PRINCIPLES OF WAR
1. Selection and maintenance of the aim
It is imperative not to take the first step without considering the last Clausewitz was actually defining what is called the ‘end state’. Jomini also believed that the end state had to be stated in unambiguous political objectives, so that clear campaign objectives could be compiled. This requirement remains as relevant today as it was then. Selection and maintenance of the aim are often referred to as the Master Principle. A single, clear aim is the cornerstone of successful military operations. In today’s operations, the three Services are likely to be supported by other government departments and agencies in prosecuting a ‘Collective Campaign’. In maintaining the aim, it is important for senior commanders and their staff to understand the political and civil, as well as the military, conditions that constitute success in relation to the strategic objectives. Similarly, the senior commander may have non-military resources to help achieve his aim. As the Collective Campaign develops, the military aim may need to be reviewed and altered; this should be approved at the highest level.
2. Maintenance of morale
High morale is a quality without which no war can be won
Montgomery asserted that “the morale of the soldier is the most important single factor in war”. Morale is a product of leadership, discipline, comradeship, and confidence in self and in the commander and his staff. Collective Leadership, based on trust, may be more suitable for the Collective Campaign in today’s world. It is imperative that all those conditions are maintained; once one component starts to drop, then morale will suffer. The nation should not have to fight an unpopular war; the war must be accepted by the people, since a democracy cannot oppose the will of the majority of its citizens. Soldiers, as citizens, must therefore be convinced of the moral legitimacy of the military action. All commanders must appreciate this,...
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