Chapter

Introduction

John Andreas Olsen

in The Practice of Strategy

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199608638
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731754 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608638.003.0001
Introduction

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The introduction focuses on the definition of ‘grand strategy’ and ‘military strategy’, the phenomena and logic of strategy, considerations and factors that shaped imperial and nation‐state politics, and the relationship between the military and political levels of war. It provides a working definition of strategy as ‘the art of winning by purposely matching ends, ways and means’, and briefly summarizes the twelve case studies, from the campaigns of Alexander the Great to the contemporary conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. It also posits the working hypothesis of the book: that nothing essential changes in the intrinsic nature and function (or purpose) of strategy and war, in sharp contrast to the character of individual strategies that reflect the unique circumstances of each conflict.

Keywords: grand strategy; military strategy; strategy; history; military history; war; armed conflict; campaigns; strategic theory; politics; Clausewitz

Chapter.  5650 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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