The Use of Spies
1.Sun Tzu said: Raising Raising a host of a hundred thousand men and marching them great distances entails entails heavy loss on the people and a drain drain on the resources of the State. The daily expenditure will amount to amount to a thousand ounces of silver. There will be commotion at home and abroad, abroad, and men will drop down exhausted exhausted on the highways. As many as seven hundred thousand families will be impeded impeded in their labour.
2. Hostile Hostile armies may face each other for years, striving striving for the victory which is decided in a single day. This being so, to remain remain in ignorance of the enemy's condition simply because one grudges grudges the outlay outlay of a hundred ounces of silver in honours and emoluments, is the height of inhumanity.
3.One who acts thus is no leader of men, no present help to his sovereign, sovereign, no master of victory.
4.Thus, what enables enables the wise sovereign sovereign and the good general to strike and conquer, conquer, and achieve things beyond beyond the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge.
5.Now this foreknowledge cannot be elicited elicited from spirits; it cannot be obtained obtained inductively from experience, nor by any deductive calculation.
6.Knowledge of the enemy's dispositions dispositions can only be obtained obtained from other men.
7.Hence the use of spies, of whom there are five classes: (1) Local spies; (2) inward spies; (3) converted spies; (4) doomed spies; (5) surviving surviving spies.
8.When these five kinds of spy are all at work, none can discover the secret system. This is called “divine “divine manipulation manipulation of the threads”. It is the sovereign's most precious faculty.
9.Having local spies means means employing the services of the inhabitants of a district.
10.Having inward spies, making use of officials of the enemy.
11.Having converted spies, getting hold of the enemy's spies and using them for our own purposes.
12.Having doomed spies, doing certain certain things openly for purposes of deception, deception, and allowing our own spies to know of know of them and report them to the enemy.
13.Surviving spies, finally, are those who bring back news from the enemy's camp.
14.Hence it is that with none in the whole whole army are more intimate intimate relations to be maintained than with spies. None should be more liberally rewarded. In no other business should greater secrecy be preserved. preserved.
15.Spies cannot be usefully employed without a certain certain intuitive sagacity.
16.They cannot be properly managed without benevolence benevolence and straightforwardness. straightforwardness.
17.Without subtle subtle ingenuity of mind, one cannot make certain certain of the truth of their reports.
18.Be subtle! subtle! be subtle! subtle! and use your spies for every kind of business.
19. If a secret piece of news is divulged divulged by a spy before the time is ripe, ripe, he must be put to death together with the man to whom the secret was told.
20. Whether the object be to object be to crush crush an army, to storm a city, or to assassinate assassinate an individual, it is always necessary necessary to begin by finding out finding out the names of the attendants, the aides de camp, the door keepers and sentries of the general in command. Our spies must be commissioned to as certain certain these.
21.The enemy's spies who have come to spy on us must be sought sought out, tempted tempted with bribes, bribes, led away and comfort ably ably housed. Thus they will become converted spies and available available for our service.
22.It is through the information brought by the converted spy that we are able able to acquire acquire and employ local and in ward spies.
23.It is owing owing to his information, again, that we can cause the doomed spy to carry false tidings to the enemy.
24.Lastly, it is by his information that the surviving surviving spy can be used on appointed occasions.
25.The end and aim of spying in all its five varieties is know ledge of know ledge of the enemy; and this knowledge can only be de rived, in the first instance, instance, from the converted spy. Hence it is essential essential that the converted spy be treated with the utmost liberality. liberality.
26.Of old, the rise of the Yin dynasty dynasty was due to I Chih who had served under the Hsia. Likewise, the rise of the Chou dynasty dynasty was due to Lü Ya who had served under the Yin.
27. Hence it is only the enlightened enlightened ruler and the wise general who will use the highest intelligence of the army for purposes of spying, and thereby they achieve great results. Spies are a most important element in war, because on them depends an army's ability ability to move.