Our discussion has shown that while in war many different roads can lead to the goal, to the attainment of the political object, fighting is the only possible means.
Everything in war is simple, but the simplest thing is difficult.
Knowledge in war is very simple, being concerned with so few subjects, and only with their final results at that. But this does not make its application easy.
Where execution is dominant, as it is in the individual events of a war whether great or small, then intellectual factors are reduced to a minimum.
...in war, the advantages and disadvantages of a single action could only be determined by the final balance.
The state of crisis is the real war; the equilibrium is nothing but its reflex.
All war presupposes human weakness and seeks to exploit it.
If defense is the stronger form of war, yet has a negative object, it follows that it should be used only so long as weakness compels, and be abandoned as soon as we are strong enough to pursue a positive object.
Surprise becomes effective when we suddenly face the enemy at one point with far more troops than he expected. This type of numerical superiority is quite distinct from numerical superiority in general: it is the most powerful medium in the art of war.
Modern wars are seldom fought without hatred between nations; this serves more or less as a substitute for hatred between individuals.
Men are always more inclined to pitch their estimate of the enemy's strength too high than too low, such is human nature.
It is even better to act quickly and err than to hesitate until the time of action is past.
There are times when the utmost daring is the height of wisdom.
...any move made in a state of tension will be of more important, and will have more results, than it would have made in a state of eqilibrium. In times of maximum tension this importance will rise to an infinite degree.
Principles and rules are intended to provide a thinking man with a frame of reference.