12. The Attack by Fire
Move not unless you see an advantage; use not your troops unless there is something to be gained; fight not unless the position is critical.
Sun Tzu may at times appear to be over-cautious, but he never goes so far in that direction as the remarkable passage in the TAO TE CHING, ch. 69. "I dare not take the initiative, but prefer to act on the defensive; I dare not advance an inch, but prefer to retreat a foot."