andrewlb notes

Modern Military Strategy

Modern Military Strategy

Metadata

  • Author: Elinor C. Sloan
  • Full Title: Modern Military Strategy
  • Category: #books

Highlights

  • This is because naval forces, unlike land and air forces, are inextricably linked to the predominant phenomenon of our age: globalization. (Location 325)
  • The combination of these factors meant that navies would have to operate in the ‘littoral’ regions, defined by …From the Sea as areas of the open ocean that are close to shore and have to be controlled if one is to support operations ashore, and areas of land close to shore that can be defended directly from the sea. (Location 432)
  • Norman Friedman, ‘the littoral is distinguished from a much narrower coastal strip … The landward part of the littoral includes most of the world’s population and most of the major cities’ while the seaward portion may be considered the 200-mile exclusion zone established under the United Nations Treaty on the Law of the Sea. (Location 434)
  • Whereas ‘platform-centric warfare’ focuses on the individual attributes of a particular military platform (bigger and better tanks, for example), NCW centres on the combat power generated by having many (perhaps smaller and less capable) platforms linked together through advanced technologies. (Location 490)
  • ‘the small, the fast, the many’; (Location 492)
  • In such an environment, warfighting may be necessary, but other activities are also important, such as securing sea lanes and delivering humanitarian aid. Moreover, there are a whole host of threat scenarios that fall well short of actual war but nevertheless need to be addressed. ‘I’m here to challenge you first to rid yourself of the old notion … that maritime strategy exists solely to win wars at sea and the rest will take care of itself’, he argued in 2006. ‘[I]n a globalized, flat world, the rest matters a lot.’34 (Location 514)
  • anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) (Location 583)
  • Analysts started to discern an anti-access (preventing US forces from getting to a theatre) and area denial (limiting US forces’ freedom of action within a theatre) strategy on the part of China as a means of countering America’s preponderant strength. (Location 589)
  • Liddell Hart argues that the purpose of a military strategy is to diminish as much as possible the likelihood of resistance. A strategist’s true aim, he argues, is to seek a strategic situation so advantageous that if this does not produce a decision, its continuation by battle is sure to do so. The approach, he argues, is one that will limit hostilities: ‘For even if a decisive battle be the goal, the aim of strategy must be to bring about this battle under the most advantageous circumstances. And the more advantageous the circumstances, the less, proportionately, will be the fighting.’ ‘The perfection of strategy’, he states in words that echo those of Sun Tzu, ‘would be … to produce a decision without any serious fighting’.4 (Location 774)
  • When it comes to the actual conduct of war, Clausewitz identifies ‘two basic principles that underlie all strategic planning’: utmost concentration and utmost speed. (Location 818)
  • In order to be successful in battle one must identify and direct all energies against the enemy’s centre of gravity. Based on his experience, Clausewitz believed the centre of gravity was most often the enemy’s army, then his capital and then his allies. (Location 824)
  • One characteristic of warfare identified in these documents was that ground force operations would shift from being linear to non-linear in nature, with units – much more mobile than in the past – being dispersed throughout the battlefield. ‘Increased dispersion and mobility will be possible offensively’, Joint Vision 2010 argued, ‘because each platform or individual warfighter carries higher lethality and greater reach’. (Location 927)
  • Concepts for the Objective Force speaks of non-linear operations as being distributed in time, space and purpose, and increasingly joint in nature.20 According to this document, operations would be decentralized and non-contiguous, with forces distributed across the battlefield and employed simultaneously. In contrast to the ‘phased, attrition-based, linear operations of the past’ which ‘rolled up’ enemy forces sequentially, the approach would be one of exposing the entire enemy force to air/ground attack at the same time.21 (Location 933)
  • Whereas Jomini advised throwing the mass of one’s forces on the decisive points of the battlefield at the proper time and with ample energy, Joint Vision 2010 foresaw the US military being ‘increasingly able to accomplish the effects of mass – the necessary concentration of combat power at the decisive time and place – with less need to mass forces physically’. (Location 939)
  • The range of operations, Joint Vision 2020 later argued, included major theatre war, regional conflict and smaller-scale contingencies, as well as those ‘ambiguous situations residing between peace and war’ such as peacekeeping, peace-enforcement and humanitarian relief. (Location 978)
  • At the same time warfare remained brutal in nature and striking from afar may not be enough. In those situations, the only way to guarantee victory against the adversary was to ‘put our boots on the ground … and destroy him in his sanctuary’.29 (Location 986)
  • The current military system, he laments, tends to promote the promising tactician, the ‘go-to, can-do’ types who can get things done, when what are needed are officers who understand of the complexities of war.33 The requirement is to imbue soldiers at lower and lower ranks with an understanding of the art of war at the strategic level, thereby inculcating mental agility and the ability to be creative. ‘More than ever war is a thinking man’s game. Wars … are won as much by creating alliances … reading intentions, building trust, converting opinions and managing perceptions’, as by firepower and technology. (Location 1010)
  • But it was during the Afghan war of 2001–2002 that SOF ‘really came of age’.40 In response to the unconventional nature of the enemy in Afghanistan, America deployed SOF to call in precision air strikes by conventional airpower. SOF also worked closely with indigenous ground forces, and acted as mobile strike units to flush out fortified Taliban and al Qaeda positions. (Location 1074)
  • Overall, the trend toward SOF is a move away from Jomini and Clausewitz and toward the thinking and approach of Sun Tzu. (Location 1092)
  • conventional landpower is best employed using smaller, more mobile units that are dispersed on the battlefield and linked together through information technology; conventional land battles will feature simultaneous and synchronized operations that are non-linear in nature; massed effects can be achieved using information and precision technologies, thereby reducing the footprint (and therefore vulnerability) of ground forces; conventional ground war is a joint endeavour with land forces closely linked to other elements of the joint force; advanced technologies dramatically improve the land force commander’s ability to ‘see over the next hill’, but they cannot eliminate the fog and friction of war; and decision making will be pushed to lower echelons, increasing the important of a strategic understanding of warfare at the junior and non-commissioned officer level. (Location 1098)

