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‘War is a science covered in darkness, in the midst of which one does not walk with an assured step…all the sciences have principles, but that of war as yet there are none

                                                                                    Marshall de Saxe, 1757


The unprecedented successes of Gulf wars of 1990 and 2003 have brought to the fore the notion that wars could be fought and won through an overwhelming superiority in science, systems and technology.

Science and Art of Strategy argue that while science, system and principles are useful, warfare is a complex phenomenon that cannot be successfully waged and won through science and technology alone. As the principles of war were derived from a science and system perspective, this study address whether war could be indeed studied as a science or system with deterministic outcomes. It will argue that while science and technology will continue to change how warfare will be conducted, its nature will largely remain unchanged and its outcomes uncertain.

The study essentially argues that war and strategy is a multi-dimensional phenomenon requiring a multi-disciplinary approach placing great demand on the intuitive judgment of the man in the loop. It concludes that the art of war will, therefore, prevail as the more important aspect of warfare that will continue to be emphasized.

Science and Art of Strategy

Scientific and technological advances in platforms, weapon systems, electronic spectrum and space technologies today offer opportunities for unprecedented dominance in conventional warfare. So pervasive is the addiction to science, system and technology that some strategic thinkers and defence planners firmly believe that warfare could be systematically studied, reduced to certain immutable principles and won decisively. In the 21st century, the time has come where space-based technologies and remotely piloted vehicles can not only identify targets but also destroy them in near real-time.1

Science and technology will not only ‘lift the fog of war’,2 but through decision support systems, even provide commanders with options to select the best course of action. The late Arthur K Cebrowski propounded that ‘Network-centric warfare enables a shift from attrition-style warfare to a much faster and more effective warfighting style characterized by the new concepts of the speed of command and self-synchronization. Very high and accelerating rates of change has a profound impact on the outcome, “locking-out” alternative enemy strategies and “locking-in” success’. John Boyd also contends that ‘if you can go through the Observation-Orientation-Decision-Action (OODA) Loop faster than your enemy, you’ll live and he’ll die’.

Science and Art of Strategy

This paper attempts to rationalize the extent to which war could be studied as a science or system and whether its outcomes could indeed be deterministic. This will be done by firstly reviewing the historical relationship between science and warfare. Having appreciated the significant contribution of science to the outcome of past wars, the study will then attempt to establish a common understanding of some of the characteristics of science and system and their related concepts.  

The study will then introduce the principles of war and the ideas of Antoine-Henri Jomini, J.F.C Fuller, John Boyd and John Warden to discuss the notion that there could indeed be certain schemas or patterns rooted to the science and system perspective that are immutable and decisive in winning wars.

Having established that there are indeed certain aspect of warfare that could be systemized and studied, the study will then introduce the international world order and the nature and dimensions of war and strategy with the explicit aim of discussing the extent to which war could be studied as science and be deterministic and to the extent, it will continue to be in the realm of uncertainty requiring the intervention of the intuitive judgment of the human in the loop.

The study will then conclude on whether science and system could indeed be the panacea for winning future conflicts and therefore be the focus of future defence planners or whether we should strive to adopt a more balanced approach of also accepting uncertainty and developing military leaders to adapt to these challenges.

History is replete with examples where science and technology have made the difference between victory and defeat. Archimedes, through his inventions, was able to hold off the Romans from the fort of Syracuse for three years.3 The invention of the six-foot yew longbow by England offered a significant competitive advantage over decades of warfare against the Scots and Welsh.4 The side that could best exploit and integrate inventions in the battlefield prevailed.

Germany’s blitzkrieg operations integrating airpower, communications and tanks decisively defeated France during the Second World War. The invention and dropping of the hydrogen bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki also brought about the speedy and unconditional surrender of Japan. The more recent unprecedented battlefield successes of the Gulf wars of 1990 and 2003 have further brought to the fore the notion that wars could be fought and won through an overwhelming superiority in science and system.

This essay rationalizes the extent to which war could be studied as a science or system and whether its outcomes could indeed be deterministic. It reviews the origins of the science and systems approach, the ideas of Antoine-Henri Jomini, J.F.C Fuller, John Boyd and John Warden, the nature and dimensions of war and strategy and finally the extent to which war could be studied scientifically and therefore be deterministic and the extent it will continue to be in the realm of uncertainty requiring the intervention of the intuitive judgment of the human in the loop.

