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Descriptions and Definitions of Strategy



Derivation from Wikipedia: The word derives from the Greek word stratēgos, which derives from two words: stratos (army) and ago (ancient Greek for leading). Stratēgos referred to a 'military commander' during the age of Athenian Democracy.



JP 1-02 definitions of STRATEGY




strategy — A prudent idea or set of ideas for employing the instruments of national power


in a synchronized and integrated fashion to achieve theater, national, and/or


multinational objectives. (JP 3-0)




strategic level of war — The level of war at which a nation, often as a member of a group of


nations, determines national or multinational (alliance or coalition) strategic security


objectives and guidance, and develops and uses national resources to achieve these


objectives. Activities at this level establish national and multinational military


objectives; sequence initiatives; define limits and assess risks for the use of military and


other instruments of national power; develop global plans or theater war plans to


achieve those objectives; and provide military forces and other capabilities in


accordance with strategic plans. See also operational level of war; tactical level of


war. (JP 3-0)




theater strategy — Concepts and courses of action directed toward securing the objectives of national and multinational policies and strategies through the synchronized and integrated employment of military forces and other instruments of national power. See


also national military strategy; national security strategy; strategy. (JP 3-0)




FM 3-0, strategy is defined as “the art and science of developing and employing armed forces and other instruments of national power in a synchronized fashion to secure national or multinational objectives.”7




AFDD 2-1 Air Warfare: Strategy is a means to accomplish an end




MCDP 1-2 Campaigning: Military strategy is the art and science of employing the armed forces of a nation to secure the objectives of national policy by the application of force or the threat of force. It involves the establishment of military strategic objectives, the allocation of resources, the imposition of conditions on the use of force, and the development of war plans.7




Strategy is both a product and a process. That is, strategy involves both the creation of plans—specific strategies to deal with specific problems—and the process of implementing them in a dynamic, changing environment. Therefore, strategy requires both detailed planning and energetic adaptation to evolving events.




'From 'H. Richard Yarger in “Towards A Theory of Strategy: Art Lykke and the Army War College Strategy Model”




Henry Eccles describes strategy as “... the comprehensive direction of power to control situations and areas in order to attain objectives.”




Strategy as used in the Army War College curriculum focuses on the nation-state and the use of the elements of power to serve state interests. In this context, strategy is the employment of the instruments (elements) of power (political/diplomatic, economic, military, and informational) to achieve the political objectives of the state in cooperation or in competition with other actors pursuing their own objectives.5




Strategy is the pursuit, protection, or advancement of these interests through the application of the instruments of power. Strategy is fundamentally a choice; it reflects a preference for a future state or condition.




Strategy is all about how (way or concept) leadership will use the power (means or resources) available to the state to exercise control over sets of circumstances and geographic locations to achieve objectives (ends) that support state interests. Strategy provides direction for the coercive or persuasive use of this power to achieve specified objectives. This direction is by nature proactive. It seeks to control the environment as opposed to reacting to it. Strategy is not crisis management.















Art Lykke gave coherent form to a theory of strategy with his articulation of the three-legged stool model of strategy which illustrated that strategy = ends + ways + means and if these were not in balance the assumption of greater risk. In the Lykke proposition (model) the ends are “objectives,” the ways are the “concepts” for accomplishing the objectives, and the means are the “resources” for supporting the concepts. The stool tilts if the three legs are not kept in balance. If any leg is too short, the risk is too great and the strategy falls over.12










Other definitions:




Clausewitz from On War: “Strategy [is] the use of engagements for the object of the war. ”




Von Moltke the Elder: "the practical adaptation of the means placed at a general’s disposal to the attainment of the object in view."




B.H. Liddell Hart from Strategy: “the art of distributing and applying military means to fulfill the ends of policy”




ADM J.C. Wylie from Military Strategy


:A plan of action designed in order to achieve some end:, a purpose together with a system of measures for its accomplishment”




Codevilla and Seabury from War: Ends and Means: “Strategy is a fancy word for a roadmap for getting from here to there, from the situation at hand to the situation one wishes to attain. Strategy is the very opposite of abstract thinking. It is the intellectual connection between the things one wants to achieve, the means at hand, and the circumstances.”




Dr Drew and Dr Snow from Making 21st Century Strategy: A plan of action that organizes efforts to achieve an objective.




Williamson Murray and Mark Grimsley in The Making of Strategy: “Strategy is a process, a constant adaptation to shifting conditions and cumstances in a world where chance, uncertainty, and ambiguity dominate.”




Colin Gray in Modern Strategy: “Strategy is the bridge that relates military power to political purpose; it is neither military power per se or political purpose. By strategy I mean the use that is made of the threat of force for the ends of policy. …strategy is neither policy nor armed combat; rather it is the bridge between them.”




Colin Gray from Teaching 21st Strategy: I choose to define (military) strategy


as the direction and use that is made of force and the threat of force for the ends of policy.




Edward Luttwak in Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace: Realm of strategy, which encompasses the conduct and consequences of human relations in the context of actual or possible armed conflict




Marcella and Fought, “Teaching Strategy in the 21st Century”1st Quarter 2009 JFQ. “Strategy is the art of applying power to achieve objectives, within the limits imposed by policy.”




