What distinguishes Sun Tzu from Western writers on strategy is the emphasis on the Psychological and political elements over the purely military. The great European military theorists Carl von Clausewitz and Antoine-Henri Jomini treat strategy as an activity in its own right, separate from politics. Even Clausewitz’s famous dictum that war is the continuation of politics by other means implies that with war the statesman enters a new and distinct phase. Sun Tzu merges the two fields. Where western strategists reflect on the means to assemble superior power at the decisive point, Sun Tzu addresses the means of building a dominant political and psychological position, such that the outcome of a conflict becomes a foregone conclusion. Western strategists test their maxims by victories in battles; Sun Tzu tests by victories where battles have become unnecessary.
Henry Kissinger from ‘ On China’