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[Featured Article] The Art of NS War

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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[Featured Article] The Art of NS War

Postby Daehanjeiguk » Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:59 pm

What this Thread Constitutes is a Modernized Conception of the Art of War on NS, which probably does need to send the greater majority of its military geniuses to an insane asylum before they start hurting people. I will be writing the first thirteen posts, as an obvious and intended make-up of the historic 13 chapters of the original Art of War. Hopefully, this will expand into something bigger, and perhaps even more so than simply a private (i.e. me only) discussion on the affairs of war.

The Art of NS War is completed.

Image


Chapter 1 - On War
Chapter 2 - Waging War
Chapter 3 - Armed Contest
Chapter 4 - Friends and Foes
Chapter 5 - On the Right
Chapter 6 - On the Method
Chapter 7 - On the Disposition
Chapter 8 - On the Terrain
Chapter 9 - On the Law
Chapter 10 - Waging Battle
Chapter 11 - On Victory
Chapter 12 - On Defeat
Chapter 13 - On Peace

Last edited by Jenrak on Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:49 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Chapter 1 - On War

Postby Daehanjeiguk » Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:01 pm

In the Reign of the Emperor Gwangmu of the Great Han Empire, since becoming integrated into the world of NS, it was decided to begin exploring the successes and failures of the modern regimes. It was further decided to call upon military experts from around the Empire to analyze these successes and failures, to be able to account for the Empire its own future successes and failures, and the means to procure victory in war.

In private consultation, the Emperor called for General Ma Yeong [馬英 (마영)], attested to be the best marshal in foreign military analysis and review. The Gwangmu Emperor invited General Ma to the Summer Palace in Gwangju, where they conversed in the following discussions:


(馬 - Ma)
(皇 - Emperor)

皇: I have heard from the Imperial Cabinet that you are the best person to ask for advice in making the best ways for war. Is this true?

馬: It is impossible for me to say. For all things are destined, but it is the strong men who make their will upon the world. The weak will follow the strong wherever they may lead, but when the strong confront each other, here we have conflict, because the will of the two cannot be with each other and naturally inverts to opposition. From this natural opposition, it is then that countries form alliances to counter each other. The country that haughtily seeks allies first then enemies neither seeks to lead nor to follow, hence they are the most dangerous, for they bring the world to folly by their actions. It is important to be cautious of any state that seeks allies first, for you cannot calculate their enemies and determine if they are worth their value, especially if they are the weak of their kind.

皇: It is strange that you should answer my question with an answer to another question, but not mine.

馬: My liege, I hope that my answer does answer your question, for I cannot judge myself to be the best. However, I have demonstrated a part of my knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of international relations, and it is therefore knowledge that you seek. If you decide that this is the best knowledge you can receive, then I am certainly the best. But this is instruction for His Imperial Majesty - never trust the word of another man unless you can determine it to be true. States may come from far and wide to seek your humble potency, but until you realize their intentions, they can never be trusted. In the same manner, even your advisers cannot judge for you, as you - the Supreme of all Commanders - must make your own judgments, or else let them run the affairs of the state. If this is not wise instruction, then Your Majesty may dismiss me as I am not able to render the best instructions to His Majesty.

His Imperial Majesty nodded and was pleased by the honesty of General Ma, and thereupon promoted him to Field Marshal. Marshal Ma was called into the Imperial Household on a separate occasion to address the nature of war:

馬: His Imperial Majesty seeks to know the nature of war. But I must copy instruction given by the Master Sun, centuries ago - that war is the greatest affair of any state, and its ways lead to life or to death. The nature of war is as managing the state; to leave it in disarray inevitably leads to disaster for the state. The best states are those that manage their affairs of war best, for they command their armies and their populations with effective control and the virtuous commanders receive the respect of their people. The virtuous commander demonstrates excellence in the qualities of authority, intelligence, and humanity. The virtuous state employs the virtuous commander and is enhanced by his competence.

皇: You seek of ancient things, but we seek to make them useful to us now. Show us how these things make sense to us today, for we are all versed the in Classics (SMC).

馬: Very well. It is essential to recognize their current practice to bring the country great power. In all things, consider the affairs of the state to be equivalent to the affairs of war. If one manages the finances of the state as a war against corruption one can certainly manage the army against other states. But as always, the war is not limited to simply to the army, but the whole state. A state that does not contribute wholly, from the Emperor to its lowliest citizen, victory is not for certain. Only when the state is committed completely can victory be assured. War does not render its fruits and its pains to parts of the state, but rather the whole, so it is pointless only to exhaust a portion of the state's power to achieve victory.

Master Sun notes five criteria for determining victory: method, season, terrain, disposition, and law. Often ill-spoken, the method of war is deception, not only deception but more importantly control of the information. When your enemy knows what you want him to know, the way is secured for victory for you, for the enemy is only able to act upon what he knows. At times, truth is the most useful deception. When Master Sun speaks of Season, he speaks of the right and the wrong - the virtuous commander is able to seize the right and use it against the enemy. When Master Sun speaks of Terrain, he means to speak of the capabilities of the state - to wage war from the highest to the lowest person, from the nearest to the farthest, from the infrastructure of the state, the support of the people and the nobility, the production of the land. The state cannot wage war if its capabilities are unable to supply the demand. Disposition demands the state to employ the virtuous commanders - whether its decisions are led by wisdom, courage, discipline, and integrity. A state that has a sound mind may go far. And as Master Sun speaks of Law, he speaks of hierarchy of command, of ability, and of competence. Each person must know their place, as the leader must guide the follower to the precise movements.

Before His Imperial Majesty feels that these instructions are too simple, I must state two things - the first, never underestimate the nature of simple instructions because sometimes instruction is as simple as it seems. Second, His Majesty must recognize that these instructions are made for the general circumstances. They are good instructions because they can apply to the commander of a submarine - in the management of his crew, of his weapons stock, of his communications - as they can apply to the commander of a business - in the management of his personnel, of his enterprises, of his information. To ask me to explain them in modern terms is a nonsense, because the Master Sun would explain them in the same manner as when inn the Warring State and when in the present. There are characteristics of war that makes its principles universally applicable to all states, and ideally, that makes all states equivalent in their capacities to achieve victory and suffer defeat. These principles are made known in the Classics (SMC) and to such detail Master Sun's analects that it becomes obvious what distinguishes states' abilities.

Therefore, there are five states to achieve when waging war, for any era: to be the master, to be the right, to be the superior, to be the virtuous, and to be the competent. Any state that is unable to achieve any of these is incapable of victory and is wise to stay away from war or managing the state. Alas, the state whose master abides by none of these is always in war and always losing. The state suffers for him, and it is the ignoble leader that is unable to manage this simple affair. The virtuous leader is able to distinguish what leads to mastery of knowledge; to the righteous cause; to the superiority of wealth, technology, and production; to the virtuosity of skill, character, and excellence; and to the authority of the law. But surely His Majesty is capable of these, for He has chosen capable ministers. The Empire prospers and His wisdom is a token for this greatness. The state is well, because his people are smart and satisfied; this adds to the virtuosity of Your Prestige and contributes greatly to our efforts in war.

But we must not conclude that one must simply settle for things as they are. The world is dynamic, and even as the rules are universal, the conditions to which they apply change, and we must challenge ourselves to strive always for better. There are two ways to do this - to wait idly and let the world degenerate or to create the conditions. Of these two, it is better to strive for the challenge, because we do not wait for excellence - we snatch and secure it with our own grasp. If we wait for the world to become worse, we will only seek to make conditions worse for ourselves, and while patience may be a worthwhile adventure, to wait for the world is a grave offense and will surely bring failure to any state. Waiting for the world to die is as to command insects to perish by the season's end - the pests will surely die, but the food will be spoiled and the harvest worse still. Instead, we must actively protect our crops by making them better and working against the insects before they strike and thus in war making our enemies nullified by our excellence. Otherwise, we will suffer worse.

皇: You have spoken much good wealth of information. I can only presume that we are surely blessed to have a commander as you, for the Master Kong had said an Emperor with stupid advisers shall surely bring shame to his Empire - so shall it be with us.

馬: His Imperial Majesty ought not ask of what the Nature of war is, for the Masters before have already analyzed it and its concepts are known to us. It is best for you to ask us to consider what the effects of the modern war imply for the Han, and how best to cope with them for asking ancient questions will not progress us forward beyond what we already know.

皇: Then tell me - if we are to consider going to war, what are the best things to consider?

馬: The Master Sun said to know the Enemy as yourself, and rightfully, there is nothing not to consider. Every missed detail will surely suffer some consequence. When considering the enemy, look to his numbers. The Month and Date of the State's Ascension to the NS community indicate the age of the population. The older the state, the more people it can employ into war, and the greater potential for the state.

皇: It is good judgment to say that all states that have come to the world after us are weak and those before us are strong?

馬: Absolutely not. This is greatest fallacy, after assuming that all states have equal capabilities. The first true statement of the potency of states is that states are inherently unequal in their distribution; hence it is to each state to maximize their potential and cause the greatest advantage to be borne to each one. But simply to say that states that possess more years are more powerful is not necessarily true. The most important matter is the management of this potential The state that manifests its potential poorly is unable to project itself - its power is diminished and they can be vanquished. The state that is able to exhaust all of its potential is in contrast able to project itself - its power is greatly increased. Each the smallest state can become the greatest if it manages its resources and its potential wisely and supremely, and likewise, even the greatest of states can fall at the twist of a bug's wing.

皇: This is great wisdom to consider. But these things may not appear to be obvious - how do we determine the nature of the state?

馬: There are many indications to the organization of the state. There are the five criteria - those are the most obvious. There are also the less noticeable manners. The state that is not organized often demonstrates three clear characteristics - harsh diplomacy, numerous allies, and incoherent policies. The first indicates the reckless behavior; the conduct of the state before the sovereigns of other states must always be esteemed, and the discourse must be proper. The state whose agencies are unable to confer this simple luxury are unable to coordinate language - how can they manage their armies? The second is borne from unacknowledged securities; a state cannot have many allies and follow them or lead them aimlessly. While friends are great and beneficial, to possess so many with no positive bond to unite together, allies become burdensome and the state is unable to mount an effective campaign against their enemies. It is true that their strength in numbers is great, but against whom? They do not know their enemies and often confuse their interests with others that do not matter and ought not matter to states of certain dispositions. The third is the worst and the one requiring most attention. The state that is unable to coordinate its policies is unable to manage it armies; therefore, it is a ruined state. An unfortunate characteristic of the ruined state is an inability to recognize its own weaknesses and may threaten their neighbors without adequately recognizing the conditions for their conflict. They bring harm unnecessarily because they reckless lash their armies upon the civilized and virtuous world. It is the third that will require our attention, and duly, a war against them must be analyzed thoroughly to ensure its success and furthermore its objectives - to conquer or to punish.

皇: Let us suppose we have a reckless state that displays its armies vigorously, and among many things, they make insults to the civilized world. Their population is weaker, and we are certain that they are involved in many endeavors. Is it safe to conclude that they are of the third sort and therefore subject to our right? Or should we also consider other things?

馬: I do not wish to deceive His Imperial Majesty. However, I must state that we must wary of everything we perceive. As the art of war is that of deception, it is equally possible that our enemies seek to entangle us and bring us to ruin. They may feign weakness to entice us to attack; in these instances, they are the most dangerous adversary. Therefore, it is imperative of all circumstances to pursue the five objectives - the mastery, the right, the superior, the virtuous, and the competence. We do not benefit in punishing the weaker state unless we know their intentions and they do not know ours; we cannot be right if they seek to be the victim; we cannot benefit if we strike them, for we extend ourselves against them, but rather to let them strike against us; we cannot be virtuous if we seek to punish for slight insults; and we cannot command authority if we follow the whims of the lesser state. We must dictate our own terms, nor theirs. In this way, we avoid the wars with the competent and the incompetent make due with their wars upon us.

皇: To declare war is a folly?

馬: It is a folly if we do not possess the five criteria; without these, we are lost. I stress this immensely, because otherwise, we cannot judge anything else. Sometimes, it is prudent to declare war, but only if we can determine that it benefits us.

皇: Then to wage war, one must control information, control the right, control the advantages, control the dispositions, and control the authority. It is simple, yet dynamically complex. We must contemplate our ideas, but already, I can grasp the attention of war required to run the state. It seems that any situation can be judged by the five critrea.

After the Emperor and the Marshal had discussed this, they departed for the evening. These conversations were recorded by the Imperial Historian.


SUMMARY

- Read up on military doctrine before trying to start up a war.
- Trust no one with your own security.
- Size matters (so check the date); but it's not everything.
- Be wary of large alliances that have no clear security objective.
- Run up intelligence on your enemy before you start up the war.
- Each state is not equal in power; but they have an equal capacity to maximize their power and therefore become the biggest and baddest.
- Don't automatically aim to start a war with anyone and everyone, because that's just stupid.
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Chapter 2 - Waging War

Postby Daehanjeiguk » Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:04 pm

The Emperor again called for Marshal Ma to speak at the Summer Palace. Since their first discussions, the Emperor had called upon his reviewers to analyze recent military advances in strategy and came to conclude that the Empire must optimize their manners for waging war. Having reviewed the conditions for the five criteria, he consulted Marshal Ma for further advice:

(馬 - Ma)
(皇 - Emperor)

皇: In our last discussion, you said that a state that does not carry the five criteria will surely fall to shame. But I ask you now; in what manners can a state maximize their advantages for the five criteria in order to maximize their force in war?

馬: There are two criteria which can be influenced by the state, two which are completely dependent upon the state, and one which the state can never touch. The state is able to influence its intelligence and its disposition; the state must consider its superiority and its law; and the state can never touch the right, for Heaven decides the right.

皇: How does the state maximize right if Heaven determines such?

馬: Wisdom; by no other method can a state overcome the right. Analyze the situation to determine right from wrong, and make due with the right and shun the wrong. If you cannot find the right or the wrong, then shun away from the conflict, for it is a wrong to involve the state in a pointless endeavor that carries no significance. Many states are ruined by this mandate of Heaven, and thus while man can nothing against it, they must surely understand it to achieve victory. But the state must employ all of the criteria together to achieve victory, so it is pointless to say that any one criterion will lead to victory – all five together ensure a great victory. The state that worries solely of the divine will sacrifice its other criteria and no matter how much Heaven should intervene, against the strong, we will fail.

