Chapter: The Nine Situations



Asked if an army can be made to imitate the shuai-jan, I should answer, Yes. For the men of Wu and the men of Yueh are enemies; yet if they are crossing a river in the same boat and are caught by a storm, they will come to each other’s assistance just as the left hand helps the right.


Armies share a common fate as they win or fail together. Soldiers know this. Hence, even if there are internal rivalries, they know that it is in their best interests to work together and to come to the rescue even it there is significant loss.

Of course this must be done with intelligence. There is no point throwing soldiers into a fray where they will lose.