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title: Modern Military Strategy longtitle: Modern Military Strategy author: Elinor C. Sloan url: , source: kindle last_highlight: 2020-07-20 type: books tags:

Modern Military Strategy

rw-book-cover

Metadata

  • Author: Elinor C. Sloan
  • Full Title: Modern Military Strategy
  • Category: #books

Highlights

  • This is because naval forces, unlike land and air forces, are inextricably linked to the predominant phenomenon of our age: globalization. (Location 325)
  • The combination of these factors meant that navies would have to operate in the ‘littoral’ regions, defined by …From the Sea as areas of the open ocean that are close to shore and have to be controlled if one is to support operations ashore, and areas of land close to shore that can be defended directly from the sea. (Location 432)
  • Norman Friedman, ‘the littoral is distinguished from a much narrower coastal strip … The landward part of the littoral includes most of the world’s population and most of the major cities’ while the seaward portion may be considered the 200-mile exclusion zone established under the United Nations Treaty on the Law of the Sea. (Location 434)
  • Whereas ‘platform-centric warfare’ focuses on the individual attributes of a particular military platform (bigger and better tanks, for example), NCW centres on the combat power generated by having many (perhaps smaller and less capable) platforms linked together through advanced technologies. (Location 490)
  • ‘the small, the fast, the many’; (Location 492)
  • In such an environment, warfighting may be necessary, but other activities are also important, such as securing sea lanes and delivering humanitarian aid. Moreover, there are a whole host of threat scenarios that fall well short of actual war but nevertheless need to be addressed. ‘I’m here to challenge you first to rid yourself of the old notion … that maritime strategy exists solely to win wars at sea and the rest will take care of itself’, he argued in 2006. ‘[I]n a globalized, flat world, the rest matters a lot.’34 (Location 514)
  • anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) (Location 583)
  • Analysts started to discern an anti-access (preventing US forces from getting to a theatre) and area denial (limiting US forces’ freedom of action within a theatre) strategy on the part of China as a means of countering America’s preponderant strength. (Location 589)
  • Liddell Hart argues that the purpose of a military strategy is to diminish as much as possible the likelihood of resistance. A strategist’s true aim, he argues, is to seek a strategic situation so advantageous that if this does not produce a decision, its continuation by battle is sure to do so. The approach, he argues, is one that will limit hostilities: ‘For even if a decisive battle be the goal, the aim of strategy must be to bring about this battle under the most advantageous circumstances. And the more advantageous the circumstances, the less, proportionately, will be the fighting.’ ‘The perfection of strategy’, he states in words that echo those of Sun Tzu, ‘would be … to produce a decision without any serious fighting’.4 (Location 774)
  • When it comes to the actual conduct of war, Clausewitz identifies ‘two basic principles that underlie all strategic planning’: utmost concentration and utmost speed. (Location 818)
  • In order to be successful in battle one must identify and direct all energies against the enemy’s centre of gravity. Based on his experience, Clausewitz believed the centre of gravity was most often the enemy’s army, then his capital and then his allies. (Location 824)
