These highlights are from the Kindle version of Unrestricted Warfare: China’s Master Plan to Destroy the United States by Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui.


Unrestricted Warfare

Unrestricted Warfare is the People’s Liberation Army manual for asymmetric warfare and the waging of war, strategically and tactically, using weapons not limited to bullets, bombs, missiles, and artillery shells. The two PLA officers who advocated the strategy set forth in the following pages argue that modern warfare, in ways not too dissimilar from Sun Tzu’s Art of War, is about impeding the enemy’s ability to wage war and to defend itself against a barrage of attacks against its economy, its civil institutions, its governmental structures, and its actual belief system.

This is not a manual for achieving an overnight victory. Rather, it is a recipe for a slow but inexorable assault on an enemy’s institutions, often without the enemy’s knowledge that it is even being attacked. As Sun Tzu once wrote, “If one party is at war with another, and the other party does not realize it is at war, the party who knows it’s at war almost always has the advantage and usually wins.”

Voting constituencies might have very legitimate reasons to support the politicians of their choice, but when those choices are based on the flow of absolutely false information inimical to the best interests of that population, it is an example of the success of asymmetric or unrestricted warfare, in essence, propaganda war. The Russians have been experts at this since the days of the czar, and since the experiments of Pavlov and his dogs have mastered the art of getting the responses they want from the stimuli they inject into their subjects’ thought patterns.

The following selections are taken from Unrestricted Warfare, a book published in China in February 1999 which proposes tactics for developing countries, in particular China, to compensate for their military inferiority vis-a-vis the United States during a high-tech war.

“The first rule of unrestricted warfare is that there are no rules, with nothing forbidden.” Elaborating on this idea, he asserted that strong countries would not use the same approach against weak countries because “strong countries make the rules while rising ones break them and exploit loopholes … . The United States breaks UN rules and makes new ones when these rules don’t suit its purposes, but it has to observe its own rule or the whole world will not trust it.”

Unrestricted Warfare

“The first rule of unrestricted warfare is that there are no rules, with nothing forbidden.” Elaborating on this idea, he asserted that strong countries would not use the same approach against weak countries because “strong countries make the rules while rising ones break them and exploit loopholes … . The United States breaks UN rules and makes new ones when these rules don’t suit its purposes, but it has to observe its own rule or the whole world will not trust it.”

In the aftermath of “Desert Storm,” Uncle Sam has not been able to again achieve a commendable victory.

Faced with political, economic, cultural, diplomatic, ethnic, and religious issues, etc., that are more complex than they are in the minds of most of the military men in the world, the limitations of the military means, which lad heretofore always been successful, suddenly became apparent.

War which has undergone the changes of modern technology and the market system will be launched even more in atypical forms. In other words, while we are seeing a relative reduction in military violence, at the same time we definitely are seeing an increase in political, economic, and technological violence.

Modern man is increasingly inclined to seeing all his dreams come true during his lifetime. This causes him, when betting on his own future, to prostrate himself and expect wonders from technology through a thousand-power concave lens. In this way, technology has achieved startling and explosive developments in a rather short period of time, and this has resulted in innumerable benefits for mankind, which is anxious for quick success and instant rewards. However, we proudly term this technological progress, not realizing that at this time we have already consigned ourselves to a benighted technological age in which we have lost our hearts.

There is absolutely no doubt that the appearance of information technology has been good news for human civilization. This is because it is the only thing to date that is capable of infusing greater energy into the technological “plague” that has been released from Pandora’s box, and at the same time it also provides a magic charm: a means of controlling it technology. It is just that, at present, there is still a question of who in turn will have a magic charm with which to control information technology. The pessimistic viewpoint is that, if this technology develops in a direction which cannot be controlled by man, ultimately it will turn mankind into its victim.

The endless pursuit of new technology has become a panacea to resolve all the difficult questions of existence. Infatuated with it, people have gradually gone astray.

During the Gulf War, more than 500 kinds of new and advanced technology of the ’80s ascended the stage to strike a pose, making the war simply seem like a demonstration site for new weaponry.

Does a single “hacker” attack count as a hostile act or not? Can using financial instruments to destroy a country’s economy be seen as a battle?

