By Sir Hew Strachan

The wars on account that September 11, either in Iraq and Afghanistan, have generated frustration and an expanding feel of failure within the West. a lot of the blame has been attributed to negative procedure. In either the us and the uk, public enquiries and defence imagine tanks have detected a scarcity of constant course, of potent communique, and of governmental coordination. during this vital publication, Sir Hew Strachan, one of many world's prime army historians, unearths how those disasters resulted from a primary misreading and misapplication of process itself. He argues that the wars on the grounds that 2001 haven't in truth been as 'new' as has been greatly assumed and that we have to undertake a extra old method of modern approach so that it will determine what's quite altering in how we salary struggle. If conflict is to fulfil the goals of coverage, then we'd like first to appreciate battle.

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5 He did not define policy. Clausewitz's focus was on the nation and the state, not on party politics. Too much, therefore, can be made of the ambiguity created by the fact that the German word, 28 I The Direction of War Politik, means policy and politics: this may matter less for our under­ standing of On war than for our interpretations of later commentators. Clausewitz was at least clear that conceptually Politik was not the same as strategy, even if the two were interwoven. When he concluded that war had its own grammar but not its own logic, he implied that strategy was part of that grammar.

By contrast policy provided the logic of war, and therefore enjoyed an overarching and determining position which strategy did not. Clausewitz's definition of strategy was therefore much narrower than that of contemporary usage. He too would have been perplexed by George Bush's 'strategy of freedom' and the Foreign Office's 'strategy for policy'. The word 'strategy' may have its roots in ancient Greek but that language preferred concrete nouns to abstract ones. L1:pfrrf1yrn; meant general, but what the commander practised was more likely to be expressed by a verb.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, equipped with one set of operational concepts, found themselves at odds with a Secretary of Defense who thought he could shape the conflict in Afghanistan to suit another. In Iraq the problem was overcome by the simple decision not to coordinate policy and the operational level of war. Once into Iraq, Ambassador Paul Bremer said that his job was policy and General Ricardo Sanchez's was the war, and that each should stick to his own sphere. So he should not have been surprised when he, not unrea­ sonably, asked Sanchez for details of his tactical plans, and Sanchez responded, 'Stop right there, sir.

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