Even today Sun Tzu's text reads with a degree of immediacy.
What distinguishes Sun Tzu from Western Strategist is the emphasis on the psychological elements over the purely military.
The great Western 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 politician enters a new and distinct phase.
Sun Tzu merges the two fields. Where Western military strategist reflect on means to assemble superior power at the decisive point, Sun Tzu addresses the means of building a dominant political and psychological position.
Western strategists test their maxims by victories in battle while Sun Tzu tests by victories where battles have become unnecessary.