…though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.
There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.
It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on.
The skillful soldier does not raise a second levy, neither are his supply-wagons loaded more than twice.
Bring war material with you from home, but forage on the enemy. Thus the army will have food enough for its needs.
Hence a wise general makes a point of foraging on the enemy. One cartload of the enemy’s provisions is equivalent to twenty of one’s own, and likewise a single picul of his provender is equivalent to twenty from one’s own store.
The captured soldiers should be kindly treated and kept.
– The Art of War (5th century BC) – Sun Tzu