Weakness and Strength
CHAPTER SUMMARY (6.01-6.36): Confronting a Stronger Adversary
[6.01] Generally the one who first occupies the battlefield awaiting the enemy is at ease; the one who comes later and rushes into battle is fatigued.
[6.02] Therefore those skilled warfare move the enemy, and are not moved by the enemy.*
[6.03] Getting the enemy to approach on his own accord is a matter of showing him advantage; stopping him from approaching is a matter of showing him harm.*
[6.04] Therefore, if the enemy is at ease, be able to exhaust him; if the enemy is well fed, be able to starve him; if the enemy is settled, be able to move him; appear at places where he must rush to defend, and rush to places where he least expects.*
[6.05] To march over a thousand kilometers [≈ 621 miles] without becoming distressed, march over [territory] where the enemy is not present.
[6.06] To be certain to take what you attack, attack where the enemy cannot defend.
[6.07] To be certain of safety when defending, defend where the enemy cannot attack.
[6.08] Therefore, against those skilled in attack, the enemy does not know where to defend.
[6.09] Against those skilled in defense, the enemy does not know where to attack.
[6.10] Subtle, subtle; they become formless.* Mysterious, mysterious; they become soundless. Therefore, they are the masters of the enemy's fate.
[6.11] To achieve an advance that cannot be hampered, rush to his weak points. To achieve a withdrawal that cannot be pursued, depart with superior speed.
[6.12] Therefore, if we want to do battle, even if the enemy is protected by high walls and deep moats, he cannot but do battle, because we attack what he must rescue. If we do not want to do battle, even if we merely draw a line on the ground, he will not do battle, because we divert his movements.*
6.02 not moved by the enemy. If yours is the weaker force, wait; make the enemy come to you.