Accession Number : ADA293456

Title :   The Stronger Form of War: The Effects of Technical Change on the Balance Between Attack and Defense.

Descriptive Note : Monograph rept.,

Corporate Author : ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MIL ITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s) : King, David M.

PDF Url : ADA293456

Report Date : 17 DEC 1994

Pagination or Media Count : 52

Abstract : Clausewitz's model of war postulates that the attack has a positive aim but the defense is the stronger form of war. Armies past and present have generally accepted the superior strength of the defense, but the degree of superiority has varied with changes in technology. This study examines the sources of defensive strength in an attempt to develop tools for evaluating the effect of future technology on the balance of offense and defense. Defense has two key advantages over attack: the defender has less need to move than the attacker and the defender controls the ground over which he must move. Most of the defender's advantages in firepower, protection and leadership derive from these two strengths. The attacker can attempt to overcome the advantages of the defense by employing new technology or methods. A new weapon or capability that helps both the attacker and the defender may help one more than the other. The First World War provides good examples of how technological change affects the balance between attack and defense. The Persian Gulf War demonstrated the effectiveness of modern military technology. The development of long-range precision weapons may not merely shift the balance between attack and defense, but may obscure the distinction between the two. The result is a dichotomy: The offense may be the stronger form of air and long-range missile war, while the defense is the stronger form of land war. (AN)

Descriptors :   *LAND WARFARE, *ARMY OPERATIONS, *TACTICAL WARFARE, GUIDED MISSILES, MILITARY HISTORY, COMBAT EFFECTIVENESS, GLOBAL, LESSONS LEARNED, LEADERSHIP, STRATEGIC ANALYSIS, TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER, PERSIAN GULF, MILITARY DOCTRINE, ATTACK, AERIAL WARFARE, LONG RANGE(DISTANCE), MANEUVERS, ARMY PLANNING, MILITARY TACTICS, FIREPOWER, BALANCE OF POWER.

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE