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Lesson Index: [ Introduction | Lesson Objective | Overview | Joint vs Airman’s View | History—Ancient Era | History—Napoleonic Era | History—19th Century | History—20th Century | History—Current Era | The Principles | Objective | Offensive | Mass | Economy of Force | Maneuver | Unity of Command | Security | Surprise | Simplicity | Historical Applications—Introduction | Combined Bomber Offensive (CBO) | CBO—Fighter Escorts | CBO—Security | Vietnam—Rolling Thunder | Vietnam—Command and Control | Vietnam—Linebacker II | Desert Storm | Stealth and Precision | Space Assets | Summary | Quiz ]

Title: History—Ancient Era

Action: On the right side of the screen is a picture of a bust of Sun Tzu. A selection from his book, The Art of War is shown on the lower left side of the screen.

In the art of war there are no fixed rules.

Voice: The principles of war are not new concepts. As early as Sun Tzu’s work, “The Art Of War,” the concepts that evolved into principles were taking shape.

Action: The following header and links to pop-up boxes are shown on the left side of the screen above the selection from The Art of War:

Sun Tzu’s Concepts of War

Deception
All warfare is based on deception. When capable, feign incapacity; when near, make it appear to be afar; when far away, feign presence. “ go for them where they do not expect it; attack where they are not prepared.”
Freedom of action
Manipulate the situation so as to avoid the enemy when its spirits are strong and exploit any opportunity presented by its diminishment. Maneuver the army into a position where it enjoys such an advantage that the impact of attack is like the sudden onrush of water cascading down from the mountain peaks.
Adaptability
When the enemy concentrates, prepare against him; where he is strong, avoid him. Create changes and manipulate them to advantage.
Flexibility
Just as water adapts to the conformation of the ground, so in war one must be flexible. Be active, even when assuming the defense.

Voice: Although Sun Tzu never addressed specific principles, his concepts of deception, freedom of action, adaptability, and flexibility can be directly related to modern principles of war. To view a description of a concept, place you mouse cursor over it.

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