The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all! It is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose.
Note: failure to plan is planning to fail
In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.
Note: thus you must have determined what equates victory. it is a foolish thing to wage a war without knowing when you will have won.
(3) He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks. (4) He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared. (5) He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.
Note: three of the five principles for those who will win the war.
"Attack is the secret of defense; defense is the planning of an attack." It would be hard to find a better epitome of the root-principle of war.]
Note: the inter-relatedness of offense and defense