13. (1) By commanding the army to advance or to retreat, being ignorant of the fact that it cannot obey. This is called hobbling the army.
Ts‘ao Kung weakly defines 縻 as 御 “control,” “direct.” Cf. § 17 ad fin. But in reality it is one of those graphic metaphors which from time to time illuminate Sun Tzŭ’s work, and is rightly explained by Li Ch‘üan as=絆. He adds the comment 如絆驥足無馳驟也. “It is like tying together the legs of a thoroughbred, so that it is unable to gallop.” One would naturally think of “the ruler” in this passage as being at home, and trying to direct the movements of his army from a distance. But the commentators understand just the reverse, and quote the saying of T‘ai Kung: 國不可以從外治軍不可以從中御 “A kingdom should not be governed from without, an army should not be directed from within.” Of course it is true that, during an engagement, or when in close touch with the enemy, the general should not be in the thick of his own troops, but a little distance apart. Otherwise, he will be liable to misjudge the position as a whole, and give wrong orders.
14. (2) By attempting to govern an army in the same way as he administers a kingdom, being ignorant of the conditions which obtain in an army. This causes restlessness in the soldier's minds.
Ts‘ao Kung’s note is: 軍容不入國國容不入軍禮不可以治兵也, which may be freely translated: “The military sphere and the civil sphere are wholly distinct; you can’t handle an army in kid gloves.” And Chang Yü says: “Humanity and justice (仁義) are the principles on which to govern a state, but not an army; opportunism and flexibility (權變), on the other hand, are military rather than civil virtues.” 同三軍之政, “to assimilate the governing of an army” — to that of a State, understood. The T‘ung Tien has 欲 inserted before 同, here and in § 15.