By John Andreas Olsen, Colin S. Gray
The perform of Strategy makes a speciality of grand technique and army method as practiced over a longer time period and lower than very assorted situations, from the campaigns of Alexander the nice to insurgencies and counter-insurgencies in present-day Afghanistan and Iraq. It provides process because it pertained not just to wars, campaigns, and battles, but in addition to occasions of peace that have been over-shadowed via the specter of conflict. The ebook is meant to deepen knowing of the phenomena and common sense of procedure through reconstructing the concerns and components that formed imperial and countryside policies.
Through old case experiences, the ebook sheds gentle on a primary query: is there a solidarity to all strategic event? Adopting the operating definition of process as 'the paintings of successful via purposely matching ends, methods and means,' those chapters care for the intrinsic nature of conflict and approach and the features of a selected procedure in a given clash. They convey particular convergence of political pursuits, operational schemes of manoeuvre, tactical strikes and countermoves, technological techniques and obstacles, geographic settings, temporary feelings and extra made each one clash studied particular. but, regardless of the intense number of the folk, situations, and causes mentioned during this ebook, there's a powerful case for continuity within the program of approach from the olden days to the current.
Together, those chapters display that grand technique and army method have components of continuity and alter, paintings and technological know-how. They additional recommend that the component of continuity lies within the crucial nature of method and battle, whereas the component of switch lies within the personality of person concepts and wars.
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Extra resources for The Practice of Strategy: From Alexander the Great to the Present
And second, they must ensure that their desired ends are realistic, clearly defined, and consistent with political objectives; that the ways chosen to pursue those ends are feasible; and that the available means are suitable and sustainable. 10 With today's wider interpretation of the term strategy, there is a greater case for continuity in what is essentially an exercise in statesmanship in times of peace and war, than with its nineteenth‐century usage. In this vital sense, at least, our contemporary understanding of strategy probably is closer to Sun Tzu on the art of war than it is to Clausewitz.
Along the way, the Roman authorities had to make a range of strategic decisions concerning, notably, the size and structure of the regular army, the mobilization of additional forces in militarily critical situations, the allocation of resources during wars conducted on several fronts, the treatment of defeated enemies, the establishment of Roman and Latin coloniae in Italy, the administration of annexed territories and subject peoples, and the relations with nations and states outside Roman rule.
With reference to the ‘war on terror’, Professor Hew Strachan notes: By 2003 [strategy] had lost its identity: part of it had been subsumed by policy and part of it by operational thought. Because neither politicians nor the soldiers had a clear grasp of what strategy was, they could neither put the pieces back together again nor develop a clear grasp of the nature of the wars in which they were engaged. Moreover, without a clear grasp of strategy, they could not see what had really changed in war as opposed to what merely seemed to have changed.