Obviously, proceeding with the traditional definition of war in mind, there is no longer any way to answer the above questions. When we suddenly realize that all these non-war actions may be the new factors constituting future warfare, we have to come up with a new name for this new form of war: Warfare which transcends all boundaries and limits, in short: unrestricted warfare.

In Man and Technology, O. Spengler stated that “like God, our father, technology is eternal and unchanging, like the son of God, it will save mankind, and like the Holy Spirit, it shines upon us.” The philosopher Spengler’s worship for technology, which was just like that of a theologian for God, was nothing but a manifestation of another type of ignorance as man entered the great age of industrialism, which increasingly flourished in the post-industrial age.

Modern warfare and future warfare. Those desires of using the magic of high technology to work some alchemy on traditional weapons so that they are completely remade have ultimately fallen into the high-tech trap involving the endless waste of limited funds and an arms race. This is the paradox that must inevitably be faced in the process of the development of traditional weapons: To ensure that the weapons are in the lead, one must continue to up the ante in development costs; the result of this continued raising of the stakes is that no one has enough money to maintain the lead. Its ultimate result is that the weapons to defend the country actually become a cause of national bankruptcy.

A powerful empire collapsed without a single shot being fired, vividly corroborating the lines of the famous poem by Kipling, “When empires perish, it is not with a rumble, but a snicker.” Not only was this true for the former Soviet Union, today the Americans seem to be following in the footsteps of their old adversary, providing fresh proof of the paradox of weapons development that we have proposed.

As the outlines of the age of technology integration become increasingly clear, they are investing more and more in the development of new weapons, and the cost of the weapons is getting higher and higher. The development of the F-14 and F-15 in the ’60s-’70s cost $1 billion, while the development of the B-2 in the ’80s cost over $10 billion, and the development of the F-22 in the ’90s has exceeded $13 billion. Based on weight, the B-2, which runs $13-$15 billion each, is some three times more expensive than an equivalent weight of gold.

As we see it, a single man-made stock-market crash, a single computer virus invasion, or a single rumor or scandal that results in a fluctuation in the enemy country’s exchange rates or exposes the leaders of an enemy country on the Internet, all can be included in the ranks of new-concept weapons.

Casualties can strip away an enemy’s combat capabilities, causing him to panic and lose the will to fight, so this may be considered an extremely worthwhile way to achieve victory. Today, we already have enough technology, and we can create many methods of causing fear which are more effective, such as using a laser beam to project the image of injured followers against the sky, which would be sufficient to frighten those soldiers who are devoutly religious.

“Compared to the development of any advanced new weapons technology, the invention of the rifle and the conical bullet between 1850-1860 had the most profound and immediate revolutionary impact. … The impact on their age of high-explosive bombs, airplanes, and tanks, which appeared in the 20th century, certainly does not compare to that of the rifle at the time.” For details, see T. N. Dupuy’s The Evolution of Weapons and Warfare, part 3, section 21, “Rifles, Conical Bullets, and Dispersed Formations.” (Military Science Publishing House, 1985, pp. 238-250).

In 1981, the U.S. Air Force estimated that it could produce 132 B-2s with an investment of $22 billion. However, eight years later, this money had only produced one B-2. Based on its value per unit weight, one B-2 is worth three times its weight in gold.

New-concept weapons primarily include kinetic-energy weapons, directed-energy weapons, subsonic weapons, geophysical weapons, meteorological weapons, solar energy weapons, and gene weapons, etc.

The times of clearly drawn sides are over. Who are our enemies? Who are our friends? These used to be the paramount questions in regard to revolution and counterrevolution. Suddenly the answers have become complicated, confusing and hard to get hold of. A country that yesterday was an adversary is in the process of becoming a current partner today, while a country that once was an ally will perhaps be met on the battlefield at the next outbreak of war. Iraq, which one year was still fiercely attacking Iran on behalf of the U.S. in the Iran-Iraq War, itself became the target of a fierce attack by the U.S. military in the next year. An Afghan guerrilla trained by the CIA becomes the latest target for an attack by U.S. cruise missiles overnight.

