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Tag: Military Strategy

Jan. 1, 2016

The Fourth Level of War

Civilization began because the beginning of civilization is a military advantage.”1 This observation by Walter Bagehot is not far off the mark. Warfare certainly matured along with civilization as a violent expression of political will and intent. We currently view the art of warfare in three levels—tactical, operational, and strategic—but it was not always so. In the beginning, there were strategy and tactics. Strategy outlined how and to what purpose war might be used to achieve political objectives. Tactics directed how the violence was actually applied on the battlefield. For most of military history, tactical art was able to achieve strategic objectives as tribes, forces, and armies marshaled on the battlefield to destroy the enemy’s ability to resist their master’s political will. Although much debated, operational art was born at the end of the 19th century when the size of armies, made possible by the development of the nation-state, rendered tactics unable to bring about political results. Civilization has moved on. From a doctrinal, theoretical, and practical point of view, it is now time to consider a fourth level of war—the theater-strategic level of war.

Oct. 1, 2015

Why War Plans, Really?

War plans are used, leveraged, and cited for more than just war planning, and this carries inherent risks. The most common misuse of war plans usually stems from fundamental misunderstandings of the role of any single war plan or war plans in general and of the conceptual timeframes for their execution.

Oct. 1, 2015

Strategic Development of Special Warfare in Cyberspace

How does the United States develop a strategic cyber-enabled special warfare capability? Why are regional powers such as Iran and Russia better prepared for cyber-enabled special warfare operations than the United States?

Oct. 1, 2015

Decentralized Stability Operations and Mission Command

The complexity, turbulence, and dynamism inherent in postconflict environments make setting the clear, concise objectives and engendering the shared understanding so critical to successful mission command exceedingly difficult.