Strategy is not a modern invention.It is an essential and enduring feature of human history that is here to stay.In this original essay, Colin S. Gray, world-renowned scholar of strategic thought, discusses the meaning of strategy and its importance for politicians and the military as a means of achieving desired outcomes in complex, uncertain conditions.
Read alsoGeopolitics, Geography and Strategy
Geopolitical conditions influence all strategic behaviour - even when cooperation among different kinds of military power is expected as the norm, action has to be planned and executed in specific physical environments. The geographical world cannot be avoided, and it happens to be 'organized' into land, sea, air and space - and possibly the…
Drawing on a wide range of examples from the Great Peloponnesian War to the Second World War, Vietnam, and the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Gray ably shows how great military thinkers of the past and present have acted strategically in their various ideological, political, geographical and cultural contexts. Looking to the future, he argues that strategy will continue to provide a vital tool-kit for survival and security, but that the global threat posed by nuclear weapons remains an on-going challenge without obvious practical solutions.As Gray boldy asserts, there is no promised land ahead, only hard and dangerous times that will require us to master the theory and practice of strategy to secure our own future.