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Why is Strategy Important?


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Posted 12 October 2019 - 04:24 PM

Private economies with public magnificence...

 

http://forum.chicken...ificence/page-8


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#32 status - Verne

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 02:57 PM

The Geopolitical Vision of Alfred Thayer Mahan

One hundred years later, the insights of the American strategist continue to have extraordinary relevance today.

December 1, 2014, was the 100th anniversary of the death of Alfred Thayer Mahan, the renowned naval historian, strategist, and geopolitical theorist. It was an anniversary, unfortunately, that went largely unnoticed. Beginning in 1890 and continuing for more than two decades, Mahan, from his perch at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, wrote twenty books and hundreds of articles in an effort to educate the American people and their leaders about the importance of history and geography to the study and practice of international relations. His understanding of the anarchical nature of international politics, the importance of geography to the global balance of power, the role of sea power in national security policy, and history’s ability to shed light on contemporary world politics remains relevant to the 21st century world.

Mahan, the son of the legendary West Point instructor Dennis Hart Mahan, was born in 1840, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1859, served in the Union Navy during the Civil War, and thereafter served on numerous ships and at several naval stations until finding his permanent home at the Naval War College. In 1883, he authored his first book, The Gulf and Inland Waters, a study of naval engagements in the Civil War. It was his second book, The Influence of Sea Power Upon History 1660-1783 (1890), however, that brought him national and international fame. The book, largely based on Mahan’s lectures at the Naval War College, became the “bible” for many navies around the world. Kaiser Wilhelm II reportedly ordered a copy of the book placed aboard every German warship.

In his memoirs, From Sail to Steam, Mahan credited his reading of Theodore Mommsen’s six-volume History of Rome for the insight that sea power was the key to global predominance. In The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, Mahan reviewed the role of sea power in the emergence and growth of the British Empire. In the book’s first chapter, he described the sea as a “great highway” and “wide common” with “well-worn trade routes” over which men pass in all directions. He identified several narrow passages or strategic “chokepoints,” the control of which contributed to Great Britain’s command of the seas. He famously listed six fundamental elements of sea power: geographical position, physical conformation, extent of territory, size of population, character of the people, and character of government. Based largely on those factors, Mahan envisioned the United States as the geopolitical successor to the British Empire.

Eight years before the Spanish-American War resulted in the United States becoming a world power with overseas possessions, Mahan wrote an article in the Atlantic Monthly entitled “The United States Looking Outward,” (1890) in which he urged U.S. leaders to recognize that our security and interests were affected by the balance of power in Europe and Asia. Mahan understood that the United States, like Great Britain, was geopolitically an island lying offshore the Eurasian landmass whose security could be threatened by a hostile power or alliance of powers that gained effective political control of the key power centers of Eurasia.  He further understood that predominant Anglo-American sea power in its broadest sense was the key to ensuring the geopolitical pluralism of Eurasia. He famously wrote in The Influence of Sea Power upon the French Revolution and Empire that it was the navy of Great Britain (“those far distant storm-beaten ships”) that stood between Napoleon and the dominion of the world.

This was a profound geopolitical insight based on an understanding of the impact of geography on history. In later writings, Mahan reviewed the successive moves toward European continental hegemony by the Spanish and Austrian Hapsburgs, Louis XIV’s France, and Revolutionary and Napoleonic France, and the great coalitions, supported by sea power, that successfully thwarted those would-be hegemons.

https://thediplomat....d-thayer-mahan/

Potential U.S. adversaries are studying the ideas of the great maritime strategist; we should be doing the same.

The outlook for U.S. maritime strategic thought is less than rosy, but 19th-century theorist Alfred Thayer Mahan can still help to mend the situation. Not only are his fundamental ideas encoded in the sea services’ cultural DNA, but his works have attracted the interest of Navy leadership, notably that of Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson, who invokes Mahan in his “Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority.” As well, rising powers such as China pay homage to and draw inspiration from the evangelist of U.S. sea power.1 In light of this groundswell of interest, we espouse an ongoing renaissance in reading and debating Mahan’s treatises while speculating about the asymmetries his ideas could foster between seafaring states that hew to his thought and those that do not.

