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The Evolution of Operational ArtFrom Napoleon to the Present$
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John Andreas Olsen and Martin van Creveld

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599486

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599486.001.0001

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(p.226) Epilogue
The Evolution of Operational Art

General Sir Rupert Smith

Oxford University Press

The Epilogue argues that ‘war amongst the people’ has replaced traditional industrial war, suggesting that the new paradigm is best characterized by an ebb and flow between confrontation and conflict, where the objectives for military forces are no longer ‘take, hold, destroy, defeat’, but, for example, ‘create a safe and secure environment’. Under the old paradigm the objective was to destroy the opponent; under the new paradigm the objective is to alter the opponent's intentions. Where the old paradigm considered military force supreme, the new accords equal importance to diplomatic, political, economic, social, and legal measures. It concludes that if operational art is to be relevant and useful in the future we must understand it as ‘a combination of a free, creative and original expression of the use of force and forces; a design; and direction, an expression of the character and aptitude of the artist’.

Keywords:   industrial warfare, paradigm shift, operational art, military theory, operational art, strategy, tactics

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