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10 important concepts in Military Strategy & War

10 important concepts in Military Strategy & War



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Seeing the Front

One of the most valuable military tactics.

Involves “personally seeing the front line” before making decisions—not always relying on advisors, maps, and reports, all of which can be either faulty or biased.

Asymmetric Warfare

A type of warfare in which two parties have different military capabilities or methods of war.

In such a case, the weak party must take advantage of its special advantages or the opponent’s weaknesses in order to have any opportunity to achieve its goals.

Two-Front War

Occurs when opposing forces approach two geographically separate fronts in order to divide and disperse the defenders troops, and create logistical difficulties.

WW2 was a good example: Germany was forced to defend two front's when they became enemies with Russia.


Various tactics and strategies used to combat armed insurgency (violent, armed war against authority waged by small forces).

It's the blend of comprehensive civilian and military efforts designed to simultaneously contain insurgency and address its root causes.

Mutually Assured Destruction

A situation where two parties are in a stalemate, and neither can make a move without causing their own destruction.

Paradoxically, the stronger two opponents become, the less likely they may be to destroy one another.

Proxy War

An armed conflict between two states or non-state actors which act on the instigation or on behalf of other parties that are not directly involved in the hostilities.

Example: Cuban Missile Crisis

Guerilla Warfare

A form of warfare where small groups of soldiers, such as paramilitary or armed civilians use military tactics including ambushes, sabotage, raids, petty warfare, hit-and-run tactics, and mobility, to fight a larger and less-mobile traditional military.

Flypaper Theory

Involves deliberately attracting enemies to a location where they are more vulnerable, like attracting flies to flypaper, usually also directing them far away from your valuable assets.

For example, U.S. ground forces in Iraq preventing attacks on U.S. soil.

Fighting the Last War

Armies by default use strategies, tactics, and technology that worked for them in the past (last war).

The problem is that what was most useful for the last war may not be best for the next one. This can mean smaller forces prevail with better tactics.

Rumsfeld's Rule

You go to war with the army you have. They’re not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.

Organizations hardly ever have perfect resources, but they can't always afford to wait until they have better ones before moving forward.



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