Science and System

The 17th and 18th Century Age of Enlightenment gave momentum to the notion that human reason, more than blind adherence to certain belief system and authority, could be used to build a better world. According to Ferguson, most scholars agree that ‘Enlightenment finds its touchstone in the primacy of reason, the assertion of the scientific method, concern for experience, a belief in progress or at least in the possibility of collective human freedom, and finally a general disregard for tradition or constituted authorities’.5 Although tempered with the Kantian caution against pure reason alone, rationality and science have been spurred on by the successes of Newtonian physics and taken centre stage in most transforming societies.

In 1609, Galileo used the first telescope to discover a new ‘truth’ that Earth was not the centre of all celestial movement as was believed by the Ptolemaic system. His discovery of acceleration of falling objects through the postulation of vacuum (even before it could be attained), destroyed Aristotelian physics and demonstrated that at the heart of the modern scientific method is a balance between intuitive thought and empirical testing. Galileo believed that nature was too complex to be understood by empirical testing; only by reasoning could we comprehend its perfect nature.6 Conversely, pure reasoning without physical evidence is also fallible.

I believe mankind’s penchant to seek order and system stems from his innate and primordial fear of the unknown that could potentially threaten his very survival. The fundamental premise of science is that there is ultimately some order in the universe and therefore it could be analyzed and studied. Regardless of whether it is a linear or non-linear relationship, there must be a cause or causes to an effect and therefore it could be studied. The antithesis to science is therefore that a totally random phenomenon cannot be scientifically studied.

Hypothesis, theories and laws or principles govern science. Science essentially aims to discover the ‘truth’. A scientific law is a statement of fact that is accepted as true and universal. A scientific theory ‘is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based on proven hypothesis’.7 The essential difference between law and theory is that theories are generally more complex and helps to explain a series of related phenomena.

A hypothesis is a proposition or provisional explanation of phenomena that can be tested. Principles in the scientific discipline are also referred to as laws. However, in other disciplines principles, may refer to a set of prescriptions, rules, action statements, parameters or merely guidelines.


More recently, systems theory, which has its origin in 1940, was proposed by a biologist Ludwig van Bertalanffy. Rather than reduce a phenomenon to its essentials for greater clarity, systems theory emphasize that real systems are open and interacting with the environment and therefore continually evolving. Through using concepts of emergence, hierarchy, communication and control, it ‘focuses on the arrangement of and relations between the parts which connect them into a whole’.8 Similar concepts are also used in complexity theory to better understand and explain non-linear phenomena.

The ideas of complexity theory show how systems adapt to randomness and the external environment and ‘give us insights into dealing with uncertainty in warfare’.9 Beinhocker says, ‘What’s needed is a model of a world where innovation, change, and uncertainty is the natural state of things’.10 However, both system and complexity theories continue to rely on the basic premise that systems have certain ‘schema’ or patterns that are determinable. These patterns could, in turn, provide insights on how to manage the real world and by drawing a parallel on how to systematically win wars.

The illustration of scientific enquiry suggests that it has its usefulness in better understanding and managing aspects of warfare, which are definitive. Indeed there are many aspects where scientific enquiry could be applied (e.g. Geography, weapons systems, etc) and resource management issues could be readily optimized through simulation and modelling. System and complexity theories, however, suggest that despite the non-linearity of the cause and effects of the myriad dimensions of warfare, there is still a possibility for scientific analysis and a useful degree of determinism.

Indeed, this line of argument will reinforce and provide a strong basis for the existence of the immutable principles. After all, the historical basis of Jomini’s analysis may have discovered the ‘truth’ although initially without a theoretical foundation. This inductive and deductive cycle of reasoning is very much grounded in scientific enquiry. The question, therefore, arises whether there could indeed be certain schema or patterns of war that could be systematically analyzed and where definitive methodologies could be devised to achieve success?

I believe mankind’s penchant to seek order and system stems from his innate and primordial fear of the unknown that can potentially threaten his very survival.  Throughout history adopting a scientific approach in managing human activities have offered great promise. Ranging from the inventions of tools by early man to modern-day stealth bombers, scientific and technological innovations continue to play a significant role in advancing the interest and survival of one tribe or civilization over another.

