Economics of War Planning: An Addition to the Clausewitzian Trinity   [open pdf - 2MB]

From the thesis abstract: "The attached monograph seeks to analyze in general terms the economic dimension in war planning. It focuses on the causes and implications of the often inescapable incompatibility between political/economic objectives and military aims. Much of what the monograph argues has only recently been discerned from Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. It was a modern war of the kind whose effects we anticipated in AirLand Battle, but resulted in compressing the doctrine into ways never before visualized. One preliminary use of this monograph is to help CINCs [Commander in Chief] and senior staff planners gain insight about economics as a vital element in military strategy and campaign plan formulation. Principally, the monograph seeks to analyze the economic domain through Clausewitz's framework of war. The author examines Clausewitz's trinity and suggests a modified version to his theory. Although the spectrum of the economic domain encompasses political, psychological, and military elements, the paper emphasizes the latter. This can be seen in the utility of finding economic features which may lead a planner to economic decisive points. The economic dimension is discussed to some degree, but only as a vehicle for continuity or for demonstrating the economic impact on military activities. The result of this research led the author to conclude that one cannot limit himself to the destruction of the enemy's forces as the main effort. Without considering other possible centers of gravity such as their economic capacity to wage war. Jean de Bloch once wrote that 'military writers look upon future war only from the point of view of attaining certain objects by destroying the armies of the enemy.' Switch his word writers for planners and you sense the issue before us. Bloch probably had Karl von Clausewitz or Henri de Jomini in mind when he wrote these words. It is time modern practitioners expand their thinking about the art of war to include economics."

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library: http://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/
Media Type:
Help with citations