9.36

Chapter: The Army on the March 9.36
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Translation:

Too frequent rewards signify that the enemy is at the end of his resources; too many punishments betray a condition of dire distress.

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Commentary

Rewards motivate. Officers hence use them to keep the troops focused on fighting. There are, however, limits to what may be offered. Over-use of rewards hence indicates something is wrong. Either it is taking more to motivate soldiers or the officers believe there is little time left. In either case, this could indicate a built-up to one last battle.

Punishment is the reverse of rewards. When these are used more than normal it means troops are disaffected and officers are desperate.