Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy.
To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.
The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.
Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death.
If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near.
A leader leads by example not by Force.
A military operation involves deception. Even though you are competent, appear to be incompetent. Though effective, appear to be ineffective.
The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.
Therefore a victorious army first wins and then seeks battle; a defeated army first battles and then seeks victory.
All war is based on deception.
Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.
If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.
To a surrounded enemy, you must leave a way of escape.
Hence that general is skilful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skilful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.