Art of War and the lack of historical perspective

I was reading “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu, written in the 6th century BC, that contains lessons that should be embraced by all leaders of the free world…especially by one who leads a nation with the most potent weapons. Yes, Bushy seemed to either avoid reading the wisdom of Sun Tzu (which is not all that surprising) or found it to conflict with his logic of shoot first, then shoot again.

The way we managed the conflict in Iraq and the resulting languish of our soldiers and citizens was predicted by Tzu in his second chapter on Waging War:

2) When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men’s weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength.

3) Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain

6) There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare

10) Poverty of the State exchequer causes an army to be maintained by contributions from a distance. Contributing to maintain an army at a distance causes the people to be impoverished.

We watch as prices escalate for fuel, social programs like assisted education losing funding and the general purpose of the populous lost in a state of confusion with escalating fear for our future. Are they all related to the the war? Maybe not, but with all attention driven toward the conflict, very little creative thought is given to domestic affairs. We are strained as a nation trying to understand the reasoning for conflict. I am a soldier’s son and believe in my military. I know those who have honor, lacking in many of our citizens including myself, will prevail. But a victory in a war not define berates those who lay their lives for this nation. I hold our troops with high regard, even higher than the politics that leads them.

The sad thing is I can go forever literally quoting the entire work but I think my point is made. Tzu’s lessons still holds true. It is very sad to see our leader not capable of perceiving such realities from any perspective, even one written well before the founding of this great nation.


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