Mahan himself conceded that his most ardent admirers resided overseas, including in Great Britain, Japan, and Germany.2 Not until the Spanish-American War appeared to ratify his theories of marine supremacy—giving the United States a modest island empire to sustain foreign trade and commerce, all defended by a modern battle fleet—did Mahan become a household name for ordinary Americans. The naval historian also feared that the United States was not a natural seagoing nation. It straddled a continent, and thus had the luxury of turning inward. North America was abundantly endowed with natural resources. Unlike Britons, consequently, Americans had little need to venture seaward in search of prosperity.3 Forgetfulness toward the sea might prevail without compelling incentives.

Today, aside from a dozen or so Advanced Strategy Program students each year, Naval War College students are exposed to Mahan and his writings in only cursory fashion.4 They read from his landmark treatise, The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660–1783, selections that establish his six “determinants” of maritime might and give his account of the Anglo-American maritime war of 1778.5 At 140 pages, this is a slim selection from an author whose scholarly output was so prodigious that his bibliography alone fills a book.6 And the Naval War College furnishes the most exposure to Mahan’s sea-power theories of any service college or civilian professional school. Coverage elsewhere is even sparser. We aim to change that by demonstrating the theorist’s continuing relevance to contemporary problems.

Mahan’s History—and the Mythology

In the past, Mahanian theory was intertwined throughout the Naval War College curriculum. Many lecturers had known him; context and operational concepts for war planning derived from Mahanian assumptions about the sea. The best example is War Plan Orange, examined by author Edward Miller, who showed how the College was integral to the “evolution” of interwar strategic thought and war planning for the Pacific. A Mahanian thread ran through all versions of War Plan Orange. War fleets, bases, concentration of force, and decisive battle were central to planning efforts.7 Knowledge from Newport’s theorist molded the core assumptions underlying study, wargaming, and planning.

But the three volumes of Mahan’s Influence of Sea Power upon History—the first, then as now, being the most widely read and recognized—laid the foundation for readers’ thinking about nautical matters. Few officers acquainted themselves intimately with Mahan’s subsequent refinements of his theories, either as students at Newport or in staff positions. Readers knew about Mahan’s six attributes that equipped states to become great naval powers. From this basis emerged a script whose acts and scenes involved amassing maritime commerce, building a battle fleet, and forward-deploying that fleet for decisive combat along enemy coastlines.

Mahan’s alleged admonishment never to divide the battle fleet crystallized that wisdom—even though this is not precisely what he advised. Mahan actually opposed strategically subdividing the fleet into detachments weaker than enemy forces they were likely to encounter in high-seas battle.8 This constituted risk management, not the fixed tactical precept found in the later mythology. The naval establishment distilled such concepts into a basic primer on uses of the sea. This primer did not arise from a thoroughgoing examination of Mahanian theory that spanned his vast corpus. A narrower version of his ideas—an abridged edition—formed the core of the curriculum at Newport.

Thus, it was a partial version of Mahanian theory that was central to early teachings at the college. Mahan was the institution’s first lecturer on strategy, and his history-based approach informed much of the curriculum, as attested by his address at the opening of the 1888 academic year.9 Mahanian theory, furthermore, became integral to the U.S. Navy as an institution. Leadership tapped the Naval War College to help plan for war with Spain in 1898, thereby tacitly affirming the practical value the establishment saw in Mahanian thought.

Scholars have taken note of this. Naval analyst Norman Friedman makes the point that detailed discussions of strategy have remained an exception in the U.S. Navy establishment ever since the years when Mahan was actively writing. Friedman suggests that most writings that are purportedly about U.S. maritime strategy are in fact tactical and operational in nature—and unfold within the strategic framework erected by Mahan, even when no one mentions that framework of axioms and intuitions about marine affairs.10 Mahan’s ghost wafts through strategic discourses even when no one invokes his name.

