Since the origin of time, man has been in conflict with man. Primitive man fought with rival clans over territory for hunting. Throughout time, entire civilizations have arisen centered around war and the warrior. A few examples are the ancient civilizations and individuals such as King Leonidas and Sparta, Attila the Hun, the Vikings, Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, the Samurai of feudal Japan many native American cultures such as the Apache, Comanche and Sioux. 
In the 6th century BC, a Chinese military treatise was written by Sun Tzu. This book, The Art of War, is composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare. This text has been referred to as the definitive work of military strategies and tactics of its time. It has influenced military leaders such as Napoleon, Mao Zedong, General Vo Hguyen Giap, Ho Chi Minh and Douglas MacArthur. The Department of the Army  directs all units to maintain libraries within their respective headquarters for the continuing education of personnel in the art of war.  The Art of War, is listed on the Marine Corps Professional Reading Program. It is recommended reading for all United States Military Intelligence personnel and is required reading for all CIA officers.

  War is a unique and horrible experience. It reveals the worst  acts of carnage and devastation. War is unorganized. It is unpredictable. Civilians, including women and children will die in war. This is an inevitable fact. Soldiers will die in war. These are all unchallenged and true statements of every war ever fought. But the main objective of any war is victory. Diplomacy should be tried first and extensively before a declaration of war. But, once war is declared the main and focused objective is victory.

In the last fifty years, we have seen an element surface in the United States that objected to war. At first they were on the fringe of society. Such names as Jane Fonda and John Kerry emerged during the Vietnam War as outspoken critics of military involvement. The antiwar group has grown and has become more outspoken today. These people have infiltrated our government, the media and education to criticize war and even the brave courageous members of our military. It is not a coincidence that the most of them have never been in the military. Nobody can totally understand war unless they have been there.

Sun Tzu’s military text, covers many topics related to war. He mentions several important points. First, there is no instance of a country being successful in prolonged warfare. Let your great goal be that of swift victory. Second, it is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on. Third, all warfare is based on deception. Fourth, in order to kill the enemy, men must be roused to anger.

The legendary Marine Corps leader, Lt. General Lewis "Chesty" Puller, stated, "When you decide to fight, you hit the enemy hard, you hit them fast, and you lay such devastation on them that you break their spirit to fight." Remember that the goal in war is always victory.

In modern warfare, the key to victory is very simple. When war comes, it should be turned over to our military leaders and not politicians. Our military has been educated and trained to win. Most politicians today have never even been in the military and certainly not combat.  

All journalist and media should not be present in areas of war. In recent times the news media has become corrupt and use their tools as political platforms to promote political propaganda. Military leaders can release information to the media. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf stated in the first Gulf War, "We will let you know what you need to know." You don’t win wars by being nice to the enemy. You don’t want to be friends with the enemy, you want to kill the enemy. You win wars by having the enemy respect you. Any submissiveness will be perceived as weakness. You initiate devastation on the enemy that will make them never forget. Overwhelming dominance  will not only win the war but will save lives. This example will discourage future aggressions and strengthen the desire to resolve  issues with diplomacy. Sun Tzu elaborated on these points throughout his treatise. 

  In the last forty years we have seen the political intervention in war as a deterrent to victory. Accusing Soldiers and Marines of "murder" in a war on insurgency is ridiculous. When the enemy blends in with the civilian populace, a Soldier or Marine has a split second to make a decision that could mean their life. The principle of shoot first and ask questions later is paramount with winning. The instilling of rules of engagement in a combat situation is something left for fantasy and not reality. The object is to kill the enemy period. Covert tactics and techniques are just that, covert. This information is not to be put out to the public for evaluation on moral or judgmental grounds. All these things are not found in Sun Tzu’s "Art of War." What is found in this treatise is VICTORY. 

"The greatest happiness is to vanquish your enemies, to chase them before you, to rob them of their wealth, to see those dear to them bathed in tears, to clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters." Genghis Khan

"Casualties many; Percentage of dead unknown; Combat efficiency; we are winning."-Colonel David M. Shoup, USMC, Tarawa, 21 November 1943.

"We are going to attack all day, we are going to attack all night. Let no man come back alive if we are not victorious." General George S. Patton, Jr.

" The warrior doesn’t care if he is called a beast or a dog; the main thing is winning."-Asakura Norikage, Samurai

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Rick Mowles

Fight to Win!
"The Art of War"

Rick Mowles
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