Boyd and the Past: A Look at the Utility of Ancient History in the Development of Modern Theories of Warfare
Author(s)Fournier, Richard M
Contributor(s)ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
KeywordsHumanities and History
Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
*ANCIENT MILITARY HISTORY
*MODERN WARFARE THEORIES
BATTLE OF CANNAE
MONGOL INVASION OF EUROPE
OODA LOOP(OBSERVE ORIENT DECIDE ACT LOOP)
CLAUSEWITZ CARL VON
GADDIS JOHN LEWIS
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AbstractWhat utility does ancient military history have for the development of modern theories of warfare? This monograph discusses the development of warfare theory from ancient history by examining the theories and writings of United States Air Force Colonel (retired) John Boyd. Ancient history is useful for developing modern military theories of war. Ancient history played a significant role in the development of Colonel Boyd's theories on maneuver warfare. The abstract concepts he synthesized provide valuable instruction to modern operational artists on how to use ancient history in the development of their own theories and doctrine. Boyd arrived at the past with his theories in mind and then went searching for proof. He effectively linked concepts from the Battle of Cannae and the Mongol invasion of Europe. From these historical examples, Boyd shows how maneuver and moral warfare developed, and how inferior forces used these styles of warfare to defeat superior opponents.
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