The Search for Suitable Strategy: Threat-Based and Capabilities-Based Strategies in a Complex World
Technical Report,05 Jul 2015,26 May 2016
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS FORT LEAVENWORTH United States
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Since the end of the Cold War, capabilities-based military strategies have become increasingly common. The complex nature of the international environment has driven many militaries to focus on a set of capabilities to deal with a multitude of ill-defined threats rather than using a traditional threat-based military strategy. This leads to the inevitable question Which form of strategy is better While theory suggests that threat-based strategies are the more complete model, both can be ill-suited to the problem at hand if based on incorrect assumptions. Historical case studies of the Franco-Prussian War, the United States in the interwar years, and Israel in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War show that the true path to suitable strategy is a measure of forethought and theoretical planning exercises to shape habits of thought and identify risks or shortcomings inherent in a chosen strategy, whether threat-based or capabilities-based.