What does it mean to win a war? How does this differ from a simple military victory? How have different cultures and societies answered these questions through history, and how can we apply these lessons?
When considering how a war might be 'won', there are three big ideas that underpin how success can be measured: ownership, intervention for effect, and fighting for ideas. These three main themes also contain a series of sub-themes: internal and external, short-term and long-term, military success versus political success, and tactical outcomes versus campaign effects versus strategic success.
This book examines the constituent parts of what may comprise ‘victory’ or ‘winning’ in war and then travels, chronologically, through a wide variety of historical case studies, further exploring these philosophical components and weaving them into a factual discussion. The authors of each chapter will explore the three big ideas within the context of their individual case studies, offering pointers as to where, within that framework, their case study may sit.
The message of this book is not just an academic exploration for its own sake, but a really vital aspect (both morally and practically) of the political and military business of the application of force. In short, know in advance how you wish to end before you start.