The advancement of weapons changes how wars are fought, but leadership, training, moral, and most importantly, political strategy dictate how wars are won. The invasion was successful, but occupation and restoring order remains a headache for the American and Iraqi governments. Scholars from political science departments to the Society for Military History agree that wars are multifaceted organisms that grow and are inherently as complex as the humans that fight them. The offensive was considered a complete tactical failure, the Viet Cong were repelled swiftly and order was restored, yet American media televised the pandemonium to the world. Nonetheless, it is evident that this advancement did not help predict the outcome of any battle; it only revised how the battle would be fought. This invention made the rifle more reliable and quicker to reload. The most important example comes from the Vietnam Era, where in the Viet Cong attacked US forces on multiple fronts and overran the embassy in Saigon. War is a chaotic system, infinitely complex in its variables and conditions, but analysis of recent and historical conflicts suggest that some factors play larger roles than others in the decisiveness of war. The War in Iraq is therefore reliant on the social and political realm, i.
Massie attributes Russian victory in the face of technological inferiority: Better weapons do change warfare, drastically. Assuming technological superiority as a means for victory is dangerous. Neither the million-dollar missiles nor the cutting technology America built can help win a psychosocial and political war. This number can decrease, indicating a more cohesive force with more organized attacks and political influence, or increase, suggesting higher fragmentation but weaker attacks . Berkley Publishing Group; Suddenly this idea of concentrating men in a slow moving column is rendered utterly useless. The Shang Dynasty was a military bureaucracy that armed even slaves for battle, the Assyrians utilized the Tigris River next to their cities to acquire expedience in the invasion of opposing regions, and Germany was the first to develop and implement maneuver warfare. However, even though victory had been proclaimed for the Allied forces, sporadic fighting continues to this day. Using improvised munitions and rifles designed in the previous century these inexperienced conscripts repelled elite Panzer tank corps across hundreds of miles, how? How significant of a role does technological superiority assume in the determination of victory? Generations, Waves, and Epochs: With every new technological advancement there is a corresponding change in training, cohesion, strategy, geography, etc. In the Great Northern War, a Russian army, one again severely under-armed with pikes and matchlock muskets, faced off against a superior Swedish force. Though the study of Russia provides an interesting case in military history, it is no anomaly. Therefore, a typical rifleman could nearly double his rate of fire: In the early hours of March 20, , the First Marine Division raced across the southern border of Iraq in armor-plated vehicles, determined to capture the southern oil fields in less than 48 hours. There is, however, still one mode of warfare that seems to elude conforming to the thesis. Instead, this topic broaches the more abstract ideas of game theory and psychology. You May Also Like. Journal of Military History. But although one tends to approach war in the most logical fashion possible, it must be accepted that there are an overwhelming number of factors and probabilities of which we cannot possible aggregate. So then what happens during this stage of imbalance? For two and a half centuries this isolated, agrarian state continually lagged one step behind the West in terms of technological capability. Why can the military not quickly and effectively respond to decentralized guerilla attacks?
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