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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.
Strategy is a high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty. In the sense of the "art of the general", which included several subsets of skills including "tactics", siegecraft, logistics etc., the term came into use in the 6th century C.E. in East Roman terminology, and was translated into Western vernacular languages only in the 18th century. From then until the 20th century, the word "strategy" came to denote "a comprehensive way to try to pursue political ends, including the threat or actual use of force, in a dialectic of wills" in a military conflict, in which both adversaries interact.
A military operation plan is a formal plan for military armed forces, their military organizations and units to conduct operations, as drawn up by commanders within the combat operations process in achieving objectives before or during a conflict. Military plans are generally produced in accordance with the military doctrine of the troops involved.
War is a state of armed conflict between states, governments, societies and informal paramilitary groups, such as mercenaries, insurgents and militias. It is generally characterized by extreme violence, aggression, destruction, and mortality, using regular or irregular military forces. Warfare refers to the common activities and characteristics of types of war, or of wars in general. Total war is warfare that is not restricted to purely legitimate military targets, and can result in massive civilian or other non-combatant suffering and casualties.
It is the highest level of organisational achievement in a military organisation, and is usually defined by the national defence policy. In terms of goal assignment it corresponds to operations performed by a front or a fleet on a theatre scale, and by an Army group or, during the World War II, by a Red Army Front.
A military front or battlefront is a contested armed frontier between opposing forces. It can be a local or tactical front, or it can range to a theater. A typical front was the Western Front in France and Belgium in World War I.
A fleet or naval fleet is a large formation of warships, which is controlled by one leader and the largest formation in any navy. A fleet at sea is the direct equivalent of an army on land.
In warfare, a theater or theatre is an area in which important military events occur or are progressing. A theater can include the entirety of the airspace, land and sea area that is or that may potentially become involved in war operations.
A strategic goal is achieved by reaching specific strategic objectives that represent intermediary and incremental advances within the overall strategic plan. This is necessary because "high-level" strategic goals are often abstract, and therefore difficult to assess in terms of achievement without referring to some specific, often physical objectives.However, aside from the obstacles used by the enemy to prevent achievement of the strategic goal, inappropriate technological capabilities and operational weakness in combat may prevent fulfilment of the strategic plan. As an example, these are illustrated by the failure of the Royal Air Force's Bomber Command during the winter of 1943-44:
Combat is a purposeful violent conflict meant to weaken, establish dominance over, or kill the opposition, or to drive the opposition away from a location where it is not wanted or needed.
The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom's aerial warfare force. Formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world. Following victory over the Central Powers in 1918 the RAF emerged as, at the time, the largest air force in the world. Since its formation, the RAF has taken a significant role in British military history. In particular, it played a large part in the Second World War where it fought its most famous campaign, the Battle of Britain.
RAF Bomber Command controlled the RAF's bomber forces from 1936 to 1968. Along with the United States Army Air Forces, it played the central role in the strategic bombing of Germany in World War II. From 1942 onward, the British bombing campaign against Germany became less restrictive and increasingly targeted industrial sites and the civilian manpower base essential for German war production. In total 364,514 operational sorties were flown, 1,030,500 tons of bombs were dropped and 8,325 aircraft lost in action. Bomber Command crews also suffered a high casualty rate: 55,573 were killed out of a total of 125,000 aircrew, a 44.4% death rate. A further 8,403 men were wounded in action, and 9,838 became prisoners of war.
A critical product of the analysis which leads to the strategic decision to use military force is determination of the national goal to be achieved by that application of force.
However, analysis of military history abounds with examples of the two factors that plague goal setting in military strategies,[ citation needed ] their change during the campaign or war due to changes in economic, political or social changes within the state, or in a change of how achievement of the existing goal is being assessed, and the criteria of its achievement. For example:
Military history is a humanities discipline within the scope of general historical recording of armed conflict in the history of humanity, and its impact on the societies, cultures and economies thereof, as well as the resulting changes to local and international relationships.
Goal setting involves the development of an action plan designed to motivate and guide a person or group toward a goal. Goal setting can be guided by goal-setting criteria such as SMART criteria. Goal setting is a major component of personal-development and management literature.
The complex and varied nature of the Vietnam War made it especially difficult to translate abstract, strategic goals into specific missions for individual organizations.
The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, and in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America or simply the American War, was a conflict in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975, with U.S. involvement ending in 1973. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was officially fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union, China, and other communist allies; South Vietnam was supported by the United States, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Thailand and other anti-communist allies. The war is considered a Cold War-era proxy war from some US perspectives. It lasted some 19 years and included the Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War, resulting in all three countries becoming communist states in 1975. The outcome of the war humiliated the United States and diminished its reputation in the world.
