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Save Thy People and Bless Thine Inheritance: Consolidation of Gains, the Roman-Persian War, and the Rashidun Conquest, AD 622-637

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Monograph]

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This monograph uses original sources from the Byzantine-Persian War of AD 622-628 and the Byzantine-Arab Wars to advance the US Armys understanding of operations to consolidate gains in the twenty-first century. In 2020 much of the theoretical discourse within the US military aims to anticipate the characteristics of the next war and how to best prepare the Joint Force to excel in that environment. The US Armys Field Manual FM 3-0 is still new, its effects are still coalescing across US Army thought, with the idea of consolidation. The concepts of operations to consolidate gains and the consolidation area have emerged as vital phenomena to understand in the wake of complex conflicts such as the Crimean Invasion of 2014 and the evolving threats surrounding Syria, Iraq, Iran, and the so-called Islamic State. The operations and policies of the seventh-century Byzantine Emperor Herakleios contain strikingly relevant lessons for consolidating gains in conflicts even in a hyper-connected and competitive twenty-first century. The monograph describes how the Emperor Herakleios achieved a decisive victory over the Sassanid Persian Empire yet failed to adequately address the challenge of consolidating the gains from that victory. This failure presented a strategic vulnerability which the Rashidun Caliphate exploited to dominate the Middle East. The monograph demonstrates that at the operational and strategic levels, the consolidation area is not necessarily physically connected to the main battle area or even the area of operations, and that a militarys administrative and bureaucratic features can be critical capabilities or vulnerabilities in operations to consolidate gains. This reality implies that the US Army should prepare to guide and participate in interagency efforts to consolidate political gains across physical and non-physical domains to establish the United States in a stronger strategic position than it had before a given conflict.


Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]