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On the Use of Spies | 147 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
On the Use of Spies
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 05 2013 @ 08:56 PM EDT
1. Raising a host of a hundred thousand men and marching them great distances entails heavy loss on the people and a drain on the resources of the state. The daily expenditure will amount to a thousand ounces of silver. There will be commotion at home and abroad, and men will drop exhausted on the highways. as many as seven hundred thousand families will be impeded in their labour.
2. Hostile armies may face each other for years, striving for the victory which is achieved in a single day. This being so, to remain in ignorance of the enemy's condition simply because one grudges the outlay of a hundred ounces of silver in honours and emoluments, is the height of inhumanity.
3. One who acts thus is no leader of men, no present help to his sovereign, no master of victory.
4. Thus, what enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge.
5. Now this foreknowledge cannot be elicited from spirits; it cannot be obtained inductively from experience, nor by any deductive calculation.
6. Knowledge of the enemy's dispositions can only be obtained from other men.
Sun Tzu on the Art of War, Ch.13, ~500 B.C.
He then goes on to describe the different types of spies required for different work, how to use them and reward them. One might argue that technology has now taken much of the drudge work away, but it will still require people to analyze the information and make decisions based on that. So long as some people regard other people as enemy Sun Tzu's instruction is valid.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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