“We really want to play an away game and we need teammates to do it. We need to be forward. You need to be forward," he continued. "We need to be closely partnered with NATO allies and other partners who share our values. And we need to be sure that as conflict approaches -- and conflict will approach -- we have a shot at shaping it before we’re in it.”
Dempsey quoted Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu, saying “The side that understands when to fight and when not to fight will take away the victory.”
The American military expends great effort training for the fight, the chairman said, but equal thought is placed on when and when not to fight. “We need to make sure that we have friends and partners in a web, a network of allies so that we bear this burden together,” he said.
Just a few days ago we posted how General James Mattis prefers to read Sun Tzu's Art of War. About the same time period, the US Department of Defense reported that the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, quotes Sun Tzu to illustrate how to win in conflicts:
This proves once again how practical and relevant Sun Tzu's wisdom is even in our modern world. His book transcends time and geography. Most importantly, people's suffering due to conflicts should be minimized if his principles continue to influence the battlefield.
Sun Tzu's Blog (updated often)
For readers of Sun Tzu's Art of War