A More Holistic Framework for Military Competition: How the War Might Be Won

Strategy Bridge – In a compelling revisionist history of the Second World War, How the War Was Won, Phillip’s O’Brien argues, “There were no decisive battles in World War II.” In his broad analysis, O’Brien develops what he terms a “super battlefield.” The superbattlefield is, according to O’Brien, the distinguishing characteristic of modern warfare. Instead of an isolated battlefield, the superbattlefield extends over thousands of miles and includes all aspects of building, training, and deploying military capability. Using this construct, O’Brien argues that the individual battles of World War II had little consequence on the overall outcome of the war…The question for American planners today is twofold. Is O’Brien’s theory of victory in warfare still applicable? And, if it is, what does it mean for how America thinks about fighting wars?