Strategic Thought and the Military Officer (Concl.)

Last post on “Strategic Thought and the Military Officer.”

Soldiers and Civilization

A Complex Environment

Strategy provides an illustration of one of the abiding themes of modern thought, which is that the relationship among things and persons often counts as much or more than the characteristics of the things themselves. From relativity, psychiatry, and existentialist and post-modernist thought onwards, persons, political bodies, ideas and events have been seen to be defined by how they interact. The challenge of strategic thought may be expressed as the attempt to bring elements into agreement in spite of their antagonism. The paradox of military strategy is that the means are violent, inherently unsettling, as likely to inflame antagonism as to extinguish it, or to only temporarily quell antagonisms, leaving the real cause untouched and as ignitable as ever.   Not only is strategy dependent on the relationship of opposing forces to one another, of force to the geopolitical landscape and to policy, but (as we have seen)…

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