Jomini: Offensive-Defensive




Jomini defined both the offensive and defensive war and proposed that offensive war for a single operation is somewhat taking an initiative and nearly always it is advantageous
Before reading this article i would recomend you to read → Jomini Biography as it would give an insight how he evolved as a strategist.



Jomini was a great proponent of offensive warfare. As in (ARTICLE XVI.(OF STRATEGIC COMBINATIONShe clearly defined both the offensive and defensive war and proposed that offensive war for a single operation is somewhat taking an initiative and nearly always it is advantageous
"it carries the war upon foreign soil, saves the assailant’s country from devastation, increases his resources and diminishes those of his enemy, elevates the morale of his army, and generally depresses the adversary."
With that, he also pointed out that offensive with respect to the grand invasion was a bit risky as it results in long lines of operation and also the hostility of locals. The plus point is that the enemy is struck at the vital points and deprived of his resources, he will soon be compelled to seek speedy redressal of issues.
"He who invades does so by reason of some superiority;....."
On defensive operations, he said that 
"a defensive war is not without its advantages when wisely conducted". 
He believed that if one's forces are inferior to the enemy, then an active -defensive strategy may accomplish great successes in restoring equality.Jomini explained that this active type of defense (taking the offensive at times),
 "promises many chances for success . . . [and] combines the advantages of  both systems."

Jomini was also a proponent of the element of surprise. He states that 

"it is sufficient to attack [an enemy] in force at the point intended before preparations can be made to meet the attack.

He further cites confusion of the enemy as an advantage. 

But he also condemned the defensive strategy. Jomini wrote:
". . . to bury an army in entrenchments where it may be outflanked  and surrounded, or forced in front even if secure from a flank attack, is manifest folly; and it is hoped that we shall never see another instance of it."