Effective strategic guidelines get three things right. They link to the corporate vision, identify critical vulnerabilities, and focus on what matters most. Few companies succeed based on a single big bet.
At its most basic, strategy is simply a matter of figuring out what we need to achieve, determining the best way to use the resources at our disposal to achieve it, then executing the plan.
Unfortunately, in the practical world of politics and war, none of these things are easily done. Our goals are complex, sometimes contradictory, and many-sided. They often change in the middle of a war.
The resources at our disposal are not always obvious, can change during the course of a struggle, and usually need to be adapted to suit our needs. And the enemy is often annoyingly uncooperative, refusing to fit our preconceptions of him or to stand still while we erect the apparatus for his destruction.
Let us start by analyzing one of the best known, most insightful, and least understood definitions of war ever written.
Most readers have seen it before, in one form or the other. Most military professionals accept this famous aphorism—albeit sometimes reluctantly—as a given truth.
And yet, the words "policy" and "politics," as we use them in the English language, mean very different things. The choice of one of these words over the other in translating Clausewitz's famous definition of war reflects a powerful psychological bias, a crucial difference in our views of the nature of reality.
We must understand both relationships—between war and policy, and between war and politics. To focus on the first without an appreciation for the second is to get a distorted notion of the fundamental character of war. War is a social phenomenon.
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Its logic is not the logic of art, nor that of science or engineering, but rather the logic of social transactions. Human beings, because they are intelligent, creative, and emotional, interact with each other in ways that are fundamentally different from the ways in which the scientist interacts with chemicals, the architect or engineer with beams and girders, or the artist with paints or musical notes.
The interaction we are concerned with when we speak of war is political interaction. The "other means" in Clausewitz's definition of war is organized violence. The addition of violence to political interaction is the only factor that defines war as a distinct form of politics—but that addition has powerful and unique effects.
While every specific war has its unique causes, which the strategist must strive to understand, war as a whole has no general cause other than mankind's innate desire for power.
Thucydides, the ancient Greek historian of the disastrous Peloponnesian War, recounted an Athenian statement to that effect. We have done nothing extraordinary, nothing contrary to human nature in accepting an empire when it was offered to us and then in refusing to give it up. Three very powerful motives prevent us from doing so—security, honor, and self-interest.
It has always been a rule that the weak should be subject to the strong; and besides, we consider that we are worthy of our power. The resort to naked force is the only way to determine the truth. Power is just as often psychological in nature: Power provides the means to attack, but it also provides the means to resist attack.
Power in itself is therefore neither good nor evil. By its nature, however, power tends to be distributed unevenly, to an extent that varies greatly from one society to another and over time.
Because of its many forms, different kinds of power tend to be found among different groups in most societies. Power manifests itself in different ways and in different places at different times.
In Tokugawa Japan, for example, "real" political power was exercised by the Shogun, formally subordinate to the emperor. Later, senior Japanese military leaders were for a time effectively controlled by groups of fanatical junior officers. King Philip II of Spain, whose power was rooted in a hereditary, landed, military aristocracy, launched the famous Spanish Armada against England in Driven to bankruptcy by his military adventures, he was surprised to discover the power that Europe's urban bankers could exercise over his military strategy.
The resort to violence frequently creates more problems than it resolves: Two of the major problems of strategy, therefore, are to determine where and in what form "real" power lies at any particular moment and to identify those relatively rare points at which military power can actually be used to good effect.
Power is often a means to an end, perhaps to carry out some ideological program: The process of distributing power may be fairly orderly—through consensus, inheritance, election, some time-honored tradition.
Or it may be chaotic—through assassination, revolution, and warfare. Whatever process may be in place at any given time, politics is inherently dynamic and the process is under constant pressures for change.
The key characteristic of politics, however, is that it is interactive—a competition or struggle. It cannot be characterized as a rational process, because actual outcomes are seldom if ever what was consciously intended by any one of the participants.5 SAVE THE CHILDREN’S CHILD PROTECTION STRATEGY Child protection failures affect progress in all sectors’ – Protecting children from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect is essential for them to.
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