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The Language of the Military Profession

War . . .. “A state of open, armed, often prolonged conflict carried on between nations, states, or parties.”. . American Heritage Dictionary.

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The Language of the Military Profession

Presentation on theme: "The Language of the Military Profession"— Presentation transcript:


The Language

of the

Military ProfessionSlide2

War . . .“A state of open, armed, often prolonged conflict carried on between nations, states, or parties.”

American Heritage DictionarySlide3

War . . .“. . . is an organized and often prolonged conflict that is carried out by states or non-state actors. It is generally characterized

by extreme violence, social disruption and economic destruction. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political communities, and therefore is defined as a form of political violence or intervention. The set of techniques used by a group to carry out war is known as warfare. An absence of war is usually called peace.


some scholars see warfare as an inescapable and integral aspect of human nature, others argue that it is only inevitable under certain socio-cultural or ecological

circumstances . . .”


“International Terrorism”18 U.S. Code § 2331 - DefinitionsThe

term “international terrorism” means activities



violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State;


to be



intimidate or coerce a civilian population;


influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or


affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; Slide5

Threads of Continuity



Academic community

History “Buffs”

Professional SoldiersSlide6

Levels of Military Operations




Strategy (Strategic)Strategy

is the level of war at which

a nation or group of nations determines

national or alliance security objectives

and develops and uses national resources to accomplish those objectives.Slide8

Operations (Operational)


involve the

planning, conduct, and sustainment of campaigns

designed to accomplish strategic goals within a specific theater of war.Slide9

Tactics (Tactical)


are the specific techniques that smaller units use to

win battles and engagements


The “Framework” of WarStrategic Level

National or Alliance security objectives

Operational Level

Conduct, and sustainment of campaigns

Tactical Level

Fighting battles and engagementsSlide11




Military OperationsSlide12

An operation conducted by forces of

two or more allied nations

acting together for the accomplishment of a single mission.

(i.e., “international”)

Combined OperationsSlide13

A force of assigned or attached elements of

two or more services

and constituted by appropriate authority for a specific or limited purpose or missions of short duration.

(i.e., “interservice”)


National Military StrategyStrategy of Attrition/Exhaustion: A strategy which seeks the

gradual erosion

of the combat power of the enemy’s armed forces and/or the enemy’s will or non-military means to resist.


of Annihilation/Incapacitation:

A strategy which seeks the immediate destruction of the combat power of the enemy’s armed forces. Slide15

Principles of War










FrictionCarl von Clausewitz,

On War


“Friction” as Chance or Uncertainty?


Culminating PointSlide17

“Everything in war is very simple, but the

simplest thing is difficult


“Friction is the force that makes the

apparently easy so difficult


“Friction is the only concept that more or less corresponds to the factors that

distinguish real war from war on paper



“The offensive is the

decisive form of war


“The fight is taken to the enemy in such a way as to achieve

decisive victory at least cost


“The main purpose of the offensive is to

defeat, destroy, or neutralize

the enemy force.”

Offense / OffensiveSlide19

“The immediate purpose of defensive operations is to

defeat an enemy attack


“The greater intent of the defensive is to

force the attack to culminate

, to

gain the initiative

for friendly forces, and to create the opportunity to

shift to the offensive


Defense / DefensiveSlide20

“A retrograde operation is a

maneuver to the rear

or away from the enemy.”

“It is part of a larger scheme of maneuver to

regain the initiative

and defeat the enemy.”

“Commanders use retrograde operations to

harass, exhaust, resist, delay, or damage

an enemy.”


“…military activities during peacetime and conflict that

do not necessarily involve armed clashes between two organized forces


“…attempts to influence world events through those

actions that routinely occur between nations



hostilities to secure strategic objectives


Military Operations Other Than WarSlide22

“Logistics is the


of planning and executing the

sustainment of forces

in support of military operations.”

“Logistics cannot win a war, but its

absence or inadequacy can cause defeat



“…the movement of military forces from the Continental US or a theater

in response to requirements of war or MOOTW


“Force projection operations extend from

mobilization and deployment. . .to redeployment. . .to demobilization


Force ProjectionSlide24

Standard TerminologySlide25

Interior and Exterior (Convergent) LinesSlide26

Distribution of ForcesSlide27



Double EnvelopmentSlide31

Turning MovementSlide32

Oblique OrderSlide33