Chapter 1: Laying Plans
The art of war is governed by five constant factors: 1) moral law, 2) heaven, 3) earth, 4) the Commander, and 5) method and discipline.
- The moral law causes people to be in complete accord with their CEO, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.
- Heaven signifies being available at any time of the day, any season, and any time zone.
- Earth comprises distances, near and far; danger and security; open space and asteroid belts; the chances of life and death.
- The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, benevolence, courage and strictness.
- Method and discipline is the marshalling of the fleet in its proper subdivisions, the graduation of rank among the officers, the maintenance of resources, and the control of the finances.
Therefore, in your planning of the military conditions, let the following comparisons be made:
- Which of the two corporations (or alliances) follows the moral law?
- Which of the two leaders has the most ability?
- With whom lie the advantages derived from heaven and earth?
- On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced?
- Which fleet is stronger?
- On which side are officers and pilots more highly trained?
- In which fleet is there the greater constancy of reward and punishment?
The leader who understands this and acts upon it will win. The leader who doesn’t understand
it, and doesn’t act upon it, will lose.
The 5th factor of ‘method and discipline’ will ensure that lack of understanding and success will
be met with appropriate disciplining, usually removal from positions of leadership.
Bonus Tips on planning
- Modify plans according to circumstances.
- All warfare is based on deception.
a) Therefore, when you can attack, it must seem as if you can’t.
b) When moving your fleet, you must seem idle.
c) When you are near the enemy, you must make them believe you are far away.
d) When you are far away, you must make them believe you are near.
- Hold out bait to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and destroy him.
- If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is superior in strength, evade him.
- If your opponent angers easily, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, so that he may become arrogant and overconfident.
- If he is resting, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them.
- Attack him where he is unprepared, and appear where you are not expected.
- Planning strategies must not be divulged to anyone outside of the leadership structure.
- The leader who wins a battle makes many calculations before the battle is fought. The leader who loses makes few calculations. The leader who makes no calculations will face annihilation! Victory or defeat is in the planning.