Archimedes, through his inventions, was able to hold off the Romans from the fort of Syracuse for three years (Gray, G. W. 1943).  The invent of the six-foot yew longbow by England offered a significant competitive advantage over decades of warfare against the Scots and Welsh(Krepinevich 1994). As early as 1500 AD the introduction of gunpowder gave rise to firearms such as harquebus and cannons, which began to dominate the battlefield. 

Fortresses were invented to counter the artillery revolution and for a while were effective in warding off the aggressors for months if not years.  More powerful canons and the invention of muskets brought the battle back to the infantry in the fields and trenches.  Steam and internal combustion engines subsequently paved the way for weapons to grow in size, weight, and power and provided the means to rapidly transport troops and materials in the battlefield.


Science, System and Principles of War

The modern concept of principles of war has been traced by Azar Gat to the writings of Monteccucoli in the 16th century. It was however during the era of the enlightenment that the ‘ideal of Newtonian science… gave rise to an ever-present yearning to infuse the study of war with the maximum mathematical precision and certainty possible’.11

While thinkers like De Saxe, Puseygur, Turpin, Maizeroy and Guibert advocated the development of the principles of war, they acknowledged that there were aspects of war and strategy that require the creativity and genius of the commanders.12 Examples of some early principles could be gleaned from the following writings and maxim of Napoleon in 1804:13

‘Remember always three things: the unity of forces, urgency, and a firm resolution to perish with glory. These are the three great principles of the military art that have brought me success in all my operations”14

‘Gustavus, Turenne and Frederick, as well as Alexander, Hannibal and Caesar, have acted on the same principles. To keep one’s forces together, to bear speedily on any point, to be nowhere vulnerable, such are the principles that assure victory”15

Antoine-Henri Jomini inspired by Napoleon’s achievements wrote in his summary of the art of war in 1838 that ‘there are a number of fundamental principles of war, which can not be deviated from without danger, and the application of them, on the contrary, has been nearly always crowned with success’.16 This principle was ‘to throw by strategic movement the mass of forces of an army, successfully, upon the decisive points of a theatre of war, and as much as possible upon the communication of the enemy without compromising one’s own’.

J.F.C. Fuller in The Foundation of the Science of War expounded the scientific method as a common-sense approach to know the ‘truth about the past, and how we can apply this truth to the conditions which surround us and which will probably exist during the next war’.17 The U.S. Army presently has nine principles of war and they are mass, economy of force, objective, offensive, manoeuvre, unity of command, security, surprise and simplicity. With minor modifications, the other armies in the world also use most of these principles.

In these modern times, strategic thinkers like John Boyd and John Warden also advocated a largely systems approaching in analyzing and waging war. Although they acknowledged and have taken into account in their models the moral, morale and frictional forces that could affect the outcome of wars as highlighted by Clausewitz, they continue to be strong advocates of a deterministic approach of using superior science and system to defeat the enemy. John Boyd’s OODA loop aims to achieve strategic paralysis by being faster in observing, orienting, deciding and acting than the enemy.

John Warden viewed the enemy as a system and aimed to target the will of the enemy by attacking at the centre of gravity of the five rings of the system. The centre of the ring is the leadership which if targeted could cause a speedy collapse of all the other rings comprising the organic essentials, infrastructure, population and fielded forces18.

science and art of strategy

A closer examination of the principles of war suggests that they could serve as broad guidelines or considerations to facilitate military planning. They emphasize judicious employment of limited resources and possible approaches and when correctly applied, could potentially enhance the probability of success. As an illustration, I will now discuss the principle of mass as it was the main one promulgated by Jomini.

The principle of mass stems from the need to overwhelm one’s opponent by applying maximum force at a decisive point and time. The decisive point could be a critical strength or vulnerability. There are three variables in this principle (i.e. mass, decisive point and time). Mass does not necessarily mean greater numbers, but rather the effective force, for example, a single precision-guided missile would have greater mass than 100 bombs of the World War II era.

Decisive point and time, on the other hand, are of an intuitive and subjective nature. Identifying the tipping point would require an intuitive assessment after considering all the ensuing circumstances. As an illustration, Napoleon’s loss at Waterloo could either be attributed to the weather, failure of a right combination of force or mass, or the failure to attack the decisive point. The analysis could be further complicated by the change in the force ratio upon the arrival of Blucher. Had Napoleon succeeded in mass, he could still have failed if he did not exercise economy of force or achieved tactical surprise.