皇: Then let us discuss how to improve these criteria. The first – intelligence – how do we maximize our grasp of it?

馬: To achieve potency in the first, we must review our intelligence network. What we know is important when deciding to wage war, for through it, we will fight and be victorious. The side that controls the knowledge is the side that will win. Everything is important – knowledge of the terrain, vegetation, weather; knowledge of the enemy’s population, territory, popular support; knowledge of his important cities, strategic sites, and vital intersections. If we command this knowledge, we will surely make our way to victory. But we must also possess knowledge of our capabilities – knowledge of our people, their welfare, the support for the military, and even of our strategic vitalities. We can judge the other three criteria by this knowledge and therefore, the first of these criteria is most important. If we know nothing of ourselves and our enemy, we have surely lost the battle. It is therefore best to consider the intelligence of ourselves and our enemies before even considering war and battle. We must infiltrate their countries with spies and counter their spies – we must control their information as we must our own.

皇: Know your enemy as yourself and through one hundred battles, you shall never see defeat. I am aware of this, but I see how vital it is in considering the other three criteria. Of the second – right – how do we maximize our grasp of it?

馬: To achieve potency of the second, we must review our commanders and their ethics. We can change men to be better, but at their heart, there will always lay the characteristics of wisdom, courage, discipline, and integrity – the virtuous commander possesses great wisdom, great courage, great discipline, and great integrity. He is the morally excellent commander who decides effectively and knows what is best. The commanders we should shun are those that abhor these and demonstrate their character openly. The commander who abhors wisdom does not choose wisely – he consciously decides according to his own will and leads his men in the same manner, assuming that he is correct when he has not reviewed the situation thoroughly. If a commander does not exhibit soundness of thought, how can his soldiers act wisely if they are led by blind hands? The commander who abhors courage does not lead well – he watches other do his bidding and never leads from the front, fearing for his own safety. If a commander fears for his life, how will the soldiers act if they realize their commander will abandon them? The commander who abhors discipline is a reckless fool – he cannot control himself and commands no respect from himself or others. If a commander is unable to control himself, how then can he control an army? The commander who abhors integrity is a sly traitor and cannot be trusted with anything – his actions are for self-pursuit and question the loyalty of all those around him. They are the worst of those who abhor anything, because they have no master to offer service; they may command soldiers, but even their soldiers will lose face if they realize that their commander is a selfish idiot. How then can the army stay together if it loses integrity?

皇: Is it possible to appoint the ministers and generals who demonstrate the best disposition?

馬: One can prepare by examination to ensure the generals are strong, loyal, honorable, and passionate. They must recognize what the state needs and aim to grasp it in war; they must have thoughts pursuing self-sustenance away from them, for the Emperor rewards his subjects who are loyal and excellent. By instituting these measures, one can ensure Heaven will make right with the disposition of our state, our generals, and our soldiers. Otherwise, if even Heaven makes us strong, the general who falls away will lead us to ruin.

皇: Therefore, we must ensure that our commanders are the best, and be ready to reward them for better still.

馬: Rewards and punishment lead men to recognize the right and the wrong, and thus temper their disposition. It also sifts the virtuous from the fools, for the virtuous are keen to be rewarded, while the fools only receive punishment. As the Master Kong had said, the virtuous commander perceives all that is good and evil and ponders his action – he does the right action of his honor and is shameful of doing evil. Therefore, he will do always what is right. The fool will only look to what is best for himself – he cannot be a servant for the state if he only serves himself. His action is in contrast with the virtuous because he cannot always do what is right. His Majesty must always be willing to be swift with punishment and be generous with rewards, to ensure that the Empire can survive and achieve victory in all things.

皇: And what of the third – superiority – how do we maximize our grasp of it?

馬: To achieve potency of the third, we must review our state and its power. Everything within the state is subject to war, and thus we cannot be afraid to exhaust it completely to achieve victory. We must ensure that the economy is working completely to achieve victory, that the finances and productivity acquired will help fund the war effort. The support and supply for our armed forces must be superior; the technological capabilities must multiply the force of our individual soldiers against the enemy many times more; we must protect our population from famine, sickness, and other pestilences of their livelihood for they are the producers of the state’s power. If a state cannot engage its entire population to war – either in the field or from home – it cannot seize victory. Sacrifices must be made; people must be satisfied of their livelihood, but soldiers must have comforts from home. They must be fully equipped with the most adept instruments at their disposal to ensure the enemy’s defeat.

皇: How then should the people be mobilized?

馬: For a great country, people should not be mobilized until it is needed. War is stressful business of the state, and to be always mobilized puts further and unnecessary strain upon the state. When in peace, it is perhaps only necessary to mobilize an active force of around 1% of the population, with 2% in reserve. Your government should not spend more than 10% of its income on the military, as it should be making advances to improve the economy, the livelihood of its people, and the technology for its armed forces. If one is always at war and not advancing, it risks falling behind in superiority and cannot maintain its advantages against enemies that are at peace and go to war wisely, picking the weak enemies and ensuring their victory from even before the war.

Once in war, the state can mobilize at most 5% into the military, with 2% in reserve. This is to put the greatest number of people into the field without suffering loss of economic potential at home. The smaller countries will suffer worse with this, but they are among the greatest masters of effective mobilization – they mobilize what they need to mobilize, while larger states tend to mobilize in excess. Of course, it is the fallen states that excessively mobilize, which especially among the younger states often leads to their demise. The Han Empire has always mobilized a useful number of troops to war and peace, maintaining a delicate balance, and those in the NS community that have successfully accomplished are among the greatest powers. There are those that have learned the lesson the hard way and suffered defeats in wars that were hasty, ill-prepared, and caught the nation inferior to its enemies.

The state must also be wary of alliances, because they may make wars that are unnecessary and force the state to commit to reserves that do not benefit the state’s interests. Alliances are a valuable implement of diplomacy and war, tools to be used sparingly and precisely. By mutual interests, one can make secure alliances, but even mutual understanding must be made by those states. Collective security is more tenuous because it forces states share interests, even those that do not benefit the state directly. The state must aim to become self-sustaining, that is to be less dependent upon others than upon oneself, because in war, the state can be fully mobilized and its utilities can be financed directly, rather than through other states, organizations, or other agencies of war.

皇: And of the fourth – law – how do we maximize our grasp of it?

馬: To achieve potency of the fourth, it is to His Majesty’s necessity to ensure that a noted hierarchy is present. He is the supreme Sovereign of the State – no one else can usurp this power, neither within nor outside the state. You must then delineate the chain of command, to ensure the organization of the state is sound, effective, and virtuous. You receive the intelligence and decide the policy of the state. You perceive the intelligence, and judge the merits of your state. You find the policies to improve the state, secure the most excellent ministers to administer your rules, and hold responsibility to securing the safety of the state and its people. You hold the army in its defense, you hold the people in their livelihood. As with the ways of people, you must care for them, for they will make your state. Establish rewards and punishments to protect their disposition, and make right the ways of your rule, so that Heaven may be at peace with you.

In this way, you establish the law. A bureaucracy – while it has its merits – divides the power of the Emperor and makes the interests of the state further divided. It is impossible to govern the Empire directly, because you cannot be everywhere at all times. Hence, as you have established the law, the loyalties of your people shall be ensured. You must then delineate the chain of command, to ensure the organization of the state is sound, effective, and virtuous. In this manner, you procure the most able of leaders to guide the state in its various fields of interests. By the law, you make the decisions and the people enforce it. It is the effectiveness of the state that makes it able to respond to threats and to mobilize quickly and thoroughly.

皇: I see. Then it is impossible to separate any of the criteria to say this is the most important, because they all are in effect one. But it seems so much like the last discussion – you iterated the five criteria and gave examples for describing the victorious state. But aside from this, how can one assure victory in all circumstances?

馬: One must be alert to the five criteria – it is as simple as that. It is sometimes useful to test the system, to ensure that the mastery, the right, the superiority, the virtuosity, and the authority are all maintained. Corrupt officials will come, state productivity will fall behind, the right will be lost, the law will be forsaken, and the intelligence will be faulty; but it is best to determine these things before engaging in war – otherwise, we will be at loss wherever we go.

The Marshal was dismissed, and the Emperor added these to the discussions of the previous days. He reviewed the State and found that it was lacking in all five criteria, therefore lacking the maximum capabilities of the Empire. These were quickly rectified and Marshal Ma's consultations earned him a promotion to the Royal Estate in Hangyeong.

SUMMARY
*** Right
- Don’t go to war for every single reason; it’s stupid and it wastes your resolve.
- People hate warmongers (unless it happens to be a warmonger coalition); so try to stake out for the moral high ground wherever found.
- If you can’t find the moral high ground, there probably isn’t one and makes the war even worse if you decide to join.
*** Intelligence
- Always double check your intelligence before going to war.
- Do both OOC and IC intelligence checks; inserting spies SICly can give you a great advantage when coming to war, because it may give you access to some of the enemy’s SIC movements.
- Feign your own intelligence to deceive the enemy commanders; mix up truth and lies to make it difficult to determine what it is the truth.
*** Disposition
- Be smart about your moves and your actions, because they really do speak louder than words (even though they are only words).
- Have a purpose to go to war beyond the typical casus bellum of the day; seek what you aim to win from the conflict.
- Don’t disappoint your allies or they may desert you.
*** Superiority
- Get the top of the line technology and have an economy that actually works; don’t depend on your allies to help either.
- You don’t need 10% of your population in the military – ever; it’s stupid and you can’t realistically expect to have a good military, economy, and/or technological advance.
- As a base, don’t spend more than 25% of your GNP on the military, because you need to develop domestic infrastructure too.
- Ideal maximum numbers: 1% in military in peacetime, 2% reserves; 5% in military in war time, 2% reserves; 10% of gross budget paid to defense budget.
*** Law
- Organize your forces into tangible divisions; same goes for the government.
- Each criterion will be explained in later chapters.
Last edited by Daehanjeiguk on Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Chapter 3 - Armed Contest

Postby Daehanjeiguk » Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:10 pm

After reviewing the details from the reformations, the Emperor invited Marshal Ma to review the changes. They both concluded that the Empire was fit for superiority, though Marshal Ma was reluctant to ascertain whether the Empire was fit for war.

(馬 - Ma)
(皇 - Emperor)

皇: Marshal, I wish to know what makes our army ready for war.

馬: There are but two distinctions of an army ready for war – the soldiers are set for deployment, and their morale is high. If any other condition exists, they are not ready for war.

皇: Indeed. The soldiers are ready then.

馬: Even then, His Majesty must cautious of the five criteria before deploying his army.

皇: Let us assume that we hold the five criteria for certain. We are invading the lands to the West, where the men pray to a god on all limbs and shave as the barbarians do. How shall we make preparations against them?

馬: We must know more than these, Emperor. The nature of war is deception, and to deceive oneself by its simplicity in the criteria is a fault. War is the sole passion of the state, and we must make its work efficient. If the enemy commands a certain number, we must counter with 10 times that number. If they command the terrain, we must multiply our force by 3 times. If they command the people, it is a foolish endeavor to invade them.

皇: Let us suppose that the enemy possess 100,000 men. Shall we counter with 3,000,000 men?

馬: Both you and I know that the Empire does not possess 3,000,000 men.

皇: Is it possible then to cause war against them? Will that not embolden them to attack us?

馬: For us, it is difficult to attack a small country numbering around 100,000 men. How then can they attack us, who command millions of men? War is a difficult affair, and to consider war as a game of numbers is folly. You were deterred as I mentioned that a war against 100,000 men is impossible, yet I say that it is possible with even 10,000.

皇: How then does this follow in your instructions? You say that we must counter them 10 times more men, and yet you attack with forces inferior to them?

馬: Indeed it is possible. But I consider it folly to invade at the outset of war. If we attack at the start of war, they are fresh and ready for us. But if we seek to win quickly, we must discourage them from war. Our great numbers impose a stark reality to them – that they must kill more than we can kill. But that does not settle the entire story. We must also be certain to strike their hearts. Entice them with alternatives – war or peace. We must accurately gauge how much it is worth to them to go to war rather than to assume automatically that they are inclined to peace. We must press them and exhaust themselves on the idea between war and peace and entice them to peace. In this way, they lose their morale and the option for peace appears better than to continue war.

皇: How do make peace appear better than war?

馬: Be merciful in victory and graceful in defeat. The enemy is more inclined to be courteous in victory and gracious in defeat. Also in war, be fierce and aim for the quick victory. If the enemy knows that war with us is worse than peace with us, they will see the alternative peace as better. Present to them terms that suit us and suit them, but do not exhaust them completely, because they will then feel trapped and then their alternative to peace is worse than death itself – the worst circumstance. Avoid facing an enemy that has no alternative than to face death itself. Make concessions to satisfy them while not detracting from our strength. If we have destroyed them, offer to help repair them. If we have injured their army, offer to train it. If we have demoralized their government, send forward emissaries to encourage them. An enemy that is defeated is no longer the threat that it was once and it is therefore right that the victor should be merciful to the defeated. Otherwise, the next war will not be so kind to us. It is also in this way that we defeat the greatest enemy of all – revenge. If we are defeated, offer to acquiesce to their demands. In this way, we know what to feel from the harsh oppressor and the benevolent victor.

皇: Be merciful to the defeated, be gracious to the victors. It sounds as if we are playing a game of morals.

馬: It is perhaps moral, but more importantly, it sets an example. If the enemy knows that they will suffer in war as compared to peace, they will weigh their options towards peace. It makes peace more sustainable and war swifter. They must know this distinction or otherwise we will fight a long war against even the most resolute of enemies. We must make them victims of war and repair them; in this way, we completely avoid war and become victorious without firing a shot.

皇: I have heard this, but I did not believe the Master Sun would say it in the same manner.

馬: Master Sun says that it is most excellent to leave the enemy intact, for it shows your excellence. When you can march into a city unopposed, it makes the enemy weaker and you stronger. The enemy becomes the subject of His Majesty, and as with all subjects, His Majesty must show compassion for them, for they are his. If he treats them as barbarians, the barbarians will turn away to a leader that is not compassionate and you will have not won this war and indeed laid the foundations for the next war. The enemy who does not resist is not an enemy of war, and must be treated with compassion.

