02 April 2022

What can we learn from the Present Russian Ukraine War? (Art of War in Action)

This is a more important question than which side you support; which is just too emotional and opinionated to learn anything useful.

It is a good illustration of Sun Zi's Art of War principles at work.

All the countries involved are experts in the Art of War, but winning depends on how aptly the situations are analyzed, the understanding of forces at play, the principles being applied, the creativity in generating the strategies, the effectiveness of the execution of the tactics, the learning, and adaptability to the changes, etc.
#1 Warfare is not just military alone.

It involves PESTEL+M Politics, Economics, Social, Technology, Environment, Laws, Media Influence. All can be used to compensate for the lack in the other areas. Military trained use DIME (Diplomatic, Information, Military, and Economic).
#2 Warfare is a matter of life and death and must be studied and applied seriously.
This is the key theme of the Art of War. National Defense should never to neglected but be taken seriously.
A polished up saying of Mao is "以斗争求和平则和平存,以妥协求和平则和平亡“ using struggles to seek for peace, then peace last; compromise to get peace will result in it being lost.
#3 Winning every battle is not the best. The best is to subdue the enemy without a war.
We will have the following lessons:

a. If we build our nation to be so strong that others dare not fight us, then we have lasting peace until the day we become weaker than others. This relates well with #2. Build TOTAL defense.
b. Warfare is about mutual destruction. Avoid it as much as possible.
c. A better long-term strategy is to make friends and convert enemies to friends.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
#4 The best is to win by strategies, next by alliances and negotiations, the third is to fight and the worst is to be forced to attack a castle/city.
The best is to settle by talking first. Warfare should be the last resort. Don't be trigger-happy. That also explains China's stand on peace talks.
Russia tried to talk and warn the US and NATO first, but Putin's warning wasn't taken seriously. While he got the first strike, he is now forced to attack the cities --- the worst strategy and that explained why the going is very hard especially if you want to minimize civilians' death and injuries.
#5 Warfare is deception; or in a positive form, warfare is about surprising the enemy; doing the unexpected.
So don't believe what they said or what you read. You could never tell who is trying to fool who. You need insider knowledge and need to collect intelligence. But we know about counter-intelligence too. So who and what to believe? That takes wisdom.
The US told the world that Russia is going to attack Ukraine. They missed a few predicted dates. So even Ukraine did not believe Russia will attack them. Until the surprise attack by Russia.
There is a Sun Zi's principle on this...

#6 You cannot count on the enemy not attacking you (that's is wishful thinking) but must count on you being ready for the enemy's attack anytime.

That's why we get vaccinated first so that we are not afraid of getting the Covid virus! Apparently, Ukraine missed this sentence in Sun Zi's Art of War.
So far, we have not talked about how to strategize yet!
Hope you learn something useful.

No comments: