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In Defense of Liddell Hart's 'Strategy'
B.H. Liddell Hart is considered by some to be the Clausewitz of the 20th century, and his most important book, Strategy: The Indirect Approach, is recognized as a seminal work of military history and theory. It is widely studied in elite military institutions the world over for an understanding of the higher direction of war. Liddell Hart in this book stressed movement, flexibility, and surprise as cardinal elements of victory, which even now remain relevant to the conduct of war.
Through a systematic review of every major conflict and a detailed analysis of both world wars, he attempts in it to prove that all major victories are achieved through the use of the “indirect approach.” He believed that the indirect approach has a much wider application, that it is a law of life in all spheres, indeed a truth of philosophy. He saw that in most military campaigns dislocation of the enemy’s psychological and physical balance is a prelude to victory. This dislocation, in his assessment, results from a strategic indirect approach which is cost effective and result oriented.
The essence of Strategy is to strike by fire alone at the greatest number of points in the shortest time over the widest area and without even making contact in the present tactical sense. The meaning of this indirect approach has been stretched to accommodate such a wide range that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy—that is, almost anything except a frontal assault can be labeled “indirect.”
Despite the passage of many decades since the publication of this book, it has remained relevant to most military situations and to an extent to all situations. It's precepts that effective results can be achieved through indirectness to undermine the military effectiveness of the adversary give a vision of the most cost-effective strategy. The indirectness has usually been physical and always psychological. Liddell Hart concepts when delved for a wider applicability are relevant to business, to relationships, to conveying ideas, and much more.
Indeed, I would argue that contemporary concepts of warfare, such as “ Hybrid Warfare” and “Fifth Generation War,” are nothing but new manifestations of the strategy of indirect approach causing implosion of fault lines of a Nation, using all relevant elements like media, economics, psychological, fifth columnists, and so on. The main ingredients in these modes of warfare--surprise, psychological dislocation and striking on a wide front in quick succession--can be traced back to the concepts covered in Liddell Hart’s Strategy.
Lt. Gen. Shafaat U. Shah( Ret) was commissioned in Pakistan Army in 1971. Over 39 years of service he held a variety of command , staff and instructional assignments, including Military Secretary to the President of Pakistan and Commander Lahore Corps. More recently he was Pakistan’s ambassador to the Kingdom of Jordan . He is an Honour Graduate of Staff College Camberley, UK and Pakistan War College. He holds master’s degrees in Political Science and War Strategy.
Hand grenades from the last major battle of the Revolutionary War have repeatedly scrambled bomb squads in Virginia's capital
In an uh-oh episode of historic proportions, hand grenades from the last major battle of the Revolutionary War recently and repeatedly scrambled bomb squads in Virginia's capital city.
Wait – they had hand grenades in the Revolutionary War? Indeed. Hollow iron balls, filled with black powder, outfitted with a fuse, then lit and thrown.
And more than two dozen have been sitting in cardboard boxes at the Department of Historic Resources, undetected for 30 years.
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White supremacist Coast Guard officer stockpiled firearms and hit list of Democrats for mass terror attack
A Coast Guard lieutenant arrested this week planned to "murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country," according to a court filing requesting he be detained until his trial.
At least 4 American veterans among group arrested in Haiti with arsenal of weapons and tactical gear
At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.
Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.
They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.
What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.
The State Department announced Wednesday that notorious ISIS bride Hoda Muthana, a U.S.-born woman who left Alabama to join ISIS but began begging to return to the U.S. after recently deserting the terror group, is not a U.S. citizen and will not be allowed to return home.