The Eastern Approach to Conflict Resolution as Portrayed in The Art of War

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John F. Kennedy once famously said, “Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.” It has been said a few decades ago but the theme of war is relevant at all times. One might share Kennedy’s point of view, when another one not. The most obvious example of different views and approaches on how to deal with conflicts are of the Western and Eastern civilizations. The Western is focused on physical aggressiveness and getting things done through power and coercion, while the Eastern approach is more philosophical, rational, and strategic. We see such method of approach in Sun Tzu’s military treatise, “The Art of War.” Even though he wrote a manual on how to defeat an enemy, Sun Tzu emphasized that a large portion of success is based on the army’s moral duty, which is cultivated by incentives, leaders’ examples, and the ability to listen to their soldiers.
Sun Tzu believes that some type of reward is beneficial for stimulating soldiers' commitment, dedication, and support to their rulers. They should know not just what they are fighting for but nurture a thought of be...

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