On Efficacy: A Beginner’s Guide to Strategic Theory

05.12.2022

The term strategy is one of the most over-used words in current language. You might have first become conscious of the term via corporate-speak: long, jargon infused, cliché ridden ‘mission’ statements or ‘vision’ documents, usually devoid of any real meaning, where your school, college, local council, university, employer, utility company, supermarket – or whatever – expostulate their lofty and frequently unattainable aspirations, or simply camouflage what they do already, in flowery, feel-good, rhetoric.[i] The word strategy is invariably deployed in such a way that it is intended to sound authoritative and far-sighted, and to convey the image that the people in charge know what they are doing (when often they don’t).[ii]

The idea of ‘strategy’ as something that only supremely accomplished people in high performing roles can understand or accomplish, whilst ‘ordinary’ people should fall into line and execute the ‘strategic plan’ prepared for them, is one of the most prevalent of misapprehensions. ‘Strategy’ as a source of mystery and elite power is an enduring myth, and one that I, as a self-declared strategic theorist, wish always to dispel.

The strategic road map

The first task of this analysis, then, is to reveal that the fundamentals of strategy are not complicated because all of us are, at some intuitive level, strategic practitioners. It is about being effective, that is, realising desired objectives. However, easy though it may be to comprehend strategy at the level of the individual, as I stated in another article for this journal, putting the fundamentals into practice is hard, especially when strategy expands beyond the realm of personal advancement.[iii]

The essay will outline how the idea of strategy has evolved as a method of understanding about what it means to be effective, and that it is not something that is intrinsically tied to war, as many tend to believe, but is about life choices in general. Simple in concept though the idea of strategy may be, this article elucidates the practical challenges inherent in evaluating the notion of effectiveness. It will show how theorists reflected upon lessons from the Cold War and the Vietnam War era, which were particularly instructive in framing a coherent intellectual basis upon which a discipline of strategic analysis can be constructed.

The basis of good strategic analysis, as this article will argue, is really all about putting in the hard effort to understand your surroundings and the factors that impinge on the decision-making processes of you, your allies and your adversaries. It will suggest that this effort can be distilled into six basic principles of strategic analysis that can act as a guide, and a point of entry for beginners, to become more sophisticated strategists. It will conclude by offering several observations about what it ultimately means to be strategically effective, in particular emphasising that strategy is a universal and never-ending intellectual endeavour.

It’s not complicated

Strategy is neither complicated, nor the preserve of some monastic clique of initiates, who have, in some inexplicable manner, gained insight into the world of strategic affairs. There are those, like myself, who study strategy for a living and who profess to specialise in strategic affairs. However, while there may be communities of thinkers who identify themselves as ‘strategists’, and institutes and associations that purport to specialise in strategy, there is, strictly speaking, no ‘guild’ of strategists or well-defined profession of strategy. There is, moreover, no training or fool proof guide that will qualify you as a strategist or make you better at being a strategist.

Nevertheless, in essence, strategy as an idea is straight forward to comprehend. And the reason for this is because strategy is universal. It is all around us. In fact, strategy, both in concept and practice, is profoundly personal. Strategy is about you.

The best way to think about it, is that we are all at some level capable of strategising. We all make decisions, large and small, each day of our lives, where we weigh up the costs and benefits of different courses of action. Often such calculations exist at the level of the mundane. Our decision making is thus usually intuitive or even unconscious, be it choosing what to wear when we get up in the morning, which route to take to work to beat the traffic, or how to balance our monthly budgets until the next pay day.

In myriad ways, far too many to enumerate, we as individuals think and act strategically almost every moment of our waking lives. To put it another way, human beings are more than able to think strategically about their own personal lives. Anyone who is not is likely to lose their way in the world very quickly.

Strategy is all around you

Strategy is therefore ubiquitous. It is everywhere. And all of us who function as conscious adult human beings, behave in a manner that might be construed as ‘strategic’: that is, we think, gauge, and assess, the ways by which we can achieve things that are meaningful to us. In this regard, as a process, strategy can be regarded as a supremely pragmatic enterprise: to achieve our aims, to maximise our well-being, to succeed in our goals.

