Mac Owens on the forgotten dimensions of American civil-military relations: Strategy

For soldiers, this focus, especially as articulated by Huntington in The Soldier and the State, which provides an “ideal” formula for maintaining civilian control while also keeping the military strong, means that they will tend to focus on operational factors — how to fight wars — at the expense of strategy, the purpose for which a war is fought. In other words, they may fail to connect operational art, at which the U.S. military excels, to political goals.

The bold type was mine and was added for emphases.

via Mac Owens on the forgotten dimensions of American civil-military relations | The Best Defense.

Strategy is really not the purpose for which wars are fought, it’s an attack.  In combination with a purpose, it is the attack.

An attack is a movement across a gap in forces, for whatever purpose it was that drove those forces from one side of the gap to the other.

The purpose (WMD) creates the potential energy needed for the attack to start, but the attack itself first starts in the mind, and that is where strategy starts.

Whose mind is not important. All that is important in strategy is winning or losing. Purpose is either good or bad, and is tied up in the tactics or planning of the war. Strategy is not a judgment, but an attack with two outcomes.

I suspect Strategy usually starts from a military person, because all strategy has a end, way and means, and it is usually the military person who thinks of the ways (logic) and means (resources) of war, because an attack means war to most people in the military.

In CMR, Strategy can either come from a civilian or military person, because it starts with a vision with two ends, the end at the beginning and the end of the war.

That is one basic reason it is important to have a successful and productive CMR , because the attack can start from anywhere, with for-whatever-purpose forming the force needed to win.