Consequently, while these so-called principles are useful considerations, they are by no means immutable. Secondly and more importantly, it is the judicious combination of these considerations, based on the prevailing conditions and with the right judgment on the ground that the probability of success could have been enhanced. The principles, therefore, serve as useful start points or checklist but should not be viewed as the silver bullets that could enhance or guarantee success. The specific situation must be studied carefully.

It is also noteworthy that most countries have different principles of war, and they even have principles for each type of operation (e.g. offensive and defensive operations). As an illustration, the principle of defence-in-depth while promulgated for defensive operations does not exist for offensive operations. This shows that having general principles not tailored to the specific types of operations could be unduly restrictive and may not be matched to the context or situation.

Bernard Brodie also emphasize that principles of war can stifle initiative and innovation and remarks that ‘the so-often-repeated axiom that I quoted a moment ago – “methods change, but principles are unchanging” – has had on the whole an unfortunate influence on strategic thinking, encouraging, as it does, the lazy man’s approach to novel problems with potentially detrimental consequences’.19 They are useful, however, as they embody some of the best practices that according to General Pershing ‘remained unchanged’.20

Clausewitz, who studied the Napoleonic campaigns and regarded Napoleon as a ‘military genius, suggested that while we should continue to study war, it is a complex phenomenon governed by many variables where the outcomes could never be certain. While Clausewitz also ‘frequently spoke loosely of certain ‘principles’ to be observed and followed … he specifically rejected the notion that there could be any well-defined body of particular rules or principles that universally dictated one form of behaviour rather than another’21.

In his early writings on Strategy as a Science, Bernard Brodie highlights the main limitation of the principle of wars as ‘they not only contain within themselves no hints on how they may be implemented in practice, but their very expression is usually in terms which are either ambiguous or question-begging in their implications – a trait which has grown more marked since Jomini’s day under the effort to preserve for them the characteristics of being unchanging’.22

In summary, it could be argued that the principles of war may serve as useful guides to the application of military force, rather than unquestionable ‘truth’ with universal applications. These principles should not serve as substitutes for creative thinking, situational analysis and leadership judgment. It could also be surmised that while most strategic thinkers agree that war could and should be studied, they are generally divided on the extent to which war could be analyzed and waged deterministically.

The debate on the extent to which science and system can influence the outcomes of wars is far from over. To examine that warfare could indeed be waged and won through science, system and technology, we would first need to examine the purpose of war within the international system, its dimensions and ultimately its nature.

The International System and the Nature of War

The international stage comprises of a vast collection of sovereign governments. While there are laws enacted within these countries to govern its affairs, the world stage is largely anarchic without any legitimate government or mandate to enforce law and order. These nation-states have national interests which are safeguarded or advanced by national policies. These policies include the use of economic, diplomatic and military power to advance the national interests. War is but one of the instruments of policy to advance national interests. It entails the use of force to get other nations to do its will.

At the policy level, countries formulate the grand strategy, which is essentially the art and science of using economic, diplomatic and military force to achieve the national objectives. At the military level, a military strategy is formulated which essentially is the art and science of employing military force to fulfil the national policies.

At the operational level, the operational strategy involves the art and science of planning engagements, in a specified theatre of operation to fulfil the military objectives. At the tactical level, it is the art and science of winning battles to fulfil the operational objectives. What is, therefore, the art and science of strategy or operations?

Michael Howard suggests that war (as a strategy) comprises of four main dimensions and these are social, technological, logistical and operational. As an illustration, the social dimension includes moral and political dimensions as well as the will of the people. These dimensions are by no means exhaustive and can be further divided into several sub-dimensions.

Colin Gray’s suggested dimensions of war and strategy are ethics; society; politics; people; command; economic and logistics; organization; military preparations; operations; technology; information and intelligence; adversary, friction chance and uncertainty; and time.23 It becomes apparent from these dimensions that war is a complex endeavour and includes many disciplines straddling almost the entire spectrum of the arts and sciences.

There are clearly aspects of warfare that are largely deterministic. These include the understanding of weapons/equipment and platforms characteristics/capabilities, geography and resource management (e.g. budget, ammunition, and petrol). These are essential knowledge that supports the formulation of military plans. The German general staff was created to address this aspect comprehensively. Based on the characteristics of the systems, they devised methodologies to employ them in the varying military context.

This translation of systems employment into doctrines and methodologies can be said to be the blending of science of warfare with the art of war. Depending on the complexity of the systems, doctrines could be largely scientific or be in the realm of art. The US Army defines doctrine as ‘fundamental principles by which the military forces or elements thereof guide their actions in support of national objectives. It is authoritative but requires judgment in application’.

