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  #16  
Old 05 Nov 14, 07:08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escape2Victory View Post
Yes, this is a good example. The Bush republicans favoured a direct intervention in Middle East affairs. This can be done but requires lots of troops stationed there and a willingness to fight many battles for decades. Obama calls for an end to dumb wars and prefers to pull troops out. Leaving the Middle East to fight things out themselves is a viable strategy too but it needs its own planning and for the next president or three to stick with it.
Hi E2V

Its a good example, but the issue with any GS are the indirect consequences.
These consequences differ greatly dependent upon the nation undertaking them and those who it directly affects.
The US is for the moment the only superpower, yet many Americans (by that I mean the general population), like the British before them, neatly parcel up the world into Strategic areas, believing that the actions undertaken in one, don't directly affect another or that they can limit any consequence.

Most GS have a limited shelf-life and they usually become evolving strategies, that often end up being far removed from the initial concept.
Even the US GS of containment advocated by Keenan and implemented by Truman, sometimes erred from its initial path. These erring's usually came about through different interpretation's or understanding of the GS in relation to current geopolitical circumstances. That aspect will never change. Some would argue that having a Broad Strategy (that allows flexibility and reaction) is a better route, than the often tighter restrictions & observations one can get with a Grand Strategy.

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  #17  
Old 05 Nov 14, 08:47
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My reading has indicated to me that Grand strategy is something one does, rather than something one has.

Edit; just getting back to my post #2 from July - Strategy, inc. Grand Strategy, is the bridge between policy and force. One conducts activity strategically for the furtherance of one's policies.
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Old 05 Nov 14, 10:09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selous View Post
My reading has indicated to me that Grand strategy is something one does, rather than something one has.

Edit; just getting back to my post #2 from July - Strategy, inc. Grand Strategy, is the bridge between policy and force. One conducts activity strategically for the furtherance of one's policies.
When I think about Grand Strategy I think about old schemer like Metternich

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klemens_von_Metternich

Let me say first that I am pro-American. I have travelled quite a bit on both coasts and plenty of places in between. I like American culture and people. America is at the peak of its power, not since the Ottoman Empire at its peak have we seen a nation stand so far above its rivals. The American economy will likely give you all the tools you need to stay ahead to the extent the future is yours to lose only by your own hand. However in the failure to plan for the aftermath of toppling Saddam we did see a level of strategic incompetence that if repeated multiple times could cause you serious problems. America needs A class big picture strategic thinkers to match its other areas of excellence.
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Old 05 Nov 14, 10:25
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Aye, Metternich; Bismark wasn't bad either. He had guile, as did Palmerston.

However, Grand strategy =/= #'Grand' strategists; Every state on earth participates in grand strategy in some form or other, apart from the failed ones, but are they even states?, a great strategist is not something we will likely see again for some time.

Napoleon was a good tactician and operational officer, he even had some strategic gems and some grand strategic concept to work to, but as a Grand Strategist, he failed. The Germans in both World Wars sucked terribly at strategy and made up for it in tactics and operations par excellence. Since the war, strategy has increasingly been pushed to back rooms and farmed out to thinking institutions like RAND or RUSI etc. That's probably not a bad thing in the modern democratic age. ...trying to think who the last really good Grand Strategist was...I suspect we'd have to go back before the true modern professionalised methods and distinctions of the military, political and the birth of strategy as a separate discipline; probably pre-Pentagon.

