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The Practice of StrategyFrom Alexander the Great to the Present$
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John Andreas Olsen and Colin S. Gray

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199608638

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608638.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
The Practice of Strategy

John Andreas Olsen

Oxford University Press

The introduction focuses on the definition of ‘grand strategy’ and ‘military strategy’, the phenomena and logic of strategy, considerations and factors that shaped imperial and nation‐state politics, and the relationship between the military and political levels of war. It provides a working definition of strategy as ‘the art of winning by purposely matching ends, ways and means’, and briefly summarizes the twelve case studies, from the campaigns of Alexander the Great to the contemporary conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. It also posits the working hypothesis of the book: that nothing essential changes in the intrinsic nature and function (or purpose) of strategy and war, in sharp contrast to the character of individual strategies that reflect the unique circumstances of each conflict.

Keywords:   grand strategy, military strategy, strategy, history, military history, war, armed conflict, campaigns, strategic theory, politics, Clausewitz

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