when the general is weak, the nation is weak



The general

is the bulwark of the nation.

When the bulwark is strong, the nation

is strong. When the bulwark is

weak, the nation is




are three ways

in which a ruler can bring

misfortune to his army: if he orders

the army to retreat or advance when it cannot

effectively do so, this is called “hobbling the army”;

if he attempts to administer the army when he does not

know how, its warriors will become frustrated;

if he commands the officers without proper

insight into how they function, this

will undermine their



Once an army

has been confused like this,

trouble will arise from every direction.

This is known as “inviting chaos

and handing victory to the




from The Art of War, Chapter III


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