The abridged edition of Mahanian strategic ideas became embedded in the U.S. naval lexicon, whether or not anyone mentioned the “Copernicus” of sea power.11 In the years before the United States entered World War I, for instance, Lieutenant Commander C. C. Gill developed a series of lectures on the conflict, delivering them to future leaders of the U.S. Naval Academy. Gill’s lectures were subsequently reshaped into magazine articles and later published as a book—all with the approval and support of the Department of the Navy.12 The book’s introductory chapters describe sea power and sea control in terms directly reminiscent of Mahan—without giving him credit. Not just an abridged but a simplified Mahan became common parlance within a few years after his death in 1914, which should come as little surprise. Many Naval War College leaders in the generation succeeding the founders had been students sitting in lectures delivered by Mahan. Men including Dudley Knox and William Sims made his ideas their own. In turn these ideas, passed down by Mahan’s intellectual progeny, shaped strategic discourses, operational planning, and force design throughout the interwar period

https://www.usni.org...may/mahan-rules


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#33 status - Guest

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 02:46 PM

How to stop worrying and love the bomb...

Nuclear Strategy is about NOT using force.

But, how would you wage a Nuclear War?

N2q-9R.gif

Paradox, indeed!

Minimum, limited, or massive Deterrence...
Capability, credibility, and communication of intent.

Mutual capitulation or Mutual assured destruction: MAD

 

L6Jxtz.gif

 

Arms limitations, armistices, disarmament, etc...

SDI

It was an idea to create a shield to deter offensive weapons. If it only worked partially it still bolstered the second strike capability option. Some even say a nuclear can be won. If star wars actually worked some even said a preemptive first strike could be achieved. Problems of perception and interaction abound.

 

 

IEfZ.gif

It's like playing a game of nuclear chicken.

Sometimes ya just gotta say cluck it and walk away.

How do fear and irrationality serve rational ends?

Fear of the unknown, an accident, or just plain crazy enough to push the button?

b4308fc85a670c6252964efbca936e7f.gif

Fear can be exploited and manipulated to enhance bargaining.

Restraint in foreign policy is key. Especially in a crisis.

 

Establishing a redline and sticking to it near the outer limits or at the edges can deter aggression.

giphy.gif


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#34 status - Three Amigos

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 02:48 PM

Bernard Brody

Bernard Brodie (May 20, 1910 – November 24, 1978) was an American military strategist well known for establishing the basics of nuclear strategy. Known as "the American Clausewitz," and "the original nuclear strategist," he was an initial architect of nuclear deterrence strategy and tried to ascertain the role and value of nuclear weapons after their creation.

Brodie was initially a strong supporter of the concept of escalating responses; he promoted the view that a war in Europe would be started with conventional forces and escalate to nuclear only if and when necessary. After a meeting with French counterparts in 1960, he came to espouse a very different policy, one based purely on nuclear deterrence with the stated position that the US would use nuclear arms at the first instance of hostilities of any sort. Brodie felt that anything short of this seriously eroded the concept of deterrence and might lead to situations where one side might enter hostilities believing it could remain non-nuclear. This change in policy made Brodie increasingly at odds with his contemporaries.

https://en.wikipedia...ary_strategist)

Strategy in the Missile Age

https://www.rand.org...ks/CB137-1.html



Thomas Schilling

Thomas Crombie Schelling (April 14, 1921 – December 13, 2016) was an American economist and professor of foreign policy, national security, nuclear strategy, and arms control at the School of Public Policy at University of Maryland, College Park. He was also co-faculty at the New England Complex Systems Institute. He was awarded the 2005 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (shared with Robert Aumann) for "having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis."[3]

https://en.wikipedia...homas_Schelling

The Strategy of Conflict

http://elcenia.com/i...e/schelling.pdf




Vasily Sokolovsky

After World War II, Sokolovsky became the deputy commander-in-chief of the Soviet Forces in East Germany until July 3, 1946. On that day Sokolovsky was promoted to the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union, and also made commander-in-chief of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany and head of the Soviet Military Administration in Germany. His walking out of a meeting of the Allied Control Council on 20 March 1948 as the Soviet representative on that body effectively immobilized it from that date. In 1949 he became the Soviet Union's Deputy Minister of Defense, a position he held until 1952, when he was made the Chief of the General Staff. In 1960 Sokolovsky became the Inspector-General of the Ministry of Defense. He retained this position until his death on May 10, 1968.

Sokolovsky became widely known in the West with the publication in 1962 of Military Strategy, a book that contained rare detail on Soviet thinking about war, particularly nuclear war.

