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Airmen and the Art of Strategy

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Journal article

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The words of wisdom cited above span the ages and reflect two eternal truths first, that war is a uniquely challenging human endeavor and, second, that strategic thinking is as difficult as it is vital. These fundamental ideas frame both the logic of this essay and the rationale underlying the decision to launch Strategic Studies Quarterly SSQ. Men have fought wars since remotest antiquity on land and at sea. We fight them still today on land and at sea, and, since the twentieth century, we also fight in and through the air, space, and cyberspace. The breathtaking changes these millennia have seen in humanitys way of life and in the environment we have created for ourselves are matched by fundamental transformations in the character and conduct of war in terms of who fights where, when, and how. Yet war persists essentially unchanged in its most fundamental, primordial nature as a clash of opposing wills and intellects.Although war represents human violence in its most extreme form, war is not simply organized violence. War is a political act, employing force to promote or defend a set of interests. It is the violent outcome of a calculated, conscious decision that there is more to be gained by fighting than by remaining at peace. As war became institutionalized over the centuries, a new profession emerged the guardians of the nations defense and the masters of the unique skills necessary to fulfill a function so vital that without it civilization would perish within a generation. Strategic Studies Quarterly is a forum for this increasingly diverse national security elite of warriors and scholars. There can be few decisions more crucial--or more momentous--than determining whether, when, how, and to what end the nation should commit blood and treasure.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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