Hybrid Warfare and Challenges
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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The U.S. military faces an era of enormous complexity. This complexity has been extended by globalization, the proliferation of advanced technology, violent transnational extremists, and resurgent powers. Americas vaunted military might stand atop all others but is tested in many ways. Trying to understand the possible perturbations the future poses to our interests is a daunting challenge. But, as usual, a familiarity with history is our best aid to interpretation. In particular, that great and timeless illuminator of conflict, chance, and human nature--Thucydides--is as relevant and revealing as ever. In his classic history, Thucydides detailed the savage 27-year conflict between Sparta and Athens. Sparta was the overwhelming land power of its day, and its hoplites were drilled to perfection. The Athenians, led by Pericles, were the supreme maritime power, supported by a walled capital, a fleet of powerful triremes, and tributary allies. The Spartan leader, Archidamius, warned his kinsmen about Athens relative power, but the Spartans and their supporters would not heed their king. In 431 BCE, the Spartans marched through Attica and ravaged the Athenian country estates and surrounding farms. They encamped and awaited the Athenian heralds and army for what they hoped would be a decisive battle and a short war. The scarlet-clad Spartans learned the first lesson of military history--the enemy gets a vote. The Athenians elected to remain behind their walls and fight a protracted campaign that played to their strengths and worked against their enemies. Thucydides ponderous tome on the carnage of the Peloponnesian War is an extended history of the operational adaptation of each side as they strove to gain a sustainable advantage over their enemy.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics