The Theory of Strategy


Liddel Hart
Before going forward let's be clear on what strategy is. As per Clausewitz, in his significant work ON WAR  defined it as the " the employment of the battle as the means towards the attainment of the object of the War.". In other words strategy forms, the general outline or the plan of the war point out the course of action for different campaigns which compose the war and modulate each battle.

One defect of this definition is that it intrudes on the sphere of policy, or the higher conduct of the war, which must necessarily be the responsibility of the government and not of the military leaders it employs as its agents in the executive control of operations. Another defect is that it narrows the meaning of ‘strategy’ to the pure utilization of battle, thus conveying the idea that battle is the only means to the strategical end. It was an easy step for Clausewitz's less profound disciples to confuse the means with the end and to reach the conclusion that in war every other consideration should be subordinated to the aim of fighting a decisive battle.

The Military Maxims of Napoleon

Compiled by General Burnod
First published in 1827

1. The frontiers of nations are either large rivers, or chains of mountains, or deserts. Of all these obstacles to the march of an army, deserts are the most difficult to surmount; mountains come next, and large rivers hold only the third rank.

2. A plan of the campaign should anticipate everything which the enemy can do, and contain within itself the means of thwarting him. Plans of the campaign may be infinitely modified according to the circumstances, the genius of the commander, the quality of the troops and the topography of the theater of war.

Elements of National Power

The four basic elements of national power are
  • Diplomacy
  • Economy
  • Information
  • Military
It includes influencing the international issues, situation and crisis via Bi-Lateral and Multilateral agreements, negotiations, MOUs and engagements with countries’ State Department or Foreign Office taking the overall lead. The Diplomatic elements are conducted with foreign nations United Nations and with International Non-Governmental Organizations.Example: United States’ State Department

Type of Arms Trade

Type of Arms Trade

The term 'Licensing' refers to the case where the production takes place on the basis of licensing agreement between 2 companies if 2 different countries whereas the term “Unlicensed” production boot out the original holder of technology as well as the cases where the right of production is inherited by another legal entity(in case of successor states of USSR).
Also, term licensed or unlicensed merely indicate whether the production is based on licensed agreement or not; it didn’t say anything about whether the company is authorized by its government to produce weapons in question.

Arms Aid: Factsheet

Arms Aid is one of the most common and most prevalent methods of arms transfer. Aid often comes in form of money for the foreign military to buy weapon & equipment from the donor country. This aid is given to the countries in an alliance( Mutual Defence Assistance Programme-NATO), recipient countries which have a strategic partnership with donor countries or on a humanitarian basis.

Arms Trade

Arms Trade
Source: Wikipedia

The two ways of international arms transfer are:
Arms Trade
Arms Aid 

Because of the secret nature of many arms transaction, the difficulty arises in describing the boundaries of each of the above 2 categories.

Arms Trade in simpler terms is the process via which manufacturing countries along with private companies sell their weapons systems in the international arms market. Just like any other market fierce competition exist among the arms-producing nations/companies exist in the non-producing countries.