Military Strategy Magazine - Volume 8, Issue 1

Volume 8, Issue 1, Summer 2022 12 The Persistence of America’s Way of Battle Antulio J. Echevarria II - U.S. Army War College About the author Dr Antulio J. Echevarria II is a Professor of Strategy and the Editor in Chief of the US Army War College Press, which includes Parameters. He formerly held the Elihu Root Chair of Military Studies and has published extensively on strategic thinking, including War’s Logic: StrategicThought and the American Way of War (Cambridge 2021). This article revisits an argument that appeared nearly twenty years ago in two publications: a short monograph entitled Toward an American Way of War (2004) and in a book chapter, “Transforming America’s Way of Battle: Revising Our Abstract Knowledge” (2005).[i] Each of these publications argued America did not yet have a way of war; instead, it had a way of battle. This distinction is an important one; for, at the time, the United States had difficulty thinking about armed conflict as more than a series of battles aimed at destroying an opponent’s military might. Once that destruction was accomplished, victory was expected to follow in the form of an enemy’s capitulation or by granting any number or type of concessions. This manner of thinking typifies a way of battle. It assumes winning battles suffices to win wars. Whereas a way of war means having the ability and the inclination to view an armed conflict not only militarily but also politically and in socio-cultural terms. The assumption that winning To cite this article: Echevarria II, Antulio J., “The Persistence of America’s Way of Battle,” Military Strategy Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 1, summer 2022, pages 12-18. United States Navy, ID 030402-N-5362A-004, Public Domain