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Strategy and Tactics

Military experts differ widely on precise definitions of the terms strategy and tactics, but the following generalizations may be acceptable:

  • Strategy is the military science (or art) of marshaling a nation’s capabilities (military, political and economic resources) to bring about a desired result. Strategy deals with the big picture—the overall plan for winning a war.
  • Tactics is the military science (or art) of obtaining objectives through the deployment of soldiers, ships, planes, etc. Tactics deals with the smaller picture—the immediate plan for winning a battle.
The noted Prussian military authority, Karl von Clausewitz, observed, “Tactics is the art of using soldiers in battle; strategy is the art of using battles to win a war.”