7.32

Chapter: Maneuvering 7.30
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Translation:

To refrain from intercepting an enemy whose banners are in perfect order, to refrain from attacking an army drawn up in calm and confident array:–this is the art of studying circumstances.

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Commentary

Striking at the enemy requires good timing. Panicked troops or those who want only to fight will lash out. Keeping cool and calm lets you wait for the right moment.

It also requires calm to stand firm or retreat in an orderly way in the face of an advancing superior force.

To be faced with a calm army is in itself fearful. In war, those who lose their cool first may consequently lose the fight.