8. Variation in Tactics
Reduce the hostile chiefs by inflicting damage on them;
Chia Lin enumerates several ways of inflicting this injury, some of which would only occur to the Oriental mind:—"Entice away the enemy's best and wisest men, so that he may be left without counselors. Introduce traitors into his country, that the government policy may be rendered futile. Foment intrigue and deceit, and thus sow dissension between the ruler and his ministers. By means of every artful contrivance, cause deterioration amongst his men and waste of his treasure. Corrupt his morals by insidious gifts leading him into excess. Disturb and unsettle his mind by presenting him with lovely women." Chang Yu (after Wang Hsi) makes a different interpretation of Sun Tzu here: "Get the enemy into a position where he must suffer injury, and he will submit of his own accord."
and make trouble for them,
Tu Mu, in this phrase, in his interpretation indicates that trouble should be make for the enemy affecting their "possessions," or, as we might say, "assets," which he considers to be "a large army, a rich exchequer, harmony amongst the soldiers, punctual fulfillment of commands." These give us a whip-hand over the enemy.
and keep them constantly engaged;
Literally, "make servants of them." Tu Yu says "prevent the from having any rest."
hold out specious allurements, and make them rush to any given point.
Meng Shih's note contains an excellent example of the idiomatic use of: "cause them to forget PIEN (the reasons for acting otherwise than on their first impulse), and hasten in our direction."