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The term military campaign applies to large scale, long duration, significant military strategy plans incorporating a series of inter-related military operations or battles forming a distinct part of a larger conflict often called a war. The term derives from the plain of Campania, a place of annual wartime operations by the armies of the Roman Republic.
1. A military campaign denotes the time during which a given military force conducts combat operations in a given area (often referred to as AO, area of operation). A military campaign may be executed by either a single Armed Service, or as a combined services campaign conducted by land, naval, air, cyber and space forces.
2. The purpose of a military campaign is to achieve a particular desired resolution of a military conflict as its strategic goal. This is constrained by resources, geography and/or season. A campaign is measured relative to the technology used by the belligerents to achieve goals, and while in the pre-industrial Europe was understood to be that between the planting (late spring) and harvest times (late autumn), it has been shortened during the post-industrial period to a few weeks. However, due to the nature of campaign goals, usually campaigns last several months, or up to a year as defined by Trevor N. Dupuy.
"A campaign is a phase of a war involving a series of operations related in time and space and aimed towards a single, specific, strategic objective or result in the war. A campaign may include a single battle, but more often it comprises a number of battles over a protracted period of time or a considerable distance, but within a single theatre of operations or delimited area. A campaign may last only a few weeks, but usually lasts several months or even a year".
Many historical campaigns are so named as misnomers to increase or reduce the perception of operations for other than military reasons.[ clarification needed ]
The success of a military campaign is evaluated based on the degree of achievement of planned goals and objectives through combat and noncombat operations. This is determined when one of the belligerent military forces defeats the opposing military force within the constraints of the planned resource, time and cost allocations. The manner in which a force terminates its operations often influences the public perception of the campaign's success. A campaign may end in conquest, and be followed by the transition of military authority to a civil authority and the redeployment of forces, or a permanent installation of a military authority in the occupied area.
Military campaigns, inside and outside defined wars, may exceed the original or even revised planning parameters of scope, time and cost. Such stalled campaigns, for example the western front in World War I, were formerly called "stalemates" but in the late 20th century the metaphor of a quagmire was often applied. Such a situation may arise of various factors such as:
A battle is a combat in warfare between two or more armed forces. A war usually consists of multiple battles. Battles generally are well defined in duration, area, and force commitment. A battle with only limited engagement between the forces and without decisive results is sometimes called a skirmish.
A tactic is a conceptual action aiming at the achievement of a goal. This action can be implemented as one or more specific tasks. The term is commonly used in business, protest and military contexts, as well as in chess, sports or other competitive activities. The word originated from the Ancient Greek τακτική taktike, meaning art of arrangement.
Military science is the study of military processes, institutions, and behavior, along with the study of warfare, and the theory and application of organized coercive force. It is mainly focused on theory, method, and practice of producing military capability in a manner consistent with national defense policy. Military science serves to identify the strategic, political, economic, psychological, social, operational, technological, and tactical elements necessary to sustain relative advantage of military force; and to increase the likelihood and favorable outcomes of victory in peace or during a war. Military scientists include theorists, researchers, experimental scientists, applied scientists, designers, engineers, test technicians, and other military personnel.
Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organizations to pursue desired strategic goals. Derived from the Greek word strategos, the term strategy, when it appeared in use during the 18th century, was seen in its narrow sense as the "art of the general", or "'the art of arrangement" of troops. Military strategy deals with the planning and conduct of campaigns, the movement and disposition of forces, and the deception of the enemy.
A military is a heavily armed, highly organised force primarily intended for warfare, also known collectively as armed forces. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct military uniform. It may consist of one or more military branches such as an army, navy, air force, space force, marines, or coast guard. The main task of the military is usually defined as defence of the state and its interests against external armed threats.
Military doctrine is the expression of how military forces contribute to campaigns, major operations, battles, and engagements.
Military intelligence is a military discipline that uses information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to assist commanders in their decisions. This aim is achieved by providing an assessment of data from a range of sources, directed towards the commanders' mission requirements or responding to questions as part of operational or campaign planning. To provide an analysis, the commander's information requirements are first identified, which are then incorporated into intelligence collection, analysis, and dissemination.
In modern use, the order of battle of an armed force participating in a military operation or campaign shows the hierarchical organization, command structure, strength, disposition of personnel, and equipment of units and formations of the armed force. Various abbreviations are in use, including OOB, O/B, or OB, while ORBAT remains the most common in the United Kingdom. An order of battle should be distinguished from a table of organisation, which is the intended composition of a given unit or formation according to the military doctrine of its armed force. As combat operations develop during a campaign, orders of battle may be revised and altered in response to the military needs and challenges. Also the known details of an order of battle may change during the course of executing the commanders' after action reports and/or other accounting methods as combat assessment is conducted.
An invasion is a military offensive in which large numbers of combatants of one geopolitical entity aggressively enter territory owned by another such entity, generally with the objective of either conquering; liberating or re-establishing control or authority over a territory; forcing the partition of a country; altering the established government or gaining concessions from said government; or a combination thereof. An invasion can be the cause of a war, be a part of a larger strategy to end a war, or it can constitute an entire war in itself. Due to the large scale of the operations associated with invasions, they are usually strategic in planning and execution.
A military operation is the coordinated military actions of a state, or a non-state actor, in response to a developing situation. These actions are designed as a military plan to resolve the situation in the state or actor's favor. Operations may be of a combat or non-combat nature and may be referred to by a code name for the purpose of national security. Military operations are often known for their more generally accepted common usage names than their actual operational objectives.
In the field of military theory, the operational level of war represents the level of command that connects the details of tactics with the goals of strategy.
Principles of war are rules and guidelines that represent truths in the practice of war and military operations.
A decisive victory is a military victory in battle that definitively resolves the objective being fought over, ending one stage of the conflict and beginning another stage. Until a decisive victory is achieved, conflict over the competing objectives will continue. Like all concepts of warfare, a decisive battle can take place from the tactical or unit level, the operational level, all the way up to the strategic level or battles that bring an end to hostilities, such as the Battle of Hastings, or the Battle of Waterloo.
An offensive is a military operation that seeks through an aggressive projection of armed forces to occupy territory, gain an objective or achieve some larger strategic, operational, or tactical goal. Another term for an offensive often used by the media is 'invasion', or the more general 'attack'.
A tactical victory may refer to a victory that results in the completion of a tactical objective as part of an operation or a result where the losses of the "defeated" outweigh those of the "victor" despite the victorious force having failed to meet its original objectives.
Strategic defence is a type of military planning doctrine and a set defense and/or combat activities used for the purpose of deterring, resisting and repelling a strategic offensive, conducted as either a territorial or airspace, invasion or attack; or as part of a cyberspace attack in cyberwarfare; or a naval offensive to interrupt shipping lane traffic as a form of economic warfare.
A Phase in combat is usually a period within a military operation of a longer duration that is a part of a serial chain of logically connected activities planned to culminate in a defined objective or goal.
A strategic military goal is used in strategic military operation plans to define the desired end-state of a war or a campaign. Usually it entails either a strategic change in an enemy's military posture, intentions or ongoing operations, or achieving a strategic victory over the enemy that ends the conflict, although the goal can be set in terms of diplomatic or economic conditions, defined by purely territorial gains, or the evidence that the enemy's will to fight has been broken. Sometimes the strategic goal can be to limit the scope of the conflict.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to war: