The words of Sun Tzu Wu the Master:

1.  To all nations War is a vital matter.  Upon the army life or death depends.  It is the existence or destruction of the State.  Therefore it must be diligently studied.

2.  The Art of War, besides stratagem and the situation, depends on five indispensable constants.  The first is called the Way; the second, the Heaven; the third, the Earth; the fourth, the Commander; the fifth, the Rules of Engagement.

  2.1  The ‘Way’ or the proper conduct of man:  If the ruling authority be upright, the people are united, fearless of danger and their lives are at the service of their Lord.

The five virtues of humanity, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, love and faith are known as the ‘Way’.

  2.2  The ‘Heaven’ is the Yin and Yang of things;  heat and cold; time and season.

The Yin and Yang are the two principles into which natural phenomena are divided in Chinese philosophy. Yin is the masculine, active, or light principle, and Yang is the feminine, passive, or dark principle. In this connection, day and night, rain, mist and wind are designated.

  2.3  The ‘Earth’ is Distance, Nature, Extent, Strategic Position – open ground and narrow passes.

  2.4  The ‘Commander’ stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, courage and strictness.

..2.5  The ‘Rules of Engagement’ cover the method and discipline of the troops, the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduations of rank among the officers, the following of Aesir (Hraes’) and Vanir (Roman) rules of conquest in pillaging and plundering, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure.

3.  These five constants should be familiar to every general: he who knows them will be victorious; he who doesn’t know them will fail.

4.  Further, with regard to these constants and the following seven matters, the military condition of the enemy must be compared with our own.  The seven matters are:

  4.1  The virtues of the Princes: which of the two sovereigns is imbued with the ‘Way’?

  4.2  Which of the two generals has most ability?

  4.3  With whom lie the advantages derived from the ‘Heaven’ and the ‘Earth’?

  4.4  On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced?

  4.5  Which army is stronger?

  4.6  On which side are officers and men more highly trained?

  4.7  In which army is there the greater constancy both in reward and punishment?

5.  By means of these seven considerations I can forecast victory or defeat.

6.  If a general under me fight according to my plans, he will always conquer, and I shall continue to employ him; if he diverges from my plans, he will be defeated and, if he survives, he will be dismissed from my service.

7.  With regard to the foregoing, considering that with us lies the advantage, and the generals agreeing, we create a situation which promises victory; but as the moment and method cannot be fully fixed beforehand, the plan must be capable of being modified according to ongoing circumstances.

8.  War is a thing of pretence and deception, therefore:

  8.1  When capable of action, pretend to be incapable of action.

  8.2  When near to the enemy, pretend to be far away; when far away, pretend to be near.

  8.3  Allure the enemy by giving a small advantage, feign disorder and then crush him.

  8.4  If the enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him and pretend to be strong.

  8.5  If the enemy is of superior strength, evade him, wear him out.

  8.6  If the enemy is impatient or intemperate, seek to irritate him.

  8.7  Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant and make rash decisions.

  8.8  If the enemy is taking his ease, give him no rest, harry his supply lines.

  8.9  If the enemy forces are united, make divisions in his camp.

  8.10  Attack the enemy where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.

9.  These are the military devices of a successful strategist and lead to victory, therefore they must not be divulged beforehand.

10.  Regarding the Strategic Planning in the Sanctuary before fighting, victory goes to the side that excels in the aforesaid matters.  They that utilize many of these will conquer; they that utilize few will not conquer; and hopeless, indeed, are they that utilize none.

11.  It is by the condition of both sides with regard to these matters, that one can foretell the victor.