Mankind is endowing virtually every space with battlefield significance. All that is needed is the ability to launch an attack in a certain place, using certain means, in order to achieve a certain goal. Thus the battlefield is omnipresent. Just think, if it’s even possible to start a war in a computer room or a stock exchange that will send an enemy country to its doom, then is there non-battlespace anywhere?

During the 1990s, and concurrent with the series of military actions launched by non-professional warriors and non-state organizations, we began to get an inkling of a non-military type of war which is prosecuted by yet another type of non-professional warrior. This person is not a hacker in the general sense of the term, and also is not a member of a quasimilitary organization. Perhaps he or she is a systems analyst or a software engineer, or a financier with a large amount of mobile capital or a stock speculator. He or she might even perhaps be a media mogul who controls a wide variety of media, a famous columnist or the host of a TV program.

Frequently, he or she has a firmly held philosophy of life and his or her faith is by no means inferior to Osama bin Laden’s in terms of its fanaticism. Moreover, he or she does not lack the motivation Or courage to enter a fight as necessary. Judging by this kind of standard, who can say that George Soros is not a financial terrorist?

General Gordon R. Sullivan, the former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, maintained that information warfare will be the basic form of warfighting in future warfare. For this reason, he set up the best digitized force in the U.S. military, and in the world. Moreover, he proposed the concept of precision warfare, based on the perception that “there will be an overall swing towards information processing and stealthy long-range attacks as the main foundations of future warfare.”

We believe that before long, “financial warfare” will undoubtedly be an entry in the various types of dictionaries of official military jargon. Moreover, when people revise the history books on twentieth-century warfare in the early 21st century, the section on financial warfare will command the reader’s utmost attention. The main protagonist in this section of the history book will not be a statesman or a military strategist; rather, it will be George Soros. Of course, Soros does not have an exclusive monopoly on using the financial weapon for fighting wars. Before Soros, Helmut Kohl used the deutsche mark to breach the Berlin Wall—a wall that no one had ever been able to knock down using artillery shells. After Soros began his activities, Li Denghui used the financial crisis in Southeast Asia to devalue the New Taiwan dollar, so as to launch an attack on the Hong Kong dollar and Hong Kong stocks, especially the “red-chip stocks.” (Translator’s note: “red chip stocks” refers to stocks of companies listed on the Hong Kong stock market but controlled by mainland interests.)

Ecological war refers to a new type of non-military warfare in which modern technology is employed to influence the natural state of rivers, oceans, the crust of the earth, the polar ice sheets, the air circulating in the atmosphere, and the ozone layer. By methods such as causing earthquakes and altering precipitation patterns, the atmospheric temperature, the composition of the atmosphere, sea level height, and sunshine patterns, the earth’s physical environment is damaged or an alternate local ecology is created.

we can point out a number of other means and methods used to fight a non-military war, some of which already exist and some of which may exist in the future. Such means and methods include psychological warfare (spreading rumors to intimidate the enemy and break down his will); smuggling warfare (throwing markets into confusion and attacking economic order); media warfare (manipulating what people see and hear in order to lead public opinion along); drug warfare (obtaining sudden and huge illicit profits by spreading disaster in other countries); network warfare (venturing out in secret and concealing one’s identity in a type of warfare that is virtually impossible to guard against); technological warfare (creating monopolies by setting standards independently); fabrication warfare (presenting a counterfeit appearance of real strength before the eyes of the enemy); resources warfare (grabbing riches by plundering stores of resources); economic aid warfare (bestowing favor in the open and contriving to control matters in secret, cultural warfare (leading cultural trends along in order to assimilate those with different views); and international law warfare (seizing the earliest opportunity to set up regulations), etc., etc.

For more on the close relationship between Iraq and the U.S., the reader may refer to Desert Warrior: A Personal View of the Gulf War by the Joint Forces Commander, Junshi Yiwen Publishing House, p. 212. “Iraq had established extremely close relations with the United States. Iraq had received weapons and valuable intelligence regarding Iranian movements from the U.S., as well as U.S. military support for attacks on Iran’s navy.”

