Theorist Who Offers the Most Useful Insights for 21st Century Warfare Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

theorists from the H100 block of ILE have provided valuable insights on warfare. They range from Clausewitz to Machiavelli to Moltke. Although 200 years have passed since the times of Antoine-Henri Jomini, his theories, principles, and insights are still being used in a twenty-first century warfare. Jomini's principles of war provide linkages to today's doctrine making them still useful today.

In order for a theorist of the past to offer useful insights for a twenty-first century warfare, those theories have to be relevant. It is important to understand the definition of theorist in order to comprehend where the author comes from. Merriam-Webster defines of a theorist as a person who forms theories about something that relates to a subject in an appropriate way.

For theorists to be considered relevant, their theories and insights should be taught in institutions and can be applied to modern situations or circumstances. Jomini's work was not only taught in Russia, but also at the United States Military Academy and currently at the Command and General Staff College.

The doctrinal roots can be traced back to Jomini's work. The U.S. Army practices their current principles of war based on his fundamental principles.

Jomini's principles of war have stood the test of time even with all of the hi-tech innovations that have occurred. These advances may have forced a change in tactics. However, the underlying principles of war are valid in the even today as they were during times of Jomini. For instance, the invention of precision laser guided missiles to mass the effects of combat power at a decisive place and time. During Jomini's period, this would only have been done with troops on the ground and possibly artillery, not via rotary wing or fixed wing aircraft. A change in tactics or approach, but the principle of massing effects at a decisive point is the same.

Jomini developed his 'prototype' principles of war by studying the operations of Napoleon and Frederick the Great. He later refined them into a Fundamental Principle outlined in four maxims. His Fundamental Principle states: "It is proposed to show that there is one great principle underlying all the operations of war, a principle which must be followed in all good combinations."

It is embraced in the following maxims:

1. To throw by strategic movements the mass of an army, successively, upon the decisive points of a theater of war, and upon the communications of the enemy as much as possible without compromising one's own.

2. To maneuver and engage fractions of the hostile army with the bulk of one's forces.

3. On the battlefield, to throw the mass of the forces upon the decisive point, or upon that portion of the hostile line which it is of the first importance to overthrow.

4. To so arrange that these masses shall not only be thrown upon the decisive point, but that they shall engage at the proper times and with energy.

Several of the current Army principles of war link directly from Jomini's Fundamental Principle listed above. The U.S. Army maintains reliance on mass, offensive, maneuver, and economy of force, all of which are primarily elements of Jomini's Fundamental Principle.

Offense, in particular, contains a direct link to Jomini. Jomini strongly advocates gaining and maintaining the initiative through offensive operations, as does ADRP 3-0. ADRP 3-0 states, "All Army Operations aim to seize, retain, and exploit the initiative and achieve decisive results."

Mass, another principle of war, concentrates the effects of combat supremacy at the crucial place and time. Jomini's principles also required focus of strength at the decisive point. A clear link can be seen between our current principles and Jomini's principle.

The characteristic nature of Jomini's theories of war lies with the scientific quality of their application. Whereas Jomini belabors to discourage those who would otherwise considers his maxims as simple reduction of war phenomenon to arithmetic calculation, elements of truths exist among the critics' presuppositions. According to Jomini, war is a winnable undertaking. However, this assertion holds if and only if one adheres to a couple of truths. Applying this to the United States Army, it is evident that much of guiding principles of American army derive its inspiration from Jomini. The significant application of these principles at most levels of army operation point to the fact that, as an institution, U.S. army agrees with Jomini. Essentially, Jomini postulates that war can be mastered by simply sticking to maxims that…

Sources Used in Document:

Reference List

Alger, J. I, The Quest for Victory: The History of the Principles of War, Westport, CT;

Greenwood Press, 1982, p82

Jomini, A.H. de Baron, The Art of War. Mechanicsburg, PA; Stackpole Books, 1992, p70

Merriam-Webster Dictionary, accessed on 3 January 2014

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