Military Strategy in Latin America

Authored by: Gabriel Marcella

Routledge Handbook of Latin American Security

Print publication date:  July  2015
Online publication date:  July  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415718691
eBook ISBN: 9781315867908
Adobe ISBN: 9781317965091


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Strategy exists at various levels, from grand to military, theater, and campaign. Grand strategy is the use of the aggregate power of the state to promote its national interests. These are defense, economic prosperity, international order, and promoting certain values. Military strategy is a scheme to employ military means to achieve the objectives of policy. Strategy is most effective when guided by policy, which defines the goals and sets the parameters for permissible actions and the limits on ‘blood and butter’ that can be used. The subordination of policy to military strategy, the domination of ends by means, is a prescription for disaster of the kind seen in World War I, when railroad timetables determined the initiation of war and military officers told civilian leaders what to do. Disaster can take another form, where military operations are conducted in the absence of strategy.

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