For whatever reason, the Gods of Strategy and academia seem to have blessed us with an excellent issue which I can only, and predictably, commend to our readers.
Of course, all Military Strategy Magazine (and past Infinity Journal) editions have been excellent. Still, this edition stands out in that the submissions cover a broader and more eclectic approach to the subject matter without drifting into the abstract philosophy of the strategically confused, which is today so common.
It would be unfair to pick out which articles I think are worthy of note. As is well known, I have strong and oft-lamented views on what does and does not conform to a useful discussion on Strategy, so I will avoid describing articles as to where I see their merits or even, in some cases, shortcomings. Still, I am optimistic because the articles herein cover a broad and deep approach to our subject matter.
This should provide some hope for future writers. Strategy is about “the use of engagements to attain the object of the war.” – or “for the purposes of the war” depending on which Clausewitz translation you beat people with. The use of engagements gives any sound writer a vast remit to play with, providing they do not drift into the conduct of the engagement, which is taught via tactics. Anything that speaks to why, when, and where the engagements occur speaks to strategy.
This does include force development, which dead Carl so notably dismissed to the crafting of the sword albeit in the context of raising armies, but you raise armies to conduct engagements. As the Nagorno-Karabakh War showed, you can get that very wrong if not collecting a massive butcher’s bill matters. Do you want to build Yamato?
This does not mean we want articles arguing that the Army needs to bring back the M-113 or select a 7.62mm battle rifle. Nor does it necessarily mean that self-serving articles about doubling the size of the US Marine Corps are welcome or that we all need to be convinced about Cyber and information ops. If you can say something interesting and insightful about amphibious forces or cyber, then great, but it must be insightful and relevant to strategy.
If nothing else, this edition clearly shows that there is substantially more latitude in terms of strategic subject matter than we as editors and publishers might have allowed in a bid to avoid “Strategy” becoming a bucket for any military or policy opinion someone wanted to give vent to.
Enjoy this edition. Do not accept all that is said uncritically, and if you feel compelled to rebut or dispute things written, then put fingers to keyboards and let others know.
William F. Owen
Editor, Military Strategy Magazine