Chapter: Wagin War



Sun Tzu said: In the operations of war, where there are in the field a thousand swift chariots, as many heavy chariots, and a hundred thousand mail-clad soldiers, with provisions enough to carry them a thousand li, the expenditure at home and at the front, including entertainment of guests, small items such as glue and paint, and sums spent on chariots and armor, will reach the total of a thousand ounces of silver per day. Such is the cost of raising an army of 100,000 men.


War is expensive in many ways. It costs many lives. It can ruin international relationships. It can break reputations at home. But in the heat of ambition or retribution, what must always be remembered is the unromantic fact that war costs money. Lots of it.

You may be able to borrow money or use resources you always have, but you will still have to pay for the war.

Many countries have been economically ruined by a bellicose ruler. It is a wise leader who chooses battles carefully.

The same is true of business. Competing can cost you much more than producing your product or delivering your service. Choose your fights carefully and always consider the cost before deciding to fight.