Since individuals invariably function within collectives – families, clans, neighbourhoods, ethnic and religious communities, and so on – we can discern how strategy proceeds from the micro level of the individual to the macro level of the collective, be it the social, corporate or the state entity. Wider social groupings also possess aggregate goals that they wish to attain, and therefore they, too, operate as strategic actors.[iv]

To be clear, this does not mean that people are evolved to think strategically at the grand collective level, in the spheres of national policy making for example. The preponderance of dreadful policy errors that one can recount throughout history attest to the fact that when it comes to the weighing up of highly complex issues and executing a course of action that is effective and proportional, is all too susceptible to human frailty and miscalculation.

Having the cognition required to think or visualise strategically at the national level, which often means having the courage to take tough decisions, is rare. To reiterate, at the level of the individual most people have the capacity to act ‘strategically’ in accordance with their own interests. To that extent, the basic principles of strategy are simple and observable. Putting them into practice at any other level beyond that of individual advancement, however, is always likely to be hard.

To boil down the essence of what it means to be ‘strategic’, at the level of the individual or the collective, I would say it is to be effective: namely, realising the capacity to attain desired objectives. Efficacy, the degree to which a desired result can be achieved, is the process that strategic theory seeks to capture and analyse within a coherent framework.

What does it mean to be effective?

The objective of this short essay, then, is to reflect upon what it means to be effective, to show how this can be understood and analysed in a systematic manner, and how this process of understanding can be said to constitute the basis of strategic theory. In so doing, the intention is to illuminate what strategic theory entails as an approach to the study of social phenomena, and through the provision of examples from war, politics – and life in general – illustrate how strategy is a universal concept that can apply to anything from national policy, to business, to personal choices.

Above all, the aim is to demonstrate that strategic theory is a method of comprehending how to be effective in decision making. The content of decisions, especially when they involve issues concerning the exercise of military power or national policy, can of course be complex and contentious, but the application of strategic theory is geared towards simplifying the process of understanding, not complicating it.

Demystifying strategy

Demystifying strategy is therefore the first task of the strategic theorist. The easiest way to do this is to first identify, where the word ‘strategy’ originates. Linguistically, strategy derives from the Ancient Greek word, ‘strategos’, which literally means ‘the general’. The term, in this respect, does clearly have military origins and is usually interpreted as the ‘art of the general’ to denote the skill with which a commander wields their forces to attain victory in battle.[v]

However, the timeless essence of strategy as the means of ‘winning’ in war is embedded in the human condition. Whether we like it or not, succeeding in what you wish to gain in competition with others is a universal striving. Therefore, the principles of ‘winning’ in wars, and in life – that is succeeding in what you set out to do, often in competition with others – is an idea that transcends time and space and applies to numerous spheres of human activity.

So, yes, strategy does have military origins, and relates to ‘winning’, though as has been emphasised, the notion of strategy as a pure concept – relating your means to your ends, to achieve your goals – is much broader than war and the practice of military power. Here, I need to outline why strategy, beyond its linguistic origins, is often coupled with war in the popular imagination, rather than life choices in general.

Why is strategy associated with war but is not intrinsic to war?

Strategy is associated with war, namely, the physical clash of organised armed forces, because the outcomes in war are usually easier to observe and evaluate than other areas of life. The choices and consequences in war often present themselves in stark, binary, terms: life and death; victory and defeat, success and failure. Therefore, the criteria for observing or measuring effectiveness is often clearer to see. The same cannot necessarily be said of other areas of life, where the distinctions between what is a successful outcome and one that is not is debatable.

That said, while there are parallels between life, business, and war. The challenge in each of the many areas of human conduct – be it in life, business, politics, or war – is that people often fail to define what constitutes success (or ‘winning’) in clear or measurable ways that lend themselves to an objective assessment of success. No one area, including the stark domain of war, necessarily presents clearer criteria than another; it is how we define (or fail to define) those criteria that is crucial.

Differing approaches to parenting provide a telling example. Raising children is invariably a challenge for anyone, and there is certainly no ‘rule-book’, but there are different styles, or strategies, that might be considered. One parenting style might emphasise discipline, rules, and boundary-setting. The parental goal here might be to ensure that the child grows up with a strong sense of morals, a clear sense of direction and the capacity for self-organisation. The downside of this, however, might be that far from inculcating these values, the child evolves into adulthood feeling insecure, repressed, and resentful against their upbringing.

