Countering Threat to National Security: the Sun Tzu Approach

Topics: War, Sun Tzu, The Art of War Pages: 17 (5347 words) Published: April 8, 2013



Komolafe Solomon (ASP)


Abstract Introduction 1
Conceptual Definition 3
Historical Overview 6
Core Concept 7
Significance and Application 10 Counter Argument 16
Impact on Leadership 18
Countering Threat to National Security:
The Sun Tzu Approach 18 Recommendations 19 Conclusion 21

The Art of War is one of the oldest and most successful books on military strategy in the world. This ancient Chinese military treatise is attributed to Sun Tzu a high ranking military general and strategist who was believed to have been born in 544BC. Composed of thirteen chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare, it is a definitive work on military strategies and tactics of its time and is still read for its military insight.

This research paper examines Sun Tzu’s Art of War with emphasis on his indirect approach theory to defeat one’s foe. Then by using this theory as the analytical construct, the study determines the viability and applicability of his military tactics and strategy to ancient and contemporary strategic environment in Nigeria as well as globally.

The paper reveals that sun Tzu’s approach to strategy is also relevant in the public sphere which includes politics and sports. The study further highlights and explains the Art of War’s key principles as a broad based strategic teaching that can be used to counter prevailing threat to national security. It reveals that sun Tzu’s writings are as pertinent today as they were thousands of years ago.

Ancient and modern war theories are based on many factors: culture, economy, technology, environmental issues, and lesson learned by observing the conduct of warfare. As history progresses, the core tenants of war theory continue to draw from the human dimensions of armed conflict. War is indisputably fought by human beings and not by technology. If current and future adversaries perform unconventional and asymmetric warfare; Nigeria must reexamine its combat strategy and tactics. Therefore, theories provide ways to examine issues; they offer insight into problem solving regarding conflicts and the use of force. This paper proposed that Sun Tzu’s indirect theory is most relevant to twenty first century Nigeria in its fight against terrorism. After thousands of years, human nature remains essentially unchanged. The core of war theory is based on human values and human behavior. Hence, prevention of any armed conflict tends to derive first from human nature, as is evident in the past and continuing into the twenty first century. Despite the time and space the soldier within us remains the same. All warriors perform in accordance with a theory of war that follows the principles of the ages. (Wilcoxon, 2010: 3). This research paper argues that no one has better captured the theory of warfare than Sun Tzu in his book on The Art of War.

The conflict we now find ourselves engaged in requires the innovative development...
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