Sokolovsky was a key member of the Soviet war command during World War II and known as an excellent planner and exceptional military leader. He was particularly well-trusted by Marshal Georgy Zhukov. The urn containing Sokolovsky’s ashes is buried in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis.

https://www.revolvy....Sokolovsky?cr=1


Soviet Military Strategy

https://www.rand.org...s/2005/R416.pdf


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Posted 20 October 2019 - 07:57 PM

Globalization began with the European age of discovery. Sea power and trade routes became the dominating network structure. The true basis of all power are the economic trade routes. The silk roads and sea passages became the new globalizing force.

New markets, new colonies, new products, anything and everything of value. Increasing production at home and the need to have access to the raw sources. Shipping and commerce rules of engagement became paramount.

Advances in military medicine played an important part. Example: scurvy on the high seas was a problem and treatments for land diseases such as malaria. Of course, the medical methods were also weaponized to subdue the enemy. Technology advances exploded the need for defending these yellow brick roads. Commercially exploiting these new frontiers was and still is the main goal. Arms technology increased and the steam propulsion explored more avenues for speed and efficiency. Allowing the new power of sailing against the wind at anytime an option. This only works with a network of refueling stations along the lines. This changed the value of the resources used to create these new networks. Ships were made of wood before these advances. Whole forests were denuded to build these wonders. The seemingly endless forests and raw materials in the American continents generated this new world of economic discovery. Steam power propelled the use of other types of raw materials to build ships of the line. Global imperialism began to grow.

Global shipping also provides global communications. The mail routes became larger as a result. Quantum leaps became even more possible with telegraphy and submarine telegraph cables. Real time communications became ever more possible.

The beginning of the twentieth century already had these global networks in place..

Globalization has an old foundation...
 
 

 

America's Military Empire? (Conspiracy Documentary) | Real Stories

 

Over the course of the last century, the US has silently encircled the world with a web of military bases unlike any other in history. No continent is spared. They have shaped the lives of millions, yet remain a mystery to most. Featuring Gore Vidal and Noam Chomsky.


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Posted 21 October 2019 - 07:00 PM

Algiers makes a good case study in the origins of insurgency and counter insurgency methods. The strategies learned and developed in this war were further refined in Afghanistan, Iraq, and others...



Modern warfare.

Social credit psychology. Subvert and Impose will on the population. Exploit the illusion of civil order with preemptive intelligence gathering using science, mental health issues, and social psychology to categorize the population with a social credit system.

Politics in this day and age IS war.


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Posted 21 October 2019 - 07:05 PM

How to stop worrying and love the bomb...

Nuclear Strategy is about NOT using force.

But, how would you wage a Nuclear War?

N2q-9R.gif

Paradox, indeed!

Minimum, limited, or massive Deterrence...
Capability, credibility, and communication of intent.

Mutual capitulation or Mutual assured destruction: MAD

 

L6Jxtz.gif

 

Arms limitations, armistices, disarmament, etc...

SDI

It was an idea to create a shield to deter offensive weapons. If it only worked partially it still bolstered the second strike capability option. Some even say a nuclear can be won. If star wars actually worked some even said a preemptive first strike could be achieved. Problems of perception and interaction abound.

 

 

IEfZ.gif

It's like playing a game of nuclear chicken.

Sometimes ya just gotta say cluck it and walk away.

How do fear and irrationality serve rational ends?

Fear of the unknown, an accident, or just plain crazy enough to push the button?

b4308fc85a670c6252964efbca936e7f.gif

Fear can be exploited and manipulated to enhance bargaining.

Restraint in foreign policy is key. Especially in a crisis.

 

Establishing a redline and sticking to it near the outer limits or at the edges can deter aggression.

giphy.gif

 

:chuckle: :chuckle: :chuckle:

 


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#38 status - Guest

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 02:22 PM

Terrorism may be the most strategic aspect of war because of its heavy psychological impact on both the enemy and the terrorists supporters.

What is terrorism? Terrorism is a tool used by political groups pursuing their own objectives. It always attacks civilians. It is a form of theatre for political purposes. Usually out of proportion to any kind of political legitimacy and where economic and military strength are small. It is usually performed by non state actors but governments do recruit from the outside as well.

The 5 audiences of terrorism.

The government in power - attacking this audience can make it look weak to other audiences. It can force the leaders to make concessions to demands and create a practical operating room for the movement. Psychological, practical, and political effects are the stations of gravity. Inducing over-reactions and causing the government to attack itself is a common ploy.

