Simply stated, military strategy is the planning, coordination, and implementation of a set of actions, or tactics, that are aimed at defeating the enemy in an individual engagement or in a war as a whole.
Simply stated, military strategy is the planning, coordination, and implementation of a set of
Strategy is the art of making war upon the map, and comprehends the whole theater of operations. . . . Strategy decides where to act;
Of course, within that definition, endless permutations are possible and, indeed, probable.
An understanding of tactics is essential for anyone seeking to develop a comprehensive evaluation of why wars have been won and lost.
Although wars have been fought dating to ancient times, one of the most influential early codifications of the principles of military strategy was written around 500
In the West, military strategies developed along with the rise and fall of civilizations over the millennia. Though the ancient Sumerians and Greeks developed strategies to defeat their enemies, the development of strategies reached a high point with the Macedonian leaders
The Carthaginian commander
The Roman emperor
During the seventh century
The early medieval period was a low point in the application of strategy in Europe, as the
New technologies such as the
During one of the first wars of the modern era, the
However “great” Frederick was, his legacy, and most others’, pales in comparison to the giant of military strategy in the early modern world,
Napoleon also influenced later military strategists during the American Civil War (1861-1865), such as Union generals
If the technological changes of the nineteenth century revolutionized military strategy, by the early twentieth century consistent change in military technology would continue to transform strategies with each and every large conflict. At the beginning of
With the hesitancy of the United States and the Soviet Union to engage directly during the Cold War (1945-1991), for the latter half of the twentieth century warfare took a less technological turn, as exemplified by the conflict in Vietnam from the 1950’s to the mid-1970’s. Despite massive technological superiority,
Technology came to the fore once again with the two Gulf Wars of the 1990’s and 2000’s. The use of so-called smart bombs and the massive implementation of the
The counterstrategies employed by
Bose, Partha. Alexander the Great’s Art of Strategy Lessons from the Great Empire Builder. New York: Gotham, 2003. Uses historical episodes from the life and conquests of Alexander the Great to illustrate his mastery of strategy on a large scale. Chaliand, Gérard, ed. The Art of War in World History: From Antiquity to the Nuclear Age. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994. Assembles a collection of writings on the strategic aspects of warfare from across the ages, including writings from modern times as well as from ancient Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Collins, John M. Military Strategy: Principles, Practices, and Historical Perspectives. Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, 2001. Uses historical examples to demonstrate how different war strategies have worked in the past in order to predict how they may work in the future. Gartner, Scott Sigmund. Strategic Assessment in War. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1999. Looking at the wars of the twentieth century, analyzes how armies implement their strategies and adjust them in response to their opponents’ strategies. Gray, Colin S. Modern Strategy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. Examines the evolution of military strategies over the course of the twentieth century to illustrate that strategy is ever changing. Liddell Hart, B. H. Strategy. 2d rev. ed. New York: Plume, 1991. One of the classic works on strategy, written by one of the foremost military strategists of the twentieth century, Liddell Hart’s famous “indirect strategy” emphasized mobility and lightning warfare, with the implementation of a massive, decisive force in order to win the war quickly. Luttwak, Edward N. Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace. Rev. ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 2002. Also centering on the “indirect strategy,” Luttwak looks at the strategic relationship between war and peace, noting how war strategy depends not only on what the opponent does but also on what is politically feasible with the general public. Marston, Daniel, and Carter Malkasian, eds. Counterinsurgency in Modern Warfare. New York: Osprey, 2008. Presents a history of major conflicts, from British action in Ireland during the 1910’s to the Iraq War of the 2000’s, where strategy proved key in determining the victor. Paret, Peter, ed. Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age. Rev. ed. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1986. Revised from its original 1943 publication, this collection presents twenty-eight essays, from some of the foremost military historians, on the topic of strategy.
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