. Strategy decides where to act; logistics brings the troops to this point; grand tactics decides the manner of execution and the employment of the troops."1b

" . . . [T]here is one great principle underlying all the operations of war, . . . It is embraced in the following maxims:--

  1. To throw by strategic movements the mass of an army, successively, upon the decisive points of a theater of war, and also upon the communications of the enemy as much as possible without compromising one's own.
  2. To maneuver to engage fractions of the hostile army with the bulk of one's forces.
  3. On the battle-field, to throw the mass of the forces upon the decisive point, or upon that portion of the hostile line which it is of the first importance to overthrow.
  4. To so arrange that these masses shall not only be thrown upon the decisive point, but that they shall engage at the proper times and with energy."1c


On War.

" . . . [W]ar is nothing but the continuation of policy with other means."1a*

"War is thus an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will."1b*

" . . . [O]ne may appeal to genius, which is above all rules; which amounts to admitting that rules are not only made for idiots, but are idiotic in themselves."1c

"What is the object of defense? Preservation. It is easier to hold ground than take it. . . defense is the stronger form of waging war."1d

"The only advantage the attacker possesses is that he is free to strike at any point . . . and in full force: the defender, on the other hand, is able to surprise his opponent constantly throughout the engagement by the strength and direction of his counterattacks."1e

"[T]he concept of war does not originate with the attack, because the ultimate object of attack is not fighting: rather, it is possession. The idea of war originates with the defense . . . "1f

"Not by taking things the easy way . . . but by constantly seeking out the center of his power, but by daring all to win all, will one really defeat the enemy."1g

"The principle of aiming everything at the enemy's center of gravity admits of only one exception -- that is, when secondary operations look exceptionally rewarding. . .
The first task, then, in planning for a war is to identify the enemy's centers of gravity, and, if possible trace them back to a single one.
The second task is to ensure that the forces to be used against that point are concentrated for a main offensive.


Moltke on the Art of War: Selected Writings. 

Eternal peace is a dream, and not even a pleasant one. War is a part of God's world order."1a

"The money market also has today gained an influence that can call the armed forces into the field for its interest. European armies have occupied Mexico and Egypt to meet the demands of high finance."1b

"The best guarantee of success of an attack over the defense lies in a flanking attack and the simultaneous advance of all our forces against the enemy's flank and front."1c

" . . . The tactical defense is the stronger, the strategic offensive the more effective form -- and the only one that leads to the goal."1d

"One must distinguish between the object of the war and the object of the operation of the attack. The former is not the army, but the land mass and the capital of the enemy, and within them the resources and the political power of the state. It comprises what we desire to hold or that for which we will subsequently trade. The object of an operation is the hostile army insofar as it defends the object of the war."1e*

"The course of a war cannot be foreseen."1f

"Strategy must keep the means that tactics require in readiness at the proper time and place. . .  
Strategy governs the movements of the army for the planned battle; the manner of execution is the province of tactics. The former issues directives, the latter orders."

" . . . [O]nly the destruction of the hostile fighting force will be decisive as a rule. It is therefore the most important object of all operations."1h


Non-Violent Resistance (Satyagraha).


"Europe is no better for Germany�s fall. The Allies have proved themselves to be just as deceitful, cruel, greedy and selfish as Germany was or would have been."1c

"I know that withholding of payment of taxes is one of the quickest methods of overthrowing a government. I am equally sure that we have not yet evolved that degree of strength and discipline which are necessary for conducting a successful campaign of non-payment of taxes. . .  Non-payment of taxes without the necessary discipline will be an act of unpardonable madness."1d

"Civil non-payment of taxes is indeed the last stage in non-co-operation. We must not resort to it till we have tried the other forms of civil disobedience."1e


On Guerilla Warfare (Yu Chi Chan).