Conversely, a more liberal parenting style might accentuate a freer and less rule-bound upbringing, with the intention of nurturing the child’s ability to flourish and express themselves. The potential downside is that the child might grow up lacking sufficient self-restraint or be unfocused in their life goals. They too might, in fact, begin to resent their parents as a result.[vi]

Of course, most parents, one surmises, probably do not deliberately think in terms of differing strategies. As Steve Leonard sagely notes, ‘parents can choose to take a strategic approach to raising children, but they generally don’t. By the time they are wise enough to understand how things work, their children are adults already paying for therapy’.[vii]

Nevertheless, the point is that different approaches or styles, if executed only intuitively, will involve the consideration of difficult, often conflicting, choices, where the ultimate outcomes are harder to evaluate in terms of whether they were successful or not. This is the stuff of the ‘strategy’ of everyday life. Different courses of action involve subjective choices, dictated by different value systems, different ways of looking at the world, and different forms of analysis about what is right and wrong, or ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Life is perpetually lived in shades of grey. To be efficacious, is well, complicated! Give me a war to study any day in comparison.

Competence, optimisation, efficiency, rational action and performance

The point is that to be effective in life involves the weighing up of choices and potential consequences. In many cases, there is no obvious right and wrong path.[viii] Strategic theory is therefore all about the study of what it means to be effective in highly contingent settings. But you may ask, what does ‘effectiveness’ mean?

  • Does it mean competence: possessing capability, skills, knowledge, and expertise?
  • Does it mean being able to achieve optimal outcomes: the ability to reach the most favourable, interest-maximising, situation?
  • Does it mean efficiency: the attainment of goals with the minimum of effort and resources?
  • Does it mean rational choices: taking decisions based on objective reason and logic?
  • Does it mean performance: the accomplishment of a task to a high standard?

Or is it all the above? Oh, and by the way, can any of this be objectively measured?

Hmm…well…? Such questions have preoccupied self-proclaimed strategic theorists, usually in the fields of economics and political science, over the decades. A mixture of theory, reflection and experience has tended to lead to a broad conclusion that may not come as a stunning surprise: namely, that being a slave to some or all of the above is a fallacy. The criteria of competence, optimisation, efficiency, rational action and performance cannot establish any objective measure of effectiveness, let alone predict who is likely to be successful in their chosen strategy.

The problem of theorising in the Cold War

American theorists did try, nonetheless, to map out just such a criteria. During the Cold War, theorists of nuclear deterrence – perhaps the earliest, and undoubtedly some of the most sublime, practitioners of a discipline of strategic theory – used Game Theory, imported from the fields of mathematics and economics, to model optimal outcomes and behaviours. This involved a great deal of abstract theorising and modelling.[ix] However, the employment of rational actor-based game theory during this era exposed its limitations as an explanatory and predictive tool.

The problem was this: the whole point about nuclear deterrence was never to use nuclear weapons. Therefore, what was the criteria for effectiveness? Answer: not using them. But you can’t really prove a negative. You cannot show definitively why someone did not do something. Come the end of the Cold War in 1990, you might conclude that you had succeeded in your basic objective of not starting a nuclear holocaust, but it doesn’t give you any measurable criteria of effectiveness. Why so?

Well, in the first instance, proving a negative is conceptually unfalsifiable, but the broader empirical truth is that abstract theorising doesn’t consider the infinitely varied complexities of human conduct. Humans are motivated by issues and concerns that are not always, or even primarily, governed by a material cost-benefit analysis. Your idea of ‘rationality’ or what constitutes an optimal outcome is not necessarily someone else’s idea. Your cost-benefit analysis may be entirely unique to you, informed by your own subjective values and experiences as to what is meaningful and important. Thus, your appreciation of what it is to be effective in the world may be very different from everyone else’s.

