Military History Essay

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The Past Present and Future of Warfare Impact of Technology and Strategy
Introduction

Military tactics and strategies are essential in warfare. Without the right tactics and strategy, it is impossible to win wars. By definition, military strategy is the planning, coordination, and implementation of military operations to meet some set objectives. Tactics can be defined as short-term military strategies in the field of operations in terms of the equipment to use, how to use them, and troop movement. According to renowned Carl von Clausewitz, who was a distinguished military strategist and theorist, the strategy is how to utilize battles to win wars and tactics is how to utilize troops and weaponry in battles (Phifer, 2012). However, both tactics and strategies have been theorized, defined, or utilized in different ways at different times in history. In this work, it is my argument that the United States military needs to adopt tactics and strategies useful for the more modern-day challenges and threats that the army and the country are facing and also beneficial for the future.

History of strategy and tactics

Before the eighteenth century, military strategies involved thinking about and overcoming challenges such as supply challenges, maneuvers, and fortifications. However, between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, bigger armies started emerging, massive alliances began forming, and more complicated weaponry started appearing on battlefields. These challenges made it difficult to continue utilizing old strategies. They also led to the formation of a grand plan that involved taking into account and using all resources available to societies, including political, economic, technological, and military support (Tzu, 2008). Tactics have also gone through changes over time. Initially, they just involved somewhat simple but sometimes complicated maneuvers on battlefields. However, they have been more complicated with time, as battles have also become more complicated. Nowadays, tactics mostly involve the use of various technologies to collect information. They have also become more and more challenging to differentiate from strategies because they have become more interdependent (Phifer, 2012).

Principles of Warfare

Military theorists and commanders have throughout history formulated what they regarded as the most important tactical and strategic principles of war. For example, Napoleon had in writing 115 principles of conflict. Nathan Forrest, a Confederate general, also had a tactical principle. According to him, battles are usually won by combatants who get to battlefields fast and with more soldiers (Henry, 2016). Over time, some strategic and tactical principles of war have been adopted as standard principles of warfare, and they are quite interdependent. They include the objective, the offensive, surprise, security, unity of command, the economy of force, mass, and maneuver. Whether large or small military forces must have a very clear objective, this will prevent distraction and enable everyone to focus on what is important. However, only offensive moves determine whether objectives are achieved or not. Offensive moves must take into account security (the protection of forces) and surprise (deception and stealth) if they are to be very effective. Unity of command is also important when pursuing objectives.

Similarly, the economy of force (ability to utilize troops effectively) and the concentration of better armed and trained forces at mass (critical points) are important when pursuing objectives (Phifer, 2012). The maneuver is all about how to coordinate the movement of troops to obtain offensive, surprise, and mass. As it is evident from these statements above, the modern standard principles of warfare are very interdependent, unlike most of the principles of warfare utilized in the past.

Maneuvers

It is important to note that new weapons and technologies have not significantly changed several classic offensive maneuvers, including penetration, defense-offensive maneuvers, turning movements, and envelopment.

The penetration maneuver, which is centuries old, is a maneuver that involves concentrating military resources to break the main enemy line. It is usually accompanied by secondary attacks on the enemy to prevent them from freeing up reserves or more weapons to join their defense

Defensive-offensive maneuvers often entail waiting for an enemy to attack in strength and then attacking from a robust defensive position when the enemy gets exhausted or ponders the next wave of attack. The...…the future

The US military has changed over time since it was formed. The military continues to change with changing threats and challenges. It is, however, important that it adopts tactics and strategies that are suited for the modern-day world. One way the military could approach this is through the Joint Operations doctrine, which is now official advice from the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Hundley, 1999; RisCassi, 1997). Joint operations between different military departments can help to pool resources in many situations and achieve objectives efficiently (Grieco, 2018).

According to the Joint doctrine, joint operations are operations in which multiple military departments work together under one commander for the achievement of a certain goal. The doctrine advocates for building military readiness and making sure multiple military departments are trained to work together and are ready for immediate deployment whenever they are needed. The doctrine also advocates military modernization to prepare for future battles and wars. The modernization entails developing better weapons, increasing soldier lethality, and eliminating the need for boots on the ground in certain situations (Grieco, 2018).

The doctrine also calls for reforms of the military, particularly reforms to increase monies for actual war efforts and to free up commanders to enable them to make effective and timely decisions (Grieco, 2018). Lastly, the Joint doctrine calls for the strengthening of partnerships and alliances to enable interoperability, which is the capacity of different U.S. military departments and partners to work together effectively (Grieco, 2018).

Conclusion

Military strategies and tactics have been important since time immemorial. However, they have evolved. Some of the things that have led to changes in military tactics and strategies are the development of strong nation-states, the development of different technologies, the development of different weapons, and several total wars. The tactics and strategies of the U.S. military have also changed over time. To make sure the U.S. military is capable of fighting modern and future wars, there is a need for it to prepare aggressively. Thankfully, the military is already doing this through the Joint doctrine.



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