Military & Strategy
Originally a military-only term, strategy is now a concept that is now applied to the most diverse domains, like politics, business, and others. Still, its exact definition and field of application is object of debate amongst scholars. I do not intend here to examine the issue and join the discussion; but I need to explain what I will indicate under the term "strategy" (which, after all, is the origin of this site's name). In this regard, I was deeply influenced by Edward Luttwak's book Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace, which illustrates a conceptualization that I will retain in my works. The author distinguishes five levels of strategy:
- The tecnical level revolves around the specific technical details of a weapon system and what it is capable to do on paper.
- The tactical level focuses on battles of relatively limited scale involving small-sized units fighting on a specific terrain.
- The operational level examines the "style" of waging war, placed along an attrition - maneuver warfare continuum.
- The theatre strategy level concerns a large, single, unitary and coherent battlespace relatively independent from others; and therefore introduces the geographic dimension of strategic warfare.
- Finally, grand strategy refers to the actions (may them be military, diplomatic, economic or of other type) undertaken by a state to preserve its security and pursue its interests; and is thus close to geopolitics.
However, this page is about military affairs & strategy, meaning that here I will focus on how a given weapon system deployed by a state (technical level) impacts the other four strategic levels. As such, I will cover only those platforms that, due to their nature, can have a similar strategic impact; like aircraft carriers, submarines, strategic bombers, ballistic missiles and others. On the contrary, I will not examine the weapons that do not have such importance or have it only to a limited degree; as in the case of assault rifles or IFVs.
I may also examine that state's specific military doctrine and its broader implications. Similar military-centered analyses will appear here and not on the country's dedicated page (or that of the region where it is located). On the contrary, when I will examine a state's grand strategy, I will post the report on its specific page (or, again, that of the region).
Additionally, I could possibly write more abstract papers on military doctrines, strategies, or the impact of a given category of weapons systems on warfare. In this case, the papers will appear on this page.
That said, military issues and strategy remain relevant in today's world. Conflicts exist in many parts of the world, and even though large-scale industrial wars among states seem a thing of the past, nothing excludes that they will not reappear in the future. Many countries are undertaking vast military modernization programs and introducing new systems, and the balance of power is continuously shifting. Therefore, is is important to examine and evaluate the impact of these developments to properly assess the risks and understand the reality of state-to-state power plays.
I have always had an interest in strategy and military matters, and my expertise is largely the result of personal readings; even though I had some related courses at university as well.
This page contains the reports centered on strategy and military affairs, with the connotation that was illustrated above.
China’s Aircraft Carrier Program: Its Development in Perspective
Deploying of aircraft carriers is one of the most important components of China's military modernization program; notably of its effort to transform its navy (the PLAN) into "blue-water" naval force capable of operating on the high sea and, eventually, to project Chinese power abroad.
It is therefore a process of primary importance in the strategic context of the Asia-Pacific, and understanding the actual capabilities of the two carriers the PRC is currently operating is a necessary step to properly evaluate the balance of power in the region; notably in relation to China's rise as the main strategic competitor of the United States.
This paper examines the role of the Liaoning and the Shandong by putting it into perspective. In particular, I examined their technical characteristics and I highlighted their main limitations; this showing that the two units are still inadequate to meet China's strategic objectives and that they are inferior to US carriers under many aspects. However, they remain a considerable asset for the PLAN; and their true importance lies in the fact that they allow the Chinese military to build its know-how in aircraft carrier operations, thus paving the way to the deployment of more powerful units in the future.
Operation Chromite: A Strategic Analysis
This paper examines one of the most important military operations of the post-WWII period and in particular of the Korean War, of which it represents one of the turning points: the audacious landings at Inchon in 1950, officially known as Operation Chromite.
I wrote it as part of the course in "Strategy and International Security" that I attended during my Master's program at UCL. So, it is an academic work in styile, but it represents a relevant application of theoretical strategic principles to a real military operation.
I conduct a strategic analysis based on the principles and the logic illustrated by Luttwak (and indirectly Clausewitz) in order to explain why this bold and risky operation was so effective; and why it represents a significant application of relative maneuver to warfare.
First, I briefly present the context (the Korean War), then I describe the Operation's unwinding. At that point I examine the strategic triad (actors-objectives-means) and finally I analyze the Operation's rationale and the strategic factors explaining its success.
Click on this link to open th report.
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