chapter  12
Speed, Numerical Superiority, and Victory
Pages 8

Since the ideal of winning without battle is se ldom realized, the strategist m ust try to determine the most effective way to achieve victory when bl oodshed has becom e inevitable. Once Sun Tzu turns his attention to strategy in practice, his views on the art of war do not differ from those of Clausewitz as much as previously thought. Sun Tzu is also searching for the quickest, most decisive victory, which can be realized most directly through absolute numerical superiority in general or relative superiority at the decisive point of contact. It is, o f course, the latter situ ation in which the qualities of superior generalship are brought to the fore. In order t o win despite numerical inferiority, the ‘military genius’ (to use Clausewitz’s terminology) must, for example, comprehend the potential contribution and limits of intelligence, the most effective way to use deception, and the fundamental distinctions between the offense and defense; further, he must be aware of the advantages conferred by terrain and weapons t echnology as wel l as those that cannot be gained solely through numerical superiority.