E. Dolman - Pure Strategy: Power and Policy in the Space and Information Age
Routledge | 2005 | ISBN: 0714656054 | Pages: 218 | PDF | 1.03 MB
Pure Strategy is an inquiry into the fundamental truth of strategy; its purpose, place, utility, and value. While it is more properly a philosophy of strategy than a utilitarian investigation, and is meant to be heuristic rather than deterministic, it is nonetheless intended for practicing strategists.
The inquiry is animated by a startling realization: the concept of strategic victory must be summarily discarded. This is not to say that victory has no place in strategy or strategic planning. The outcome of battles and campaigns are variables within the strategist's plan, but victory is a concept that has no meaning there. To the tactical and operational planner, wars are indeed won and lost, and the difference is plain. Success is measurable; failure is obvious. In contrast, the pure strategist understands that war is but one aspect of social and political competition, an ongoing interaction that has no finality. Strategy therefore connects the conduct of war with the intent of politics. It shapes and guides military means in anticipation of a panoply of possible coming events. In the process, strategy changes the context within which events will happen. In this interpretation we see clearly that the goal of strategy is not to culminate events, to establish finality in the discourse between states, but to continue them; to influence state discourse in such a way that it will go forward on favorable terms. For continue it will.
Pure Strategy begins with a separation of military strategy and tactics, to show they are both necessary and necessarily at odds. The notion of an operational level of war based on the unique characteristics of land, sea, air, and space power is then developed and offered as the critical link between the two disparate levels. Focus is then on the classic principles of strategy in and for war, and an updating of these principles for the twenty-first century. In the process it is demonstrated that while these principles have remained remarkably consistent and intact, in-depth understanding of them has been influenced by prevailing world-views. Hence the relationship between principles of war and world views is examined and the influence of Newtonian through quantum physics is highlighted. Today, advances in the information and biological sciences clustered under the fields of chaos and complexity analysis dominate sophisticated thinking about modern strategy. Adapting - without fundamentally altering - the classic principles of war to these developing world-views has led to current strategic notions of military transformation and network-centric warfare. In the end it is determined that change and surprise are relentless, and that sound strategy is always about the dynamics of change. Good strategists build adaptability into the structure of their strategy; poor strategists seek to maintain a status quo.
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