By William H. Mott IV, Jae Chang Kim
Drawing on old texts and sleek interpretations, this paintings explores the principles for battle in China’s strategic culture--Shih, Li, and Tao. Shih concept bases technique on enemy reason, not like Euro-American Li suggestions in keeping with forces. The paintings makes use of Shih conception to give an explanation for the anomalies that proceed to perplex Euro-American observers in smooth China’s makes use of of strength.
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Additional resources for The Philosophy of Chinese Military Culture: Shih vs. Li
8. 9. 37 resources—and terminates war for Shih. Li-strategy decides war based on Li, executes war through Li and material resources, and terminates war for Li. Shih-strategy builds and concentrates power by creating Tao, which generates Shih. Discounting Tao, Li-strategy concentrates power in visible forces to achieve combat superiority. Shih-strategy relies on the invisible, dynamic power hidden in the unorthodox beneath the visible Hsing. Li-strategy uses the visible, static power displayed by Hsing in the orthodox.
Deepening the commander’s dilemma within every force-based strategy was the enemy’s will and determination—national Shih. During the Bosnian campaign in the early 1990s, “the West had plenty of capability but little resolve, and the Serbs consistently [exploited] that weakness. ”73 Although a commander could construct a forces-based Li-strategy around either superiority or inferiority, either approach depended on political will—Shih—which was beyond his control. While Clausewitz finessed this problem by making war a policy instrument and leaving political will to politicians, it disappeared in ruler’s Shih, harmony with the people, and Tao.
At this stage, Black leads in controlling territory. With greater influence over the whole board, however, White has the advantage. At this stage, each strategy remains viable. Despite White’s advantage in preparing for future battles, failure in the next competition for territory will lose the game—advantageous Shih will have been in vain. Shih-strategy carries a high risk that an immediate, local loss can prevent any victory at all. For the two strategists, the recurring problem is always the next battle.