Compared to any war in history, the Gulf War can be considered a major war. More than 300 warships from six carrier groups, 4,000 aircraft, 12,000 tanks and 12,000 armored vehicles, and nearly two million soldiers from more than 30 nations took part in the war. Of the 42-day-war, 38 days were air strikes, while the ground war lasted only 100 hours. The U.S.-led multinational force crushed 42 Iraqi divisions, and the Iraqi forces suffered 30,000 casualties and 80,000 prisoners; 3,847 tanks, 1,450 armored vehicles, and 2,917 artillery pieces were destroyed, while the U.S. forces only lost 184 people, but incurred the enormous cost of $61 billion.

When the throngs of Iraqi soldiers ran from the fortifications destroyed by the helicopters and knelt to beg to surrender, they were in turn herded into a group by the helicopters just like a cattle drive on the Western plains, and the view that “only the infantry can ultimately resolve a battle” has now been radically shaken by these American “flying cowboys.” Originally, however, the initial intent of the leapfrog operation by the helicopters was just to provide support for the armored units that were to handle the main offensive, but the unexpected success of the helicopter units caused the plan to fall far behind the developments in the battle situation.

We can now say that helicopters are the true tank terminators. This new star, which rose gradually over the waves of the Gulf, is in the process of achieving its own coronation through the illustrious battle achievements during the Gulf War, and there is no doubt that it is just a question of time before it drives the tank from the battlefield. It may not take very long before “winning a land battle from the air” is no longer an overdramatized slogan, and more and more ground force commanders are reaching a consensus on this point.

Of the more than 1,300 news items released throughout the entire period of the war, only five were sent to Washington for review, and of these four received approval within several hours, while the remaining item was canceled by the press unit itself With the concerted assistance of the news reporters, the battlefield commanders successfully influenced the eyes and ears of the entire world, getting people to see everything that the military wanted them to see, while no one was able to see anything that they did not want people to know.

In the Gulf, in the same manner that the U.S.-led allied forces deprived Iraq of its right to speak militarily, the powerful Western media deprived it politically of its right to speak, to defend itself, and even of its right to sympathy and support, and compared to the weak voice of Iraqi propaganda, which portrayed Bush as the “great Satan” who was wicked beyond redemption, the image of Saddam as a war-crazed aggressor was played up in a much more convincing fashion. It was precisely the lopsided media force together with the lopsided military force that dealt a vicious one-two blow to Iraq on the battlefield and morally, and this sealed Saddam’s defeat.

After “Desert Storm” swept over the Gulf, no longer would it be possible to rely on military force alone without the involvement of the media to achieve victory in a war.

Psychological warfare is really not a new tactic, but what was novel about the psychological warfare in “Desert Storm” was its creativity. After dropping an extremely powerful bomb, they would then have the airplanes drop propaganda leaflets, warning the Iraqi soldiers several kilometers away who were quaking in their boots from the bombing that the next bomb would be their turn! This move alone was sufficient to cause the Iraqi units which were organized in divisions to collapse. In the prisoner of war camp, one Iraqi division commander admitted that the impact of the psychological war on Iraqi morale was second only to the bombing by the allied forces.

Decisive battles on the ocean striving for command of the seas must never again be treated as the Navy’s eternally unchanging sacred mission. For the first time, rather, support of coastal and land-based combat would rank as its chief responsibility. This is as good as turning the long-tailed sharks cruising the deep oceans into short-mouthed crocodiles rolling about in the mire.

Ever since the Vietnam War, both the military and American society have been sensitized to human casualties during military operations, almost to the point of morbidity. Reducing casualties and achieving war objectives have become the two equal weights on the American military scale. These common American soldiers who should be on the battlefield have now become the most costly security in war, like precious china bowls that people are afraid to break. All of the opponents who have engaged in battle with the American military have probably mastered the secret of success—if you have no way of defeating this force, you should kill its rank and file soldiers.

The expression of “military revolution” is as fashionable as Jordan’s NBA fans. Aside from the appearance of each new thing having its factors of necessity, I am afraid that even more essential is that it is related to Americans being adept at creating fashions. The Americans, who have always liked to hold a leading position in the world in terms of various questions, are very good at putting pretty packaging on each prospective thing and then afterwards dumping it on the whole world.