The Americans are taught a lesson

So, that’s a problem for diagnostically minded theorists: effectiveness cannot be measured accurately according to some objective scientific criteria. And how do we know this? Because United States policy makers were taught a gorilla of a lesson to this effect in the Vietnam War. In this era, the Americans fought with a plan to impose a ‘rational’ cost-benefit analysis on the North Vietnamese regime. The intention was to inflict more suffering on North Vietnam than the Americans thought they could possibly withstand, particularly through very large aerial bombing offensives and by utilising enormous amounts of firepower on the ground. Yet, North Vietnam possessed a completely different set of moral and practical considerations than the Americans, encapsulated by President Ho Chi Minh who is reported to have remarked to a US diplomat that ‘You will kill ten of us, we will kill one of you, but in the end, you will tire of it first’.[x]

In other words, the North Vietnamese fought to a diametrically opposed strategic calculus. For the Americans, being ‘effective’ was the imposition of ‘unacceptable’ costs on the North, through the massive employment of firepower. The United States asserted a cost-benefit analysis that made sense to them but had no purchase on the North Vietnamese. Why? Because the North Vietnamese communists did not share the same value system as the Americans. The Hanoi regime was prepared to accept huge costs in pursuit of unification and national independence. These were values and goals for which many Vietnamese were prepared to sacrifice everything.

Putting in the hard yards

Usually, I hate cliches, but Sun Tzu’s ancient wisdom that to ‘know the enemy and know yourself and in a hundred battles you will never be defeated’ rings true.[xi] The Americans did not go through the effort of understanding their adversary. They did not seek to appreciate the underlying nationalist appeal embodied in Vietnamese communism.

The Americans are not uniquely guilty of failing to appreciate the adversarial viewpoint. It is a common failing almost everywhere. Had there been, for example, serious consideration given to understanding Russian geo-strategic sensibilities over Ukraine, then Europe may have averted the current crisis on its continent (as several eminent strategic thinkers from Henry Kissinger to John Mearsheimer have already pointed out).[xii]

And that is what a great deal of strategic theory is all about. There is no mystery to it. It is putting in the hard yards to understand your strengths, your limitations, your adversary, and your allies. But, above all, it is about understanding your situation. Remember, strategy is all about you, and what you want. However, what you want is quite often dependent upon the choices and actions of others, who you must influence to obtain what you desire. That doesn’t mean being self-centred or narcissistic. Being effective – being a good strategist – should be an antidote to such failings, because ultimately, strategic theory teaches you not to be intellectually lazy.

But of course, this is all easier said than done. This is why so many policy responses fail. There may not be any mystery to it, but the hard work is antithetical to many. It is not complex, necessarily, but it can be complicated, especially as strategy evolves in scope and scale. The basic formula does not change, but the numbers of variables in the equation increases exponentially. And that gets complicated. That is also where strategy evolves beyond the science and into the art – a truly exceptional strategist is one who can see those variables and sense the interaction between them.

How not to be lazy: what is strategic theory?

Even if the practice of effective strategy remains elusive in many policy making circles, at least in theoretical terms, arising out of the trauma of the Vietnam War, a more secure and balanced understanding of the nature of how to evaluate effectiveness began to emerge within scholarly analysis. It was in the aftermath of this era, that we can therefore suggest that a ‘discipline’ of strategic theory took shape, framed by six underlying principles. It is around these six principles that one can cohere a systematic understanding, of how to investigate matters of strategy.

Before identifying these six principles, let us briefly define what we mean by a ‘theory’ in this context. A scientific understanding of theory is that a hypothesis can survive experimental testing to yield replicable results, and thus reach an approximate truth about a particular matter. Strategic theory cannot aspire to this level of predictive accuracy, but it does constitute a theory more broadly in that it advances a set of propositions that can be held to explain certain facts or phenomena, which can then be subject to scrutiny and analysis. In that sense, strategic theory is less a hard ‘theory’ or set of rules than a set of purposive assumptions that seek to clarify what it means to think and act effectively in the world.[xiii] These can be summarised briefly as follows:

