Planning for and Applying Military Force: An Examination of Terms

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Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, Jan 1, 2006 - Military art and science - 18 pages
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Briefly examines current and, in some cases, still evolving definitions in joint doctrine--especially with regard to strategy, center of gravity, decisive point, and commander's intent. It discusses the heritage of those concepts and terms, most of which derived from the writings of Clausewitz and Sun Tzu. In doing so, the author finds that current joint planning definitions and concepts tend to confuse more than they inform. In short, they are not ready to be incorporated into formal doctrine, and certainly not into the actual planning process. Hence, concept developers need to go back to the drawing table, and make a concerted effort to separate the proverbial wheat from the chaff. Change is good, but so is tradition. The definitions advanced by Sun Tzu and Clausewitz have stood the test of time for good reason. If we decide to change them, we should have equally good reasons for doing so.

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