Strategic Maneuver: Defined for the Future Army
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Strategic Maneuver: Defined for the Future Army

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Frank Zachar
150 g
246x189x4 mm

This paper addresses the current misunderstanding surrounding the term known as strategic maneuver. Strategic maneuver is considered many different things to include: preclusion operations, moving units from theater to theater, and the use of strategic weapons. Some also consider strategic maneuver to be any form of military activity that has strategic ramifications. The misunderstanding is exacerbated by the fact that maneuver is a doctrinal term; however, strategic maneuver, as a concept or physical action, is not defined in doctrine. Strategies of Edward Luttwak's relational maneuver, Aleksandr Svechin's style of attrition, or Hans Delbruck's exhaustion, contain common themes demonstrating certain characteristics necessary to achieve the aims of maneuver warfare. The dominating theme is the achievement of the aim of maneuver warfare, the disruption of the enemy's system. Unlike attrition, maneuver warfare focuses on seeking out and attacking vital enemy weaknesses. Historical accounts used to demonstrate the evolution of maneuver include: Schlieffen's plan, Stormtrooper tactics, the Blitzkrieg, Russian OMGs, and use of nuclear weapons. Ingredients of maneuver born from these examples include: technology, speed of decision making, use of combined arms, and dichotomy of forces. The modern version of maneuver warfare has evolved from the basis of a strategy to a philosophy governing warfare. It places emphasis on the integration of all elements of command and control to shorten the decision making cycle. Informational capabilities of the military enable commanders to receive a greater understanding of the battlespace or region in which forces are operating. A reduced OODA Loop and increased informational abilities enables commanders to cycle through options faster than their adversary. The result are confusion and disorder within the enemy's system creating a psychological advantage over the enemy. Modern maneuver warfare with modern technology allows a new emphasi