Master Sun also says to turn the captured spoils to our own use after capturing them. If we have captured enemy equipment and units, we may turn them to our own army and use them against the enemy. For one, it builds trust between our men and the enemy. It also encourages our men to realize that our forces are the superior to the enemy. It also discourages the enemy because they realize that their own people have turned against them, and it makes their attempt to resist us more difficult. Provide for the care of enemy soldiers and ensure their loyalty to His Majesty. Treat them well, as they are now subjects of His Majesty, and subjects of any status deserve to be treated as the best in the world. The enemy may torture our own soldiers, but that only encourages our men to fight to the death; the enemy, who see that surrender is not a bad option, are tempted to turn against their own forces and defect to our generous armies. Death is the less fortunate alternative to our generosity and mercy. In this manner, His Majesty becomes the arbiter of live and death.

皇: Is this not an alliance then, between former foes?

馬: No – an alliance is a marriage of convenience – friendship between two equal states. The alternative is a master treating his slaves and servants with respect, so as they may be fruitful for His Majesty. They see his generosity and turn to him with open arms, no hostile intention. We make friends with them, only as the master is graceful to his subjects.

皇: I see. But we must win this war first, before I treat them with mercy and compassion. How do we subvert them in war to make peace the better alternative?

馬: Make war the more expensive and less favored alternative. Lay ruin to their cities by air and missiles; pound their shores with guns and ships; destroy their trading routes and markets; discourage their allies; leave them surrounded with the only escape being the satisfactory peace that you demand. In this manner, before even sending an army to their land, they are defeated and their morale unwilling to submit to war. It is the same manner as if laying siege to a great city – we must obliterate it into submission before we send our army to seize it. By making the enemy realize its fate before having fought any battles, they will capitulate to His Majesty’s grace and mercy.

If we are attacked, we must take care to prevent these travesties upon ourselves. We must defend skies from enemy planes and missiles. We must guard our shores from enemy vessels. Our trade routes must be protected from enemy raiders. Our allies must be steadfast. Their peace must become our own, or otherwise the war will continue. It is a factor of martial economics – they must realize that the cost to continuing war against us is worth more than sustaining our peace. If the cost of war is not greater than the cost of peace, war shall continue and the peace will not last.

皇: Well, it seems that war is merely an exchange of such. But what of armed conflict? When two armies meet, there must be battle, for in the end the enemy still has their army.

馬: If we face an enemy that is still determined to fight after having suffered the massive damage by our own air force, navy, and other subversive actions, then we must prepare to invade them. If after submitting the lands to the West to bombardment and isolating them from the world, we will mobilize one division of 100,000 men to counter their army of 100,000. Divide the army into useable partitions and furnish them well. Our division of 100,000 can be divided into 10 corps of 10,000. Place competent generals to lead them, and the division shall conquer everything in its path.

The competent general never fights upon terrain that is not suitable to his desire. He brings the enemy to a ground of his choosing and fights there where the enemy is exhausted and has no hope to win battle. If the enemy cannot be encouraged to move from his position, seize something that is valuable to him and you will command his movements. Plunder the terrain to your advantage and give nothing to the enemy to satisfy his own desires, for if he is starved of them, he will come forward and engage you. Command his movements and you will have victory no matter what he may do. The commander must be to judge the situation and decide what can be exhausted to achieve victory.

In this way, our army of 100,000 will engage the enemy. We will bomb his position, plunder his wealth, and starve his army of supply. If they do not capitulate, we will entice them forward. If they do not leave their position, let them stay there but do not engage them. An enemy at home is worse than an enemy laying waste to your lands, for he will never be defeated at home. Our men will lose face if they are far from home; therefore the commander makes his own terrain to win the victory at his own choosing.

If the enemy marches forward from his terrain in force, aim to divide him. Ambush his auxiliary forces; entice his wings to strike you; force him into narrow defiles; feign retreat to a ground of your desire. When you engage the enemy, it is your ground on which he fights, and it will be your victory. When battle starts, ensure that every man fights hard, and make the enemy suffer the worst sort of calamities. Do not allow the enemy any rest. If the enemy is divided, split him completely and force him to disperse where he cannot organize an attack. Have all of the prisoners be treated with humanity, and let the enemy realize that victory is ours, that surrender is more glorious than defeat.

皇: If the enemy should refuse all of our enticements to peace, how should we treat them?

馬: The enemy continues to resist us – they shall have no home for the Emperor, for they are not his subjects. They must be persecuted with absolute hatred and ferocity, to allow them to realize that His Majesty is not graceful to enemies, but is merciful and generous to his subjects. They will realize that His Majesty is generous and his rule excellent – they cannot refuse peace, unless they have lost all sanity. His Majesty cannot let the enemy believe that His Majesty is a brute to all people; he must demonstrate his excellence in all that he does.

皇: Therefore, we must be generous to our subjects, but merciless to our enemies. They must be vanquished whenever possible. But what of our enemies? Will they not act in the same manner – merciless in war?

馬: It is right for His Majesty to assume that the enemy will act mercilessly regardless of the situation. Unless His Majesty can acknowledge that the enemy is generous, we must make war painful to prevent our enemies from assuming that we are weak. War must be painful if peace is to be sustained. In this manner, we can negotiate with our enemies, to make them complacent to us, and make ourselves amenable to our adversaries. However, if the costs of war outweigh maintaining the détente, it becomes necessary to act ruthless in war. We must constantly remind ourselves and our enemies that war is painful, so that they may recognize that war is a last resort – the most valued of diplomatic messages and the greatest affair of the state. When playing the great game, one must act boldly but cautiously as well. Great risks carry great rewards and punishments – we must thoroughly review the five criteria to determine if war is in our favor. With these indications, we can carry forward victory and know that war favors us always. Then, armed conflict becomes a contest of managing the army and the enemy.

After the discussion, the Emperor Gwangmu invited the Marshal Ma to review the army and determine if it was fit for war. Marshal Ma determined that the army was full of virtuous commanders, but it lacked capability. The Emperor then asked Marshal Ma to review the war in India {SYAE war}.

皇: When India invaded Bhutan without just cause, we retaliated by defending the right of Bhutan. They refused to acquiesce to our demands, and it was apparent that war was coming. We had mobilized two divisions to counter the Indian forces in Bhutan. Before we intervened, we bombarded the country with air and missile strikes. We ensured complete access of Han troops to all parts of the country. When we invaded, we attacked from the front, dividing our forces to their front and rear. We controlled all of their routes of escape and surrounded them. Tell me – is this good execution?

馬: It was good enough. The Indians had lost resolve in the war, and it was evident from our reports from the prisoners that they had lost resolve when we bombed their troops. They were led by foolish commanders who lacked any duty to country. Our demands following the war were generous and not overtly demeaning. In the end, our forces annihilated the Indian army and our forces were victorious in securing the independence of Bhutan, while saving the face of the Indian defeat. However, we were unable to determine the weakness of Indian forces in the area before our attack. The offensive was stalled for two weeks before we could push them back. Two weeks of extended combat – though a short time relative to other conflicts - cost our troops too much time. It was in difficult terrain, and our forces were fighting upon terrain that did not belong to us. Therefore, though we managed to secure victory in a short conflict that brought a greater advantage against the Indians, we were lacking in effective intelligence. Most great powers fail when it comes to good intelligence, and their soldiers suffer the cost of this error.

皇: Therefore, despite success, there is even one area lacking. We must ensure that our operational success is not hindered by these inadequacies in battle.

馬: The commander recognizes that errors will always happen in battle. At times, the enemy will move against the will of the commander, and calamity seems nigh. It is the excellent commander that is able to adapt and modify his operation, to regain superiority of the five criteria. The commander accepts failure as a lesson learned and applies it immediately, and seizes victory from failure. It is why commanders ought not be reprieved for one mistake, for the greatest commanders are even borne from the slightest mistakes.

SUMMARY
- War is expensive; so no, you can’t have three simultaneous wars and think to even start another one.
- If you’re attacking, bring a lot of troops.
- Instead of launching the attack fleet, bombard the enemy to soften opposition and make the war more costly for them.
- If you prefer defense, invest in anti-aircraft and anti-ballistics and build a big fleet (if you have access to the sea).
- Apply diplomacy continually, making it more costly to continue the war than to accept the demands of the victors.
- Make peace generous – otherwise, a punitive peace sows the seeds for future conflict.
- If you can, avoid fighting the war altogether; “testing war equipment” can be done in mass military exercises instead of war.
- Make war as costly to both offense and defense, so as to make peace more sustainable in the future; otherwise, you’ll waste your resources all of these wars for no gain.
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Chapter 4 - Friends and Foes

Postby Daehanjeiguk » Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:11 pm

The Emperor had been consulted by foreign diplomats, asking for alliances. His Majesty was considered that forming alliances in haste would spell bad news for the Empire, and in his thoughts reviewed the political conditions. He saw no reason to decline an alliance, but likewise, remembering the instruction of Marshal Ma, he called for an audience with the Marshal, to determine the best decision.

(馬 - Ma)
(皇 - Emperor)

皇: I have been asked by nations of the West to form alliances with them. I do not feel that forming alliances with them is in bad taste, but I see little purpose in making an alliance with them. I have realized that alliances are a common tradition in the West, and I wish to make friendly relations with the West without making an alliance with them. In the matters of making friends, how do we make the situations suitable for making an alliance with them?

馬: His Majesty ought to be his own judge when determining friendly relations. He is the Sovereign of the Land and should not be influenced by what makes a friend different from his foes. But it is wise for His Majesty to question the purpose of an alliance before accepting it. He must analyze the situation independently, to ensure that our allies are our friends. Our friends will be the states that share mutual interests that benefit us – without them, we each suffer greatly, and with them, we profit even greatly. They will support us in the lowest of times, share our cheer in the highest of times, and whether we are allied, they will come to our aid.

皇: Then the friends among states are already allies.

馬: What is an ally if not a friend bound by written contract to come to your aid? The true friend stays by your side regardless of the circumstances. They have pledged their life for yours, as you for theirs. It is as the bond of kinsfolk, by blood and by law. They go to war for our cause, not because it is their cause, but because they feel obliged to aid you.

皇: But you spoke of a friend as one who shares our interests. Wouldn’t an ally therefore share our interests?

馬: It is true – but the true friend shares these interests out of their merit. The ally shares these interests because it also serves them well. The truth of an alliance is that you pledge to support each other in achieving your state interests, removing the threat of competition among one another. And it is possible to determine the range of your obligations and the amount of competition eliminated. Bilateral support implies that the agreement is between only two states and involves no one else; these are highly favored to massive multilateral agreements, which lose political stability while increasing the diversity of members and potentially increase political and military force.

皇: Is it possible to conceive of an alliance where the support is not military?

馬: It is possible, but otherwise foolish. Alliances bind states together by interdependence; they not only support each other, but they come to need each other. It is for this reason the sovereign must choose his allies carefully, for he must live with them. The unwelcome alliance is as an ill-conceived marriage – the divorce is painful, and neither partner is satisfied.

皇: But are there not other types of alliances?

馬: Indeed, and it does his Majesty well to use them accordingly.

A mutual protection agreement is strictly military and binds the defense of the parties together. It uses the concept of strength in numbers to help deter against larger threats than what any individual member could muster. Often, equal states will ally against a larger threat to defeat it, and their friendship is forged by mutual conflict with the same enemy. Sometimes, larger states will invite smaller states to increase their political power against other large states, to make their political will realized upon the world. Such alliances are considered “neo-colonialist” and sometimes end disastrously when the hegemon abuses its power. To employ a mutual protection agreement, you must consider one of three options: Do we share common political and military interests? Do our threats share a common origin? And does the agreement enhance our political and military power while negating obvious costs for its creation? I urge his Majesty to consider the last option carefully, for it is the most important of the three; if his Majesty cannot answer positively to any of the options, the agreement is not in the best interests of the state or of His Majesty.

A free trade agreement is an economic alliance, aimed at reducing competition with each other and increasing the productivity of all parties involved. It is usually accompanied with political attachments, but it can also stand alone as a simple regional agreement to open trade fairly for each other. It is the weakest of political agreements, but when strategically employed, it can turn potential enemies into willing allies, leading to other stronger political agreements. When making friends, it is best to open trade with each other, for affluence makes great friends. There are very few reasons why not to open free trade; it expands our economic markets, advancing our criterion of superiority, and even when employed against our enemies, it warms our relations. If in doubt, offer trade instead of military support; it casts better and more certain results, and such efforts can be checked before advancing to other levels of interdependency.

A confederation is a league of states aligned politically to support each other. It is strong union of the states, in which each member sacrifices a portion of its sovereignty to share political benefits of such a union. While not strictly militarily aligned, it brings the states closer than a free trade agreement, and even more so than a mutual protection agreement. It is beneficial for several small states to join together to share political strength against more prominent members of the world community, although such strengths are often employed poorly, due to internal discontent. Unless His Majesty wishes to test the system of confederacy, I strongly urge to avoid confederations of all sorts, and further to avoid allying with one, as it is certain to bring you many headaches.

A commonwealth is much like a confederation, except that political power is usually consolidated in one hegemon, which commands the loyalty of the members and employed the sole active force in the union. Like a confederation, it is a political union, and while not necessarily militarily active, the hegemon may call upon the military forces of members as it sees fit. A commonwealth is much sturdier, but just as a confederation, its members have political interests not necessarily shared among all members. Members may leave, if the hegemon permits it. If the commonwealth is strong, its political and military strength is enhanced, but the dynamics of the political structure make it unstable – hence, I would avoid serious alliances with commonwealths as well. If His Majesty wishes to form a commonwealth, he must be kind to the other members – as to his own subjects, for he pledges their protection. Together the political union of a commonwealth is as an alliance made to form a country under His Majesty’s supervision. But first, the state must be strong to form a commonwealth – while we are still growing, I would not advise forming a commonwealth.

The last sort of alliance is a treaty organization. It is the most active militarily, since it pledges military support according to conditions set in a treaty. It is the most stable of alliances, since by mutual agreement a treaty carries a strict legal obligation while allowing some extraneous conditions to permit members to withhold obligations. It is usually a military alliance, although under certain circumstances, it can be expanded to non-military functions related to security. As this is the most binding alliance of armed forces, I would strongly suggest avoiding joining a treaty organization, unless His Majesty is firmly satisfied with the constituency of the organization and is further satisfied with the conditions of the treaty. Nonetheless, a treaty organization is the most stable form of alliance, and any agreement with a treaty organization is likely to last long.

