Shaping the Enemy

Mark McNeilly

in Sun Tzu and the Art of Modern Warfare

Published in print January 2015 | ISBN: 9780199957859
Published online February 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780190252717 | DOI:
Shaping the Enemy

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This chapter discusses the fifth principle of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and its application in military situations. Shaping means mastering the enemy and making them conform to the leader’s strategy, rules, and will. To shape the enemy, one must first put together all that has been learned so far. A leader must know the situation; one must be able to deceive the enemy as to one’s plans; and all this must be accomplished with blinding speed. These principles must be combined in a strategy that “shapes” the enemy. That strategy must attack not only the resources of the opponent but also, more importantly, the minds, thought processes, and wills of its leaders.

Keywords: shaping; military strategy; wars; modern warfare; The Art of War; Sun Tzu

Chapter.  10430 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political Theory ; International Relations

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