"Without a political goal, guerilla warfare must fail, as it must if its political objectives do not coincide with the aspirations of the people and their sympathy, cooperation, and assistance cannot be gained. The essence of guerilla warfare is thus revolutionary in character."1a

"What is basic guerilla strategy? Guerilla strategy must be based primarily on alertness, mobility, and attack. . . 
In guerilla warfare, select the tactic of seeming to come from the east and attacking from the west; avoid the solid, attack the hollow; attack, withdraw; deliver a lightning blow, seek a lightning decision. . .
In guerilla strategy, the enemy's rear, flanks, and other vulnerable spots are his vital points, and there he must be harassed, attacked, dispersed, exhausted and annihilated."

"After a period of resistance, it is possible to increase the supply of equipment by capturing it from the enemy."1c

" . . . [T]he fundamental axiom of combat on which all military action is based. . . "Conservation of one's own strength; destruction of enemy strength.""1d

"The movements of guerilla troops must be secret and of supernatural rapidity; the enemy must be taken unaware, and the action entered speedily. . . The basic method is the attack in a violent and deceptive form."1e

" . . . [T]he principle of concentration of force against a relatively weaker enemy is applicable to guerilla warfare."1f

"Guerilla initiative is expressed in dispersion, concentration, and the alert shifting of forces."1g

"We must not attack an objective we are not certain of winning."1h


The Road from Los Alamos.

" . . . [H]ow long it will take for another nation to obtain the knowledge necessary to make atomic bombs . . .
 . . . [A]
ny one of several determined foreign nations could duplicate our work in a period of about five years."1a

"Let us assume an H-bomb releasing 1,000 times as much energy as the Hiroshima bomb. The radius of destruction by blast from a bomb increases as the cube root of the increase in the bomb's power. At Hiroshima the radius of severe destruction was one mile. So an H-bomb would cause almost complete destruction of buildings up to a radius of 10 miles. By the blast effect alone a single bomb could obliterate almost all of Greater New York or Moscow or London . . .
About 30 percent of the casualties in Hiroshima were caused by flash burns . . .
the H-bomb . . . would burn people to death over a radius of up to 20 miles or more."1b

"I believe that in a war fought with hydrogen bombs we would lose not only many lives but all our liberties and human values as well."1c

"I was one of the scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, which developed the atomic bomb during World War II. We thought at the time that the United States might deploy a few dozen nuclear weapons. Not in our worst nightmares did we imagine that someday there would be about 10,000 strategic nuclear weapons in the United States and a similar number in the Soviet Union. These large numbers make no sense . . ."1d


Guerilla Warfare.


" . . . [W]hy does the guerilla fighter fight? We must come to the inevitable conclusion that the guerilla fighter is a social reformer, that he takes up arms responding to the angry protest of the people against their oppressors, and that he fights in order to change the social system that keeps all his unarmed brothers in ignominy and misery."1a

" . . . [W]hatever the ideological aims that may inspire the fight, the economic aim is determined by the aspiration toward ownership of land."1b

" . . . [N]o battle, combat, or skirmish is to be fought unless it will be won."1c

" . . . [S]trategy is understood as the analysis of the objectives to be achieved in the light of the total military situation and the overall ways of reaching these objectives."1d

" . . . [A]long with centers for study of present and future zones of operations, intensive popular work must be undertaken to explain the motives of the revolution, its ends, and to spread the incontrovertible truth that victory of the enemy against the people is finally impossible. Whoever does not feel this undoubted truth cannot be a guerilla fighter."1e

" . . . [T]actics are the practical methods of achieving the grand strategic objectives."1f

"The numerical inferiority of the guerilla makes it necessary that attacks always be carried out by surprise . . ."1g

"It is necessary to distinguish clearly between sabotage, a revolutionary and highly effective method of warfare, and terrorism, a measure that is generally ineffective and indiscriminate in its results . . ."1h

"One of the characteristics of revolutionary propaganda must be truth. Little by little, in this way, the masses will be won over."1i

