Jomini's Foundation Of Theory, And The Foundations Of Strategy

2259 Words 10 Pages
Foundations of Strategy
Lt Col Frank Taravella, USAF

In the history of war, man has struggled to analyze and understand conflict from various points of view. In the big picture, no one strategy or concept can successfully analyze a particular conflict for the mere fact that these concepts were developed with an eye on history. Having historical examples does not completely encompass all aspects of modern warfare, as no two conflicts are exactly the same. In this essay I will attempt to compare and contrast the theoretical war strategies or concepts through the eyes of two of the most renowned theorists: Jomini (Scientific) and Clausewitz (Clausewitzian) to demonstrate how their approaches to dissecting warfare have both similarities and
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His theoretical approach rests at the operational level and utilizes armies to maneuver, outmaneuver, and defeat an enemy; almost akin to a fixed prescription for victory. This notion is best captured in the following passage: “Most of Jomini 's interpretation is ‘scientific,’ maintaining a strong emphasis on tidy, often geometric, operational rules, as did works of the Military Enlightenment. He insisted that operations ‘may be regulated by fixed laws resembling those of the positive sciences.’” [Lynn, 353] While Jomini does venture into some of the underlying attributes that are somewhat less tangible, such as the characteristics of leadership and generalship, his main focus rests solely in more concrete aspects of conflict. Jomini breaks down his philosophy into six basic categories: Statesmanship (reason), Strategy, Grand Tactics, Logistics, Engineering, and Minor Tactics. [Jomini, 6] While he pays homage to the fact that external forces influence these categories, his focus remains on these attributes and their operational …show more content…
However, often times, when actual conflict is involved, the United States, in particular, relies on the U.S. Military to apply all four elements to include: Diplomatic, Informational, Military as well as Economic. As we see in the discussion of Operation Iraqi Freedom above, applying a scientific strategy can lead to a swift victory. But in the nature of Clausewitz, when the other elements come into play and these responsibilities fall to the military to accomplish, they often fall short. Thus I conclude that some Elements of National Power are better left to other branches of government and do not rest well within the military to execute. The inclusion of State, Justice, Treasury and other departments to carry out actions which fall more into their realm of expertise would bring the effort more into a Clausewitzian realm and more of these contextual and cultural elements could be better addressed as the campaign marches towards

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