皇: You mentioned earlier that it is possible to turn our foes to allies, both by being the generous victor and opening trade. But you also mentioned that states that abuse their power often can make enemies from their friends. Is there any nature of political and military authority that can manage friends and foes?

馬: There are the three contingencies – trade, power, and humanity. By trade, His Majesty can favor his friends and isolate his enemies. He increases his economic wealth while leaving his enemies destitute. In this manner, they have no choice but to turn to His Majesty’s excellence and cease being hostile. If they make other alliances, we must improve the strength of our allies by opening free trade. Our friends will have no option but to become dependent upon us as we will be to them, while our enemies are left to either join or oppose us.

By power, His Majesty can command political and military force by controlling the seas, the skies, and the lands. The lands of the enemy shall not be immune to our will, and they have no choice but to accept the will of His Majesty. If they make alliances with others, we must make our alliance stronger by cultivating mutual defense policies and treaty obligations that recognize our shared conflict with the enemy. They must either join or oppose us. By skillful administration, we can manage our political and military allies while leaving our enemies without any support.

By humanity, His Majesty imparts his mercy and generosity upon the enemy and its populace. We make our state respected and we command the favor of the people of our enemy. By this, we oblige the state to fight itself while fighting us, for we have shown our moral and human excellence to them; they must turn to His Majesty’s excellence and become our friends. If they make alliances against us, we must demonstrate our generous and virtuous character to our allies and our enemies alike, to show our nature as a compassionate state. They must either reciprocate our actions or accept our moral excellence as superior.

If His Majesty employs these three contingencies, His Majesty’s state will command the respect and friendship of all. We become stronger by skillful administration and uniform employment of policies. However, if we lose our favor by trade, power, or humanity, we lose our friends and make new enemies. Therefore, it is important to maintain all three. We must trade with all our friends; we control the vital military and political accesses; we must demonstrate our virtuosity. In this manner, His Majesty shall become the true Regent of All under Heaven.

His Majesty must take caution however against all states. In the end, we compete against all states, even our friends. His Majesty must therefore judge when and where it is appropriate to abandon friends to accomplish greater objectives, and likewise use it strategically, where it employs a great benefit to us. Otherwise, abandoning alliances at random will hurt us worse than forming irrational alliances.

SUMMARY
- Friends can easily become foes so guard against it carefully.
- Don’t become too easily snared into alliances that serve no beneficial purpose to your state.
- Bilateral alliances are stable and small; easy to manage.
- Multilateral alliances bring many states together, increasing the potential political and military force of your state, but it also carries a higher cost of maintenance.
- Mutual Defense is a good simple military alliance, but it works well if you trust them.
- Free Trade builds trust that can be used to form military alliances later on.
- Confederations are big bulky masses of political conventions that have little political force.
- Commonwealths are confederations with a hegemon at the apex of power among the members.
- Treaty Organizations – while wildly popular and relatively stable – demand a lot of trust and respect for the individual members.
- Alliances can be made for trust, convenience, or both.
- Break alliances when it serves your interests, but be wary that it decreases your trustworthiness in international politics and may make you more vulnerable than before.
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Chapter 5 - On the Right

Postby Daehanjeiguk » Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:13 pm

(馬 - Ma)
(皇 - Emperor)

皇: You have spoken previously of the criteria, and I wish to know of the Right.

馬: His Majesty knows all that he needs to know of the Right. There are the ways of Heaven, which dictate the ways of Men. There are those who say Right has no influence, but to ignore it is foolish. A state must manage it or else become isolated by those who do employ it. His Majesty must ensure the state follows the three mandates – Justice, Truth, and Honor.

皇: Is this all to deal with Right? I have seen many nations stand up in the name of Right and they have fallen, whereas those that absolve any relationship to it and succeed in war. What makes the Right a useful criterion in this age where the Right fall and those not Right succeed?

馬: It is said that a nation that pays attention to Heaven is Holy, but it lacks the other qualities of superiority in the five criteria. They fail because they seek the Right only, but without the other four, the State is still weak and weaker still. Those that succeed and know no Right are wise in their managements, preying upon the weak only. They obscure the Right by ensuring the other four criteria are satisfied. But against the Virtuous State, they have no power to vanquish it. It is for this reason why His Majesty must guard against giving it His full devotion for the Righteous State must be also Virtuous and possess excellence in all criteria.

皇: This is a lesson well applied to all states. But what makes the Righteous State strong by itself?

馬: Right is difficult to manipulate because it is decided by the Divine. Man can only look at it and say that it is Right, but to make it Right – that is the work of the Divine. It is therefore important to the Righteous state to acknowledge that the Divine actively operates and makes the way. If a Virtuous state should go against the Divine, it shall lose all against the Righteous and the Virtuous. The three mandates ensure a state’s righteousness.

皇: Speak to me of Justice. I have heard much of justice as a concept of law, but I must understand it in war.

馬: Justice in law applies to the Justice of Man. It is similar to the Right of the State, but much different in its application. As justice in law ensures that all people are treated equally under the law, justice in war ensures that the State is equal to all other states. The wise sovereign realizes that all states are equally capable of war and harm, and that each state is inclined to cause these things. Belligerence and expansionist desires are not qualities of justice, because they concern the virtuosity of the commanders. But the state that recognizes that all states can cause harm and aim to satisfy their interests goes forward in war and aims to satisfy the balance of justice – states in equivalence. The Divine sort the just states with the unjust, in order to make justice in all states. The sovereign does not seek to go to war because it satisfies the other four criteria, but because the Divine decide also that the balance is broken.

Justice of power – the State is capable of harm, but each state must be equally capable of harm. If there is an imbalance, it must be corrected. If the balance is proper, the Divine has set it to be so and war would be against the Right. But one must determine that the imbalance is set – and it is difficult when judging the situation, for it is equally true that to avoid war when the balance is not set is not the Right. And again, with the excellence of the other four categories, the Sovereign then judges that the justice is not set and seeks to restore the balance.

皇: This is a new teaching, I see. But if justice of states is merely a management of power, why confuse the justice of men with the justice of war?

馬: His Majesty must realize that the justice of war is the justice of the Divine. As His Majesty is Regent of All under Heaven, all under heaven is the responsibility of the Sovereign. The Sovereign must ensure that the justice of war is set in balance or otherwise risk great calamity for the entire world. One must see the world beyond the state and recognize these things or else forfeit rule over even one state. The balance of all states is of greatest importance when determining justice. And it must be important to consider justice as more importantly balance and to judge which side has justice in terms of balance.

皇: Indeed, but of Truth, what distinguishes it from Justice?

馬: His Majesty ought to consider the Truth of War separate from that of intelligence, for that is concerns the Truth of Man. A man may lie and hide truth, but to hide truth from the state is most devastating to all. A state must not become deceived and turn from its true interests. Men may judge what is best for the state, but in general the Divine has already decided the Truths of a State. These concern the nature of a state and how it employs its power. The first order of the nature is survival – all states prefer to survive than not to survive, and the Divine has ensured this in the principle of war. When states fight for their existence, the nobility of their Right exceeds that of even the noblest and most virtuous of states. For this reason, a war of extinction is almost never Right, unless it is against the State that is intrinsically opposed to the Right. The second order of the nature is security – all states prefer to attain secure borders than to leave them in disarray. The Divine has determined this as the second order, because the survival of the state is more important than to maintain secure borders, although when states are near extinction, security and survival often intertwine, sometimes to reckless results and other times to marvelous excellence. Nonetheless, the security primarily concerns the inclinations to the fears – all states fear two things most: other states and the will of the Divine. A state therefore aims to increase its security by maximizing power, to deter threats from other states. However, the Divine aims for balance in justice – in order to ensure security from the Divine, he will and must seek Justice. The third order of the nature is stability – all states prefer order to chaos. However, as the Divine dictates, the universe is always tending to disorder and therefore to create and to sustain order requires power. In order, a state is able sustain itself, whereas disorder seeds the ruin of any great state. It is therefore the will of the State to realize these three orders of the nature of a State’s power: survival, security, and stability.

皇: You speak of very convoluted things, and I cannot yet see the logic. I can understand the Justice is distinct from the Justice of Men, but it seems more apt to me to consider it as balance, when Master Sun says of the eum-yang (yin-yang), he speaks to mention understanding the nature of all sides to grasp victory. To be blind to one side is as you have said disastrous for the Sovereign.

馬: His Majesty is correct, but as He has stated, His Majesty must view all standards when evaluating balance. There is a balance of many things – a balance of power, a balance of trade, a balance of life, a balance of peace, and a balance of nature. Truth in war concerns with recognizing the state’s interests relative to the Divine, whereas justice concerns with determining the Divine’s interests relative to the state.

皇: The dichotomy is explained, but I am now curious of Honor. Would this be the relationship of state’s interests relative to another state?

馬: His Majesty is correct and has analyzed the nature of the Right correctly.

皇: How do we determine this relationship?

馬: The one rule of war is the art of deception; therefore, the rule of honor is that other states can never be trusted. Their actions can be misleading; their intentions can be secret. While it is with Method to determine the truth, it is Honor that lies at the root. It is prudent therefore to make known what needs to be known and discover what is not to be known. By recognizing that states have their intentions and that they are hidden, we can manage the nature of Honor.

皇: Therefore, one cannot command the nature of the Right, but instead, one must always be ready to manage it. Against Justice, one must keep the eye of the Divine. Against Truth, one must present himself to the Divine. Against Honor, one must guard against the intentions of other states.

SUMMARY
- Justice – you can’t control everything that happens to your state, so deal with it.
- Truth – you can’t control everything that your state happens to contribute, so deal with it too.
- Honor – you have a reputation with other states, so unless you hate yourself, it would be prudent to keep a good face while trying to get the good face of other states.
- Gather the whole perspective before making a judgment or – even more importantly – an action.
- This point will be repeated: don’t give all your attention on any one criterion or else forfeit the other criteria.
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Chapter 6 - On the Method

Postby Daehanjeiguk » Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:13 pm

The Emperor called for Marshal Ma to impart his instruction once again at the Imperial Palace in Hangyeong. His Majesty was concerned that intelligence in the Empire was lacking and sought advice to make it more efficient.

(馬 - Ma)
(皇 - Emperor)

皇: We have looked at our neighbors, and despite what you have said of uncertain intentions, we still have little idea of what they plan. I have consulted with other generals and they all agree that this is very dangerous for us. What is the way to the Method?

馬: The Method dictates one thing – we must control information. We must know what the enemy does not wish for us to know, and they must know precisely what we wish them to know. It is fitting for us to know what our enemy intends, but it is more important that the enemy does not know what we intend, for they will then be controlling information. In this manner, it is necessary to consult with the Classics (SMC) and determine the ways to employ spies.

皇: There are so many ways to employ spies, and I have them all. But this is not so much of dealing with spies as it deals with information. What is the Method to dealing with information?

馬: The enemy will only act upon information that it possesses. If the information they possess is faulty, they will act faultily. If they possess information that is true, then they will act correctly. It is important to guard against displaying information that is valuable and may aid the enemy. In general, there are four types of information. The first of these is false information; the second of these is half-truth; the third of these is facts; and the fourth of these is secret. You must guard against false information, be wary of half-truths, cherish facts, and seek out the secrets.

Information that is absolutely false is simply false information. They are lies contrived by the state to deceive the enemy. They are the easiest information to uncover for the enemy has no reason to hide it. It is easy for His Majesty to review false information and become incensed with it because often false information is very well described and seems too perfect. The enemy may send delegations, claiming to aim for peace, even as his forces prepare quietly for war. This is especially dangerous but easy to uncover if His Majesty employs spies adequately, for they can easily turn false information to light. If His Majesty should encounter intelligence that is too perfect, he must immediately question it authenticity. If it is false, we may be yet able to use this information against the enemy.

Information that is true but does not speak it thoroughly is a half-truth. They are lies as well, but they speak truth in some manner. Often, the enemy wishes to deceive the enemy by employing a half-truth – speaking half of the truth and letting the Sovereign assume the rest of the story. The enemy may deploy his forces directly in your sight, to make you assume that his main attack will come in a certain direction. But guard against such maneuvers, as the enemy may plan a secret attack to disorient your forces and snatch victory from you; he will attack where you least expect it. This is the most dangerous of all information, for if the enemy gives you half-truths, you must be cautious of using it, and if you employ it against it, they may discover the whole truth. But if it is used well, the half-truth can become the greatest weapon of the State.

Information that is true and yields nothing of great importance is a fact. This is the simplest of all information to uncover, since they often yield nothing significant for the state. But His Majesty must even pay attention to the slightest details for they can tell you more than what is given in the information. A state that begins consuming a great amount of refined metals is likely building for future war. A state that has purchased a great number of weapons is likely preparing for a near war. A state that has launched its fleet is ready for war. Though small, these details can give the state more information and makes us more aware of our enemies’ intentions. The same details can also leak information of our intentions in the same manner, so we must be wary of the facts that we leave behind.

Information that is true and is critical for the security of the state is secret and must be guarded thoroughly. The secret is the most prized information in intelligence, and the Method to attaining secrets is three-fold; employing spies in the enemy’s territory for many years, employing the enemy’s spies against him, and to trading them in strategic exchanges. Of these three, the last is the most precarious and I would guard against it. But the first two are vital and the Masters have all given their advice on how to employ spies of all sorts. The secret is of the greatest importance and it is the principal aim of the Method – to uncover secrets is of greatest importance in intelligence and of these, there are two: the secrets left in paper and the secrets left in thought. Secrets found in paper are those that the enemy has guarded in archives and are easy for our spies to uncover. Secrets in thought are those that the enemy has left in elite circles and not necessarily put on paper. These secrets are the most difficult to attain, and often the least efficient to pursue. It is important to judge the necessity of the information sought in order to weigh the costs of pursuing it.

皇: We easily know of the Facts, but of Secrets – how do we distinguish them from False Information and Half-Truths?

