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Strategy and Tactics
War is won by a combination of superior high-level strategy and operational tactics.
Strategy in war is the domain of generals and senior officers who view the disputed territory as a chessboard, maneuvering forces as an integrated whole.
Strategy looks not just at the next battle but the whole war, stretching out in time to an ultimate victory. It considers enemy strategy too, plotting move and counter-move.
Territory, weather, and everything that may be encountered may be an opportunity or a threat and must be included in the grand plan.
Strategy can include deliberate sacrifice, sending troops to their doom in order to distract the enemy or achieve a catalytic mission. Whilst a wise general does not waste lives, they are still a significant part of the the inevitable price of victory.
The major difference between strategy and tactics is time. Whilst strategic plans reach out into the future, tactics have a much shorter -term goal, seeking to achieve a relatively simple end.
Tactics, whilst potentially plotted by generals, also may be changed and chosen lower down the hierarchy. Operational officers who are closer to the action and territory can see the immediate challenges and can often respond more wisely than a distant general.
Tactics thus include specific actions such as flanking or ambush that seek to gain a short-term advantage or otherwise take a relatively small step forward.
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