Recruiting Troops: According to Chanakya

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Below is a summary of Arthasástra of Kautilya Book 9 Chapter 2

Type of Troops Best Time to Recruit
Hereditary troops (maula) When the king thinks his hereditary army is more than he requires for the defence of his own possessions; when he thinks that some of his hereditary troops may be disaffected; when he thinks his enemy has a strong hereditary army famous for its attachment; when he thinks that though the roads are good and the weather favourable, it is still the hereditary army that can endure wear and tear; or when he thinks that other kinds of force are wanting in strength.
Hired troops When the king thinks the army he has hired is greater than his hereditary army; that his enemy’s hereditary army is small and disaffected, while the army his enemy has hired is insignificant and weak; that actual fight is less than treacherous fight; that the place to be traversed and the time required do not entail much loss; that his own army is little given to stupor, is beyond the fear of intrigue, and is reliable; or that little is the enemy’s power which he has to put down.
Corporation of soldiers (srení) When the king thinks the immense corporation of soldiers he possesses can be trusted both to defend his country and to march against his enemy; that he has to be absent only for a short time; or that his enemy’s army consists mostly of soldiers of corporations, and consequently the enemy is desirous of carrying on treacherous fight rather than an actual war.
Troops belonging to a friend When the king thinks that the strong help he has in his friend can be made use of both in his own country and in his marches; that he has to be absent only for a short time, and actual fight is more than treacherous fight; that his work can be accomplished by his friend as well; that his success depends on his friend; that he has a friend near and deserving of obligation; or that he has to utilize the excessive force of his friend.
Troops belonging to an enemy When the king thinks that he will have to make his strong enemy to fight against another enemy on account of a city, a plain, or a wild tract of land, and that in that fight he will achieve one or the other of his objects; that through the battle, he will have the mischievous power of his enemy’s allies or of wild tribes destroyed; that he will have to make his immediate and powerful enemy to march elsewhere and thus get rid of internal rebellion which his enemy might have occasioned; and that the time of battle between enemies or between inferior kings has arrived.
Wild tribes When the king thinks that the army of wild tribes is living by the same road (that his enemy has to traverse); that the road is unfavourable for the march of his enemy’s army; that his enemy’s army consists mostly of wild tribes; or that the small army of his enemy is to be destroyed, then is the time for engaging the army of wild tribes.
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Additionally, the passage mentions that the hereditary army is better than the hired army as the former has its existence dependent on that of its master and is constantly drilled. Also, the type of hired army that is ever near, ready to rise quickly, and obedient is better than a corporation of soldiers. Finally, the army that is composed of various kinds of men, is so enthusiastic as to rise even without provision and wages for plunder when told or untold, and which is capable of applying its own remedies against unfavorable rains, is to be considered as a compact body of vast power.

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