3.3

Chapter: Attack by Stratagem 3.3
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Translation:

Thus the highest form of generalship is to balk the enemy’s plans; the next best is to prevent the junction of the enemy’s forces; the next in order is to attack the enemy’s army in the field; and the worst policy of all is to besiege walled cities.

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Commentary

Here are the goals to seek in your planning.

If you can see what the enemy is planning, you can prepare to pull the rug from beneath their strategic feet.

If you cannot see their plans then you may be able to outmanoeuvre them before battle is joined. When they see you have a superior position, they may be forced to concede. Also seek to prevent allies of the enemy joining with them.

If you must fight, it is better to fight in open space than where where they have positional advantage.

Siege is covered in more detail in the next point.

The rules are similar for business. If you can anticipate and out-plan competitors, then you can smoothly and efficiently defeat them.