SUN TZU’s book the Art of War ispossibly one of the best readings I have ever had the chance to indulge myselfin next to reading anything that has to do with the Civil War or World War 2. Sun Tzu’s text can be used on abroader scale than just for warfare. Let’s break down some of the areasthat would be very helpful today’s society and possibly help us as a nationwhen trying to prevent some of these previous disasters. Sun Tzu speaks on the use of spies and the use of intelligence.
Hethen focuses on the importance of developing good information sources, andspecifies the five types of intelligence sources and how to best manage each ofthem. How good and pleasant would this have been with modern day attacks thatwe have hard right here in our own country? I didn’t want to go here but,everyone remembers Austin, Texas, United StatesAndrew Joseph Stack III crashes his plane into an IRS building inAustin, Texas killing himself, a person inside the building, as well asinjuring 13 others. The crash caused a serious fire and significant damage tothe building. New York City,New York,United StatesNew York’s Times Square was evacuated after the discovery of a car bomb USgovernment believes radical Islamists in the Pakistani Taliban directed the plot and quitepossibly may have financed it. Then there was the incident inJacksonville, Florida, United Stateswhen a man used a pipe bomb to attack a mosque. Thebomb exploded while about 60 Muslims were praying in the mosque. Luckily theattack caused no injuries or deaths.
Mohamed Osman Mohamed planned to detonate what he thought was a car bomb at a Christmas tree lightingceremony in Portland, Oregon, but was actually part of aFBI Sting operation. He was arrested and charged with attempted terrorism. All theseincidents had taken place in the past few years and this is just the beginningof what else has happened. Next Sun Tzu explains about “Laying Plans and the Calculations thatexplore the five fundamental factors or the way, seasons, terrain, leadershipand management and seven elements that determine the outcomes of militaryengagements”.
By thinking, assessing and comparing these points, a commandercan calculate his chances of victory. Constant deviation from thesecalculations will ensure failure due to improper action. The text stresses thatwar is a very grave matter for the state and must not be commenced without dueconsideration.
With this said I believe this strategy can apply not only to warbut to life itself. This is a basic leadership statement. If you close youreyes and open your mind you will hear the true meaning behind these words whichis “be a leader”, make sound and timely decisions but most important be clearand decisive on your instructions and don’t back down. This is a formula thatcan and will work in today’s environment for sure. Sure, for all intents andpurposes this was meant to be a guide to train military leaders in the “Art ofWar” but as you flip through the pages you will find out that it’s much morethan that.
If you are any type of leader especially a military leader this isyour be, know, do book. This is your manual of instruction for the future. Thisis the one book that you definitely need to add to your archives. Just thebasics alone can improve on skills that are sometimes either overlooked oruntrained in today’s military but are still relevant. When I enter the Army along time ago, there was a great deal of focus on military movement andmovement drills, the “Blue Book” written by Friedrich von Steuben was our best friend butthis is not the case today. This art form is obsolete which has caused majordebacles from the smallest spectacles such as graduations where the damage isminimal to major deployments were casualties are plentiful.
So much has changedsince the “Blue Book” was written. If we as leaders would implement a few ofSun Tzu teachings as far as “the Armyon the March and Moving The Force” he describes the different situationsin which an army finds itself as it moves through new enemy territories, andhow to respond to these situations. Much of this section focuses on evaluatingthe intentions of others. The book the Art of War is not just male or femalebook it’s a leader’s book. A leader is not subjected to just male or female.This is for any and everyone in the leadership business or anyone who islooking to be a leader in life period. I would even recommend this reading foranyone who is trying to better themselves or who are trying to do somethingpositive with their life, I guarantee this book can only do one thing and thatis help.
The best this about Sun Tzu and Great Captains Unveiled is thatboth books lay out in full detail the principles of strategy, tactics, maneuvering,communication, and supplies; the use of terrain and fire power for theirrespective era. They all allowed me to see how much alike but on the same tokenhow much different they were, so I could make my own conclusions in the end.