Balk the enemy’s power; force him to reveal himself.
In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good.
Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.
He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.
Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy’s strategy.
Victory comes from finding opportunities in problems.
If your opponent is of choleric temper, irritate him.
Of all those in the army close to the commander none is more intimate than the secret agent; of all rewards none more liberal than those given to secret agents; of all matters none is more confidential than those relating to secret operations.
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.
A leader leads by example not by force.
The opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.