"Is Strategy an Illusion?"
Journal Article, International Security, volume 25, issue 2, pages 5-50
Author: Richard Betts, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 1974-1975; Editorial Board, Quarterly Journal: International Security
Does strategy exist? The skeptics say no: The realities of war—its boundless complexities and uncertainties—make effective strategy impossible. Others who respond positively nonetheless disagree on strategy's central features and its ability to influence the outcome of war. Defining strategy as "a plan for using military means to achieve political ends," Richard Betts of Columbia University examines ten critiques of the practicability of strategy and responds to each. Betts concludes that the prospects for successfully implementing a particular strategy are weak at best. With this qualification in mind, Betts then outlines several scenarios in which strategy can work.
- betts 25.2.pdf (218K 2.PDF)
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