馬: Always check your sources, and double check them. Be certain that your information is verified by at least two different sources. If you have two different sources confirming the same information, it is likely to be either a Half-Truth or a Secret. If you find that many sources have exactly the same information, it is most likely a Secret. At times, the enemy may employ extravagant methods to distorting the truth, and hence to procure facts and secrets from them becomes exceedingly difficult. But the most important is to have many sources verifying the same details.

皇: Let us suppose that I have two different sources reporting two different details of information. I have investigated this matter thoroughly, and I have found that both sources have legitimate and verifiable support from other sources. How am I to determine whether one or the other is the truth?

馬: It is difficult, but as a general rule, if you find intelligence that seemingly contradicts the other and no other method is available to uncovering the truth, assume that the worse is the truth. If one message claims peace as the other claims for war, prepare for war. But do not give indication to your enemy that you are preparing for war, but rather reply solidly that you aim for peace. If your enemy discovers that you are preparing for war, the truth will be told at that time, and it is then possible to uncover which is truth without suffering tragedy.

皇: Let us suppose that the enemy seeks peace and has made every indication publicly to seeking peace, but the intelligence suggests that he is preparing for war. Which information is false?

馬: It is important for His Majesty to assume the worse and prepare for war. If he discovers that you are preparing for war, the truth shall be revealed at that time, and it is then possible to avoid conflict.

皇: It sounds much like games.

馬: The Method is a game, deadly and perhaps foolish. But if the State seeks to be strong, it must play thoroughly and employs its mastery with excellence. Only by commanding the information can the Sovereign stay above the other states.

SUMMARY
- Control the information that you receive and that you give.
- False information: be wary of it and double check your sources.
- Half-truth: don’t be satisfied with one little bit of the truth when you can have the whole.
- Fact: commonplace but not to be underestimated.
- Secret: have spies in place to uncover SIC information, also scout NS threads for the random SIC information about stuff and employ numerous spies across NS to have the up-to-date knowledge about all of your enemies.
- Share secrets sparingly and only if it’s of mutual benefit.
- Double check your sources before considering it at least a half-truth.
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Chapter 7 - On the Disposition

Postby Daehanjeiguk » Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:15 pm

The Emperor was reviewing the Imperial Armed Forces in Hangyeong on an occasion and invited Marshal Ma to join him. Together, they surveyed the officers of the Imperial Guards, analyzing their disposition where the Emperor made inquiry into their character and what made them reputable soldiers and capable leaders of excellence.

(馬 - Ma)
(皇 - Emperor)

皇: We have reviewed the 1st Infantry Division, and I have surmised that they are an efficient unit. If war were to come to them, we will be ready to employ them to great effect.

馬: His Majesty is clearly deluded that this Division should ever go to war.

皇: Why do you not share my enthusiasm? The leaders are capable and they impart good instruction to their troops.

馬: This is true, but you have forgotten the excellence of disposition. They may be great instructors, but they have not imparted the most important skill of all: discipline. Did you not see the troops when they were set in formation? They were reckless and the ranks did not file properly. They appeared awful and did not resemble any unit of cohesion. They are skilled soldiers, but they do not exhibit excellence in meticulous manners. This is not a fault of the soldier but the pure fault of the commanders. While they may be great at fighting and using their arms, how will they act when ordered to storm the hill of a great enemy stronghold? They have not been tamed to tackle the pains of discipline, and in battle I cannot assure their courage or their resolve. If the unit cannot stand together in formation, how can they stay together in conflict?

皇: I see what you mean. In this case, we have a grievous situation, as I cannot have reckless soldiers. But who is responsible for these actions?

馬: Leaders have come and gone because they accepted responsibility to care for their men; if you seek to punish them, you must first look at the commander. The first thing to consider is the criterion of the Law – has His Majesty made the Law known? If so, His Majesty must correct this immediately. Otherwise, the fault lies with those who were supposed to execute the order. Always ensure that the opportunity to succeed has been made.

If a leader has been ordered to do something and does something in great excess of his orders – because of his merit to recognize the situation and adapt to it and execute the order efficiently and effectively – this leader must be rewarded for his disposition is the marvel of the state. Despite having little instruction, he is capable to doing more than what the leader expects and for this his loyalty is worthy of the greatest prizes. But if a leader has been ordered to do something and does not even accomplish this task – because his merit does not recognize the situation or refuses to comply with these commands of his own desire and not of superfluous circumstances – he must be punished greatly. His disposition is unworthy of even the beasts that roam the lands and he has no home in your Majesty’s Armed Forces or even the Land.

A person’s merit ought to judge his actions – whether the result was useful and gave us a better strategic advantage than what other actions would have achieved. The characteristics of the noble leader whose disposition is virtuous are many and even so unrecognizable by the eyes of men. But among those that are most common are loyalty, honesty, courage, passion, and strength.

皇: Tell me more of these traits that I may be better equipped to review my commanders.

馬: Loyalty is the most important and the least distinguishable of characteristics. You cannot have effective leaders who are not loyal to the state, so it is the most important quality to survey before all others. The loyal leader pledges all of his honor and glory to the state, and makes his effort to improve the State’s grace and power before his own. Selfish leaders bring the state to shame, for their actions are not for the state and do not uniquely benefit the state. They may defect to other states, carrying with them vital information, experience, and many more characteristics important to maintaining the security of the state.

The loyal leader is the foundation of the state, but even a dishonest leader can bring us shame. The loyal leader on campaign may be losing war but if he should lie, he brings us false comfort. The loyal leader must also be honest and convey the truth in his dealings, for better or for worse. Indeed, the most excellent and loyal leader would speak the truth as well, because he fears not defeat of one battle, but fears for defeat of an entire state – he preaches of the state’s end to ensure its survival in war. They are unpleasant and often blunt in their discussion, but they also unveil secret faults that may lead to worse consequences than their simple existences would permit.

Therefore, the loyal and honest leader may be vital, but if he fears for his life or of the life of his men, of what use is he? The leader must exhibit courage, to be willing to sacrifice his life to ensure victory. The Master Sun said that he who fears for his life shall surely lose while those who fear not even death can conquer the Seven States – the same must be spoken for the leader, as his army follows him to whatever end that he brings to them. If the leader is loyal, honest, and courageous, how can he not avoid imparting some of his courage to his soldiers?

But courage alone will not suffice, for he must carry a passion for war. The units must be prepared for every detail, the tactics must be sound, the strategy must match the circumstance, and the tools of war must be sharpened for violence. He must demonstrate a deep relationship with war and its natures. The commander must exhibit great comprehension of what makes the great state and the great commander. He must undertake to exhibit these characteristics – not of his self-interest but to quench his loyal passion to make the best war.

And again, the leader must be strong – he cannot be weak for his decisions will be poor. If the commander exhibits all of these characteristics except for strength, he is only useful on paper. But when it matters to the men around him, he must charge forward with strength and resolve to make even the Heavens thunder from awe. It is the combination of these traits together that makes the great leader, and these traits together make the virtuous leader whose excellence can only bring great honor and renown to the state that employs him.

皇: You speak of these five traits. Is there nothing to speak of wisdom?

馬: It is true that the leader must be wise, but one cannot expect that all great men were born wise. They must learn, and this is part of their passion and strength. His Majesty must recognize three great facts of all men – first, they err; second, they understand that they err; and third, they can learn from their errors. For this reason, his Majesty must skillfully employ rewards and punishments to bring out the excellence in all men, and banish their faults from their disposition.

皇: If a man should be born and have all of these characteristics in him already, what should I consider him?

馬: I would call him divine, for he exhibits character that is fitting for the Divine. But assure you that there is no man under Heaven that will ever exhibit such character. They are all like infants in war. Those infants that do not learn are considered stupid; those that learn slowly are retarded; those that learn quickly are treasured; and those that learned tactfully and expertly are genius. I caution his Majesty to shun the stupid but hold the genius in all people.

皇: Therefore, I must make rewards and punishments to sort the stupid from the genius. But what makes the genius different from the stupid, if they are all the same at birth?

馬: Again, there are many things that sort men from birth, things that are divine. But the one characteristic that makes the genius from the stupid is diligence. The stupid desire no work, while the genius strives for excellence. They seek to exceed their expectations by going beyond normal convention.

皇: What of those people who are stupid, yet try to improve themselves but fail miserably? Shall I consider them stupid still or should I reward their efforts?

馬: His Majesty make take pity with those stupid, but to those whose efforts do not match their results, they cannot be rewarded. If you were to reward the effort of a murderer not to murder yet he continues to murder, would your judges consider granting him amnesty for attempting not to murder? In the same manner, you cannot reward the same behavior in your generals, for it lowers your own expectations for the stupid. Even the dumbest dog can be trained to perform marvelously, and the stupid are not dumb animals. Enough incentive and any man can be molded into a virtuous character, but the objective is first not to mold men or to sort the stupid, but to sort the genius. In our great land, there are many people to discover, and to seek out the stupid and the retarded is a negative advancement. Look to your smartest people and make your expectations on par to their levels of excellence. If you set the standard to the stupid, then everyone shall be stupid. If you set the standard to the genius, then everyone shall be genius.

Therefore, seek not the stupid but the genius, and make efforts to reward them for they make the country great. If your ministers all possess excellent character, their virtuosity spills from themselves into others, and shares the nobility of character to others around them, and more great leaders can be borne from the land. The land that stoops to the ignorant and the stupid is itself ignorant and stupid.

皇: But is it not possible for the stupid to become genius?

馬: It is improbable, but if Your Majesty sets the standard to the genius, and your vigorously exhaust the character of your people, the stupid beggars of our land can become the great leaders of the next generation. For this reason, do not abandon the stupid but vigorously encourage them by instilling their behavior a strict rule of law, making reward and punishments known, and encouraging them to strive and succeed.

The Master Kong said that in the microcosm of the family mirrors the mechanics of society, and if he is correct, then you are the Royal Father of the Land. Like the father rearing his children, he must be liberal with their education but strict with their ethic. Do not be afraid to punish them and do not be disinclined to reward when they deserve it. By your guidance, our land can become greater than any other land that when Heaven surveys the disposition of our people, they can only be pleased with it, and they then bestow their blessings upon us all for possessing excellence and virtuosity, and you for acting as the responsible regent.

SUMMARY
- This chapter is more a “maturity” license, and while I aim to insult no one, if your actions do not demonstrate any excellence of sensible leadership, you deserve no respect from me or anyone else.
- You are the leader of your state; treat it responsibly and no one will have to pry it from your hands for abuse and misuse, especially if you launched the 5000 nukes at a pastureland of ten thousand cows.
- I should say “don’t be stupid” but then someone will ask me specifically makes a stupid person; if you are constantly on the bad side of people and no one is willing to cooperate with you country no matter what you do, then you’re doing something stupid (unless it's part of your jig...in which case there had better be a good reason for it).
- As with all things, expect great things always and aim to achieve them; otherwise, you will find yourself at the bottom.
- As with all other things, don’t expect that the stupid actions of some people inherently bar them from doing good things, but don’t lower your expectations at the same time.
- What separates n00bs from novices is the conduct of their character; what separates the veteran of many years (literally) from n00bish veteran of many years is the same, so it doesn’t matter if you say you have a pwnzor army of 100 million men or you really do have a pwnzor army of 100 million men, you can still be a n00b.
- Good things happen to good people usually (there are freak accidents, but whatever).
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Chapter 8 - On the Terrain

Postby Daehanjeiguk » Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:16 pm

After the review incident with the 1st Division, the Emperor confided in his officials, to determine how to instill better discipline, and they had reviewed the Division at a later time; both the Emperor and the Marshal agreed that the Division was then fit.

Another crisis came to the Emperor as he reviewed the details for the Imperial Armed Forces, concerning the development of a new line of aircraft carriers, and the objectives of a modern and efficient force. He had recalled the instructions of Master Sun, but nothing indicated how best to modernize clearly. He turned to Marshal Ma for final judgment.


(馬 - Ma)
(皇 - Emperor)

皇: You are aware that the Han Empire seeks to improve its force projection abilities by developing this new line aircraft carrier. I have reviewed the schematics recently, and while I am satisfied with its progress, I have little clue that this is the best course for our state and the navy.

馬: What does the Master Sun say of this?

皇: He claims that the key to securing victory to make oneself invulnerable, while seeking the enemy’s vulnerabilities. I take this to mean that one must make defenses impregnable, but if I seek to extend the power of the Empire to our periphery, how can I extend my defensive impregnability to counter the threats from abroad?

馬: But the Master Sun also says that the victor makes his intentions hidden. In this manner, the enemy knows not what to strike and thus must prepare to strike everywhere – if he strikes everywhere, he cannot make a concerted attack against one position and his attack is weakened. By developing aircraft carriers, we extend our strategic advantage by another league, because force projection allows us to send our planes where they are otherwise unexpected and gives reason to the enemy to prepare broadly against us, while we – holding the other strategic criteria – are able hold their attack.

皇: Therefore the project is a step in the right direction?

馬: Any project that is well conceived and has clear intentions and means is a step in the right direction. The Empire has long had a need for aircraft carriers, and by fulfilling this requirement, we increase our superiority. The Master Sun says in his instructions that the state becomes weak when it extends itself far in war and the wise commander aims to reduce this extension. By developing technologies that allow the enemy to remain far away yet avoid extending ourselves, we make the war more inexpensive for us and more costly for the enemy, because they are made vulnerable where our vulnerability is not even broken. For this reason, the navy is the guardian of our extension for they will determine how far we go in war.

But the army and the air force cannot be ignored, and neither should they be given more priority than any of the others – without the army, the enemy may march freely in our country far from our seas; without the air force, the enemy may patrol our skies and wreck havoc from there. In the end, the best approach is a combination of all three forces that matches the capabilities of the state and balances the priorities of its projection. The state that reaches far requires a great navy; the state holds many terrains requires a great army; the state that is small and hold no sincere priority of extension requires a great air force. The state that is extended greatly over land and sea will require all three.