This occurred because of the economic change that saw the cost of the war escalate beyond the original predictions and the changing political leadership, which was no longer willing to commit to the conduct of the war, but also due to the radical change which United States society experienced during the war, and more importantly because:
The American strategic goal was not the destruction of an organized military machine armed with tanks, planes, helicopters, and war ships, for which the United States had prepared, but the preservation of a fragile regime from the lightly armed attacks of both its own people and the North Vietnamese.
The United States did not intend to conquer North Vietnam for fear of a Chinese or Soviet military reaction. Likewise, the United States strategically assumed that the full extent of its power was not merited in the Vietnam War.
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.
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.
Military doctrine is the expression of how military forces contribute to campaigns, major operations, battles, and engagements.
The term "coalition" is the denotation for a group formed when two or more persons, faction, states, political parties, militaries etc. agree to work together temporarily in a partnership to achieve a common goal. The word coalition connotes a coming together to achieve a goal.
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.
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.
Principles of war are rules and guidelines that represent truths in the practice of war and military operations.
Deep operation, also known as Soviet Deep Battle, was a military theory developed by the Soviet Union for its armed forces during the 1920s and 1930s. It was a tenet that emphasized destroying, suppressing or disorganizing enemy forces not only at the line of contact, but throughout the depth of the battlefield.
A counter-offensive is the term used by the military to describe large-scale, usually strategic offensive operations by forces that had successfully halted the enemy's offensive, while occupying defensive positions.
Military terminology refers to the terms and language of military organizations and personnel as belonging to a discrete category, as distinguishable by their usage in military doctrine, as they serve to depoliticise, dehumanise, or otherwise abstract discussion about its operations from an actual description thereof.
Effects-based operations (EBO) is a United States military concept that emerged during the Persian Gulf War for the planning and conduct of operations combining military and non-military methods to achieve a particular effect. An effects-based approach to operations was first applied in modern times in the design and execution of the Desert Storm air campaign of 1991. The principal author of the daily attack plans—then Lt Colonel, now retired Lt General David A. Deptula—used an effects-based approach in building the actual Desert Storm air campaign targeting plan. Deptula describes the background, rationale, and provides an example of how an effects-based approach to targeting was conducted in Desert Storm in the publication, "Effects-Based Operations: Change in the Nature of Warfare." The doctrine was developed with an aim of putting desired strategic effects first and then planning from the desired strategic objective back to the possible tactical level actions that could be taken to achieve the desired effect. Contrary to conventional military approaches of force-on-force application that focused on attrition and annihilation, EBO focused on desired outcomes attempting to use a minimum of force. The approach was enabled by advancements in weaponry—particularly stealth and precision weapons—in conjunction with a planning approach based on specific effects rather than absolute destruction. Deptula, speaking at the Gulf War Air Campaign Tenth Anniversary Retrospective, on Jan 17, 2001 on One Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, defined the goal of EBO; "If we focus on effects, the end of strategy, rather than force-on-force the traditional means to achieve it militarily, that enables us to consider different and perhaps more effective ways to accomplish the same goal quicker than in the past, with fewer resources and most importantly with fewer casualties." Others have postulated that EBO could be interpreted as an emerging understanding that attacking a second-order target may have first order consequences for a variety of objectives, wherein the Commander's intent can be satisfied with a minimum of collateral damage or risk to his own forces.
An offensive is a military operation that seeks through aggressive projection of armed force 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.
Military capability is defined by the Australian Defence Force as "the ability to achieve a desired effect in a specific operating environment". It is defined by three interdependent factors: combat readiness, sustainable capability and force structure.
In business, operational objectives are short-term goals whose achievement brings an organization closer to its long-term goals. It is slightly different from strategic objectives, which are longer term goals of a business, but they are closely related, as a business will only be able to achieve strategic objectives when operational objectives have been met. Operational objectives are usually set by middle managers for the next six to twelve months based on an organisation's aim. They should be attainable and specific so that they can provide a clear guidance for daily functioning of certain operations. This business term is typically used in the context of strategic management and operational planning.
The concept of networked swarming warfare was first proposed by HUO Dajun in 2003. The key feature of the information age is the networking of organizational structure. The rising networked organization will overcome the limitation of traditional geography and link the operational resources distributed widely to form a military action network which combine strike range, speed and lethality, three elements of originally different developing, fundamentally transforming our idea of battle space. With the trend of decentralization of forces, we need to develop more small units with independent combat functions; meanwhile we can join these small units into a whole network as the technology's development. The warfare based on this network is called networked swarming warfare.