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Old 12-23-2016, 10:57 AM   #21
jason taylor
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Strategy and Tactics

Originally Posted by Phil Masters View Post
I'm not sure that fighting sub-optimally is ever a good idea on the Northwest Frontier. It sounds like a good way to end up (a) dead and (b) regarded with contempt by the locals. But certainly, good Strategy is always going to factor in the thing about war being a continuation of politics by other means, in a way that Tactics won't.

(The quote in question being from a soldier, note, not a politician. A good strategist bears in mind that the conflict has a more or less "political" objective, then gets on with the job of achieving it.)
What I mean is Tribe A holds a hill on the right flank, tribe B holds one on the left. Tribe A's position is better but tribe B is negotiating for a defection. So Milord Snobbybrit attacks Tribe A's position even though looking at the Pathan army from a purely tactical perspective attacking Tribe B would be better. However Milord Snobbybrit knows from intelligence outside the battle that Tribe B is a future ally and wasting lives for the purpose of gutting it's supply of warriors is kind of silly in the long run.

Of course Milord Snobbybrit could believe that Tribe B is playing them for fools and they might as well hit them where it hurts most. That is also a strategic decision, just not the most subtle and so not the best example of how tactics and strategy diverge.
"The navy could probably win a war without coffee but would prefer not to try"-Samuel Eliot Morrison

Last edited by jason taylor; 12-23-2016 at 11:01 AM.
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