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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Lessons on war

To the Editor:

Apologies to the Baby Boomers mantra….”make love, not war”: PBS' first episode of “First Civilizations” states that war the driver of civilization.

Before considering war, contemplate this: The Art of War written by Sun Tzu in the fifth century B.C.: To win 100 battles is not the height of skill - to subdue the enemy without fighting is.

It is more important to outthink your enemy than outfight him. Do not advance on sheer military power. In battle, use a direct attack to engage and an indirect attack to win.

All warfare is deception. The way a wise general can achieve greatness is through foreknowledge. 

The winning army realizes the conditions for victory first, then fights. The losing army fights first, then seeks victory.

No nation has ever benefitted from prolonged war. Those skilled in war bring the enemy to the field of battle; they are not brought by him.

Move only when you see an advantage and there is something to gain. Only fight if a position is critical. There are some enemies that should not be fought - some ground that should not be taken.

As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton confused humanity and the “economics of war”. Trump may be prone to errors and fail on some points, but he understands core principles and is more pragmatic and realistic than Hillary, or Obama or George W, not to mention the elusive Bill Clinton.

Missing on PBS: respect war as a last resort.

Fred Stewart

Grand Junction, Colorado

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