And there is one weapon that is most useful for any situation yet either ignored or abused in employment – the missile. Our progenitors invented gunpowder many years ago, and since the first rockets, we have frightened our enemies and instilled a great fear for its roar. Today, the state with a missile unit is without any force because it remains vulnerable to enemy rockets. Our state has long boasted a great missile program and while it has stagnated in recent years, it is the one pride of Han that is the epitome of Master Sun’s instructions to keep the enemy far but the battle near. The next weapon of extension is the aircraft, then the ship, and then the tank. Each is master over its own realm of warfare, and any army without any of them has nothing. But we cannot forget the infantry soldier who roams the field and secures the victory in battle. They are the weakest employ of our force, but without them, we have an empty military that is only capable of destruction. Our soldiers add humanity to what is otherwise a cruel and vicious sport of monarchs. They are the first ambassadors to the enemy and they preach the grace and power of the Empire – every precaution to ensure their survival and welfare must be considered for they all sacrifice their life for the state and the Empire.

皇: You seem to have much to say about superiority. But I read the scrolls and see “terrain” written. Is there a reason why you speak of superiority and not of terrain?

馬: His Majesty must realize that the terrain is indeed equivalent to the terrain. The victor brings the enemy to battle upon his own field. By ensuring superiority, we force the enemy to fight upon our level of excellence, not theirs. The terrain of war has many faces – the field, the projection, the way, and the objective. Superiority of technology is only one facet, and yet dominates the other faces. With sufficient technological development, we are able to project ourselves to face the enemy where they cannot see us.

皇: Then this terrain is metaphorical?

馬: Perhaps, if His Majesty wishes to perceive it so. But the terrain is real – and as a criterion, it cannot be ignored as real. There are factors of the terrain that reflect metaphorical language as well as logical sense. The common adage – fight from the high ground – applies in many perspectives. Literally, it is useful maxim when attacking many enemies; holding the high ground allows you to survey the land and fight the enemy before they can coordinate together. Interpreting in other means, one can surmise that the moral high ground is useful for commanding the wills of men. One can also infer that the technological high ground permit more flexibility in the method of attack.

The ideal maxim is one that can be repeated innumerably and not lose sense of purpose in each situation – such are maxims of common sense but speak louder than literal or figurative speech. They are guidelines to action and the deeper thoughts that penetrate its meanings evoke a stronger sense of directed advance. By the simple, we can manage the complex and order it effectively. By this very mechanism, the great leader is able to decide resolutely and still have a sense of mind to act honorably in combat, which begs men to ponder confusing thoughts.

皇: Therefore the simple maxim allows the leader to command his forces despite the complexities of circumstance. That seems reasonable, but I fail to understand why this has anything to do with terrain that isn’t metaphorical. But I only found it curious and I did not wish to incite a tangent for what I consider the more proper discussion. I am satisfied with our progress in developing the modern force projection capability as you have approved it, and I have in advance approved it.

馬: May I ask His Majesty under whose instruction the satisfaction of His Imperial Majesty’s program is sustained? If it is by mine, I urge you to consider my thoughts as advice. While I may be more skilled in certain regimes, you are the ultimate master of judgment in the realm; I cannot be the Emperor while you reign. If it is by yours, then I ask why you ask of terrain as a metaphorical situation. There are many situations in which His Majesty must consider the metaphorical language of Master Sun’s instruction, especially as they preach to a different audience. In this manner, to speak literally of the defiles in the terrain will leave you confounded.

I return to my discussion of the faces of war: the way, the field, the projection, and the objective. This is the terrain of war: we possess the way by managing how we fight. Are the troops in high spirit? Is their equipment well furnished? Are they prepared and their disposition set for battle? We possess the field by managing where and when we fight. Is the field flat? Is it obvious? Is it hidden? We possess the projection by managing what we fight. Are they far? Are the near? Are they numerous? We possess the objective by managing why we fight. Is it power? Is it honor? Is it security? By understanding these configurations, we manage the terrain, and attain the criterion of superiority in battle and in war.

皇: You speak more clearly, and I understand the language better. But when you spoke earlier of my satisfaction, it is my satisfaction of your approval, for I had anticipated that such developments of the aircraft carrier would fit into the doctrines I seek to advance. But I had also sought to understand in what manner the doctrine could be fitted, and it was this reason that prompted my inquiry.

SUMMARY
- Having the top in technology improves your chances in war.
- Don’t neglect any one branch of your armed forces in search of the perfect army/navy/air force; a combined airs approach is very effective in many situations.
- In a lecture that excessively complicates the nature of simplicity, keep things simple so that when you’re stuck in the middle of a conflict, you’re not left wondering just what exactly happened to the 235th Regiment of the 431st Division of Air Assault Infantry from Timbuktu when they’re stuck in some RP-wonderland playing volleyball on the beaches of a an island of virgin women warrior-cannibals; complexity in a war makes things more hectic and less willing to commit forces if you can’t account for every single one of them.
- WAY: have good provisions, supply, morale, and equipment.
- FIELD: always fight where you are most comfortable.
- PROJECTION: always be aware of your enemy and the condition in which they fight.
- OBJECTIVE: probably said it before, but have a reason to go to war.
- A final note, always a have a first strike capability; always have a second strike capability too.
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Chapter 9 - On the Law

Postby Daehanjeiguk » Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:19 pm

Another incident involving a superior soldier whose conduct was considered excellent had fallen into disfavor and the Emperor was called to judge him. The Emperor was reluctant to authorize the punishments due to the soldier, but he remembered the instructions on the Law by Marshal Ma, whereupon, he called the Marshal to help him discern the best possible method of rendering rewards and punishments.

(馬 - Ma)
(皇 - Emperor)

皇: I have encountered an honorable soldier whose conduct recently was brought for review and I have lamented on the punishment due to this soldier. I do not wish to make this punishment and I want to pardon him, because I am certain that it was simply a mistake. But then again, I have recalled your instructions on the Law, and I wish to receive instruction from you about this circumstance.

馬: Let us judge him now, and see if he is fit for your pardon.

At the wish of Marshal Ma, the soldier was brought forward before the Emperor and the Marshal. Once arriving, the Emperor told the soldier of the nature of his crime and the punishment that was due. After the Emperor had described the situation to both Marshal Ma and the soldier, the Marshal said to the soldier:

馬: His Imperial Majesty has found favor in you, and despite your crime wishes to pardon you. He cites your years of experience and your honorable conduct, a beacon of excellence to the Imperial Army. But even now, the honorable conduct that you have borne is stained by this error, and it must be purged from you, so that it does not bleed through to the Imperial Corps. I would urge His Imperial Majesty to institute the punishment due for this crime, for to pardon it in an honorable man is to ask for it in the conduct of men less questionable than his. After all, if the greatest man in the world falls but once, how can we not expect the same to those less than the greatest man who has already fallen once? We cannot pardon it in the soldier that is honorable because we would not pardon it in the conduct of a soldier whose conduct is less than honorable; if we are to rule justly, how can we grant favors to anyone? Indeed, the Right of Law must be firmly established.

But His Imperial Majesty has already judged you to be pardoned in his heart, and I am telling his mind that he cannot pardon it. You, the very person whose conduct is in judgment, you hold the spirit of the Emperor’s judgment. How do you judge yourself?

The soldier replied quaintly that despite his own inclination not to be punished affirmed Marshal Ma’s statements and said that he did deserve punishment. After that, the soldier was taken away, whereupon Marshal Ma gave his final advice to the Emperor.

馬: His Imperial Majesty may pardon this man.

皇: After what you had said, how can we pardon this man?

馬: The Honorable man is self-conscious and aware of the laws. Despite his excellence, he will make errors. Yet when he does make errors, it is because of His Imperial Majesty’s excellence that the honorable man will accept his punishment, because the ways of the Law are made certain. Your laws have been instilled in the man, whose own conduct is maintained as he has already punished himself by your will. The Honorable man judges himself as the Emperor would judge him, and by your will, he has already suffered the punishment due to him.

If the soldier had answered differently, that he did not deserve the punishment, then there would be a matter to consider. First, it may be false testimony against the man, which must be investigated to ensure that His Imperial Majesty receives truth from his subordinates. Second, it may be his own will, in which case he deserves the punishment due, because despite his character, he has not accepted your will in determining the law. If the law is made known and yet he refuses to accept it despite his good conduct, he cannot be trusted to punish himself.

皇: What is the way to Law and to attain it as a criterion then?

馬: There are two respects for the Law – the respect of strength, and the respect of justice. Of the two, people are more inclined to respect strength, but can be trained to respect justice likewise. People believe that strength is the superior but as can be distinguished by history, strength without justice invites distrust, while justice without strength invites disorder. Therefore, the great leader seeks to institute a balance of justice and strength.

The Law of Strength is an effective system of rewards and punishment. We must recognize that all men err and that their corrupt nature must be shaped to mold them into proper civil beings. Without strength, people fall to foul habits and become animals, without any concern for others or themselves, only their desires. Therefore, the great leader cannot be afraid to impose strict rewards and punishments or lose authority to the wild ways of the barbarians.

The Law of Justice is a uniform and legitimate system of rewards and punishment. We must recognize that while all men err, they also can learn. Because they can be molded into proper civil beings, they are capable of learning the law and to becoming better than simply proper. Citizens of a civil state are models to the world on how to govern themselves and to govern others, for the model governor of the state is also the model governor of the self. Master Kong said it best himself when preaching his rule of negative reciprocity. Therefore, while imposing strict rewards and punishments, the great leader is capable to recognizing that people can govern themselves beyond being proper.

皇: How do we justify punishing the insincere criminal who accepts my judgment only to skirt punishment altogether? He doesn’t judge himself to be worthy, but he lies to me saying that he is deserving of the punishment, hoping to avoid the system of rewards and punishments.

馬: Such a person is vile and despicable, whose conduct brings dishonor. He may be offered to give his opinion, but rendering his judgment is a false hope. The sort of people who seek to avoid the system have not become civil at all, instead adapting animalistic character to a civil environment. They must be purged from society to secure a civil culture and protect the sovereignty of our lands from the barbarian cultures. You ask how we justify punishing the insincere criminal; I ask how you can justify not punishing any person who has despite the Law committed an offense that is unworthy of a civil citizen.

皇: Therefore justice is uniform, and we must punish each person according to the crime. But how do we justify that the system of rewards and punishments is legitimate?

馬: A simple system of rewards and punishments must be strict, because it does not the ruler to be excessive in his punishments, for the same reason it does not permit His Majesty to be less stringent. If His Majesty chooses between many options, he risks exhausting any one punishment and to defer people to the less punitive option, as he also risks alienating those who are punished more severely. In this manner, a strict regimen of punishments makes it certain of the law’s repercussions; this alone justifies the punishment.

However, when instituting the principle of justice, one must consider the rule of reciprocity. The Law cannot be overbearing to institute punishments that are too severe because people will be scared of the Law – fear makes no respect of the Law. Again, when instituting the system, one must balance the severe with the slight. Generally, it is best to institute a punishment where the crime is repaid in the very act of its action – for theft, a return of an equivalent value of the item stolen; for lies, a return of the equivalent truth; for insubordination, a return of an equivalent value of the order executed; for murder, death. By these standards, we make our law just and strong.

皇: Therefore, I am justified to grant this one soldier amnesty, while any other would be subjected to punishment.

馬: His Majesty does not need to punish this soldier because the manner in which the soldier judges himself, he judges by your will, and thus has already imposed your judgment and punishment upon him. He has accepted it in his heart and needs no further punishment. In the end, the excellent man instills the Law in himself, ensuring that every person is judged and punished according to the law. Master Kong once said of this government – that the weak are judged by the strong, but the strong judge themselves.

SUMMARY
- More or less, this chapter has a lot of stuff to talk about alliance government, and maybe a little bit about how to organize your own government, but the most important maxim to take from this regardless – be resolute about your actions.
- People make mistakes.
- To pardon injustice in one person is to ask for it from many more.
- When making a punishment, don’t be excessively severe or lenient, because it shows lack of strength.
- Make the punishment worth the crime committed.
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Chapter 10 - Waging Battle

Postby Daehanjeiguk » Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:20 pm

敵近而靜者,恃其險也﹔ (The enemy is near yet remains still, he holds a vital position; )
遠而挑戰者,欲人之進也﹔ (The enemy is far yet seeks battle, he wants us to advance; )
其所居易者,利也。 (The enemy rests on simple ground, he holds an advantage. )
眾樹動者,來也﹔ (The trees are disturbed, he comes; )
眾草多障者,疑也﹔ (The fields are blocked, he instills doubt in us; )
鳥起者,伏也﹔ (The birds fly, he hides; )
獸駭者,覆也﹔ (The animals are startled, he advances under cover; )
塵高而銳者,車來也﹔ (The dust is high yet short, his chariots advance; )
卑而廣者,徒來也﹔ (The dust crawls yet extends broadly, his infantry advance; )
散而條達者,樵采也﹔ (The dust scatters yet stays in lines, he gathers supplies; )
少而往來者,營軍也。 (The dust comes and goes, the army is camped. )
辭卑而備者,進也﹔ (The enemy speaks with modest words yet readies his equipment, he intends to advance; )
辭強而進驅者,退也﹔ (The enemy speaks with harsh words yet advances with haste, he intends to withdraw; )
輕車先出其側者,陣也﹔ (The enemy’s light chariots move to the flanks, he prepares for battle; )
無約而請和者,謀也﹔ (The enemy without defeat yet seeks peace, he is plotting; )
奔走而陳兵者,期也﹔ (The enemy moves around yet displays his arms, he is expecting battle; )
半進半退者,誘也。 (Half advance and half retreat, he is luring us forward. )
杖而立者,飢也﹔ (Armed yet standing still, he is famished; )
汲而先飲者,渴也﹔ (Drawing water yet drinking it first, he is parched; )
見利而不進者,勞也﹔ (An advantage is before him yet he does not take it, he is exhausted; )
鳥集者,虛也﹔ (The birds gather, he is not there; )
夜呼者,恐也﹔ (Cries erupt at night, he is frightened; )
軍擾者,將不重也﹔ (The army is disordered, he lacks respect; )
旌旗動者,亂也﹔ (The banners shift, he lacks control; )
吏怒者,倦也﹔ (The officials are furious, he lacks vitality; )
粟馬肉食,軍無懸缶而不返其舍者,窮寇也﹔ (The horses have grain, the soldiers have rice, the vessels are not returned to their place, the enemy is desperate; )
諄諄翕翕,徐與人言者,失眾也﹔ (The commander gives meek words to his subordinates, he has lost them; )
數賞者,窘也﹔ (Rewards are numerous, he is distressed; )
數罰者,困也﹔ (Punishments are numerous, he is anxious; )
先暴而後畏其眾者,不精之至也﹔ (The commander strikes suddenly then cowers behind his men, he lacks excellence; )
來委謝者,欲休息也。 (The emissary comes with pleasing words, he desires peace. )

(馬 - Ma)
(皇 - Emperor)

皇: I have called for an exercise in battle deployment so that the Imperial Army may be prepared for any future war. I wish to have your expertise in analysis, that I may understand how the excellent commander acts upon the field.

