“Therefore use these assessments for comparison, to find out what the conditions are. That is to say, which political leadership has the Way? Which general has the ability? Who has the better climate and terrain? Whose discipline is effective? Whose troops are the stronger? Whose officers and soldiers are the better trained? Whose system of rewards and punishments is clearer? This how you can know who will win.”
To understand this statement, you have to be familiar with Sun Tzu’s notion of “the Way”. The Way simply put is what we in the Western World believe to be leadership. The ability to convince people to action towards a specific end, yet for Sun Tzu it is only one component of leadership. Perhaps, because the Art of War is less about leadership and more about victory in war. Sun Tzu defines the Way as:
“The Way means inducing the people to have the same aim as the leadership, so that they will share search and share life, without fear of danger.”
Thus, today’s entry relates directly to political will, or the ruling body which has the “Way”. The political competence to commit to all the pieces required to achieve victory.