Deception Sun Tzu Quotes

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Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
All warfare is based on deception.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
All war is based in deception (cfr. Sun Tzu, “The Art of War”). Definition of deception: “The practice of deliberately making somebody believe things that are not true. An act, a trick or device entended to deceive somebody”. Thus, all war is based in metaphor. All war necessarily perfects itself in poetry. Poetry (since indefinable) is the sense of seduction. Therefore, all war is the storytelling of seduction, and seduction is the nature of war.
Pola Oloixarac (Las teorías salvajes)
The art of war is the art of deception.
Sun Tzu
All warfare is based on deception. Therefore, when capable, pretend to be incapable; when active, inactive; when near, make the enemy believe that you are far away; when far away; that you are near.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
Warfare is the Way of deception.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
All warfare is based on deception.” —Sun Tzu, The Art Of War
Nicholas Sansbury Smith (The Biomass Revolution (The Tisaian Chronicles, #1))
All warfare is based on deception.” —Sun Tzu Not
Michael Z. Williamson (Freehold (Freehold #1))
Master Sun A military operation involves deception. Even though you are competent, appear to be incompetent. Though effective, appear to be ineffective.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War: Complete Texts and Commentaries)
All warfare is based on deception, Sun Tzu had said. When we are able to attack, we must seem unable. When we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.
Brandon Sanderson (Skyward (Skyward, #1))
All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War ( Active TOC, Free AUDIO BOOK) (A to Z Classics))
Chinese literature on strategy from Sun Tzu through Mao Tse-tung has emphasized deception more than many military doctrines. Chinese deception is oriented mainly toward inducing the enemy to act inexpediently and less toward protecting the integrity of one’s own plans. In other cultures, particularly Western, deception is used primarily with the intention of ensuring that one’s own forces can realize their maximum striking potential … the prevalent payoff of deception for the Chinese is that one does not have to use one’s own forces.… Chinese tend to shroud their means in secrecy and not publicize the day-to-day activities of those in power; for surprise and deception are assumed to be vital.28
Michael Pillsbury (The Hundred-Year Marathon: China's Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower)
兵者,詭道也。故能而示之不能,用而示之不用,近而示之遠,遠而示之近。
Sun Tzu
Warfare is the Way of deception.13 Therefore, if able, appear unable; if active, appear not active; if near, appear far; if far, appear near. If they have advantage, entice them; if they are confused, take them; if they are substantial, prepare for them; if they are strong, avoid them; if they are angry, disturb them; if they are humble, make them haughty; if they are relaxed, toil them; if they are united, separate them. Attack where they are not prepared, go out to where they do not expect.14 This specialized warfare leads to victory, and may not be transmitted beforehand.15
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
17.  According as circumstances are favorable, one should modify one’s plans. [Sun Tzu, as a practical soldier, will have none of the “bookish theoric.” He cautions us here not to pin our faith to abstract principles; “for,” as Chang Yu puts it, “while the main laws of strategy can be stated clearly enough for the benefit of all and sundry, you must be guided by the actions of the enemy in attempting to secure a favorable position in actual warfare.” On the eve of the battle of Waterloo, Lord Uxbridge, commanding the cavalry, went to the Duke of Wellington in order to learn what his plans and calculations were for the morrow, because, as he explained, he might suddenly find himself Commander-in-chief and would be unable to frame new plans in a critical moment. The Duke listened quietly and then said: “Who will attack the first tomorrow—I or Bonaparte?” “Bonaparte,” replied Lord Uxbridge. “Well,” continued the Duke, “Bonaparte has not given me any idea of his projects; and as my plans will depend upon his, how can you expect me to tell you what mine are?”75] 18.  All warfare is based on deception. [The truth of this pithy and profound saying will be admitted by every soldier. Col. Henderson tells us that Wellington, great in so many military qualities, was especially distinguished by “the extraordinary skill with which he concealed his movements and deceived both friend and foe.”] 19. 
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
When the enemy's envoys speak in humble terms, but he continues his preparations, he will advance. When their language is deceptive but the enemy pretentiously advances, he will retreat. When the envoys speak in apologetic terms, he wishes a respite. When without a previous understanding the enemy asks for a truce, he is plotting. If without reason one begs for a truce it is assuredly because affairs in his country are in a dangerous state and he is worried and wishes to make a plan to gain a respite. Or otherwise he knows that our situation is susceptible to his plots and he wants to forestall our suspicions by asking for a truce. Then he will take advantage of our unpreparedness.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
All warfare is based on deception. Therefore, when capable, feign incapacity; when active, inactivity. When near, make it appear that you are far away; when far away, that you are near. Offer the enemy a bait to lure him; feign disorder and strike him. When he concentrates, prepare against him; where he is strong, avoid him. Anger his general and confuse him. Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance. Keep him under a strain and wear him down. When he is united, divide him. Attack where he is unprepared; sally out when he does not expect you. These are the strategist's keys to victory. It is not possible to discuss them beforehand. now if the estimates made in the temple before hostilities indicate victory it is because calculations show one's strength to be superior to that of his enemy; if they indicate defeat, it is because calculations show that one is inferior. With many calculations, one can win; with few one cannot. How much less chance of victory has one who makes none at all! By this means I examine the situation and the outcome will be clearly apparent.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
Sun Tzu thousands of years earlier: All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; and when far away, we must make him believe we are near.
