Meaning of STRATEGY in English


in warfare, the science or art of employing all the military, economic, political, and other resources of a nation to achieve the objects of war. This is the modern meaning, reflecting the need for general military and economic mobilization for warfare. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, however, when the term first became current, strategy denoted the art of projecting and directing campaigns and the movements and dispositions of military forces in war. Strategy has traditionally been distinguished from tactics in the following ways: (1) strategy deals with the entire theatre of war and the use of battles to win war, whereas tactics is concerned primarily with the use of troops and equipment to win battles, and (2) tactics is concerned with the handling of troops on the battlefield, whereas strategy deals with the favourable positioning of those troops as a prelude to battle. Although such great historical generals as Alexander the Great, Hannibal, and Julius Caesar have been singled out as forerunners of the modern art of strategy in their farsighted and careful planning of campaigns, the foundations of the ancient art of warfare were tactics and battles. It was only with the growth of professional armies and the Napoleonic campaigns of the early part of the 19th century that the principles of modern strategy took shape. The operational strategies of Napoleon principally consisted of the concentration of all his forces against the enemy at a critical point, the careful preparation and the uniting of forces before the action to deliver an overpowering weight of striking power in a shock attack, and the selection of battlegrounds advantageous to his forces. All these strategies formed classic illustrations by which succeeding military scientists such as Carl von Clausewitz could identify the underlying principles of modern warfare. Clausewitz asserted that military and political strategy must go hand in hand and that victory in war was achieved by the destruction of the enemy's forces on the battlefield rather than by the mere occupation of territory. He also was the first to define strategy as the employment of battles to gain the end of war. The American Civil War marked a transition to a new era of strategy; for example, the accurate firepower of the long-range infantry rifle shattered the effectiveness of the rapidly concentrated infantry attack in which Napoleonic strategy had culminated. The victory of the more populous and industrialized North over the agrarian South also revealed the growing strategic importance of economic and manpower resources in war. Several schools of strategic thought arose in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, ranging from the emphasis by German military leaders on victory by decisive battle and skillful offensive action to the American Alfred Thayer Mahan's stress on the conduct of economic warfare by the application of sea power and its concomitant control of world trade. However, virtually all strategic doctrines of the time were confounded by the reality of World War I, in which the overwhelming firepower of such modern weapons as the machine gun and high-powered field artillery rendered classic military movements such as the frontal attack temporarily obsolete. Offensive warfare gave way to that of attrition and static defense, to the use of the naval blockade in an effort to starve the enemy and deny him vital raw materials, and to the systematic mobilization of a nation's total human and material resources in a prolonged effort to break the will and fighting ability of the enemy. Between the world wars, strategic doctrines hovered uncertainly between the defensive mentality of the French and the growing numbers of proponents of such new weapons as airplanes and tanks. The latter were proved right in the initial campaigns of World War II, when the Germans combined air power and swiftly moving tank columns into a new form of assault (blitzkrieg) that overthrew defensive superiority. The countervailing Allied strategy utilized the proven effectiveness of the new mobile weapons and counted on superior industrial and manpower resources to turn the tide of battle. One important development of the war was the strategic bombardment of the enemy heartland from the air with the goal of destroying his industrial capacity and demoralizing his population. However, it was the final strategic (and tactical) innovationthe United States' use of atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasakithat fundamentally altered the premises of modern grand strategy. The subsequent development of even more powerful thermonuclear weapons and of intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of