[12.07] If one gains victory in battle and is successful in attacks, but does not exploit those achievements, it is disastrous. This is called waste and delay.
[12.08] Therefore, I say the wise general thinks about it, and the good general executes it.*
[12.09] If it is not advantageous, do not move; if there is no gain, do not use troops; if there is no danger, do not do battle.
[12.10] The ruler may not move his army out of anger; the general may not do battle out of wrath.
[12.11] If it is advantageous, move; if it is not advantageous, stop.
[12.12] Those angry will be happy again, and those wrathful will be cheerful again, but a destroyed nation cannot exist again, the dead cannot be brought back to life.
[12.13] Therefore, the enlightened ruler is prudent, the good general is cautious. This is the Way of securing the nation, and preserving the army.
12.08 The wise, good general calculates, then strikes, but, as the rest of the chapter indicates, strikes only if the attack is necessary and winnable, with the high cost in death and devastation in mind.