Art of War

The Art of War :: Sun Tzu Barack Obama and the Modern Moment

Brian Browne Walker’s beloved translations of the I Ching, Tao te Ching, and Hua hu Ching are published by Harper and St. Martin’s Press and translated into over a dozen languages around the world. This new rendition of “The Art of War” brings his clear voice to the world’s most time-honored teachings on leadership, strategy, and conflict. The book includes a provocative and powerful commentary on Barack Obama and our time that reminds America and the world of our most pressing moral responsibilities, touches on the perils of modern demagogues, and looks forward with a sense of both gravity and light.



war cost budget

The purpose 

of war is not the glory 

of campaigning, but victory.

Soldiers long from home lose heart. 

Weapons long at war lose their edge.

Laying siege to cities exhausts both, and more: 

at home, a nation’s heart is exhausted by the 

conscription of its sons and daughters,

the pockets of the people are emptied 

by the levying of taxes, and the 

resources of the land are

depleted by sending 

them elsewhere

for fighting.


A nation 

drained like this 

is weak at home and weak 

in the field, and risks becoming 

easy prey for ambitious chieftains. 

The wise leader knows that even an army 

staked and nourished at home drives prices up 

and impoverishes the people.  Greater still is 

the scarcity born of waging long wars 

at great distances.  No nation 

has ever benefitted 

from it.



no good leader 

repeatedly raids the families 

of his citizens for soldiers, nor their 

purses for the gold to 

buy weapons, nor 

their peace to 

make war. 


from The Art of War, Chapter II


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