“War is a matter of vital importance to the state, the province of life and death; the road to survival or ruin. It is mandatory that it be thoroughly studied.” – Sun Tzu
The opening statement of Sun Tzu’s book, The Art of War is well known among military officers, warriors and to those who study the history and conduct of war. The teachings in this book have been used by Mao Zedong and Ho Chi Minh in their successful campaigns of national liberation. The sixteen character formula of the New people’s Army is derived from this book: “When the enemy attacks, we retreat; when the enemy camps, we harass; when he tires, we attack; when he retreats, we pursue.” The NPA is still around after 35 years of fighting with the AFP and the PNP besides; proof of the continuing relevance and effectiveness of Sun Tzu’s teachings.