The key differentiating factor would be whether the employment of the equipment or platform is definitive and therefore could be prescriptive or requires the weighing of numerous factors offering several possible options, and therefore requires the rational and intuitive judgment of the user. There is also the issue of an opportune time and circumstances to offer battle where there may be no prescribed solutions and therefore novel plans will have to be derived.

Hew Strachan aptly highlights that ‘routine and method of tactical precepts gave junior commanders rapid reactions to critical situations; the solidity they imparted ensured confidence in the troops and bought time of their leaders to consider his next move. But as the smashing of Fredericks’s army at Jena had so vividly demonstrated, routine in strategy destroyed the flexibility essential to genuine awareness’.24


Art of War

Ironically in his famous Precis, Jomini acknowledges that ‘War in its ensemble is not a science, but an art’ and ‘Strategy, particularly may be regulated by fixed laws resembling those of positive science, but this is not true if war is viewed as a whole’.25 Clausewitz also advances the notion that war is an extremely complex phenomenon that involves the clash of wills between dynamic as opposed to static human forces.

Clausewitz viewed the nature of war as a paradoxical trinity composed of ‘primordial violence, hatred and enmity’, ‘the play of chance and probability’ and ‘of its element of subordination as an ‘instrument of policy’ which makes it subject to ‘reason alone’.26 It is due to the dynamic interplay of these forces that war will remain a complex phenomenon with a great deal of uncertainty.

According to Clausewitz, combat in a realm of fear, danger, physical exertion, uncertainty, and chance where countless minor incidents can give rise to ‘friction’ in which the ‘simplest thing is difficult’.27 Therefore ‘Great part of the information obtained in war is contradictory, a still greater part is false, and by far the greatest part is of doubtful character. Most reports are false, and the timidity of men acts as a multiplier of lies and untruth’.28

Kaufman further reinforces the argument that ‘no amount of networking of information will change the import of Clausewitz’s observation because he talks about man’s natural reaction to information, not the information itself’ and ‘that the proposition that networking translates into information superiority is manifestly true, and only if, the enemy passively lays himself out to be observed’.29

Clausewitz, therefore, argued that a military genius is required who have ‘an intellect that, even in the darkest hour, retains some glimmerings of the inner light which leads to truth or coup de oeil; the courage to follow this faint and the strength of character and mind to overcome or exploit friction, chance and uncertainty.30 Moltke highlights that ‘Strategy is a system of expedients’ and ‘the doctrine of strategy do not go beyond the rudiments propositions of common sense; they can hardly be called science; their value lies in almost entirely in their application to the particular case.

We must, with proper tact, understand a situation which at every moment assumes a different aspect, and then do the simplest and most natural thing with firmness and circumspection’.31 Strachan therefore aptly suggests that ‘rather than dogma, criticism should come to the aid of sound judgment’ and ‘the education of the officer should not. therefore. prescribe formulae but should sharpen the individual’s faculties’.32 Clausewitz suggests that such intellect could be developed through realistic training.

While warfare has both an art and science of strategy dimension, I contend that its nature fundamentally remains an art. Kant, a scientist and mathematician, in an attempt to answer whether empirical reasoning alone allow us to understand the nature of the universe, suggested that there are three forms of knowledge that man can acquire and these are understanding, reason and judgment.33 While understanding is created by scientific concepts or order in nature, reasoning is a process of making decision based on our innate sense of morality and free will.

As for judgment, he suggests that there are two types, determinate and reflective. Determinate judgment arises as an outcome of applying a concept held in advance while reflective judgment is an invention of the thinker himself.34 It is this reflective judgment that constitutes the intuitive creation that we call art and which will continue to make human endeavours dynamic and their outcome perpetually uncertain. The art of war,

I will therefore contend, is the weighing of the situation, the enemy, the complex integration and interaction of the diverse systems or dimensions of war through ‘coup d’oeil’35 or intuitive (reflective) judgment and thereby derive plans that can best fulfil the political or military objectives. It could well be argued that it is ultimately this ability to adapt, create or invent from within and without that simultaneously provides humans with the capacity to achieve and fail in their endeavours.