Interesting Links           Interesting Links
  • For an application of Clausewitz's concept of war, see Edward Ayoub, The Nature, Causes, Targets, and Timing of the 9/11 Terrorist Attack upon the United States. Global Security Alert. Macroknow Intellectual Intelligence. Toronto,ON: Macroknow, Inc., 2004. http://www.macroknow.com/sow/report-911.htm
  • Christopher Bassford. The Clausewitz Homepage. http://www.clausewitz.com/
      Interesting Link
  • Hans A. Bethe, Cornell University; b. 1906, Strasbourg, then Germany. The Nobel Prize in Physics 1967, "for his contributions to the theory of nuclear reactions, especially his discoveries concerning the energy production in stars" http://nobelprize.org/physics/laureates/1967/
* Italics in the original. 1 Sun Tzu (c. 600-500 BC). The Art of War. Translated and with an Introduction by Samuel B. Griffith. With a Foreword by B.H. Liddell Hart. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1963. UNESCO Collection of Representative Works Chinese Series.
a Ch. I ESTIMATES, v. 17, at 66.
b Ch. II WAGING WAR, v. 7, at 73.
Ch. IV DISPOSITION, v. 5, at 85.
Ibid., v. 13, at 113.
Ibid., v. 16, at 114.
Ch IX MARCHES, v. 45, at 122.
Ch X TERRAIN, v. 26, at 129.
Ibid., v. 14, at 147.
1 Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. The Complete Hobbes Translation. With Notes and a New Introduction by David Grene. The University of Michigan, 1959. David Grene, 1989. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1989.
a The First Book
, at 48.
b The Second Book, at 95.
 Ibid., at 97.
d The Third Book
, at 179-180.
 Ibid., at 182-184.
f The Sixth Book
, at 401.

1 Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527). The Prince (1531). Translated by Luigi Ricci. Revised by E.R.P. Vincent. Introduction by Christian Gauss. New York, NY: The New American Library of World Literature, Inc., 1952. (Reprint of a hardcover edition published by Oxford University Press, Inc.)
a Of Those Who Have Attained the Position of Prince by Villainy, at 62..
b Of the Things for Which Men, and Especially Princes, Are Praised or Blamed, at 84.
c Of Cruelty and Clemency, and Whether It Is Better to Be Loved or Feared, at 90.
d In What Way Princes Must Keep Faith, at 93.
e Ibid., at 94.

2 Niccolò Machiavelli. The Discourses. Edited with an Introduction by Bernard Crick using the translation of Leslie J. Walker, S.J. Revisions by Brian Richardson. Bernard Crick, 1970. London, UK: Penguin Books Ltd. (Penguin Classics.)
a Book One, Discourse 37, at 200.
b Book One, Discourse 42, at 217.
c Book Two, Discourse 10, at 300 and 302.
d Book Two, Discourse 13, at 310.
e Book Three, Discourse 18, at 455.

1 Immanuel Kant. To Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch (1795). Essay included in Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace and Other Essays on Politics, History, and Moral Practice. Translated with an Introduction by Ted Humphrey. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1983, at 107-143. 1 Baron Antoine Henri de Jomini (1779-1869).. The Art of War. With a new Introduction by Charles Messenger. Lionel Leventhal Limited, 1992. Introduction, Charles Messenger, 1992. London, UK: Greenhill Books, 1996. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1996. (The Art of War was first published in 1838 as Precis de l�Art de Guerre (Paris) and was reprinted in 1855 �augmentee d�un appendice.� The English-language translation of 1862 (J.B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia) was reprinted in 1992 by Greenhill Books, with an Introduction by Charles Messenger.)
a Summary of the Art of War. Definitions of the Branches of the Art of War, at 13.
b Chp. III. Strategy. Definition of Strategy and the Fundamental Principle of War, at 69.
c Ibid., at 70.

