By Thomas M. Kane

ISBN-10: 0415384796

ISBN-13: 9780415384797

Solar Tzu and different classical chinese language strategic thinkers wrote in an period of social, financial and army revolution, and was hoping to spot enduring ideas of conflict and statecraft. The twenty-first century is a time of equally innovative switch, and this makes their rules of specific relevance for today’s strategic atmosphere. putting those theories in historic context, Dr Kane explores historic chinese language reactions to such concerns as advances in army know-how and insurgency and terrorism, delivering fascinating comparisons among glossy and historical. The publication explains the way in which renowned chinese language thinkers - equivalent to solar Tzu, Han Fei Tzu and Lao Tzu - taken care of serious strategic questions. It additionally compares their rules to these of thinkers from different occasions and civilizations (e.g. Clausewitz) to light up relatively details. In concluding, the publication addresses the query of the way historical chinese language principles may well tell modern strategic debates. historical China on Postmodern conflict might be of a lot curiosity to scholars of strategic experiences, chinese language philosophy and armed forces background

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Extra info for Ancient China on Postmodern War: Enduring Ideas from the Chinese Strategic Tradition

Example text

A royal campaign against border enemies might require three to five thousand men, and a campaign directed toward an insolent [Chinese] state as many as thirteen thousand. Military activities required from a few days to perhaps three months; the actual battles generally were settled in a single confrontation, although engagements lasting several days have also been recorded. (Sawyer 1993: 4) Warriors in this period used bows, spears and bronze-headed halberds, relying on shields and leather armour for protection (Sawyer 1993: 4).

The Chou rulers presented themselves, not as revolutionaries, but as restorers of China’s ancient moral order. Upon declaring victory, King Wu freed his warhorses and performed other acts to demonstrate that peace had returned to the land (Wilhelm 1929: 106). Wu then toured his kingdom, gave audiences and performed the traditional sacrifices of the meadow and the field (Wilhelm 1929: 106–7). ‘[A]ll the people learnt filial piety’, a classical Chinese history concludes, and ‘the princes knew whom they must serve’ (Wilhelm 1929: 106–7).

The great affairs of the state are sacrifice and warfare’, he declares, and one must attend to them in the same spirit of sincerity and respect that one attends to other important matters (Kierman 1974: 28). Historical background 35 Indeed, the lord of Liu suggests, warfare itself is no more than a branch of religious ritual. ‘At sacrifices one presides over cooked meat, and in war one receives raw meat: these are the great ceremonies of the spirits’ (Kierman 1974: 28). Given these attitudes, no one should be surprised to learn that Chou nobles waged war in a stylized way.

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