Martin Van Creveld
Oct'2005 interview - unlike On War (Von Clausewitz), The Art Of War is a Taoist text. The significance of this is that Sun Tzu sees war not as a means to an end, let alone as a positive good, but as a necessary evil. While fully aware of the vital role war plays in human affairs and prepared to do whatever it takes to win, he never allows the reader to forget what a horrible business it is. This in turn results in The Art Of War being pervaded by a deep humanity which On War, precisely because it treats war as a means to an end, does not display.
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