Chapter 4             Dispositions          14  

1)   Invincibility depends on one's self; the enemy's
   vulnerability on him.

2)   It follows that those skilled in war can make      
   themselves invincible but cannot cause an
   enemy to be certainly vulnerable.    

3)   Invincibility lies in the defense; the possibility
   of victory in the attack.     

4)   One defends when his strength is inadequate;
   he attacks when it is abundant.

5)   In preparing defenses, it is fundamental to rely
   on the strength of such obstacles as mountains,
   rivers and foothills.

6)   Those expert in attack consider it fundamental
   to rely on the seasons and the advantages of
   the ground.

7)   Therefore, that skillful commander takes up a
   position in which he cannot be defeated and
   misses no opportunity to master his enemy.                         

                                 Dispositions          15

8)   Those who excel in war cultivate their own
   humanity and justice and maintain their laws and
   institutions. By these means they make their
   nation invincible.

9)   Now the elements of the art of war are first,
   measurement of space; second, estimation of

10)   Measurements are derived from the ground.

11)   Quantities derive from measurement, figures from
   quantities, comparisons from figures, and victory
   from comparisons.

12)   Ground includes both distances and types of
   terrain; measurement is calculation.

13)   Calculations are made respecting the degree
   of difficulty of the enemy's land; directness or
   indirectness of its roads; the number of his
   troops; the quantity of his war equipment; and
   the state of his moral. Calculations are then
   made to see if the enemy can be attacked.                         

                                Dispositions          16

14)   It is because of disposition, that a victorious
   general is able to make his people fight with
   the effect of pent-up waters.

15)   The nature of water is that it avoids heights
   and hastens to the lowlands.

16)   Take advantage of the enemy's unpreparedness;
   attack him when he does not expect it; avoid his
   strength and attack his emptiness, and like
   water, none can oppose you.

17)   When a dam is broken the water cascades with
   irresistible force.

18)   The force which confronts the enemy is the
   normal force; that which goes to his flanks
   the extraordinary.

19)   No commander of an army can wrest the
   advantage from the enemy without extraordinary

20)   Generally, in battle use the normal force to
   engage; use the extraordinary to win.

                                 Dispositions          17

21)   In battle, there are only the normal and extra-
   ordinary forces, but their combinations are
   limitless; none can comprehend them all.

22)   When torrential water tosses boulders, it is
   because of its momentum.

23)   When the strike of the hawk breaks the body
   of its prey, it is because of timing.

24)   Thus, the momentum of one skilled in war is
   overwhelming and his attack precisely regulated.

25)   One who wishes to feign disorder to entice an
   enemy must be well disciplined; to simulate
   cowardice and lie in wait one must be courageous;
   and to appear weak in order to make the enemy   
   arrogant one must be extremely strong.

26)   Order or disorder depends on organization;
   courage or cowardice on circumstances;
   strength or weakness on dispositions.