War, Principles of

There are nine commonly recognized principles of war in military doctrine: objective, offensive operations, mass, economy of force, maneuver, unity of command, security, surprise, and simplicity. Recognizing the experience of joint operations in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, recent Joint Service doctrine adds restraint, perseverance, and legitimacy to the historical set of nine. Planners and commanders use the principles of war conceptually rather than as a formal checklist. The principles of war are a distillation of centuries of military thought on the common elements of successful military operations. Incorporating the principles of war in a war plan does not guarantee success, but historical examples suggest that such plans do have a higher likelihood of success. Military planners use the principles of war conceptually to study ...

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