When the officers are too strong and the common soldiers too weak, the result is COLLAPSE.
When you look into the signs of war, you find they are in the mind. When there is unexpressed anger in the heart, this is already war! Hateful looks and angry faces are war; boastful words and shoving matches are war. Exaggerated contention and aggressive combat are war.
When the outlook is bright, bring it before their eyes; but tell them nothing when the situation is gloomy.
When you surround an army, leave an outlet free.
When the general is weak and without authority; when his orders are not clear and distinct; when there are no fixed duties assigned to officers and men, and the ranks are formed in a slovenly haphazard manner, the result is utter disorganization.
When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men's weapons will grow dull and their ardour will be damped. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength.
When Sun Tzu spoke of victory, this is what he meant—the prevention or quick resolution of conflict, not the conquering of your opponent.
When an invading force crosses a river in its onward march, do not advance to meet it in mid-stream. It will be best to let half the army get across, and then deliver your attack.
When able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.