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Invincibility lies in the defense the possibility of victory in the attack. One defends when his strength is inadequate he attacks when it is abundant.
Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate.
A military operation involves deception. Even though you are competent, appear to be incompetent. Though effective, appear to be ineffective.
All warfare is based on deception. There is no place where espionage is not used. Offer the enemy bait to lure him.
If you are near the enemy, make him believe you are far from him. If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near.
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
The best victory is when the opponent surrenders of its own accord before there are any actual hostilities...It is best to win without fighting.
To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.