Military strategy and doctrines

Military strategy is in many ways the centerpiece of military science. It studies the specifics of planning for, and engaging in combat, and attempts to reduce the many factors to a set of principles that govern all interactions of the field of battle. In Europe these principles were first defined by Clausewitz in his Principles of War. As such, it directs the planning and execution of battles, operations, and wars as a whole. Two major systems prevail on the planet today. Broadly speaking, these may be described as the "Western" system, and the "Russian" system. Each system reflects and supports strengths and weakness in the underlying society. Modern Western military art is composed primarily of an amalgam of French, German, British, and American systems. The Russian system borrows from these systems as well, either through study, or personal observation in the form of invasion (Napoleon's War of 1812, and The Great Patriotic War), and form a unique product suited for the conditions practitioners of this system will encounter. The system that is produced by the analysis provided by Military Art is known as doctrine. Western military doctrine relies heavily on technology, the use of a well-trained and empowered NCO adre, and superior information processing and dissemination to provide a level of battlefield awareness that opponents cannot match. Its advantages are extreme flexibility, extreme lethality, and a focus on removing an opponent's C3I (command, communications, control, and intelligence) to paralyze and incapacitate rather than destroying their combat power directly (hopefully saving lives in the process). Its drawbacks are high expense, a reliance on difficult-to-replace personnel, an enormous logistic train, and a difficulty in operating without high technology assets if depleted or destroyed. Soviet military doctrine (and its descendants, in CIS countries) relies heavily on masses of machinery and troops, a highly educated (albeit very small) officer corps, and pre-planned missions. Its advantages are that it does not require well educated troops, does not require a large logistic train, is under tight central control, and does not rely on a sophisticated C3I system after the initiation of a course of action. Its disadvantages are inflexibility, a reliance on the shock effect of mass (with a resulting high cost in lives and material), and overall inability to exploit unexpected success or respond to unexpected loss.