兵贵胜,不贵久 – Chinese philosophy and culture

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bīng guì shèng, bù guì jiǔ 兵贵胜,不贵久

In War, Seek Quick Victory, Not Prolongation.

用兵贵在速胜,不宜持久。这是古代军事家孙武提出的作战原则。对于主动作战的一方而言,这一原则尤为重要。因为久战不决,会造成士气低落、战斗力下降,各种消耗增大,补给困难,最终难以达成作战目标,甚至得不偿失,还可能节外生枝,危及国家安全。这是综合政治、经济等多种因素而形成的总体战争思想。

Warfare should seek a quick victory and should not be prolonged. This was a principle of warfare proposed by Sunzi, the ancient military strategist. It is of particular importance to the party that initiates a war. If the war continues without a decisive outcome, it will result in poor morale, weakened combat ability, an increase in various types of consumption, and difficulty in maintaining supply lines. Ultimately it will be hard to achieve the aims of the war and losses may even exceed gains; complications may also ensue which endanger the country’s security. This is a comprehensive concept of war which incorporates political, economic and other factors.

引例 Citation:

◎其用战也胜,久则钝兵挫锐,攻城则力屈(jué),久暴师则国用不足。……故兵贵胜,不贵久。故知兵之将,民之司命,国家安危之主也。(《孙子·作战篇》)

(用兵的关键是制胜,一旦持久作战就会造成军队疲惫、锐气受挫,攻城则兵力无法施展,长期陈兵在外,国家费用就会出现困难。……所以用兵贵在速胜,不宜持久。因此可以说,精通兵法的将帅,是掌握民众命运、决定国家安危的关键人物。)

The crux of war is gaining a victory. Hence prolonged warfare tires the troops and saps their morale; they will be thwarted when attacking cities; if they are deployed away from home for a long time, the country’s finances will be in difficulty… Hence warfare should seek quick victory and not prolongation. Thus a commander who is skilled in warfare controls the destiny of his people and is master of his country’s security. (The Art of War)

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