From Gray's 'Modern Strategy' ; (sorry for typos, I'm touch-typing whilst reading)

Strictly speaking, the word [strategist] should be reserved to describe a person who makes and 'executes' strategy. By 'executes' I mean the person or persons who direct either all the assets of a polity (grand strategy) or all the military assets of a polity (military strategy). In a Western state, the strategist function at its lesser military, rather than grand strategic, level is exercised by some combination of the following: a minister of defence; a chairman of the chiefs of staff committee; a chiefs of staff committee functioning collectively, and, an inner war cabiner or national security council chaired by the head of government (and possibly by the head of state).
It is expedient also from time to time to refer to strategists in the same sense which it is commonplace to refer, say, to economists. Relatively few scholars of economics actually 'do' the economics at which they profess to be expeer. Instead they theorize and advise. Economics and strategy share the property of being practical disciplines. It an be ponderous to write constantly of strategic theorists rather than strategists. A strategist is both a person who 'does' strategy and a person who advises on the 'doing'.....Strictly speaking, strategists do not 'do' any action; it is the military instrument that 'does' strategy at the operational and tactical levels of war.

..In the closing decades of the twentieth century, ever fewer theorists of strategy had 'done' strategy themselves in any sense other than strictly with their brain, pen, and word-processor. This professional and sociological trend has had implications for problems in communications between the realms of theory and practice.'
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Old 05 Nov 14, 12:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selous View Post
Aye, Metternich; Bismark wasn't bad either. He had guile, as did Palmerston.

However, Grand strategy =/= #'Grand' strategists; Every state on earth participates in grand strategy in some form or other, apart from the failed ones, but are they even states?, a great strategist is not something we will likely see again for some time.

Napoleon was a good tactician and operational officer, he even had some strategic gems and some grand strategic concept to work to, but as a Grand Strategist, he failed. The Germans in both World Wars sucked terribly at strategy and made up for it in tactics and operations par excellence. Since the war, strategy has increasingly been pushed to back rooms and farmed out to thinking institutions like RAND or RUSI etc. That's probably not a bad thing in the modern democratic age. ...trying to think who the last really good Grand Strategist was...I suspect we'd have to go back before the true modern professionalised methods and distinctions of the military, political and the birth of strategy as a separate discipline; probably pre-Pentagon. .'
I would put forward Samuel Huntingdon as a recent grand strategist. His thoughts on culture and civilisation serve well at a very high level, including the idea of 'torn' nations and sowing discord amongst rival civilisations.
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Old 05 Nov 14, 12:35
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I haven't looked much at Huntingdon yet; I keep meaning to get around to it. Whether he counts as a strategist, as opposed to a strategic theorist, is one for someone else to decide. I'm far too biased. There have been theorists who have assessed Grand Strategy and Grand Strategic issues; including Luttwak and Gray, the nuclear theorists like Schelling and Brodie, arguably also count.
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Old 06 Nov 14, 21:26
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A nation's development of strategy only works well in my view if there is a strong tradition of centralized rule. Really it's the most important component of any strategy on any level. You need to have control, better yet, direct control of various parts in order to make your strategy work as intended.

The problem with any nation formulating its strategy on every level is it's nearly impossible to control every variable needed to make it work well.

To a certain extent, exercising military strategy is perhaps the easiest of all strategies as the centralized command of logistics and manpower is easily obtained by any legitimate government as it's most widely accepted that governments alone have power to wage war on other nations.

On the other hand, developing a workable economic strategy is hard to achieve. It requires the nation-state to have some kind of monopoly in its economy. The history is filled with many good examples like USSR, Venice, Rome, British Empire, Spanish Empire, etc. All nations, city-states, and empires allow their subjects some degree of economic freedom but on macro-level, governments have tools to favor certain groups or individuals or nudge them into going one direction as governments envisioned. But it's obvious there is only so much any government can control how economics function in order to gain economic supremacy over their neighbors.

I believe that every nation on this planet already has its own grand strategy drawn out. It's mostly in their thinking rather than on paper and carried out in practice. But every nation tries its best in accomplishing the objectives set forth in its grand strategy.
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Old 11 Dec 14, 04:24
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@47 some years later, another Project Horizon*;

EXCERPTS:

Project Horizon
Progress Report
About This Document
About This Document

This document is a progress report regarding the accomplishments
to date of a strategic planning project undertaken by a number of U.S. Government departments and agencies.
Project Horizonhas brought together senior executives from global affairs agencies and the National Security Council staff to conduct long-term, interagency scenario-based
planning.

