Why Strategy Is Difficult?

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Why strategy is difficult? Introduction It is hard to exaggerate the complicity of the question of “why strategy is difficult”. Any one aspect – definition, design, implementation, evaluation, and theory – is a topic for developing a series of books. However, none of them can shy away from one question: what is the purpose of strategy? Therefore, what lies at the heart of the difficulties mostly comes from answering this question. In this article, it argues that the purpose of strategy is to make war usable for policy. Therefore, to achieve this purpose, strategy must fulfil three requirements: mastering the grammar of war in order to make the most of military engagement for political ends while keep it under policy’s control;…show more content…
Also in the first section, it will point out the purpose of strategy is to make war usable for policy. Then, with outlining the three requirements for strategy to achieve its purpose, it suggests the difficulties lie in uncertainty of war and subjectivity of policy and victory. Based on the discussion in the third section which will further elaborate on those difficulties, it will provide a framework of “Levels of Difficulties” to reflect the different degrees of uncertainty and subjectivity felt in different levels of war. In the final section, it concludes that strategy is a complicated art of coordinating military means and political ends. And for strategists, the most difficult task is to build a strategic bridge to victory in a world of political subjectivity and the fog of war. What is strategy? Strategy is a social fact and it only exists in certain relationship. Therefore, an effective way to identify it starts from clarifying what it is not. In the context of this research, strategy is neither tactics nor policy. Strategy is not tactics. Although both of them play a role of guidance in the military engagement, their responsibilities are allocated at different levels. Strategy regards force as a totality and focuses on directing at the macro level – the military movement and the operations of a campaign. In contrast, tactics come into play at a micro level, guiding specific battles and any immediate confrontations with the enemies. As Liddell Hart
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