Similar lines of argument have been advanced by those who are against the leaning of Enlightenment towards scientific enquiry. Shimony outlines that the main arguments against Enlightenment are the inadequacy of the cognitive powers of humans to postulate the future or on entities external to human experience, the simple lack of a universal human nature, the lack of universal grounded ethics or sets of truths of reason in the diverse societies, the presence of the deeper aspects of human nature governed by passion, faith, introspection, imagination, intense feeling and finally the internalization of the inherited traditions of people.36 More significantly, science has not been able to conclusively determine how ‘life’ started from the elements and whether there is also life (motion at the atomic level) or growth/transformation in inanimate objects.

Shimony however, clarifies that although the debate is still ongoing, and that there have been obvious benefits brought about by the age of Enlightenment, there remain significant scepticism in a primacy of reason and order approach. There remains ‘genuine concern with the difficult epistemological problems concerning the meaning of truth: the relevance of a correspondence concept of truth to actual scientific practise, the legitimacy of inductive inference, and especially the alleged inevitable under-determination of the theory of evidence’.37 Shimony suggest that the way ahead should be to use the history of science to constructively refine the scientific methodology and to recognize that what is more important is the elan or enthusiasm in seeking human progress.

Martin van Creveld also suggests that ‘When the chips are down, there is no “rational” calculation in the world capable of causing the individual to lay down his life. On both the individual and collective levels, war is therefore primarily an affair of the heart. It is dominated by such irrational factors as resolution and courage, honour and duty and loyalty and sacrifice of self. When everything is said and done, none of these has anything to do with technology, whether primitive or sophisticated’.38

Martin van Creveld adds that ‘An army’s worth as a military instrument’, explains, “equals the quality and quantity of its equipment multiplied by [its] fighting power. The latter rests on mental, intellectual, and organizational foundations; its manifestations, in one combination or another, are discipline and cohesion, morale and initiative, courage and toughness, the willingness to fight, and the readiness, if necessary, to die.”39


From the review of the Science and Art of Strategy, it becomes apparent that although the science and systems approach may provide great opportunities for winning future wars and should be pursued, it should not be at the expense of studying and preparing for the other important aspects of warfare. As warfare is ultimately a human endeavour, we should continue to adopt a more holistic approach to studying and preparing for it.

While the plans could be developed and guided by the science of strategy, they will need to be augmented with a good understanding of the nature of war that is being fought, good leadership development and a sense of realism to respond to the uncertainties and dynamism inherent in warfare. Having carefully traced the development of science and system in warfare,

Andrew Krepinevich aptly summarizes that such innovations must be backed up by new operational and organizational concepts, that the competitive advantage is often short-lived and that there is no guarantee of continued dominance.40 The 19th century witnessed the rise and fall of the French Empire and the 20th century witnessed the rise and fall of Germany and Japan despite their superior industrial capacity and numerous technological innovations.

It has also been discussed that while the principles of war do not have a strong basis to be regarded as immutable laws or principles; they do embody the wisdom of historical analysis of wars and therefore serve as useful operational considerations for the study and planning of wars. It has also been rationalized that having a set of general principles may be too restrictive and could stifle creativity or appreciating the appropriate context of the war.

It is therefore suggested that there be separate principles at the grand strategy, military strategy, operational and tactical levels and also for different types of operations. Despite all the best efforts, we must be cognizant of the fact that war is ultimately a dynamic duel between two or more opposing wills and therefore its outcome can never be certain. So long as war continues to be a human endeavour, the Clausewitzian notion of uncertainty and friction will continue to reign supreme.

(Ed note: This essay was a commendation award winner of the 2005 CDF Essay Competition.)


1 Scully, Megan, ‘Iraq War Proves Power Of Net-Centric Vision’, Defense News (2004), p1.

2 Owens, Bill, Lifting the Fog of War (The John Hopkins University Press, New York, 2001).

3 Gray, George W., Science at War (Harper and Brothers, New York, 1943).

4 Krepinevich, Andrew F., ‘Cavalry to Computer: Pattern of Military Revolutions’, National Interest Vol.37 Fall (1994), pp30-42.

5 Ferguson, Robert A., ‘What is “Enlightenment?”:Some American Answer’, American Literary History Vol.1 No.2 (1989), pp245-272.

6 Pellegrini, Robert P., The link between Science, Philosophy, and Military Theory: Understanding the Past, Implications for the Future (Air University Press, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, 1997) pp7-10.