1 Carl Von Clausewitz (1780-1831). On War (1832). Edited and translated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret. Introductory Essays by Peter Paret, Michael Howard, and Bernard Brodie. Commentary by Bernard Brodie. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1976, 1984.
a Two Notes by the Author on His Plans for Revising On War, at 69.
Book I: On the Nature of War. What is War?, at 75.
Book 3: On Strategy in General. Moral Factors, at 184.
Book 6: Defense. Advantages of Defense, at 357-359.
e Ibid. The Relationship between Attack and Defense in Tactics, at 360.
f Ibid. Interaction between Attack and Defense, at 377.
g Book 8: War Plans. Closer Definition of the Military Objective: The Defeat of the Enemy, at 596.
h Ibid. The Plan of War designed to Lead to the Total Defeat of the Enemy, at 618-619.

2 Carl Von Clausewitz. On War. Edited with an Introduction by Anatol Rapoport. (Abridged edition of Clausewitz's magnum opus based on the New and Revised Edition (edited by Col. F.N. Maude) of Col. J.J. Graham's translation, 1908). London, UK: Penguin Books Ltd., 1968.

1 Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf Von Moltke (1800-1891). Charles E. Lindblom. Moltke on the Art of War: Selected Writings. Edited by Daniel J. Hughes. Translated by Daniel J. Hughes and Harry Bell. Foreword by Gunther E. Rothenberg. Daniel J. Hughes, 1993. New York, NY: The Random House Ballantine Publishing Group.
Chp. One: The Nature of War, at 22.
Ibid., at 26.
Ibid., at 59.
Ibid., at 68.
Chp. Two: Headquarters, Operations, Technology, at 93.
Ibid., at 99.
Chp. Three: The Battle, at 125.
h Ibid., at 129.
1 M.K. Gandhi. Non-Violent Resistance (Satyagraha). Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 2001. Unabridged republication of the edition published by Schoken Books, New York, 1961.
a Chp. 5: Satyagraha or Passive Resistance, 18-19.
b Chp. 7: The Theory and Practice of Satyagraha, 38.
c Chp. 47: The Law of Suffering, 114.
d Chp. 58: Non-Payment of Taxes, 140.
e Chp. 59: Non-Payment of Taxes, 142.
f Chp. 70: What It Is Not, 168.
g Chp. 166: The Satyagraha Way with Crime, 351.
1 Mao Tse-Tung (1893-1976). On Guerilla Warfare (Yu Chi Chan). Translated from the Chinese and with an Introduction by Samuel B. Griffith II. Samuel B. Griffith II, 1961. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press.
a Ch. 1:What Is Guerilla Warfare?, at 43.
b Ibid., at 46.
c Ch 5: Organization for Guerilla Warfare. Equipment for Guerillas, at 83.
d Ch 7: The Strategy of Guerilla Resistance Against Japan, at 95.
e Ibid., at 97.
f Ibid., at 98.
Ibid., at 104.
h Ibid., at 112.
1 Hans A. Bethe. The Road from Los Alamos. The American Institute of Physics, 1991. New York, NY: Touchstone, Simon and Schuster Inc., 1991.
The Bomb. How Close Is the Danger? With Frederic Seitz, at 3 and 10.
b The Bomb. The Hydrogen Bomb, at 15.
 Ibid., at 16.
 The Freeze. Debate: Bethe vs. Teller, Response by Edward Teller, at 164.
1 Che Guevara (1928-1967). Guerilla Warfare. Introduction by Marc Becker. Introduction, University of Nebraska Press, 1998. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1998. (Originally published: New York: Monthly Review Press, 1961.) (Guerilla Warfare: A Method by Che Guevara. Reprinted from Che: Selected Works of Ernesto Guevara, edited with an introduction by Rolando E. Bonachea and Nelson P. Valdes. The Massachusetts of Technology, 1969. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1969.)
a General Principles of Guerilla Warfare, at 10.
b Ibid., at 11.
c Ibid., at 12.
d Ibid., at 14.
e Ibid., at 16.
f Ibid., at 18.

Ibid., at 19-20.
h Ibid., at 22.

i Organization of the Guerilla Front, at 91.