striking any target in the world within minutes endowed the prospect of general war with the near-certainty of the mutual annihilation of its participants. Thus, the main aim of the new nuclear strategy became not to win war (as had been the case with all previous military strategies) but simply to prevent the outbreak of nuclear war (deterrent strategy). Deterrence of a nuclear first strike by the enemy was ensured by the threat of massive retaliation on the part of the target nation. The ensuing postwar arms race between the superpowers represented their attempts to maintain the quantitative and technological balance of destructive capacity needed to deter successful nuclear aggression by one side. in warfare, the science or art of employing all the military, economic, political, and other resources of a nation to achieve the objects of war. Additional reading Edward Mead Earle et al. (eds.), Makers of Modern Strategy: Military Thought from Machiavelli to Hitler (1943, reprinted 1971), remains a most competent anthology on the development of the military mind and art. Its worthy successor is Peter Paret (ed.), Makers of Modern Strategy: From Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age (1986), which repeats three of the essays and provides more than 20 new ones.For works that explore the complex correlation between military campaigns and such nonmilitary factors as economic, technological, and human resources, psychological conditions of people involved, and political decision making by statesmen and generals, the reader will have to turn to broad military histories, such as James R.M. Butler (ed.), Grand Strategy, 6 vol. in 7 (195676), an analysis of the high-level conduct of war by the British High Command; Gordon Wright, The Ordeal of Total War, 19391945 (1968); Henri Michel, The Second World War, 2 vol. (1975; originally published in French, 196869); and Peter Calvocoressi, Guy Wint, and John Pritchard, Total War: Causes and Courses of the Second World War, 2nd rev. ed. (1989).The role of the U.S. Army and the War Department in World War II is studied in Maurice Matloff and Edwin M. Snell, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 2 vol. (195359, reprinted 1968); Kent Roberts Greenfield (ed.), Command Decisions (1960, reprinted 1984); and Ronald H. Spector, Eagle Against the Sun: The American War with Japan (1985). Russian and Soviet strategists are discussed in John Erickson, Stalin's War with Germany (1975), and The Road to Berlin: Continuing the History of Stalin's War with Germany (1983). Maurice Matloff Sir Michael E. HowardStrategy in the nuclear age is surveyed in John Baylis et al., Contemporary Strategy, 2nd rev. ed., 2 vol. (1987); Institute for Strategic Studies, Problems of Modern Strategy (1970); and Lawrence Martin (ed.), Strategic Thought in the Nuclear Age (1979). Lawrence Freedman, The Evolution of Nuclear Strategy, 2nd ed. (1989), summarizes the history of thought on nuclear strategy. Fred Kaplan, The Wizards of Armageddon (1983), is a look at the thinkers and strategists themselves.The classics of postwar strategic thinking include Bernard Brodie, Strategy in the Missile Era (1959, reprinted 1965); Herman Kahn, On Thermonuclear War, 2nd ed. (1961, reprinted 1978), and On Escalation: Metaphors and Scenarios (1965, reprinted 1986); and Thomas C. Schelling, The Strategy of Conflict (1960, reprinted 1980), and Arms and Influence (1966, reprinted 1976). Among later contributions, Edward N. Luttwak, Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace (1987), is a complex scholarly treatment of strategy as a system of thought; and Michael Howard, The Causes of Wars and Other Essays (1983), is a collection of previously published works by an influential author.The theory of deterrence is considered in Patrick M. Morgan, Deterrence: A Conceptual Analysis, 2nd ed. (1983); and carefully analyzed in Alexander L. George and Richard Smoke, Deterrence in American Foreign Policy: Theory and Practice (1974). Paul Bracken, The Command and Control of Nuclear Forces (1983), is another authoritative treatment; and John J. Mearsheimer, Conventional Deterrence (1983), applies the deterrence theory to land warfare.Special branches of strategic thought are examined in Geoffrey Till, Maritime Strategy and the Nuclear Age, 2nd ed. (1984); and M.J. Armitage and R.A. Mason, Air Power in the Nuclear Age, 194584: Theory and Practice, 2nd ed. (1985). On Soviet strategic thinking, see John Baylis and Gerald Segal (eds.), Soviet Strategy (1981). Influence of the Vietnam experience is studied in Harry G. Summers, Jr., On Strategy: A Critical Analysis of the Vietnam War (1982). Lawrence D. Freedman

Britannica English vocabulary.      Английский словарь Британика.