An early version of this article appeared in 2004.
The Art of War: Part I
Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, written about 500 B.C.E., is the oldest military treatise in the world. Even now, after twenty-five centuries, the basic principles of that treatise remain a valuable guide for the conduct of war.
Perhaps Sun Tzu may be of interest to the General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, in view of the Arab Terrorist War which erupted in September 2000. Since then more than 1,600 Jews have been murdered and many thousands more have been wounded and maimed by Arab terrorists.
Referring to the IDF’s limited response to this Arab terrorism, former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said, “self-restraint is strength”! At first glance one might suspect that Mr. Sharon had been inspired by the Sermon on the Mount. It may well be, however, that he derived that dictum from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War—or rather, from a misreading of that treatise. Sun Tzu would have a general exhibit, at first, “the coyness of a maiden”—to draw out the enemy—but thereafter he would have him emulate the fierceness of a lion.
Instead, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is emulating a pussy cat. » Continue reading “The Art of War”