The concepts presented in this docu
ment have not been formally endorsed by the participating agencies, and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S.Government.

They are presented here for the
purpose of sharing salient insights captured from the more than 200 individuals who participated in the Project Horizon workshops for consideration by the wider global affairs community. It is our expectation that they will provide a valuable contribution to the many efforts to improve the interagency effectiveness of the Federal Government.

Project Horizon
Progress Report Contents
Page ii
Table of Contents
I EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.................................................. .................................................. ...........................1
ProjectOverview................................... .................................................. ..........................
.................................. 1
Alternative Futures .................................................. .................................................. ........
.................................. 1
Strategic Interagency Capabilities .................................................. ...........................................
.......................... 2
The Road Ahead............................................. .................................................. ..................
................................. 4
II.PROJECT HORIZON OVERVIEW.................................................. .................................................. ............. 6
Introduction and Participants...................................... .................................................. ..........
............................. 6
Context and Rationale .................................................. .................................................. ......
............................... 6
Methodology and Pr
oject Approach.......................................... .................................................. ...
..................... 7
III.ALTERNATIVE FUTURES
.................................................. .................................................. ........................ 9
Interview Findings.......................................... .................................................. .................
.................................. 9
The Project HorizonScenarios......................................... .................................................. .............................. 11
ASIAN WAY.................................................. .................................................. ...........................
........... 12
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.................................................. .................................................. 13

CONGAGEMENT.................................................. .................................................. ................................ 14

L
OCKDOWN.................................................. .................................................. ...................................... 15

P
ROFITS AND PRINCIPLES
.................................................. .................................................. ................. 16


IV.
STRATEGIC INTER AGENCY CAPABILITIES.................................................. ........................................... 17
Strategic Context .................................................. .................................................. ..........
................................. 17
Quadrennial Strategic Review............................................ .................................................. .....
........................ 19
Government-Wide Information Sharing........................................... .................................................
................ 21
Interagency Fusion Groups .................................................. .................................................. ..
......................... 23
Global Health Engagement........................................ .................................................. .............
......................... 25
Global Hazards Planning and Response.......................................... .................................................
................. 27
U.S. Government Partnership Framework .................................................. ........................................
.............. 29
Science and Technology IncentiveFramework................................ .................................................. ...
............ 31
Global Domain Foresight .................................................. .................................................. ....
.......................... 33
Human Resources Model for Global
Affairs........................................... .......................................................... 35
Global Affairs Learning Consortium........................................ .................................................. ...
.................... 37
V. THE ROAD AHEAD.................................................. .................................................. ................................ 39

http://www.osif.us/images/Project_Ho...ess_Report.pdf

* = The First "Project Horizon"; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Horizon
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Old 07 Feb 15, 17:04
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Globalization and the shape of the 21st century have a lot to consider regards Grand Strategy going forward from here.

Another thread on this forum has presented a couple of articles by Lt. Col. Ralph Peters(Ret.) that would seem to complement the themes here, or the themes here compliment them ;
The thread;
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=156052

Constant Conflict (21st Century forecast)
http://www.informationclearinghouse....rticle3011.htm

Spotting the Losers: Seven Signs of Non-Competitive States

http://strategicstudiesinstitute.arm...ing/peters.htm
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Old 28 Aug 15, 02:40
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I'm seeing a case, especially when a conflict might appear imminent, where the approach to Grand Strategy should be from goal backward;
1) What conditions/goals are desired once the Conflict ends? What is the improved peace?
2) What are the circumstances and conditions needed to sue for cease of hostilities and implace the desired Peace?
3) How to conduct war operations to acheive the above?
4) How to initiate the Conflict to allow for "3)" above?