Like the French military which relied upon climbing out of the trenches at Verdun to win World War One and hoped that the next war would be carried out the same as the Maginot Line, the American military which won a victory in the Gulf War also hopes to continue the “Desert Storm” type addiction during the 21st century. Although each calculation won glory like that of Schwarzkopf, all of the American generals understand that it is not possible for wars in the next century to be simple replays of the Gulf War.

On the contrary, the springing up of large amounts of new high technology will actually greatly increase the possibility of non-military measures threatening national security, and the international community, which is at a loss of what to do upon being confronted with non-military threats with such destruction no less than that of a war, at the least lacks necessary and effective limitations.

Newly converging into this counter current are the international financial speculators. Although there is still no one at present listing these immaculately dressed and dapper fellows in the ranks of terrorists, yet in terms of their actions and the calamitous consequences they have caused in England, Mexico and Southeast Asia, none of those types, such as the “bandits” and bin Laden, can even hold a candle to them. Taking the big financial crocodiles as represented by Soros, on the strength of a daily business volume exceeding US $120 billion in floating capital, he used financial derivative methods as well as free economic regulations to repeatedly change his attitude and play tricks to foment trouble, so as to bring about one financial upheaval after another.

Soros’s logic is “I entered the room to steal money because your door was not locked.” In this way, he does not have to be responsible for destroying the economies of other nations and throwing the political order of others into disarray.

King Wu of the Zhou Dynasty three thousand years ago and Alexander the Great over two thousand years ago definitely would not have known what a cocktail was, and yet they were both masters of mixing “cocktails” on the battlefield. This is because, like mixing a cocktail, they were adept at ingeniously combining two or more battlefield factors together, throwing them into battle, and gaining victories.

General Schwarzkopf, who created the miracle of a major battle in which only over one hundred soldiers were lost cannot be considered to be on the great master level.

For him, the key to driving the Iraqi army out of Kuwait, restoring the lifeline of oil to the West, and regenerating America’s influence in the Middle East, depended on how to ingenuously use the alliance, manipulate the media, use economic blockades, and other methods, along with developing and bringing together various armed services of the army, navy, air force, space, electronics, etc., comprised by the militaries of over 30 nations, and thus jointly becoming an iron fist to pound Saddam.

if the attacking side secretly musters large amounts of capital without the enemy nation being aware of this at all and launches a sneak attack against its financial markets, then after causing a financial crisis, buries a computer virus and hacker detachment in the opponent’s computer system in advance, while at the same time carrying out a network attack against the enemy so that the civilian electricity network, traffic dispatching network, financial transaction network, telephone communications network, and mass media network are completely paralyzed, this will cause the enemy nation to fall into social panic, street riots, and a political crisis.

Military Trans-military Non-military

• Atomic warfare
• Diplomatic warfare
• Financial warfare
• Conventional warfare
• Network warfare
• Trade warfare
• Biochemical warfare
• Intelligence warfare
• Resources warfare
• Ecological warfare
• Psychological warfare
• Economic aid warfare
• Space warfare
• Tactical warfare
• Regulatory warfare
• Electronic warfare
• Smuggling warfare
• Sanction warfare
• Guerrilla warfare
• Drug warfare
• Media warfare
• Terrorist warfare
• Virtual warfare (deterrence)
• Ideological warfare

Any of the above types of methods of operation can be combined with another of the above methods of operation to form a completely new method of operation.

“Everything is a matter of numbers.” Along this line of thought, the ancient sage Pythagoras unexpectedly encountered a set of mysterious digits: 0.618. As a result, he found the rule of the golden section!

People had long marveled at the beauty of the Parthenon Temple of ancient Greece, suspecting it to be the creation of a god. With measurement and calculation, it was found that the relationship between its vertical lines and horizontal lines were entirely in accord with the 1:0.618 ratio.

Without looking afar, you will see examples of conforming to this rule everywhere in the military realm. The shadow of 0.618 can be seen in such things ranging from the arc of the cavalry sword to the apex of the flying trajectory of a bullet, shell, or ballistic missile and from the optimum bomb-release altitude and distance for an aircraft in the dive bombing mode to the relationship between the length of the supply line and the turning point in a war.