The constituent population - Attacking specific influential members and groups within the targeted political entity.

The non-constituent population - attacking the general population seeks to induce horror and make them pressure the government.

Members of the terrorist organization itself - Using successful attacks for motivation purposes to recruit. It also serves to intimidate members.

International public opinion - The aim here would be to gather support in resources and moral and get the international community to pressure the target government.

This is where controlling the narrative comes into play. Scripted propaganda is common for the talking heads and state actors. Each group will present a face for public consumption while behind the scenes war and politics become the same thing.

It's a deadly game...

Michael Collins The Intelligence War In Dublin during the War of Independence


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Posted 25 October 2019 - 12:02 PM

Strategic Discontent, Political Literacy, and Professional Military Education

Yet if political literacy is critically necessary, it is also ubiquitously absent. A 2012 Joint Staff report found that the U.S. military’s number-one shortcoming during this century’s first decade of war was “a failure to recognize, acknowledge, and accurately define the operational environment,” including “not only the threat but also the physical, informational, social, cultural, religious, and economic elements of the environment.”

If these observations are correct, U.S. strategic performance suffers from a remediable neglect: the failure to appreciate the central role politics plays in war. “Politics” extends beyond the “high politics” of heads of state and diplomats. It includes also those ground-level economic, social, cultural, psychological, and ethical dynamics that determine power distributions in cities and villages, among armed actors and civilians, and between criminal and political organizations. These dynamics arise as salient features during peacetime training, humanitarian and peacekeeping operations, insurgencies, and the conduct and closeout of conventional wars fought between near-peer competitors.[10]

War is both destructive and constructive. Destructive force makes sense only when it helps engender desirable, ethical results. Hence, the U.S. Army expects soldiers to help “create conditions for favorable conflict resolution”[11] and “possess the capability to translate military objectives into enduring political outcomes.”[12]

Lethal force is merely one of many factors affecting outcomes. Soldiers must also “understand the cognitive, informational, social, cultural, political, and physical influences affecting human behavior and the mission.”[13] Put otherwise, political literacy—which is also a kind of causal literacy—is necessary for military and strategic success.

Military education invariably foregrounds the military and neglects the political. The focus, with few exceptions, is on military history, military leadership, and military doctrine. Occasional seminar discussions about, say, “soft power” or regional electives that facilitate mere “wave-top” familiarization are insufficient. Students must wrestle with how politics and violence combine in concrete ways to affect ground-level interactions. They do not wrestle today. The mid-career student at Fort Leavenworth (and perhaps elsewhere?) has no requirement to study—in a sustained, rigorous manner—a single unfamiliar, real-world population, conflict, and potential adversary with the degree of detail necessary for adequate intelligence analysis or planning.

This inward focus has consequences. Odierno, newly retired from military service, observes:

When we went into Iraq in 2003, we did everything that we wanted to do. We very quickly removed the regime. We gained control of the population. We had no idea or clue of the societal devastation that had gone on inside of Iraq and what would push back on us. We didn't even think about it until we got in there. So we can't allow that to happen again.[16]

Odierno’s critique is that military leaders failed to understand the reciprocal, causal connections between a military’s actions and the sociopolitical landscape. What can military educators do?

Too many military classrooms foreground the military and neglect the political. This flawed approach reinforces General Tommy Franks’s one-time articulation of the military professional's role vis-à-vis interagency partners: “You pay attention to the day after and I’ll pay attention to the day of.”

The military professional cannot limit advice to proffering courses of action for employing weapon systems. She must—as an expert in violence—anticipate how destruction might affect political outcomes. Military expertise extends beyond the delivery of ordnance. It includes the ability to envision potentialities to the left and right of the boom.

Military advice requires the expert rendering of imaginative assessments of how sociopolitical dynamics on the ground might, in General Odierno’s terms, “push back on us.” Strategic discontent has come not from the inability to orchestrate the musicians of Mars (although this work too is crucial), but from an inability to apperceive telltale sociopolitical dynamics.


https://thestrategyb...itary-education


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Posted 08 November 2019 - 09:46 PM

Notice how a lot of psychological, scientific, war, political thinking came from the Prussians? :chuckle:

 

Information, banking, and safe transportation routes are the crux of all power on earth.


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