Start where you want to be and work backward on how to get there ...
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Old 28 Aug 15, 11:22
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Requirements

In project management they stress the importance of getting the requirements understood explicitly (no unstated assumptions), accurately (all participants are in agreement on terms, definitions, and standards to be used), and scope (what is/is not part of the project). When dissecting various levels of project failure, the seeds of bad outcomes can very often be traced back to poor requirements.

As I read and study policy, history, and geopolitics I encounter case after case where the participants fail at the outset to properly apply the above to the process of formulating their strategy. The massive mission creep that overtook the 2003 invasion of Iraq contains lessons in all of these areas.
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Strategy in Real Time: Dueling with an Enemy That Moves

When people use the word strategy these days what I mostly see are bullet point policy prescriptions based on ideology not analysis or considerations of cost and risk.

This article from a few weeks back attempts to put the topic itself better perspective.

Quote:
By Philip Bobbitt

Strategy is a two-way street. But many commentators act as though formulating a strategy is the same as solving a chess problem. Chess problems are artificially constructed arrangements on a chessboard where the goal is to find a series of moves that leaves the other side no room to evade a checkmate within three or four turns. The sorts of conflicts bedeviling us these days, however, are more like the game of chess itself, in which there is no determinate, continuous series of moves that will guarantee victory every time. Each new contest depends on the actions of the other side, how we react to them, how they respond to our reactions, and so on.
Read more: https://www.stratfor.com/weekly/stra...ng-enemy-moves
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Old 17 Nov 16, 16:07
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Bump for general reference.
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Old 18 Nov 16, 07:35
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Perhaps the following will help.

From Definitions and Doctrine of the Military Art, edited by Thomas Griess, part of The West Point Military History Series, 5-6.

Definitions:

Tactics: the planning, training, and control of ordered arrangements (formations) used by military organizations when engagement between opposing forces is imminent or underway. Tactics is the primary concern of battalion, company and platoon officers, because they immediately control the dispositions of the fighting forces. Tactics is generally prescribed by regulations, field manuals, or convention.

Grand Tactics: The tactics of large organizations.

Minor Tactics: The tactics of small organizations or of organizations consisting entirely of one arm (infantry, cavalry, artillery).

Operational Level of War: The activity concerned with using available military resources to attain strategic ends is a theater of war. As the link between tactics and strategy, it governs the manner in which operations are designed to meet strategic ends and the way in which campaigns are conducted. It is dependent upon the conditions of a given time and is rarely prescribed by regulation or convention.

Applied Tactics: The application of tactical doctrine to practical problems.
Strategy:

(1): The art or skill of the general.

(2): The planning for, coordination of, and concerted use of multiple means and resources available to an alliance, a nation, a political group, or a commander, for the purpose of gaining an advantage over a rival. Strategy allows the achievement of adopted goals in war or peace, and if it is to be successful, those goals must be clearly defined and attainable. However, because conditions in war and peace are constantly changing, strategy must be modified as it is being executed, and at times even the goals of strategy must be altered. Strategy lies primarily within the province of national leaders and commanders of divisions, corps, and armies, because they control the multitude of available means and resources. Strategy, like the operational art, is dependent upon the conditions of a given time and is rarely prescribed by regulation or convention.

The Four Levels of Strategy:

Grand Strategy: The strategy of a nation or an alliance.

National Strategy: A more accurate term than Grand Strategy. The goal of National Strategy is the attainment of the political objective of a war. It is formulated by heads of state and their principal civilian and military advisors. This term is used instead of Grand Strategy when the goals of a single nation are of primary importance.

Military Strategy: The means and resources of the armed forces of a nation employed in the securing of national objectives consistent with national policy through the application or threat of force.

Campaign Strategy: The strategy of a commander of a force of considerable size that is acting independently. Its immediate goal is generally the occupation of territory or the defeat of all or a significant part of the enemy armed forces. The long-term goal is the support of political goals.
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Old 18 Nov 16, 09:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G David Bock View Post
Bump for general reference.
Thanks for digging it up-I hadn't read it before. Very good work.
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