馬: The excellent commander demonstrates skill on and off the battlefield. You only need to look at how the commander manages his life than to assess how he will manage in war.

皇: How is this so? War is a completely different situation than peace, so how can any person act the same in war as in peace?

馬: Life is a confusing tale, but there are few things that I can say – a great portion of a man’s life is dedicated to living, but a greater portion is dedicated to reacting to living. By perceiving how the commander manages his life, in reaction to crises and peaceful circumstances, His Imperial Majesty can gauge how the commander will act in battle. It is always possible that one commander is flawed in his management during battle while he demonstrates excellence in peace, but such an occasion is rare and forgivable. After all, no person is found without flaws, and to expect them is the right assumption.

But whether in war or peace, the excellent commander demonstrates his skill in managing under stress and is capable of recognizing the five criteria and extracting the best attributes available while minimizing his faults, making himself impregnable. He manages the way of peace as he would manage the way of war, because they are the same. The criteria apply equally when pursuing any objective, although the metaphorical language must be analyzed carefully when applying their lessons. The excellent commander is able to make these applications when and where they are needed and thus is able to determine his own position, even as he stands on nothing but firm ground.

皇: Therefore, the art of war is also the art of living?

馬: I have already given you the five criteria; I have given you the ways of war. The masters of history have given us even more. What more can we expect from this?

皇: I may feel that your explanations are gross oversimplifications, but I will try to explain this. The Imperial Army is ready to commence war exercises to enhance their preparedness in war. It is also a useful tool to sort out the excellent commanders from the less capable, to issue rewards and punishments. Are you suggesting that I could just as easily accomplish the latter by reviewing them in life, and issue rewards and punishments based on their non-combat activities?

馬: The truly excellent are always excellent and demonstrate it when needed. They recognize that despite each situation being different, there are common factors that make it similar to other circumstances and thus approachable by those common factors. You would agree that the art of music and the art of pottery are vastly different, but they hold common themes that allow the musician to craft vases and the potter to craft music. In music, you have notations that correspond to sounds; by managing the notations, one can make music. By arranging the notations in patterns, one can craft great music. By mixing the harmony of many instruments, to complement each sound, one can craft excellent music. As with pottery, there is only one way to make a vase round, and by meticulous manipulation of the clay, one can craft a pot. By arranging the pattern of the vase’s outlines, one can make a great pot. And by coordinating the colors of the clay and the glaze, one can craft a great pot.

Of course, as with everything, everything requires practice to maximize excellence. In this manner, you are correct to use war exercises for practice. But to use it to gauge the excellence of your commanders is to survey the work of an artist and not understand how the artist made it, even as great as it may be.

皇: In that case, are war exercises only useful for practice?

馬: Not only so. In times when political tensions are high, military exercises demonstrate to your enemies that your country is prepared for the consequences of war. For some, it may prompt them to back down their own forces and bargain for a more amiable agreement. For others, it may incite a hasty reaction and to their fall.

But as always, whether in exercise or in war, one must always look to maximize their advantage. First, look to the five criteria and determine your advantage. Second, look to their advantages and seek to have them expose their weakness. Master Sun said that it is the attacker to expose weakness in the enemy and it is the defender to make himself impregnable, and the method to maintaining invincibility is to control the field. Therefore, the excellent commander strikes where victory is certain. Where victory is uncertain, the excellent commander makes the field to his advantage, forcing the enemy expose his weaknesses and seizing victory. It is by this method that the field of combat is always to our favor.

皇: In this manner, the art of war is just as the art of peace. And the ways to assure victory on the field are the same as to assure victory off of the field.

SUMMARY
- The actual conversation has little to deal with waging battle, but the most important note is that of character – you are in war what you are in peace, so if you want to have a good reputation, don’t flout it in war or peace.
- The most adept RPers are those who manage peace just as well as they manage war, so practice manage peace before trying to manage war.
- Practice makes perfect, but then always aim for perfection when you’re trying; otherwise, it’s not real practice.
- The most important key when waging battle is to control the field upon which you fight; if you lose control of the field (as it is one of the criteria), you lose access to victory in battle.
Last edited by Daehanjeiguk on Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Chapter 11 - On Victory

Postby Daehanjeiguk » Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:20 pm

Following the instructions on waging battle, the Emperor retired for many days. He pondered over the conduct becoming of the victor, and decided to consult the Marshal for some advice.

(馬 - Ma)
(皇 - Emperor)

皇: In your previous discussions, we have come to agree that a strict system of law is required to achieve excellence. But it is also true that we must be generous and merciful to our enemies. In such a case, how can the law be held and mercy still as the victor in war?

馬: The victor will set out the law – it is in this very moment after victory has been achieved that the excellent victor will accomplish true victory. In establishing the law, he will persecute his enemies thoroughly, but reward his supporters well. The enemy has the choice after the conflict to choose the system. In this manner, the excellent leader demonstrates to his enemies his excellence in character. If in battle he is ruthless but in peace rewarding, how can his enemies turn to battle against him? They know that war with him is not profitable, and yet peace with him is everything in the world. How can they refuse?

皇: In this way, the victory retains victory, but shares the spoils with his enemies?

馬: The enemy, once conquered, is no longer an enemy, but a subject of your Imperial Grace. To subject your own citizens to distasteful reprieve would sow the seeds of discontent in them, and therefore work against His Imperial Majesty’s interests. Therefore, in order to recognize that we are sharing our spoils with our enemies, we must consider them as our kin. Otherwise, if the worlds continued to perceive in nations, there would be no peace.

Consider the Campaign of 1388. The Emperor Taejo, once conquering Manju and Daedu {Beijing – then Dadu}, did he purge the population? Did he make their grounds fallow and rape them of their posterity? He instead made the population his own, and ruled over them as his subjects, not his victims. Throughout the conquests, he made the laws clear – to be an enemy was the way to death, whereas to be a loyal subject was the way to prosperity. His later campaigns were even more successful, because his enemies realized the law and willingly chose to be subjects than enemies, for they all benefited if they subdued for peace than if they prepared for war. In this way, the Emperor founded his empire on rewards than punishments. To make them loyal requires strength, but to keep them loyal requires justice, and the way of the law makes this clear who is strong and who is just.

皇: Do we possess either?

馬: That is an assessment that you must make of your own accord. Judge the comments in world discourse, and survey your citizens of their opinions. In this manner, you can discover if you possess the ways of the law.

皇: I see that we keep referring to our five criteria of prior discussions. I see that there is much importance in their relevance to warfare. But is there nothing else to consider when spreading the spoils of war?

馬: There is nothing else to consider; the only thing to consider is how best to apply it. As I have stated, the criteria are general requirements that lack any true form or conception. They are general requirements, making them useful guidelines – but in war, the general guidelines are hard to employ by those who perceive the literal sense. Warfare is truly an art, because the artist in war does not survey the same field and commits the same actions in every engagement. He makes the way of war differently, and he arrives at victory in different manners. But principles stand still on these five criteria. Nations and states will come from far and wide, but if they do not abide these five criteria, they will not last.

The excellent state is able to employ the five criteria in any circumstance. They are able to force the enemy to fight on terms from which they can assure victory. They are able to establish the law and attain virtuosity in character and condition. They know the ways of war, and the ways to make and break the state. The roads are all clear them and the way to excellence is always apparent before them. Of course, the excellent leader is not born but developed. He does not strike fear into his enemies on first sight, but rather the second or third sightings. Indeed, the true leader makes his enemies fear him because of what he has done, not what he can do.

皇: In this way, the excellent leader demonstrates excellence through experience. It is then true when the old sages have said “example makes the best instructor.” (例子做好指示). But if our example is weak, how can one maintain victory against the stronger opponent?

馬: We make ourselves the stronger. If the enemy is stronger by virtue of one aspect, we must improve ourselves, to make our excellence peerless in all lands. If we command the respect of all, even the Heavens will have no way with us that cannot be changed by our hands. Victory is not the end, but the sum of our excellence against theirs. As long as the equation favors us, we shall always see victory in the field.

SUMMARY
- Plato sums up the attitude of war best: “Only the dead have seen the end of war”; with that in mind, always keep the next war in consideration when making your list of demands, because they may one day become your own.
- If people fear you, people are less likely to brush up conflict with you; if people fear and respect you, they’d be crazy to go to war; Caligula was wrong to say what he said about his own citizens and his enemies.
- Placate the subdued peoples of your conquests, to win their hearts; if they don’t give you their hearts, pry it from them.
- Example makes the best instructor.
- Just as War and Peace complement one another, Victory and Defeat are two sides to an equation; keep the balance in your favor, and you’ll see more of it.
- The only true final victory/defeat is death, and Heaven knows what that is.
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Chapter 12 - On Defeat

Postby Daehanjeiguk » Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:21 pm

Immediately following the discussion on victory, the thought passed the Emperor on defeat. If the way to victory was by the law, what was the way of defeat? What was the conduct becoming of the defeated?

(馬 - Ma)
(皇 - Emperor)

皇: We have discussed the ways to become victorious, but the Heavens know that every great nation must face defeat eventually. I understand that it is our prerogative to avoid defeat at all costs, but if defeat is eminent, what is the way to mitigate its effect and to make our way to the victorious path?

馬: There are many ways to make the way victorious from defeat. It is in fact defeat that teaches us the ways to victory, and therefore the greatest instructor is not the teachers of victory, but the teachers of defeat, for they know how the defeated army is defeated, whereas the victorious army only knows how to be victorious.

皇: Why is one more preferable to the other?

馬: Consider this. The enemy who only knows victory can only assume the ways to making victory, but not defeat. The enemy who knows defeat can learn the ways to defeat and victory, because he has tasted both sides of the sword. The enemy therefore can prepare the ways to being victorious by preparing the ways by not being defeated. It is for this reason why the Master Sun said never to wage war against your enemies for too long, for in battle they may be defeated, but protracted war will teach your enemies how to defeat you, whereas you know not how to remain undefeated. In this manner, by learning from defeat, they are able to become impregnable and remain untouched by our armies in learning defeat.

It is true that every great nation must taste defeat. But there are the three paths of defeat: defeat of honor, defeat of right, and defeat of being. Defeat of honor is the least important and perhaps the most easily lost. When our armies travel far and they suffer losses abroad, they suffer the defeat of honor, for they are unable to project themselves to where they are sent. The army is therefore lost its pride to remaining undefeated. It is great defeat if we need to defend allies, but in the end, it does not hurt our great land, and when pressed between the other choices, it is most important to suffer a defeat of honor before all others.

A defeat of right is more critical but still not quite as important as the greatest. We must caution ourselves against wars where the defeat of right is suffered, for we suffer more than the loss of pride. When we engage our enemies in lands of our neighbors or our periphery, the enemy is more capable to hindering our great land. It is true that our home armies will fight more secure on our lands, but weary armies also subject our great land to loss. Wars close to home must be fought to victory, but if threatened with the greatest defeat, we must avoid it at all costs.

A defeat of being is the greatest defeat and one from which no instructor can prepare the army. When the enemy has threatened our home and is destroying our armies and infrastructure, ruling the land becomes difficult, and our existence becomes at threat to loss. Of all three defeats, none is greater and none is more difficult to lose. But even the most foolish leader can lead the great land to disarray if he allows a war of being to occur. Under any account, defeat of being will cost us more than honor and right; it will be the end of our great land, and if we are threatened with defeat of being, no commander worthy of Han can ever surrender, for life or death, for the land he loves will die.

For these three defeats, it is important to realize that the same application applies to our enemies, and the maxim is best followed when facing opponents. By learning these defeats, you realize that defeats of honor and right are most preferable to defeats of being; this reflects on the primary objective of the commander – to defeat the enemy without destroying him.

皇: In the 1769 war with Seopanya {Spain}, we defeated their fleets and conquered Jonamdo. We were victorious because their fleets were destroyed. How does this victory match with our vision to preserve the enemy in defeat?

馬: When our fleets destroyed the Seopanya fleets, we did not destroy the enemy; we only incapacitated its arms and means to hurt. When fighting an opponent in the various martial arts of unarmed combat, does the competent fighter kill his opponent? Or does he incapacitate his opponent’s ability to hurt him? Indeed, the same with war. By destroying the fleets, we defeated our enemy’s ability to retaliate. We secured the victory as the Seopanya Kingdom was forced to concede their defeat of honor. We preserved their lands, and we preserved their home. There was also the consideration that perhaps our forces would have been unable to hinder them at home, but the perspective remains true – they still exist and they have profited from their loss in other theaters.

皇: Then, the way to defeat is not much different from the war to victory.

馬: The commander possesses both the way to victory and defeat. But following the five criteria, he must ensure victory first by ensuring he is impregnable. If the commander seeks to make his enemy pregnable, he will be defeated, for he will react to his enemy. By remaining impregnable, the enemy is forced to react to us. It is far more preferable that the enemy remain impregnable, so long as we remain impregnable as well. The way to victory is to remain undefeatable. The way to defeat is to become weak to the enemy’s attack.

It is therefore the instruction of defeat that tells us and our enemies how to be defeated. In this manner, we can better prepare to be attacked and remain undefeated. If we remain victorious, we cannot learn and make ourselves undefeatable. Otherwise, by defeat, we can learn the ways to victory.

皇: Is there any different conduct to be defeated than it is to be victorious? If the ways are the same, then surely the conduct is the same.

馬: Graceful in defeat as merciful in victory; we must set an example worthy of ourselves if we are defeated to remain graceful in defeat as we are merciful in victory. Master Kong says the virtuous man does not do to others what he does not want to be done in return; if we are victorious, we do not impose harsh penalties for them. If we are defeated, we accept the terms of defeat and cooperate with the victors, to as much as our honor will allow. In this manner, do what we expect our defeated foes to do when they are faced with defeat. In this manner, we teach our enemies that defeat is not the worst alternative possible.

