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Sun Tzu and the Art of Modern Warfare$
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Mark R. McNeilly

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199957859

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199957859.001.0001

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Win All without Fighting

Win All without Fighting

Achieving the Objective without Destroying It

(p.8) 1 Win All without Fighting
Sun Tzu and the Art of Modern Warfare

Mark McNeilly

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the first principle of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and its application in military situations. Achieving the objective without destroying it means that a nation’s actions in warfare, diplomacy, and domestic policy should achieve its goals in a manner that improves its chances for future survival and prosperity; those actions must not lead to the destruction of the state through warfare or a peace that, through the loser’s resentment, leads to a more vicious war later. Thus, the ability to control the nation’s sphere of influence should not be pursued blindly. It does no good to take all-under-heaven if there is nothing left of it when one is done.

Keywords:   war, warfare, Sun Tzu, The Art of War, all-under-heaven

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