What is the Operational Level of War?

Introduction In the field of military theory, the operational level of war (also called operational art, as derived from Russian: оперативное искусство, or operational warfare) represents the level of command that connects the details of tactics with the goals of strategy. In Joint US military doctrine, operational art is “the cognitive approach by commanders and… Read More


What is a Pincer Movement?

Introduction The pincer movement, or double envelopment, is a military manoeuvre in which forces simultaneously attack both flanks (sides) of an enemy formation. The pincer movement typically occurs when opposing forces advance towards the centre of an army that responds by moving its outside forces to the enemy’s flanks to surround it. At the same… Read More

What is Manoeuvre Warfare?

Introduction Manoeuvre warfare is a military strategy which attempts to defeat the enemy by incapacitating their decision-making through shock and disruption. Background Methods of war have to be chosen between manoeuvre and attrition warfare. The latter focuses on achieving victory through killing or capturing the enemy; manoeuvre warfare advocates the recognition that all warfare involves… Read More

Moving Men…

“There are two means of moving men – interest and fear.” Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 to 1821) Also known as Napoleon I, the Corsican or the Little Corporal, he was a French general, first consul of France (1799-1804), and emperor of the French (1804-1814/15), one of the most celebrated personages in the history of the West.… Read More

Force of Arms & Not Force of Arms…

“The goal of this kind of warfare will encompass more than merely using means that involve the force of arms to control the enemy to accept one’s own will. Rather, the goal should be to use all means whatsoever-means that involve the force of arms and means that do not involve the force of arms,… Read More

Manoeuvre Warfare: Destruction vs Irrelevance…

“In maneuver warfare, we attempt not to destroy the entire enemy force but to render most of it irrelevant.” Robert R. Leonhard (1870 to 1924) Lieutenant Colonel Robert R. Leonhard, Ph.D. is a retired US Army officer and is a research analyst at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. He is the author of… Read More