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University of Nebraska -Lincoln DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Military Strategy: Theory and Concepts

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University of Nebraska -Lincoln DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Military Strategy: Theory and Concepts
  University of Nebraska - Lincoln DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln Political Science Department -- Teses,Dissertations, and Student ScholarshipPolitical Science, Department of 6-11-2013 Military Strategy: Teory and Concepts Randall G. Bowdish University of Nebraska  , Follow this and additional works at:hp:// of theInternational Relations Commons Tis Article is brought to you for free and open access by the Political Science, Department of at DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Ithas been accepted for inclusion in Political Science Department -- Teses, Dissertations, and Student Scholarship by an authorized administrator of DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Bowdish, Randall G., "Military Strategy: Teory and Concepts" (2013).  Political Science Department -- Teses, Dissertations, and Student Scholarship. Paper 26.hp://   MILITARY STRATEGY: THEORY AND CONCEPTS By Randall G. Bowdish A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy Major: Political Science Under the Supervision of Professor Ross A. Miller Lincoln, Nebraska June 2013  MILITARY STRATEGY: THEORY AND CONCEPTS Randall G. Bowdish, Ph.D. Univerity of Nebraska, 2013 Adviser: Ross A. Miller Military strategy was long described as atheoretical—an art that could only be fully comprehended by military genius. This contention is no longer held, as military staffs, comprised of experts and specialists, are able to formulate strategy aided by mini-theories of strategy and a process that takes advantage of collective wisdom rather than singular genius. But the mini-theories of strategy remain underdeveloped and an overarching theory of military strategy does not yet exist. In this dissertation I build a grand theory of military strategy, consisting of a simple two-pole, physical and  psychologically oriented framework, mini-theories of military strategy, and additionally, concepts of employment that describe conceptual actions that can be employed by military means to achieve military objectives. Mini-theories of military strategy, consisting of the five basic military strategies of extermination, exhaustion, annihilation, intimidation and subversion, are woven together into a coherent military strategy theoretical framework. Additionally, I expose the principles of war as a myth, instead  proffering concepts of employment as the actionable elements of strategy, which are used in the conceptual direction of military means to achieve military objectives in support and amplification of the five basic military strategies. The strategies offered are the result of a comprehensive meta-data analysis, hermeneutical analysis, and comparative meta-analysis of the works of past strategy theorists, rather than the case study methodology employed in most military strategy scholarship. This dissertation provides a baseline theory from which further military strategy hypotheses can be generated and tested in order to advance our understanding of military strategy.   Copyright 2013 Randall G. Bowdish ALL RIGHTS RESERVED   iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank Dr. Ross A. Miller for his patience and sage counsel in the  preparation of this dissertation. He was the perfect advisor for this old sea-dog (retired  Navy Captain). Encouraging and demanding on the academic side, yet reverent and respectful towards my military experience, he treated me as a peer and not just another  bothersome student. I would also like to thank my committee members, Dr. Nam Kyu Kim, Dr. Kevin Smith, and Dr. Peter Bleed, for their insightful comments and recommendations. Most of all, I thank my wife, *Kate, daughter Brittany, and son, Brandon, for their loving support.
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