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The Art of Strategic Thinking

Dan Schueftan

Strategic thinking is called for, indeed indispensable, for good decision making when charting the course of a nation in the social, political, military and economic domains. Only a few are inclined to look beyond the events, the choices and their immediate outcomes, into the “Großen Zusammenhänge”: the intricate interrelationships, the deep-rooted motivations and the long-term consequences. This perspective also requires a keen interest in the divergent cultures of the players that is usually associated with extensive experience.
Strategic thinking comes “naturally” to some more than to others. It can be developed and perfected through education, training and experience, but it takes talent to be done exceptionally well. Cognitive science may help in understanding and perfecting it, but in its higher forms it is an art, beyond professional competence.

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The MAD Syndrome   

(for Mutually Assured Destruction)

Erik Durschmied

Will we face a new world war? It sounds like a scare episode from Project Fear, and it is played in a loop on television. We cannot predict the world’s fate by merely looking into a crystal ball, no more than my grandfather could in 1914 and my father in 1939. Before history, who will put himself on the line, which he feels it takes to achieve immortality, be it good or evil. Who will this time stand accused of dereliction of duty? Who will be held responsible for what could turn into the final calamity of mankind? Be hostis humani generis - the enemy of all Mankind.

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Emerging technologies in the field of logistics

Andreas Alexa

This article focuses on the description of emerging technologies in the field of logistics and the implications to the support und the sustainment of military operations in the year 2040.

Although the future is not predictable and it is a view into the glass ball, there will be significant changes in the next 20 years. Some of the new technologies, which are currently only thought by science-fiction authors and forward thinking enterprises, will not be carried out, others however will be implemented in the civil world and therefore will have an impact in the conducting of military operations.

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Strategic Thinking in the Era of Cultural Wars

Dan Schueftan

Modern war presents an embarrassing challenge to modern powers resting on a robust social, economic and military infrastructure. This brings an essentially open society to a profoundly different battlefield that sanctifies human life and is devoted to the promotion of the quality of life on the one hand, with societies that are, to different degrees, tribal, authoritarian and dysfunctional, on the other. The latter very often failed to meet the challenges of the modern era, and are unwilling to pay the cultural price of the transformation required for securing a better future for their children that predominantly is the adoption of pluralistic values and practices, specifically female equality.

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High Politics - rule geography, military structure and power structure: an overview of the object area

Clemens Eicher

A problem area may be defined simply as a bundle of several possible design options for a particular slice of reality applicable to contacts with the target systems of States in a diverging mode. A problem thus defined enters the policy area, if governments put it on their agenda and thereby initiate a policy cycle, which entails international decision-making, implementation and revision.

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The 2016 EU ‘Global Strategy’: Consequences for European Force Structures

Jan Willem Honig

When one surveys successful grand strategy statements of the not-so-distant past and compares these with the EU’s new ‘Global Strategy’,one basic difference catches the eye. Whether secret –– like the 1950 Report to the US National Security Council known as NSC68, or public –– like NATO’s 1967 ‘Report of the Council on the Future Tasks of the Alliance’, known as the Harmel Report, they either explicitly contained or quickly permitted the central tenet of the proposed strategy to be captured in a catch-phrase: ‘containment’ and ‘defence and détente’. 

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The Arctic 

a test site for a new, global geopolitical architecture with the focus on China’s role

By Jörg-Dietrich Nackmayr

Why The Arctic Is So Interesting? This text investigates what effect the melting and possible disappearance of the Artic ice shelf during the coming decades will have on the geopolitical balance in the far North and which conflicts could result therefrom. The analysis will focus on China. Up to now, China’s appearance on the Arctic scene has not been adequately reflected in publications.

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A Research Note: Counter-Elitist Power Organization - Theoretical Basics and Conception

Clemens Alexander Eicher and Robert Moser

 The current third wave of globalization since 1991 ensued with the end of the system-wide pact confrontation. Increasing expansion of production, distribution and finance cycles, beyond national borders, has caused veritable gains in the fields of transport, conveyance and communication. The relative arbitrariness between transnational interactions is not a result of an erosion of regulations, but must be interpreted as outcome of political decision-processes. These developments left their mark on the operational environment of the international state system.

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The Benefits of a Definition of the Term Strategy – A Perspective

Wolfgang Peischel

Athena was worshipped as the goddess of wisdom, war, the tactics of war and of strategy, as well as the patroness of the arts and sciences. Legend has it that she sprang, fully grown and accoutred, from Zeus’s forehead after Hephaistos had cloven it at his behest. Hence, the goddess of strategy can also be seen as the embodiment of wisdom and of thought per se. If one regards thought and action as antipodes, the term strategy could be given a faint spin – because Athena jumped from Zeus’s head, and not his arm. 

Marc Bloch credited the French officer corps of 1940 with great professional, operational-level and tactical expertise. However, he criticised their approach – mired in their upbringing and training - which betrayed the values of the Enlightenment. According to Bloch, 1940 France was primarily a defeat of the spirit and of thought.

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American Civil War an Official History:
The Kansas “Red Legs” as Missouri’s Dark Underbelly

The Kansas-Missouri Border 1861-1862: Guerrilla Warfare

Donald L. Gilmore 

The passing of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 was the beginning of constant political debates about the status of a number of new states of the Union, to be split into Proslavery or Free states as demanded by Congress. Slowly the arguments shifted into armed conflict before the Civil War, and became a guerrilla war in Missouri in 1861. In February 1861, Missouri had decided to remain in the Union, but Governor Jackson wanted to join the Confederacy (CSA), creating a split military, part Pro-Union, the rest pro-Confederate Missouri State Guard, now driven into the Southern part of the state. 

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On the Development of a Military and Leadership Science Tandem 

Wolfgang Peischel

Currently, there is a manifest general strategic deficiency in the fields of security policy, the identification of national objectives, as well as corporate governance in private industry. This also impacts on the requirements regarding a skills profile for future command and management personnel. Against this backdrop, an attempt is made at finding an answer by accentuating, horizontally expanding or abstracting the contents of military science with a view to fostering a general leadership science. By means of this, and by employing available capabilities and structures, the greatest national benefit is to be achieved regarding scientifically sound command/leadership training schemes for military and civilian clients which is geared towards the long-term accomplishment of strategic objectives.

Especially a small state such as Austria with its focus on a humanities-oriented education and its progressive and systematically updated command/leadership philosophy is well placed to assume a leading role in Europe by further developing military science and by establishing a general leadership science underpinned by the former. This would constitute a contribution, rooted in solidarity, to Europe’s security-related development, which – given the pressing demand for strategic command/leadership expertise – would be eagerly embraced by command/leadership and management personnel from the fields of politics, the military, and private enterprise.

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