Douglas E. Richards (Mind's Eye)
All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Alex Gerlis (The Miracle of Normandy (Kindle Single))
War is the tao of deception. Therefore, when planning an attack, feign inactivity. When near, appear as if you are far away. When far away, create the illusion that you are near. If the enemy is efficient, prepare for him. If he is strong, evade him. If he is angry, agitate him. If he is arrogant, behave timidly so as to encourage his arrogance. If he is rested, cause him to exert himself. Advance when he does not expect you. Attack him when he is unprepared. —Sun-Tzu, The Art of War
Ian W. Toll (Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941–1942)
Plans and projects for harming the enemy are not confined to any one method. Sometimes entice his wise and virtuous men away so that he has no counsellors. Or send treacherous people to his country to wreck his administration. Sometimes use cunning deceptions to alienate his ministers from the sovereign. Or send skilled craftsmen to encourage his people to exhaust their wealth. Or present him with licentious musicians and dancers to change his customs. Or give him beautiful women to bewilder him. The wise general wearies his enemies by keeping them constantly occupied, and makes them rush about by offering them ostensible advantages.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
17. All warfare is based on deception.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
If I am able to determine the enemy's dispositions while at the same time I conceal my own then I can concentrate and he must divide.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
Now war is based on deception. Move when it is advantageous and create changes in the situation by dispersal and concentration of forces. When campaigning, be swift as the wind; in leisurely march, majestic as the forest; in raiding and plundering, like fire; in standing, firm as the mountains. As unfathomable as the clouds, move like a thunderbolt. When you plunder the countryside, divide your forces. When you conquer territory, divide the profits. Weigh the situation, then move.
Sun Tzu (The Art Of War)
To a surrounded enemy you must leave a way of escape. Show him there is a road to safety, and so create in his mind the idea that there is an alternative to death. Then strike.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
The Russians call this maskirovka—the art of deception and confusion. It is as old as strategy itself. Undermine your enemy, Sun Tzu advised 2,500 years ago. “Subvert him, attack his morale, strike at his economy, corrupt him. Sow internal discord among his leaders; destroy him without fighting him.” Call down the fog of war, he was telling conspirators and generals and swordsmen, let it descend on your opponent until they cannot see what is right before them. Because “all warfare,” Sun Tzu reminds us, “is based on deception.” Not just keeping secrets—that’s the first part, the passive part, a refusal to reveal your true intentions—but active, outwardly focused deceit intended to disorient and weaken the enemy. The long-term strategic drive to a decisive legal action—the hope of taking a case against Gawker to a real jury of normal people outside the Manhattan media bubble—had been set by Peter Thiel early on. By 2012, not only was the ideal case found with which to execute this strategy, but a lawsuit was filed within days of discovery. As the case wound its way through the legal system in 2013, it had seen many setbacks, some expected and others not, but these setbacks were not without their upside. They had, in the end, created a scenario in which the case’s final home in Florida district court might spell a bankruptcy-level event for Gawker Media.
Ryan Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue)
Sun Tzu: “The essence of the art of war is deception. If able, fake inability; if close by, make believe you are far away. Transform your weak points into as many strong points.
Sergei Kostin (Farewell: The Greatest Spy Story of the Twentieth Century)
Chinese policies follow the philosophy of Sunzi, formerly known as Sun Tzu. ‘All war is based on deception. When able to attack, we must pretend to be incapable; when employing forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far; offer bait to lure him; if he appears humble, make him arrogant; if he is rested, wear him down; if his forces are united, divide them; take action when it is unexpected.
Ram Jethmalani (RAM JETHMALANI MAVERICK UNCHANGED, UNREPENTANT)
Surely you know the Thirty-Six Stratagems.” I shook my head. “The ancient Chinese art of deception.” “Oh, right. Sun Tzu. Jay Stoddard’s favorite.” “Forget Sun Tzu’s Art of War. That’s so commonplace.” He held up a gnarled, age-spotted finger. “Far more interesting than Sun Tzu is Chu-ko Liang. Perhaps the most brilliant military strategist ever. One of his stratagems was to defeat your enemy from within. Infiltrate the enemy’s camp in the guise of cooperation or surrender. Then, once you’ve discovered the source of his weakness, you strike.” Somehow the setting—the visitors’ room of the Altamont Correctional Facility—made my father’s advice a little less authoritative. As I walked out of the visitors’ room, I savored a feeling of relief. Because at that moment I knew that my brother was alive.