  • One characteristic of warfare identified in these documents was that ground force operations would shift from being linear to non-linear in nature, with units – much more mobile than in the past – being dispersed throughout the battlefield. ‘Increased dispersion and mobility will be possible offensively’, Joint Vision 2010 argued, ‘because each platform or individual warfighter carries higher lethality and greater reach’. (Location 927)
  • Concepts for the Objective Force speaks of non-linear operations as being distributed in time, space and purpose, and increasingly joint in nature.20 According to this document, operations would be decentralized and non-contiguous, with forces distributed across the battlefield and employed simultaneously. In contrast to the ‘phased, attrition-based, linear operations of the past’ which ‘rolled up’ enemy forces sequentially, the approach would be one of exposing the entire enemy force to air/ground attack at the same time.21 (Location 933)
  • Whereas Jomini advised throwing the mass of one’s forces on the decisive points of the battlefield at the proper time and with ample energy, Joint Vision 2010 foresaw the US military being ‘increasingly able to accomplish the effects of mass – the necessary concentration of combat power at the decisive time and place – with less need to mass forces physically’. (Location 939)
  • The range of operations, Joint Vision 2020 later argued, included major theatre war, regional conflict and smaller-scale contingencies, as well as those ‘ambiguous situations residing between peace and war’ such as peacekeeping, peace-enforcement and humanitarian relief. (Location 978)
  • At the same time warfare remained brutal in nature and striking from afar may not be enough. In those situations, the only way to guarantee victory against the adversary was to ‘put our boots on the ground … and destroy him in his sanctuary’.29 (Location 986)
  • The current military system, he laments, tends to promote the promising tactician, the ‘go-to, can-do’ types who can get things done, when what are needed are officers who understand of the complexities of war.33 The requirement is to imbue soldiers at lower and lower ranks with an understanding of the art of war at the strategic level, thereby inculcating mental agility and the ability to be creative. ‘More than ever war is a thinking man’s game. Wars … are won as much by creating alliances … reading intentions, building trust, converting opinions and managing perceptions’, as by firepower and technology. (Location 1010)
  • But it was during the Afghan war of 2001–2002 that SOF ‘really came of age’.40 In response to the unconventional nature of the enemy in Afghanistan, America deployed SOF to call in precision air strikes by conventional airpower. SOF also worked closely with indigenous ground forces, and acted as mobile strike units to flush out fortified Taliban and al Qaeda positions. (Location 1074)
  • Overall, the trend toward SOF is a move away from Jomini and Clausewitz and toward the thinking and approach of Sun Tzu. (Location 1092)
  • conventional landpower is best employed using smaller, more mobile units that are dispersed on the battlefield and linked together through information technology; conventional land battles will feature simultaneous and synchronized operations that are non-linear in nature; massed effects can be achieved using information and precision technologies, thereby reducing the footprint (and therefore vulnerability) of ground forces; conventional ground war is a joint endeavour with land forces closely linked to other elements of the joint force; advanced technologies dramatically improve the land force commander’s ability to ‘see over the next hill’, but they cannot eliminate the fog and friction of war; and decision making will be pushed to lower echelons, increasing the important of a strategic understanding of warfare at the junior and non-commissioned officer level. (Location 1098)