When viewed in isolation, they do look like accidents happening one after another. But the Creator never does anything without a reason. If too many accidents demonstrate the same phenomenon, can you still calmly view them as accidents? No, at this moment, you have to admit at there is a rule here.

Under conditions of modern technology, dominant weapons are no longer individual weapons, but “systems of weapons,” which are also components of larger systems.

As the arena of war has expanded, encompassing the political, economic, diplomatic, cultural, and psychological spheres, in addition to the land, sea, air, space, and electronics spheres, the interactions among all factors have made it difficult for the military sphere to serve as the automatic dominant sphere in every war. War will be conducted in non-war spheres.

War is the most difficult to explain and understand. It needs support from technology, but technology cannot substitute for morale and stratagem; it needs artistic inspiration, but rejects romanticism and sentimentalism; it needs mathematical precision, but precision can sometimes render it mechanical and rigid; it needs philosophical abstraction, but pure thinking does not help to seize short-lived opportunities amid iron and fire.

Pythagoras was a philosopher and mathematician of ancient Greece whose famous axiom was “Everything is a matter of numbers.” That is, all existing things can be viewed, in the final analysis, as relationships of numbers. In Pythagoras’ theory, things rational and things non-rational were mixed, but his theory still exerted profound influences on the development of ancient Greek philosophy and Medieval European thought.

The book How Great Generals Win, written by Bevin Alexander (U.S.), depicts the battle of Cannae vividly with the support of illustrations, and can help to understand the “side principal rule” that we have discussed; see Tongshuai Juesheng Zhi Dao (How Great Generals Win – Xinhua Press, 1996), pp. 11-13.

Today’s wars will affect the price of gasoline in pipelines, the price of food in supermarkets, and the price of securities on the stock exchange. They will also disrupt the ecological balance, and push their way into every one of our homes by way of the television screen.

The necessary new method is to create a complete military Machiavelli. Achieve objectives by fair means or foul, that is the most important spiritual legacy of this Italian political thinker of the Renaissance.1 In the Middle Ages, this represented a breakthrough against romantic chivalry and the declining tradition of knighthood. It meant using means, some possibly comprehensive, without restraint to achieve an objective; this holds for warfare also. Even though Machiavelli was not the earliest source of “an ideology of going beyond limits” (China’s Han Feizi preceded him, he was its clearest exponent.)

Only a fool like Saddam Hussein would seek to fulfill his own wild ambition by outright territorial occupation. Facts make it clear that acting in this way in the closing years of the 20th century is clearly behind the times, and will certainly lead to defeat.

What people sense as a closely guarded secret is the attitude and methods of the Americans in dealing with the Asian financial crisis. When the storm erupted, the United States immediately opposed a Japanese proposal to set up an Asian monetary fund. Instead, the United States advocated the implementation of a rescue plan, with strings attached, by way of the International Monetary Fund, of which it is a major shareholder. The implication was that Asian countries should be forced to accept the economic liberalization policy promoted by the United States. For example, when the IMF extended a $57 billion loan to South Korea, it was with the condition that Korea must open up its markets completely and allow American capital the opportunity to buy up Korean enterprises at unreasonably low prices. A demand such as this is armed robbery. It gives the developed countries, with the United States as their leader, the opportunity to gain unrestricted access to another country’s markets, or to get in and clear out some space there. It is little different from a disguised form of economic occupation.

The great fusion of technologies is impelling the domains of politics, economics, the military, culture, diplomacy, and religion to overlap each other. The connection points are ready, and the trend towards the merging of the various domains is very clear. Add to this the influence of the high tide of human rights consciousness on the morality of warfare. All of these things are rendering more and more obsolete the idea of confining warfare to the military domain and of using the number of casualties as a means of the intensity of a war. Warfare is now escaping from the boundaries of bloody massacre, and exhibiting a trend towards low casualties, or even none at all, and yet high intensity. This is information warfare, financial warfare, trade warfare, and other entirely new forms of war, new areas opened up in the domain of warfare.

