13.2

Chapter: The Use of Spies 13.2
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Translation:

Hostile armies may face each other for years, striving for the victory which is decided 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 honors and emoluments, is the height of inhumanity.

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Commentary

War can be quite capricious, turning on a moment.

Perhaps the greatest cost in war that may extend it endlessly or bring your rapid demise is your ignorance, your not knowing where the enemy is, their morale, their likely action and so on.

The worst action of a commander is to imperiously take arrogant action for selfish reason, without consideration of the consequences for the troops or for the likelihood of winning or losing.