  1. The study of ways, ends and means: Strategic theory is concerned with the ways in which available means can be employed to reach a desired end. As Michael Howard put it, strategy is the ‘use of available resources to gain any objective’.[xiv] Here the term resources (the ‘means’), refers not just to the material elements of power (e.g., economic strength, the numbers of soldiers and weapons, technological prowess, etc) but to the many intangible elements that might impose themselves on a decision maker such as the degree of popular enthusiasm for a cause and the extent to which popular will is prepared to support particular courses of action to achieve or defend certain goals and values.
  2. Interdependent decision making: This is the assumption that decision making is influenced to some degree or another by the existence of a wilful adversary, or adversaries, or other actors more generally, who are also engaged in a determined pursuit of their own values and interests, which may be antagonistic to your own. This assumption means that decision-making cannot be measured against any fixed standard of efficacy, but in the light of the responses that your actions can be expected to elicit from an adversary. Effective decision making, therefore, is dependent on the consideration of the choices and actions of others with whom you might be in contention.
  3. Unitary actors: Strategic theorists concern themselves with ‘unitary’ actors, be they states, sub-state entities, or any other social grouping. Even though all social actors are comprised of individuals and other collectives (for example, armed forces, civil service bureaucracies, social classes, etc.), strategic theory assumes that the decision to act is an expression of a singular collective will. Therefore, strategic theory is primarily interested in examining the choices available to such actors and evaluating the composition of their decision-making, tracing the line of thought any social actor seeks to follow in pursuit of its stated objectives with its chosen means.
  4. Understanding value systems: Evaluating decision making requires the attempt to comprehend a social actor’s value system – that is, how it sees the world, how it thinks about its own motivations and preferences. Strategic theory is, in this respect, interested in how actors construct their interests in the light of their ‘values’, informed as these are likely to be by all manner of contingent historical and social forces. Strategic theorists are therefore concerned with how value systems shape the understanding of national objectives (in the case of a state), and choices and the means that they subsequently employ to achieve them.
  5. Rationality: Strategic theory assumes the actor is behaving rationally, according to its own value system, namely, that it is behaving in a manner consistent with the attainment of its desired ends. This is not, please note, the imposition of rational-actor modelling. Nor does it presume that the actor functions with perfect efficiency or that its decisions will automatically lead to a successful outcome. It does, though, assume that the actor’s decisions are made after some kind of cost-benefit analysis that makes sense to the actor concerned in a way that results in a choice of action designed to optimise the attainment of a desired end in accordance with its own value system.
  6. Moral neutrality: To avoid distorting ethnocentric evaluations, that is, judging others by your own values, strategic theory is disinterested in the moral validity of an actor’s ends, ways, and means. Evaluation of the effectiveness of an actor’s decision making is confined principally to how well the chosen means are used to attain stated ends. This applies to all ways and means, including the use of violent methods, which are viewed solely in instrumental terms. This assumption is a necessary requirement to ensure that insight is gained dispassionately, and to avoid conflating the attempt to describe and understand social action with normative judgements that inevitably undermine any attempt to provide objective analysis.

A point of entry

These six basic assumptions provide a serviceable way to reflect upon the idea of effectiveness. These assumptions incorporate as few postulates as possible, and readers can discern how ideas of competence, rationality, optimisation, efficiency, and performance are presented in qualified terms that are conditioned by an understanding of how any individual actor sees its own place in the world. Presented in this manner, the assumptions of strategic theory are configured to help the analyst avoid situational bias and offer a parsimonious way to investigate social behaviours, particularly in environments where social actors are endeavouring to gain their interests and values against the interests of other actors.

All these assumptions do is provide a point of entry into a much wider set of questions, which those who take an academic approach to the study of strategy would naturally seek to explore, such as how is it possible to gain insights into someone else’s value system? How do we know if an actor has engaged in a cost-benefit analysis? How might we discern whether an actor has reached a point where it has maximised its potential with its chosen means? Like any mode of inquiry strategic theory can be complexified and problematised, but in its fundamental precepts it provides a simple, straightforward, method of analysing how, why, and with what purposes social actors work to attain the goals and objectives they set themselves.

Conclusion: In the end, there is no end

In understanding how people, either individually or collectively, seek to make themselves successful and effective in the world, strategic theory merely endeavours to render explicit what is already implicit in human behaviour. To this end, and drawing upon reflections from recent events (for example, the failures of Western foreign policy interventions in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, ‘surprising’ political events like Britain’s decision to leave the EU, the election of Donald Trump as President in the US, the disproportionate and economically damaging policy responses during the Covid-19 pandemic),[xv] some of the more thoughtful and interesting engagements in strategic theory have sought to establish several solid conclusions about social and political behaviours. With this in mind, and by way of conclusion, let me leave readers with five broad insights that we can derive from this brief discussion:

