A whole chapter of The Art of War is dedicated to spies, who, aside from the general, have the most important role when it comes to warfare, according to Master Sun. If not for spies, the general would be hard pressed to glean information about the enemy’s position, disposition, and temperament. There are many forms of spies: “Local, Internal, Double, Dead, and Live.” Each has their particular benefits when it comes to outwitting the enemy, as well as downsides for the spies themselves. Master Sun advises rewarding spies highly for their services, the better to earn their loyalty. They should also be the general’s closest confidante.
Spies Quotes in The Art of War
The The Art of War quotes below are all either spoken by Spies or refer to Spies. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of The Art of War published in 2002.).
Chapter 6 Quotes
Spies Character Timeline in The Art of War
The timeline below shows where the character Spies appears in The Art of War. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...someone, the general must know the names of the enemy’s general, servants, and staff. The spies must know to collect all this information in detail. Enemy spies in the general’s camp... (full context)