皇: Therefore, we learn from defeat, and we conduct ourselves in the manner worthy of the defeated as the victor. Please explain to me about how to avoid defeat of being if we are overwhelmed, as while I hope that we never encounter any such circumstance, it is better to have the instruction to best prepare for such circumstances.

馬: As I said, no instructor can give the best advice on how to avoid defeat of being, but common sense will certainly avoid it at all costs. If confronted, it is best to avoid attacking our enemy directly. Battle while the enemy is impregnable is folly, and following the conventions, the way to victory remains with being undefeatable. If they come to our lands in force, flee to difficult terrain where they cannot engage us. Strip them of supply and choke their forces. Control the vital accesses and call upon the neighbors to overpower the invaders.

SUMMARY
- If defeat is inevitable, avoid the worse defeat.
- Conduct yourself of the most respectable behavior and your victors may leave you off the hook for some “special” concessions.
- Learn from your mistakes.
- Avoid protracted wars, because they teach your enemies how to fight against you.
- As always, avoid being destroyed; if destroyed, you can offer no resistance to the enemy, while defeat allows you to fight again another day.
- Victory rests with being undefeatable, so let your enemy tire himself against your defenses.
- If you follow convention, people in general are more likely to respect you in war and peace; if you trash convention, expect the same to be done to you in defeat.
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Chapter 13 - On Peace

Postby Daehanjeiguk » Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:22 pm

The threats of war were coming to all peoples around the world, and the Emperor spent many long nights, tormented over the best action to preserve peace. He saw the great multitude of states and nations rushing to war in haste and often with foul intentions and perceptions. They clearly followed none of the conventions that the Marshal Ma had discussed in the previous months of dialogue, and yet he expected himself to follow these conventions to achieve victory? How could one calculate against the incalculable, who resorted to awkward stances and followed no convention at all on the conduct of war, or even of the state? With this in mind, the Emperor called Marshal Ma for another consultation on this matter.

(馬 - Ma)
(皇 - Emperor)

皇: We have discussed much the ways to war, to victory, and to defeat. I understand the ways to war, and to peace. But I survey the world in my position, and I see the masses following no convention at all. There are the nations that band together in weak alliances; there are nations that band together and attack foes who have no knowledge of these concepts; there are the nations that vulgarly oppress their people and their enemies. Is the way to victory and to peace a universal concept, or must we discard all that we have discussed and abandon it to the masses that have no acquaintance with it?

馬: His Imperial Majesty must heed the words I speak carefully, or otherwise scatter doubt to the wind and let the four corners cave to the earth.

In a time long ago, there were the barbarians who threatened civilization. They came from all around, and to us there was no venue to victory. We were defeated, though we held the principles to ourselves, the enemy had no concern for the welfare and misery of their defeated foes. In the world, there is one law – the weak suffer at the will of the mighty. And this rule will apply regardless of where or when it may be. We have been trampled by the barbarians because they were mighty and we were weak. However, there is another law – the hierarchy of power never remains constant. It is in this manner that the mighty can become the weak, and the weak can become powerful. It is therefore the right of the weak – once they become strong – to return the favors of the mighty – once they become weak. In this manner, it is possible that the civilized can tame the uncivilized if they are the stronger. It is also possible for the uncivilized to vanquish the civilized if they are the stronger. In these times, the barbarians force back the world and civilization retracts to a dark age, waiting for the opportune time to return as a beacon to the world. And yet there is one more law, and perhaps most important of all – all men desire innately a sense of order. It is in this way that the civilized man – regardless of his strength – will always vanquish the uncivilized man, because they both seek order and balance. It is true that what they seek in material is virtually opposed, but in truth, they seek the same consequence – a world ordered in the manner that they perceive is most superior. Therefore, though the stronger will vanquish the weak; though the mighty will never remain the stronger; the conclusion of the world is a harmonic balance of opposition and resolution. This is the concept of eumyang (for you folks of Mandarin lore, that’s the same thing as yin-yang).

皇: How does this relate to the five criteria and the concepts to which we have already applied?

馬: The stronger is the one who possess the five criteria, and the concepts are already in application. These concepts are very much universal, but not always recognized. The laws of men may perceive other trivial matters – human rights, mutually assured destruction, might makes right, and other things. But the sum of their discoveries means nothing in the end. We have concluded that the five criteria are the sum of all victory and defeat; to make any other evaluation would pollute the intelligent and wise commander’s judgment.

The states that wage war with no thought to these are like the barbarians or yore – they have no aim in sight, and their purpose in the world is trivial. Yet the civilized state stands upon the five criteria and does not cast it to the wind in seek of glory or power. Of course, do not mistake that even the most unwitting enemies may stumble upon advantages without much thought. It is for this reason why the generals of ancient days preferred cunning to brute strength; by manipulating your enemy to concede his advantages, you are able to win without fighting him. However, the stubborn enemy may prove to be a worse enemy, for he fights outside of convention and though he holds the five criteria, he does not act in the manner that is anticipated of the wise commander. It can be said therefore the only other factor in determining the viability of any enemy is his sanity.

皇: Then, the criteria are the law, and the law is certain, immutable, and universal. But how do these nations conquer when not abiding by it?

馬: You seek of the countries that conquer by day – but how long do their empires last? I have yet to see one that has lasted a year. These are empires built upon the principle that they are the superior and that all weakness must be vanquished. But the wise and sagacious leader does not immediate seek to vanquish; instead, his ultimate objective is simple and innate - to establish balance and harmony.

皇: If this is so, then does the wise and sagacious leader seek peace as an end?

馬: We must be careful on our choice of words; peace and harmony are two different concepts.

皇: How is this so? We speak of peace and harmony within the same context, and yet they are not the same?

馬: We have said that peace is the opposite of war – that is the state of conflict. It is true that the wise and sagacious leader longs for war, but he neither longs for peace either. To settle in the matters of war and peace, one must recognize that it is a balance between the two sides. The belligerent is wrong because his objective is to perpetuate the state of war. This is flawed, because protracted war drains the state of its capabilities. It kills the young and bright minds of the future; it numbs the minds the elders, who sacrifice many hours and many lives; it corrupts the civilized nature of man by inclining him to chaotic thoughts. To seek war is anarchic in itself. But to seek peace is equally flawed. Peace dulls the young an restless minds; the elder become dissatisfied with a perpetual status quo; and the mind become weak and docile after misuse. Indeed, the wise and sagacious seeks neither war nor peace, but rather a balance between the two. It is this harmony of which we speak; for without it, there is no order in war or peace.

There is a time and a place for everything, and depending on the law, the method, the disposition, the superiority, and the right. The wise and sagacious leader calculates these objectives and does best with his resources to maximize his benefits; he benefits best in harmony. Nations will continue to fight, and the battle between civilization and non-civilization will rage to perpetuity – for where there is knowledge, there is ignorance; for where there is justice, there is malice; for where there is peace, there is war. The wise and sagacious further knows that there is no end to war, no end to peace; but the balance of either can make the great empire stand for a thousand years.

皇: Therefore, the objective of the wise and sagacious leader is to seek harmony in the universe. It sounds so simple.

馬:What else do you expect? Simplicity is the best maxim possible without being too verbose! If the great leaders spent as much time planning every contingency as they did preparing their own contingencies, the world would be much simpler. As a rule of thumb, always aim to make your judgments simple, or otherwise risk losing your thought in a run of complex incomprehensible thoughts. Issue commands plainly; present your case plainly; let it be known what is your aim; act with one face instead of many; confront your foes as your friends. Making complexities in the world is a great fallacy of even the greatest minds, and to make things more complicated than what they need to be is unnecessary strain; all things need to relax, and adding complexity to any circumstance only winds the strain farther. Harmony is simple; war and peace are blatantly simple; victory and defeat even simpler. If you try to make sense of these things only to expect more complex thought is driving yourself to ruin.

皇: If the state of war and peace, and the harmony one ought to achieve between the two are inherently simple, why do we need the five criteria? Is it not simpler to say that one side will be victorious and the other not?

馬: His Imperial Majesty says it very well, but without a focus. You say that it is simpler to leave the ways of war and peace to their own. But you first ask me the way to victory and defeat. How else do I answer but the truth? Every great person must face a defeat and they will rise again to face victory; and the five criteria dictate the circumstances of victory and defeat. Now you ask me on the matters concerning war and peace; how are these two associated except by their different polarities? Indeed, victory and defeat are simpler still, though they have the five criteria, because human examination makes it possible to analyze them more closely. Yet war and peace, they are only simple, but humanity cannot yet explain it simply. The divine characteristic remains – we do not understand all that is around us, but we strive to explain it by deriving complex theories of the ways. Know first – the weak suffer the mighty, the mighty do not remain mighty, and the ways of all humanity lead inevitably to harmony.

皇: For stating the simple, you make obviously difficult statements.

馬: If His Imperial Majesty is not pleased with the manner of my discourse, he may excuse me from his service. Otherwise, I render the service that has been asked of me.

皇: You are excused.

And here rest the dialogues in their full integrity. The Marshal Ma retired from his position, and thence the Emperor endowed him with a full pension for the rest of his days. The Marshal Ma has never been called back to service, though the Empire may have needed him, and though the Empire remains threatened by violent forces beyond the Imperial Realm, these instructions have been well-kept among the commanders and leaders of the Empire. All those are taught to understand, and as more people come to read and understand the principles of these 13 chapters, there is the universal understanding that war is not the aim; harmony is the true objective for any person in any endeavor.

SUMMARY
- As if nothing gets into your head, I will pound this one word in your noggin: HARMONY.
- Belligerence is too overbearing, while pacifism begs an invader to overpower you; instead seek to maximize your power by managing your involvement in war and peace.
- There are many laws out there, but as long as you remember the ones that matter, everything else is worthless.
- Keep it simple!
- Power struggle is dynamic; so even though your NS population can only increase, don’t expect to be the top dawg in everything that you do always without a good fight for it.
- Don’t be fooled by all of the glittery words out there – like “communist”, “conservative”, “EVIL”, “orthodox”, or even “crème pie” – the only things that matter are what matters to your state.
- Aim for a harmonic balance in your daily diet.
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Daehanjeiguk
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Links to Important and Relevant Topics.

Postby Daehanjeiguk » Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:34 am

To Be Updated at a later date.
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Palpatinist Coruscant
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Founded: May 30, 2009
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Re: The Art of NS War

Postby Palpatinist Coruscant » Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:45 pm

Pretty good read; you sure you don't want to promote this IC-written guide to war in the A(nother) Basic Guide to International Incidents or NS Trainers stickies?

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Daehanjeiguk
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Re: The Art of NS War

Postby Daehanjeiguk » Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:15 pm

Palpatinist Coruscant wrote:Pretty good read; you sure you don't want to promote this IC-written guide to war in the A(nother) Basic Guide to International Incidents or NS Trainers stickies?


Unfortunately, I try not to be a shameless self-promoter. If people want to do that in general, that's their prerogative. In the meantime, I'm scouting for relatively good linkies that aren't stickies.
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Skibereen
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Re: The Art of NS War

Postby Skibereen » Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:36 pm

This should be stickied- in spite of the OP's modesty.
argumentum ad logicam, seriously think about it.

"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."
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Stoklomolvi
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Re: The Art of NS War

Postby Stoklomolvi » Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:51 pm

This link's been in my sig for half the time I've played NS.

Sticky it!
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Skibereen
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Re: The Art of NS War

Postby Skibereen » Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:24 pm

The clearity, and effort and general sense of goodness towards the RP community this level of effort indicates is reason enough to sticky this thread--
The QUALITY is reason enough to remove any resistance from any sane person.
argumentum ad logicam, seriously think about it.

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Daehanjeiguk
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Founded: Oct 08, 2006
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Re: The Art of NS War

Postby Daehanjeiguk » Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:24 pm

Skibereen wrote:The clearity, and effort and general sense of goodness towards the RP community this level of effort indicates is reason enough to sticky this thread--
The QUALITY is reason enough to remove any resistance from any sane person.


But we're all insane.

And this decision really is up to the mods. If they want it to be stickied, I'll have no objections to it. Nonetheless, I am happy that you guys think that this is a good read. I only hope that the people who really need to read something like this think the same.
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Third Spanish States
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Posts: 1454
Founded: Oct 09, 2007
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Re: The Art of NS War

Postby Third Spanish States » Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:35 pm

Daehanjeiguk wrote:
Skibereen wrote:The clearity, and effort and general sense of goodness towards the RP community this level of effort indicates is reason enough to sticky this thread--
The QUALITY is reason enough to remove any resistance from any sane person.


But we're all insane.

And this decision really is up to the mods. If they want it to be stickied, I'll have no objections to it. Nonetheless, I am happy that you guys think that this is a good read. I only hope that the people who really need to read something like this think the same.


I've added this thread to the useful links section of the "A(nother) basic guide".

I take way too much focus in the "Attack by Stratagem" idea. Third Spanish States tends to wage conspiracies to "take the whole country intact" way more oftenly than wars. Men in Black included. FEMA death camps not included.

I just prefer secret wars between secret organizations, Black Projects and Intelligence/Counter-intelligence over "I launch 100 missiles. Post Losses"
Last edited by Third Spanish States on Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Barzan
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Founded: May 12, 2009
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Re: The Art of NS War

Postby Barzan » Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:36 pm

Sir, this is... beautiful...genius!. I am literally tearing up with joy at this very moment.

Did you write all of this from scratch? How did you find all the Chinese characters?

This is amazing, and I agree with the others: this needs a super-sticky!

I can only dream of, one day, reaching one-fourth of your level of skill.

:bow:
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Albundania
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Founded: Feb 14, 2009
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Re: The Art of NS War

Postby Albundania » Sun Aug 23, 2009 7:50 pm

Amazing, absolutely amazing.
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Daehanjeiguk
Diplomat
 
Posts: 895
Founded: Oct 08, 2006
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Daehanjeiguk » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:50 pm

to answer some questions asked of me in the past months during my absence.

@barzan: yes, i wrote it from scratch (with inspiration of course) - i used the original characters for the suntzu's art of war quotes, the names were looked up.

seeing as the mods haven't put up a sticker yet, i'll refrain from saying much about that. i am grateful for the positive praise this work as received. but please don't tear yourself up with joy, because putting all the pieces back together again would make quite a mess.
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