John Boyd (briefing note, not necessarily definition): Penetrate adversary’s moral-mental-physical being to dissolve his moral fiber, disorient his mental images, disrupt his operations, and overload his system, as well as subvert, shatter, seize, or otherwise subdue, those moral-mental-physical bastions, connections, or activities that he depends on, in order to destroy internal harmony, produce paralysis, and collapse adversary’s will to resist.




Dictionary.com : the science or art of combining and employing the means of war in planning and directing large military movements and operations. Strategy is the utilization, during both peace and war, of all of a nation's forces, through large-scale, long-range planning and development, to ensure security or victory.




Doctrinal definitions



strategy — A prudent idea or set of ideas for employing the instruments of national power in a


synchronized and integrated fashion to achieve theater, national, and/or multinational


objectives. (JP 3-0)




theater strategy — Concepts and courses of action directed toward securing the objectives of


national and multinational policies and strategies through the synchronized and integrated


employment of military forces and other instruments of national power. See also national


military strategy; national security strategy; strategy. (JP 3-0)




Contemporary definitions



Colin Gray in Modern Strategy: Strategy is the bridge that relates military power to political purpose; it is neither military power per se or political purpose. By strategy I mean the use that is made of the threat of force for the ends of policy. …strategy is neither policy nor armed combat; rather it is the bridge between them.




Colin Gray in Fighting Talk: Twenty Maxims on War and Strategy: Regarded narrowly in its military dimension, it is the bridge that connects the worlds of policy and military power. It is strategy that interprets the meaning of that power to serve the purposes of policy.




Thomas Schelling: Strategy…is not concerned with the efficient application of force , but with the exploitation of potential force. Military Strategy can no longer be thought of as …the science of military victory. It is now equally, if not more, the art of coercion, of imtimidation and deterrence. Military strategy, whether we like it or not, has become the diplomacy of violence.




Dr. Kem’s definition from Campaign Planning, Tools of the Trade: Simply put, strategy is the art and science of applying the resources of a nation to the interests and goals of that nation. This requires the integration of the ends (the purposes or objectives of a nation), the ways (courses of action), and the means (the resources of the nation).







H. Richard Yarger in “Towards A Theory of Strategy: Art Lykke and the Army War College Strategy Model” : Strategy is the pursuit, protection, or advancement of these interests through the application of the instruments of power. Strategy is fundamentally a choice; it reflects a preference for a future state or condition. Strategy is all about how (way or concept) leadership will use the power (means or resources) available to the state to exercise control over sets of circumstances and geographic locations to achieve objectives (ends) that support state interests. Strategy provides direction for the coercive or persuasive use of this power to achieve specified objectives. This direction is by nature proactive. It seeks to control the environment as opposed to reacting to it. Strategy is not crisis management. Henry Eccles describes strategy as “... the comprehensive direction of power to control situations and areas in order to attain objectives.”






Alan Stephens and Nicola Baker from Making Sense of War: Strategy is best described as the bridge between policy and operations; that is, as a plan for the employment of military forces in pursuit of political objectives.




David Lonsdale in Understanding Modern Warfare: The art of using military force against an intelligent foe(s) towards the attainment of policy objectives.




Andre Beaufre: the art of the dialectic of two opposing wills using force to resolve their dispute.




Codevilla and Seabury from War: Ends and Means: “Strategy is a fancy word for a roadmap for getting from here to there, from the situation at hand to the situation one wishes to attain. Strategy is the very opposite of abstract thinking. It is the intellectual connection between the things one wants to achieve, the means at hand, and the circumstances.”




Dr Drew and Dr Snow from Making 21st Century Strategy: A plan of action that organizes efforts to achieve an objective.




Dr. Jack Kem Simply put, strategy is the art and science of applying the resources of a nation to the interests and goals of that nation. This requires the integration of the ends (the purposes or objectives of a nation), the ways (courses of action), and the means (the resources of the nation).




Dr. Winton: Strategy is the art of shaping the future to conform to the desires of an individual or collective will in activities of broad scope; significant consequence; and, normally, long duration.




Dr Dolman: Strategy is not a thing that can be poked, prodded, and probed. It is an idea, a product of the imagination. It is about the future, and above all it is about change. It is, in a word, alchemy: a method of transmutation from idea into action. Definition: a plan for attaining continuing advantage.




Richard Betts: Strategy is the essential ingredient for making war either politically effective or morally tenable. It is the link between military means and political ends, the scheme for how to make one produce the other. strategy is a distinct plan between policy and operations, an idea for connecting the two rather than either of the two themselves Definition: Plan for using military means to achieve political ends




Williamson Murray and Mark Grimsley in The Making of Strategy: “Strategy is a process, a constant adaptation to shifting conditions and cumstances in a world where chance, uncertainty, and ambiguity dominate.”




Historical definitions



Jomini: Strategy is the art of making war upon a map




Clausewitz from On War: Strategy [is] the use of engagements for the object of war.




Von Moltke the Elder: the practical adaptation of the means placed at a general’s disposal to the attainment of the object in view.




B.H. Liddell Hart from Strategy: the art of distributing and applying military means to fulfill the ends of policy




ADM J.C. Wylie from Military Strategy: :A plan of action designed in order to achieve some end:, a purpose together with a system of measures for its accomplishment

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