Joseph Finder (Vanished (Nick Heller, #1))
Surely you know the Thirty-Six Stratagems.” I shook my head. “The ancient Chinese art of deception.” “Oh, right. Sun Tzu. Jay Stoddard’s favorite.” “Forget Sun Tzu’s Art of War. That’s so commonplace.” He held up a gnarled, age-spotted finger. “Far more interesting than Sun Tzu is Chu-ko Liang. Perhaps the most brilliant military strategist ever. One of his stratagems was to defeat your enemy from within. Infiltrate the enemy’s camp in the guise of cooperation or surrender. Then, once you’ve discovered the source of his weakness, you strike.
Joseph Finder (Vanished (Nick Heller, #1))
of Turenne, deception of the enemy, especially as to the numerical strength of his troops, took a
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
The crux of military operations lies in the pretense of accommodating one's self to the designs of the enemy.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
When the enemy presents an opportunity, speedily take advantage of it. Anticipate him in seizing something he values and move in accordance with a date secretly fixed. The doctrine of war is to follow the enemy situation in order to decide on battle. Therefore at first be shy as a maiden. When the enemy gives you an opening be swift as a hare and he will be unable to withstand you.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
The reason the enlightened prince and the wise general conquer the enemy whenever they move and their achievements surpass those of ordinary men is foreknowledge. What is called 'foreknowledge' cannot be elicited from spirits, nor from gods, nor by analogy with past events, nor from calculations. It must be obtained from men who know the enemy situation. There are five sorts of secret agents to be employed. These are native, inside, doubled, expendable, and living. When these five types of agents are all working simultaneously and none knows their method of operation they are called 'The Divine Skein' and are the treasure of a sovereign. Native agents are those of the enemy's country people whom we employ. Inside agents are enemy officials whom we employ. Among the official class there are worthy men who have been deprived of office; others who have committed errors and have been punished. There are sycophants and minions who are covetous of wealth. There are those who wrongly remain long in lowly office; those who have not obtained responsible positions, and those whose sole desire is to take advantage of times of trouble to extend the scope of their own abilities. There are those who are two-faced, changeable, and deceitful, and who are always sitting on the fence. As far as all such are concerned you can secretly inquire after their welfare, reward them liberally with gold and silk, and so tie them to you. Then you may rely on them to seek out the real facts of the situation in their country, and to ascertain its plans directed against you. They can as well create cleavages between the sovereign and his ministers so that these are not in harmonious accord. Doubled agents are enemy spies whom we employ. When the enemy sends spies to pry into my accomplishments or lack of them, I bribe them lavishly, turn them around, and make them my agents. Expendable agents are those of our own spies who are deliberately given fabricated information. We leak information which is actually false and allow our own agents to learn it. When these agents operating in enemy territory are taken by him they are certain to report this false information. The enemy will believe it and make preparations accordingly. But our actions will of course not accord with this, and the enemy will put the spies to death. Sometimes we send agents to the enemy to make a covenant of peace and then attack.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) uses political and diplomatic engagement and deception to gain control and expand China’s spheres of influence without going to war. This echoes the brilliant central idea of both Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and Unrestricted Warfare: to get what you want without going into battle.
Robert Spalding
Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, as well as the theoreticians of SIW and fourth generation warfare, lack the political dimension with respect to the situation after the war. They concentrate too much on purely military success, and undervalue the process of transforming military success into true victory. The three core elements of Sun Tzu’s strategy could not easily be applied in our times: a general attitude to deception of the enemy runs the risk of deceiving one’s own population, which would be problematic for any democracy. An indirect strategy in general would weaken deterrence against an adversary who could act quickly and with determination. Concentration on influencing the will and mind of the enemy may merely enable him to avoid fighting at a disadvantageous time and place and make it possible for him to choose a better opportunity as long as he is in possession of the necessary means—weapons and armed forces.
Andreas Herberg-Rothe (Clausewitz's Puzzle: The Political Theory of War)
A military operation involves deception. Even though you are competent, appear to be incompetent. Though effective, appear to be ineffective.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
17. All warfare is based on deception. 18. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
A path of war is the path of deception: -when you're strong, pretend to be weak -when you're close, pretend to be afar -if the enemy is strong, avoid him -if he's angry, confuse him -if his man are united, stir the conflict within them
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
War is based on deception; move determines advantage; divide and unity are the elements of change.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)