Chapter 9 Foreknowledge 40
1) If my troops are capable of striking the enemy but
I do not know that he is invulnerable to attack, the
chances of victory is but half.
2) If the enemy is vulnerable to attack, but I do not know
that my troops are not capable of striking him, my
chance of victory is but half.
3) If I know that the enemy is vulnerable to attack and
that my troops are capable, but do not realize the
conformation of the ground, my chance of victory
is but half.
4) The reason the wise general is able to conquer
the enemy whenever they move and his achievements
surpass those of ordinary men is foreknowledge.
5) This foreknowledge must be obtained from men
who know the enemy situation.
6) There are five types of secret agents to be employed.
These are native, inside, double, expendable
7) Native agents are those of the enemy's country
people whom we employ.
8) Inside agents are enemy officials whom we employ.
9) Double agents are enemy spies whom we employ.
When the enemy sends spies to pry into the army's
accomplishments or lack of them, I bribe them
lavishly, turn them around and make them my agents.
10) Expendable agents are agents who are given false
information. When these agents are taken by the
enemy they are sure to report this false information.
11) Living agents are those who return with information.
These agents must be clever, talented and wise.
They are able to observe the enemy's movements
and to learn of his plans and then return and tell us.
12) Of all those in the army close to the commander,
none is more intimate than the secret agent. Of
all matters, none is more confidential then those
relating to secret operations.
13) He who is not sage and wise, humane and just
cannot use secret agents. He who is not delicate
and subtle cannot get the truth out of them.
14) It is by means of the double agent that native and
inside agents can be recruited and employed.
15) The double agent knows those of his own countrymen
who are covetous as well as those officials who have
been remiss in office. These we can tempt into service.
16) The commander must have full knowledge of the
activities of the five types of agents. This knowledge
must come from the double agents. Therefore it is
mandatory that they be treated with the utmost
17) Therefore, only the enlightened commander who is
able to use the most intelligent people as agents
is certain to achieve great things.
18) Secret operations are essential in war; upon them
the army relies to make its every move.
19) Therefore, when those experienced in war move,
they make no mistakes. When they act, their
resources are limitless.
20) Know the enemy and know yourself; your victory
will never be endangered. Know the ground, know
the weather; your victory will then be total.
21) When campaigning, be swift as the wind; in leisurely
march, majestic as the forest; in raiding and
plundering, like fire; in standing, firm as the
mountains; as unfathomable as the clouds
move like a thunderbolt.