World of India!: Current Affairs :Pakistan and The Art of War e

World of India!

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Current Affairs :Pakistan and The Art of War

For a country and people Indians love to hate, we seem to know surprisingly little about Pakistan. I asked the tea stall owner in Nariman point plying his trade opposite the Hostel (it houses Maharastra's MLA's), hoping that he would be the most politically aware of all tea stall owners in the State. After the routine abuses, he confessed he did not know much about the country other than the fact that it is a "Muslim" country.

I suspect this abysmal level of knowledge, about a country which has proven surprisingly effective (for a country of its size and stature) in being a thorn in all our collective wrong places, is universal across India.

For most Indians, Pakistan means only the following things:

A) It is an Islamic Country

b) It has a cricket team (which, by the way, manages to pull our pants off most of the time)

c) Pakistan is a state sponsor of terrorism and a poor country (much poorer than us)

Last but not the least, we firmly believe that Pakistan is ALWAYS wrong and can never be believed in whatever it says.

Before I get a round of comments, abusing me of my love for Pakistan (using the choicest Indian Gaalis - read “Mujhe Gaali deta hai? Haramkhor", below), let me hasten to add that I do NOT dispute majority of these and other opinions in India - just wish to point out as to what our collective assumptions and perception about Pakistan are, as they exist.

I was trying to think the other day, as to why, a country which we so roundly dismiss has proven to be so effective is harassing us (and therefore, in many ways, defeating our strategies to contain it).

Its then that I stumbled upon writings of Sun Tzu on Wikipedia. Thousands of years ago this Chinese general (c. 6th century BC), who was also a brilliant military strategist, and author of 'The Art of War' has written this immensely influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy. Following are some of Tzu's most famous quotations, which I reproduce below verbatim:

 Swift as the wind
Quiet as the forest
Conquer like the fire
 Steady as the mountain

What is essential in war is victory, not prolonged operations.
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.
The best victory is when the opponent surrenders of its own accord before there are any actual hostilities...It is best to win without fighting.
A military operation involves deception. Even though you are competent, appear to be incompetent. Though effective, appear to be ineffective.
Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.
All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.
All warfare is based on deception.
For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.
He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious.
He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.
Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.
Know thy enemy and know thyself, find naught in fear for 100 battles. Know thyself but not thy enemy, find level of loss and victory. Know thy enemy but not thyself, wallow in defeat every time.
It is essential to seek out enemy agents who have come to conduct espionage against you and to bribe them to serve you. Give them instructions and care for them. Thus doubled agents are recruited and used.
O divine art of subtlety and secrecy! Through you we learn to be invisible, through you inaudible and hence we can hold the enemy's fate in our hands.
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.
Secret operations are essential in war; upon them the army relies to make its every move.
Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.
The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.
There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.

Timeless Tome, ain't it?

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August 06, 2006 6:59 PM

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August 11, 2006 5:07 PM

I like it! Keep up the good work. Thanks for sharing this wonderful site with us.

August 14, 2006 7:05 AM

Thanks Mate!    

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