Even a quasiworld power like China already has the power to jolt the world economy just by changing its own economic policies. If China were a selfish country, and had gone back on its word in 1998 and let the Renminbi lose value, no doubt this would have added to the misfortunes of the economies of Asia. It would also have induced a cataclysm in the world’s capital markets, with the result that even the world’s number one debtor nation, a country which relies on the inflow of foreign capital to support its economic prosperity, the United States, would definitely have suffered heavy economic losses. Such an outcome would certainly be better than a military strike.

Born during the Warring States period (475-221 B.C.), Han Feizi was the great product of the Legalist school of thought. In speech and actions, he emphasized the actual effect, as in “the target at which words and deeds are aimed is results.” There were no other objectives or constraints.

In Brzezinski’s view, a number of groups of countries will appear in the 21st century, such as a North American group, a European group, an East Asian group, a South Asian group, a Moslem group, and an Eastern European group. The struggle among these groups will dominate conflict in the future.

The legislatures of countries with representative forms of government cannot evade encirclement by lobbying groups. For example, America’s Jewish organizations and its National Rifle Association have well-known lobbying groups. Actually, this practice was to be seen long ago in ancient China. In the war between the Chu and the Han at the end of the Qin Dynasty (209-202 B.C.), Liu Bang gave Chen Ping a great deal of money in order to defeat Xiang Yu off the battlefield. (Rebel general Liu Bang ousted Xiang Yu, who had won the fight to succeed the Qin Dynasty).

Spaces in nature including the ground, the seas, the air, and outer space are battlefields, but social spaces such as the military, politics, economics, culture, and the psyche are also battlefields.

When setting objectives, give full consideration to the feasibility of accomplishing them. Do not pursue objectives which are unrestricted in time and space. Only with limits can they be explicit and practical, and only with limits can there be functionality.

Sherman’s advance toward Savanna in the American war between the north and south was not in search of combat, it was to burn and plunder all along the way. It was a measure used to destroy the economy in the southern army’s rear area, to make the southern populace and the southern army lose the ability to resist, thus accomplishing the north’s war objective. This is an example of the successful use of unlimited measures to achieve a limited objective.

The Verdun campaign is called by war historians a meat grinder, because both sides waged a senseless war of attrition. By contrast, the reason Germany was able to sweep away the joint British-French force after crossing the Maginot Line was because it combined the shortest length of time, the optimum route, and the most powerful weapons in a blitzkrieg. So it can be seen that the key to truly achieving “minimal consumption” is to find a combat method which makes rational use of combat resources.

The five principles which Fuller summarized from the Napoleonic wars are attack, maneuver, surprise, concentration, and support. Besides this, following the views of Clausewitz, Fuller also induced seven principles similar to those of the Napoleonic wars: maintain the objective, security of action, mobile action, exhaust the enemy’s offensive capability, conserve forces, concentrate forces, and surprise. These principles became the foundation of modern military principles.

An example is the U.S. Army’s nine main military principles: objective, offensive, concentration, economy of force, mobility, security, surprise, simplicity, and unity (of command). These are very similar to the principles of war of the Napoleonic era.

Any of the political, economic, or diplomatic means now has sufficient strength to supplant military means. However, mankind has no reason at all to be gratified by this, because what we have done is nothing more than substitute bloodless warfare for bloody warfare as much as possible.4 As a result, while constricting the battlespace in the narrow sense , at the same time we have turned the entire world into a battlefield in the broad sense. On this battlefield, people still fight, plunder, and kill each other as before, but the weapons are more advanced and the means more sophisticated, so while it is somewhat less bloody, it is still just as brutal. Given this reality, mankind’s dream of peace is still as elusive as ever.

Clemenceau stated that “war is much too serious a matter to be entrusted to the military.”

Legend has it that after Alexander the Great led his army into the interior of Asia Minor, he went to worship in the temple of Zeus in the city of Gordium. In the temple there was a wagon which had formerly belonged to Midas, king of Phrygia. It was secured very tightly by a jumbled cord, and it was said that no one had been able to untie it. Faced with this, Alexander pondered for a moment, then suddenly pulled out his sword and severed it at one stroke. From this, “Gordian knot” has come to be another term for intractable and complex problems.