7 Wilson, Jerry, Scientific Laws, Hypothesis, and Theories (2000), viewed 12 Feb 2005, http://wilstarnet/theories.htm.

8 Francis Heylighen & Joslyn, Cliff, What is Systems Theory? (Cambridge University Press, 1992), viewed 12 Feb 2005, http://pespmcl.vub.ac.be/SYSTHEOT.html.

9 Weeks, Michael R., ‘Chaos, Complexity and Conflict’, Air & Space Power Chronicles (2001).

10 Beinhocker, Eric, ‘Strategy at the Edge of Chaos’, The McKinsey Quarterly, Vol.28 No.1 (1997).

11 Azar, Gat, The Origins of Military Thought: From the Enlightenment to Clausewitz (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1989) p28.

12 Ibid., pp29-51.

13 Alger, John I., The Quest of Victory: The History of the Principles of War, (Greenwood Press, Westport, 1982).

14 Napoleon I ‘Correspondence X, No.8209 (Au general Lauriston, Paris, 21 frimaire an XIII’, in E Picard (ed.), Precepts et judgments de Napoleon, Paris, p209.

15 Napoleon’s War Maxims with his Social and Political Thoughts, (Gale & Polden, Paris, 1899).

16 Antoine-Henri Jomini, ‘Precis de l’art de la guerre’, in M Howard (ed.), Studies in War and Peace, (Viking Press, New York, 1979).

17 Fuller, J.F.C., The Foundation of the Science of War (A Military Classic Reprint, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Press, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 1993), pp37-38.

18 Warden, John A., ‘The Enemy as a System’, Airpower Journal Vol.IX No.1 (1995), pp40-55.

19 Brodie, Bernard, ‘Strategy as a Science’, World Politics Vol.1 No.4 (1949), pp467-488.

20 Fallwell, Marshall L., ‘The Principles of War and the Solution of Military Problems’, Military Review Vol.35 (May 1955), pp48-62.

21 Brodie, Bernard, War and Politics (Macmillan, New York, 1972) p446.

22 Brodie, Bernard, ‘Strategy as a Science’, World Politics Vol.1 No.4 (1949), pp467-488.

23 Gray, Colin S., ‘RMA and the dimensions of Strategy’, Joint Forces Quarterly Vol. Autumn/Winter (1997), pp50-54.

24 Strachan, Hew, European Armies and the Conduct of War (Routledge, London, 1983), p92.

25 Jomini, A. H., The Art of War, translation of Precis de l’rt de la guerra (Westport Conn., Philadelphia, 1971).

26 Clausewitz, Carl von, On War (Princeton University Press, New York, 1976), p89.

27 Ibid., p119.

28 Ibid., p76.

29 Kaufman, Alfred, Curbing Innovation: How Command Technology Limits Network Centric Warfare (Argos Press, Canberra, 2004), p63.

30 Clausewitz, Op.cit. p101.

31 Strachan, Hew, European Armies and the Conduct of War (Routledge, London, 1983), p92.

32 Strachan, Hew, Op.cit., p93.

33 Pellegrini, Robert P., Op.cit., pp7-10.

34 Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reasoning (Saint Martin’s Press, New York, 1965), p426.

35 Michael Eliot. Howard & Paret, Peter, Carl von Clausewitz,On War (Princeton University Press, New York, 1976).

36 Shimony, Abner, ‘Some Historical and Philisophical Reflections on Science and Enlightenment’, Philosophy of Science, Vol.64 Supplement (1997), ppS3-S4.

37 Ibid., pS11.

38 Martin van Crevald, Technology and War (The Free Press, New York, 1989), p314.

39 Martin van Crevald, Fighting Power (Greenwood Press, Wesport: Connecticut, 1982), p3.

40 Krepinevich, Andrew F., Op.cit

LTC Gurbachan Singh was a Strategic Studies Lecturer in SAFTI Military Institute. A Signals Officer by training, he was formerly a Directing Staff in Singapore Command and Staff College, a Branch Head in Joint Communications and Information Systems Department and the Commanding Officer of a Signal Battalion. LTC Singh is a recipient of the SAF Local Training Award, and he holds a Master of Science (Finance) from the National University of Ireland, a Master of Management Research from University of Western Australia and a Master of Science (Strategic Studies) from Nanyang Technological University. His special interests are in the Science & Strategy of War, Command & Control, Joint Operations, Operational Art, Innovation, Human Rights and Good Governance.

Last updated on 25 Jan 2020