Publication:
The principles of war: are they still applicable?

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Authors
Ettrich, Brian B.
Subjects
Principles of War
Modern Principles of War
Jomini
Unconventional Warfare
21st Century Conflict
Modern Warfare
Future War
Sun Tzu
The Art of War
Advisors
Arquilla, John
Date of Issue
2005-06
Date
June 2005
Publisher
Monterey California. Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
The purpose of this thesis is to examine the principles of war as derived from the teachings of Baron Antoine Henri de Jomini and analyze them in terms of their continued applicability. This thesis looks at the complex nature of conflict in the 21st century, as well as the rise of unconventional warfare in recent years, and how significant changes in the overall realm of combat may be diminishing the relative importance of the nine principles of war utilized by the United States military for almost two centuries. The main objective of this study is to determine whether the traditionally accepted principles of war have become less applicable, and if so, to recommend new principles that could potentially be more appropriate for U.S. forces when developing new doctrine, strategy, tactics, and organizational structures. This study utilizes an heuristic approach in which the nine principles of war currently utilized by the United States military are projected through the lens of unconventional warfare in such a way as to consider whether these principles are no longer suitable for use when facing complex, innovative adversaries, such as globally networked, non state sponsored, terrorist organizations and/or rogue states. Upon demonstrating the diminished applicability of some of the nine principles of war still in use, this study then identifies and defines several new principles that should be considered more relevant to the changing conditions and circumstances of conflict. Finally, a discussion of principles of war as formulated by Sun Tzu provides a basis on which to compare and contrast Jomini's teachings with that of another great military thinker whose notions regarding the art of warfare may provide a more suitable paradigm upon which to construct a new version of the modern principles of war.
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Thesis
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Department
Defense Analysis (DA)
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Format
xiv, 88 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
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