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Politics and Doctrine of America's First Battles

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[Technical Report, Research Paper]

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Generally when war is discussed and politics are brought into the conversation most thoughts naturally progress toward the idea of political considerations being the direct governmental policies or stances leading up to an engagement or battle, or possibly the benefits of governmental policy to a positive outcome of a probable engagement or battle. However, at times politics years prior to an engagement and even doctrine, which during peace time can be shaped by politics are deeper than actions, agenda, or political maneuvering directly related to the war or battle. Few, if any of Americas first battles have been free of political considerations. Throughout history politics have had a way of shaping the United States approach, entry, and even the goals of taking armed action against its enemies. Not all political considerations are necessarily bad or were the sole reason of the United States less than successful first battles. However, several generations of professional Soldiers have had a long standing tradition of deploring and denouncing political interference in strategy and operations, as if war and politics could be kept in a separate, sealed compartment Heller, 1. The mere use of military force in any sense is rooted in political decisions, goals, or objectives. As history has proven it appears that the battles or engagements that were far less than successful for the United States are the battles in which poor political decisions leading up to or during the battle were made.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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[A, Approved For Public Release]