  1. Effectiveness cannot be measured accurately, but it can be evaluated according to one unimpeachable criterion: namely, did you succeed in achieving your objectives? This statement is subject to nuance and qualifications, but it is an objective marker of success. Did you achieve what you set out to achieve? If the answer is yes, then you have, definitively, performed effectively.
  2. Effectiveness – achieving what you set out to achieve – can be boiled down to good judgement, that is, making good decisions within the contingent settings that you find yourself in at any given time. Of course, this raises more complicated questions as to whether good judgement can be learnt or whether it is something innate, but it points to a particular ability to discern and calculate issues proportionately in a way that attains your goals but at an acceptable cost, howsoever that may be defined.
  3. Non-materially based values often matter much more than material ones. Traditions, identity, customs, and community, as the Americans found in Vietnam, and as elite policy makers are apt to re-discover time and again, are put at a higher premium than temporal concerns. Consequently, cost-benefit appeals based on pure self-interest, preaching or fear have a propensity to fail, at least over the longer term. In other words, money and fear, attractive and powerful incentives though they may be, doesn’t buy loyalty or conquer the mind of those you are trying to win over.
  4. You win against your own value system. The notion of ‘winning’ is not necessarily objective. According to strategic theory, the most important consideration is what matters to you.[xvi] If you have conformed to, or gained, relative to your value system – if you have defended, advanced, or upheld what is important to you – then you have been effective, regardless of what anyone else thinks.
  5. Lastly, even if you have been effective, achieving what is meaningful to you according to your own values, it is wise to appreciate that one’s strategic success is usually only ever provisional and temporary. Strategy is about life and life is continuously evolving. Life is an eternal struggle. As Carl von Clausewitz observed, the ‘result in war is never final’,[xvii] and strategy, like life itself, goes on, and on. It never ends.
References

[i] For a good example of the genre see King’s College London, King’s Strategic Vision 2029 (London: KCL, 2016), a vacuous 36-page document where the words, ‘strategy’, ‘strategic’ and ‘strategies’ appear no less than 68 times, available at: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/about/assets/pdf/Kings-strategic-vision-2029.pdf.
[ii] See ibid.
[iii] M.L.R. Smith, ‘Why Strategy is Easy but Difficult (at the Same Time): A Short Study on the Complexities of Escalation’, Military Strategy Magazine (originally Infinity Journal), Vol, 5, No. 4 (2017), pp. 10-13.
[iv] Bruce D. Henderson, ‘The Origin of Strategy’, Harvard Business Review, November-December 1989, available at: https://hbr.org/1989/11/the-origin-of-strategy.
[v] See Mithun Sridharan, ‘Origins: How Did Strategy Evolve Through History’, Think Insights, June 2022, available at: https://thinkinsights.net/strategy/origins-of-strategy/.
[vi] See for example, Sarah Naish, The A-Z of Survival Strategies for Therapeutic Parents: From Chaos to Cake (London: Jessica Kingsley/Hachette, 2022).
[vii] I am grateful to Steve Leaonard for his insightful and effective comments, 6 August 2022.
[viii] See Thomas Schelling, Choice and Consequence: Perspectives of an Errant Economist (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1980).
[ix] Fred Kaplan, The Wizards of Armageddon (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983).
[x] James M. Lyndsay, ‘The Vietnam War in Forty Quotes’, Council on Foreign Relations, 30 April 2015, available at: https://www.cfr.org/blog/vietnam-war-forty-quotes.
[xi] ‘Sun Tzu’s Art of War’, available at https://suntzusaid.com/book/3/18.
[xii] M.L.R. Smith and Niall McCrae, ‘Straight from the Freezer: The Cold War in Ukraine’, Daily Sceptic, 21 April 2022, at: https://dailysceptic.org/2022/04/21/straight-from-the-freezer-the-cold-war-in-ukraine/.
[xiii] See John Garnett, ‘Strategic Studies and Its Assumptions’, in John Baylis, Ken Booth, John Garnett and Phil Williams, Contemporary Strategy: Theories and Policies (London: Croom Helm, 1975), pp. 3-21.
[xiv] Michael Howard, The Causes of War (London: Counterpoint, 1983), p. 86.
[xv] M.L.R. Smith, ‘Setting the Strategic Cat Among the Policy Pigeons: The Problems and Paradoxes of Western Intervention Strategy’, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, published online 23 May 2021, available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1057610X.2021.1903669, pp. 1-5.
[xvi] Thomas Schelling, The Strategy of Conflict (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1960, pp. 4-5)
[xvii] Carl von Clausewitz, On War (trans. and ed. Michael Howard and Peter Paret), (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1986), p. 80.