Grand strategy

Grand strategy

Grand strategy is military strategy at the level of movement and use of an entire nation state or empire's resources.

Military grand strategy includes calculations of economic resources and man-power. It also includes moral resources, what is sometimes called national will. [Strategy By B.H. Liddell Hart] Issues of grand strategy typically include the choice of primary versus secondary theaters in war, distribution of resources among the various services, the general types of armaments to favor manufacturing, and which international alliances best suit national goals. It has considerable overlap with foreign policy, but grand strategy focuses primarily on the military implications of policy. Some have extended the concept of grand strategy to describe multi-tiered strategies in general, including strategic thinking at the level of corporations and political parties.

Grand strategy is typically directed by the political leadership of a country, with input from the most senior military officials. Because of its scope and the number of different people and groups involved, grand strategy is usually a matter of public record, although the details of implementation (such as the immediate purposes of a specific alliance) are often concealed. The development of a nation's grand strategy may extend across many years or even multiple generations.

Historical examples

* World War II:A classic example of modern grand strategy is the decision of the Allies in World War II to concentrate on the defeat of Germany first. The decision, a joint agreement made after the attack on Pearl Harbor had drawn the US into the war, was a sensible one in that Germany was the most powerful member of the Axis, and directly threatened the continued existence of both the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union. Conversely, while Japan's conquests garnered considerable public attention, they were mostly in colonial areas deemed less essential by planners and policymakers. The specifics of Allied military strategy in the Pacific War was therefore shaped by the lesser resources made available to the theatre commanders.

* Cold War:A more recent example of grand strategy was the policy of containment used by the US during the Cold War.


Further reading

* [ American Grand Strategy After 9/11: An Assessment] . Dr. Stephen Biddle. 50pp. April 2005. [ Strategic Studies Institute] . (Free PDF Download)
* Wright, Steven. "The United States and Persian Gulf Security: The Foundations of the War on Terror", Ithaca Press, 2007 ISBN 978-0863723216
* A. Platias, "International Relations and Grand Strategy in Thucydides"
* J.F.C. Fuller, "The Generalship of Alexander the Great"

ee also

* Grand strategy wargame
* Simulation
* Strategic and Defence Studies Centre
* Wargaming
* Total war

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