By Thomas Kane
Sun Tzu and different classical chinese language strategic thinkers wrote in an period of social, monetary and army revolution, and was hoping to spot enduring rules of battle 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 ancient context, Dr Kane explores old chinese language reactions to such concerns as advances in army know-how and insurgency and terrorism, offering attention-grabbing comparisons among smooth and historic.
The publication explains the best way trendy chinese language thinkers - similar to sunlight Tzu, Han Fei Tzu and Lao Tzu - handled severe strategic questions. It additionally compares their principles to these of thinkers from different occasions and civilizations (e.g. Clausewitz) to light up fairly small print. In concluding, the publication addresses the query of ways old chinese language principles may tell modern strategic debates.
Ancient China on Postmodern War may be of a lot curiosity to scholars of strategic reviews, chinese language philosophy and armed forces history.
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Extra resources for Ancient China and Post Modern War (Cass Military Studies)
As he notes, ‘few scholars are equally accomplished in the fields of Chinese history, culture, and language as well as European history at the turn of the nineteenth Introduction 21 century’ (Handel 1996: 2). If we were to assume that only a scholar with this combination of credentials is qualified to compare Sun Tzu to Clausewitz, we would probably never see such a comparison. As noted above, Masters of War advances our understanding of strategic theory in important and thoughtprovoking ways. Handel confesses that he is ‘neither a sinologist nor an expert in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European history’, but anyone with an interest in military affairs should be grateful that he did not let these facts stop him from writing this book (Handel 1996: 2–3).
When mountains and forests present obstacles, he cuts through them. When rivers and lakes offer impediment, he bridges them …. (Needham et al. 1971: 4) Not only did these roads help fill T’ai Kung’s three treasuries, the Chou appreciated their more immediate military value. The Ssu Hsien was responsible for noting strategic points such as passes and junctions (Needham et al. 1971: 4). ‘If there is alarm in the empire he fortifies the roads and difficult points, halts wanderers, and guards the positions with his men, letting past the barriers only those with the imperial seal’ (Needham et al.
This emphasis on tradition led ministers to discourage innovative policies of any kind, particularly those that threatened to change relations among social classes. Crump goes on to note that such advisers were typically ‘in favor of keeping power in the court and among the noble families of the state’ (Crump 1964: 1). The reasons for this conservatism went beyond class interest and personal disposition. To the Shang Chinese, government policy overlapped with rituals that kept the land fertile and the mystical energies of the universe in balance.
Ancient China and Post Modern War (Cass Military Studies) by Thomas Kane