Military consultant and ardent Clausewitzian, Wilf Owen contacted me today to alert me to the launch of Infinity Journal, “a peer-review electronic journalzine dedicated to the study and discussion of strategy “:
Infinity Journal views strategy as the use of any or all instruments of power to secure political objectives. IJ is concerned mainly – though not exclusively – with the use of force. Strategy must both pursue policy objectives and be viable via tactics. Beyond that there are no sacred cows within the pages of the Infinity Journal.
Critically, and beyond doubt, is the fact that the practice and application of strategy has life and death outcomes for people living in the world today. The fate of nations and peoples still rests in the realm of strategy and as such, it is a vitally important area of study.
Infinity Journal aims to make the discussion of strategy accessible to the widest possible audience, because today strategy is widely misunderstood not only by the layman but also by students, senior soldiers and politicians. Therefore, we aim to keep rigid language and complexity to minimum and comprehensible language and simplicity to a maximum.
Wilf has an impressive line-up of current and future issue contributors including TX Hammes, Martin van Creveld, John Mackinlay, Colin Gray and many other strategists, soldiers, academics and “students of war” who share a deep interest in strategy.
An excerpt, from Col. TX Hammes in the current issue of Infinity Journal, available online (registration is free!):
….In short, in every plan there will be key factors that are unknown to the planners. For instance, we can’t know for certain how a population will react to a U.S. invasion or how much of the international development assistance promised at a conference will actually be delivered. However, to continue planning, the planners must make an educated guess – an assumption – about such key unknowns. While some may see this as a bureaucratic process of little value, recent events show assumptions are central to all planning. For instance, General Tommy Franks assumed the Iraqi government would remain in place after we removed Saddam. Thus Iraqis would deal with the problems of getting their nation back on its feet after the war. And because they would, the United States could invade with a much smaller force than that recommended by the previous CentCom Commander, General Anthony Zinni. In contrast, Zinni assumed the government would collapse and he would need large number of U.S. forces (380,000) to provide security and services.[v] This single, unexamined assumption dramatically altered the war plan.
Check it out.
Cross-posted from zenpundit.com