I remember hearing 2 american presidents (GWB and Bill Clinon) saying a quote resembling to "you always want you enemies to think you are weaker than you actually are "... I'd like to know the original quote and possibly the author of it . I know it's not Sun Tzu. But I'd like to read the writings of that author if any exist (if at all such an author exists)

Thank you guyz

1 Answer 1


Why do you say it's not Sun Tzu?


  • Haha you are right. That is him. Thank you joe. But they had a different way of saying it though. Maybe another author's variation. Anyways, I'll stick to your answer
    – Jason Krs
    Jun 4, 2019 at 9:53
  • @JasonKrs, note that the sense in which it is used by Sun Tzu, is saying that, with war as a given, you always want your enemies to attack you in your areas of strength and not your areas of weakness (and your deceptive appearances will hopefully ensure that they do so as a result of their miscalculation). He is not saying your enemies should always consider you weak in every respect, because that would likely both provoke unnecessary war, and fail to direct the enemy to your particular areas of strength and away from your particular areas of weakness (because they consider all areas weak).
    – Steve
    Jun 4, 2019 at 11:34
  • People who have read the Art of War say it’s not Sun Tzu. en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:Sun_Tzu Goodreads is well known for having poorly attributed quotes, but Abe Lincoln states the problem better: “the problem with internet quotes is that you cannot always depend on their accuracy” goodreads.com/quotes/…
    – Laurel
    Jun 4, 2019 at 11:55
  • @Laurel... Then whose quote is it ?
    – Jason Krs
    Jun 4, 2019 at 12:06
  • 1
    @Steve Awesome. Thank you for making me better understand what he meant by saying that
    – Jason Krs
    Jun 4, 2019 at 12:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.