Sample Essay

All these examples only show that the Chinese warfare texts are applicable regardless of the era they are used in. A review dated as recent as 2002 calls Tzu’s book on warfare to be “the Swiss army knife of military theory”[1] in spite of the book having been written before the tenth centuries BC. These writings are continuing to provide the important factors behind winning warfare effectively and contribute greatly to the theory as well as practice of Chinese warfare. These are particularly popular in the People’s Republic of China and are considered to be applicable in all walks of life, rather than just for warfare.

The books give the basic principles of warfare that a commander is supposed to cover and understand. The ancient books have given five important principles that have been slightly changed and stretched to nine today, though the basic meaning remains similar. Those five are the moral law and unity of command, weather elements, the terrain, the commander and the method and discipline. Sun Tzu also stated individual initiative as one of the principles.

Talking about the principles of warfare which eventually lead to one’s success, we will see how these are still applied in the armies of today. The nine principles are an important guidance for even modern wars and are useful in the tactical, operational and strategic sense. The significance attached to these principles is so great they are considered to be the permanent foundation of the military doctrine. These nine principles are; objective, offensive, mass, economy of force, maneuver, unity of command, security, surprise and simplicity. It should be noted that these additional principles are also a result of the study of the ancient Chinese texts only, since the concepts that had been outlined are given now as principles of warfare. For instance, Tzu has been known to state that one should employ deception and intelligence in war and the principle of surprise and security relates to this concept in such that one should be intelligent enough to keep himself secure and deceptive enough in order to be able to surprise the enemy with an unexpected attack. Each of these principles is pretty important and affects one’s position during warfare. The following paragraphs will present a discussion of these principles and the importance they hold.

[1] Regina F. Maruca. The way we work: An encyclopedia of business culture. Vol 1 (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2008), 24.

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