Military strategy

Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organizations to pursue desired strategic goals.[1] Derived from the Greek strategos, strategy when it appeared in use during the 18th century,[2] was seen in its narrow sense as the "art of the general",[3] 'the art of arrangement' of troops.[4] Military strategy deals with the planning and conduct of campaigns, the movement and disposition of forces, and the deception of the enemy. The father of modern strategic study, Carl von Clausewitz, defined military strategy as "the employment of battles to gain the end of war." B. H. Liddell Hart's definition put less emphasis on battles, defining strategy as "the art of distributing and applying military means to fulfill the ends of policy".[5] Hence, both gave the pre-eminence to political aims over military goals. Military strategy is the planning and execution of the contest between groups of armed adversaries. Strategy, which is a subdiscipline of warfare and of foreign policy, is a principal tool to secure national interests. It is larger in perspective than military tactics, which involves the disposition and maneuver of units on a particular sea or battlefield,[6] but less broad than grand strategy otherwise called national strategy, which is the overarching strategy of the largest of organizations such as the nation state, confederation, or international alliance and involves using diplomatic, informational, military and economic resources. Military strategy involves using military resources such a people, equipment, and information against the opponent's resources to gain supremacy or reduce the opponent's will to fight, developed through the precepts of military science.[7] NATO's definition of strategy is "presenting the manner in which military power should be developed and applied to achieve national objectives or those of a group of nations.[8] Strategy may be divided into 'Grand Strategy', geopolitical in scope and 'military strategy' that converts the geopolitical policy objectives into militarily achievable goals and campaigns. Field Marshal Viscount Alanbrooke, Chief of the Imperial General Staff and co-chairman of the Anglo-US Combined Chiefs of Staff Committee for most of the Second World War, described the art of military strategy as: "to derive from the [policy] aim a series of military objectives to be achieved: to assess these objectives as to the military requirements they create, and the pre-conditions which the achievement of each is likely to necessitate: to measure available and potential resources against the requirements and to chart from this process a coherent pattern of priorities and a rational course of action."[9] Field-Marshal Montgomery summed it up thus "Strategy is the art of distributing and applying military means, such as armed forces and supplies, to fulfil the ends of policy. Tactics means the dispositions for, and control of, military forces and techniques in actual fighting. Put more shortly: strategy is the art of the conduct of war, tactics the art of fighting."