Political Direction In War

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The significance of political direction in any war cannot be overemphasized. Political directions or objectives serve two basic functions; first, they provide a framework for directing the war effort. In other words they provide guidance for the proper conduct of military operations in order to attain the political objective or objectives. Second, political objectives provide a rallying point for popular support, what Sun Tzu refers to as the ‘moral law’ for any war. In modern times, it is vital that unequivocal and progressing popular support is fostered among the general public for the war effort to thrive. The failure to stimulate popular support through a well articulated political aim of the war almost predictably leads to lagging enthusiasm…show more content…
At the risk of some sweeping statement, a ‘good’ political objective should have all or most of the four characteristics; first, a political objective or aim must be simple, straightforward and unambiguous a reason for the war, in other words, the public needs a readily understood reason for supporting the war effort; second, any political objective must be morally and politically viable in terms of loftiness, in other words political objectives must flow from the highest political level downwards; third, it must be vital to the interests of a nation or country, in this case ‘peace and national security’, in the case of Kaunda were vital national interests while restoration of a just political system would have sufficed for Mushala; and lastly it must be universally supported by serving the interests of the majority of the population. Political objectives must therefore logically lead to military objectives or military strategic aims to guide military planners in the conduct of military operations to achieve political…show more content…
In counterinsurgency operations for instance, the security forces require intelligence about where the enemy is and not where he was. Where the enemy is, requires accurate real time intelligence which must be acted upon by the quickest counterinsurgency force available to deal with the enemy at that time. Quick reaction is therefore dependent on timely intelligence which must be provided by the best intelligence organisation established and controlled by the higher authority. The latter is useless if the forces available are lethargic. The other value of timely intelligence is that guerrillas are highly mobile and generally hardly ever hang about in one place for any length of time particularly in the early stages of the insurgency. They are highly mobile for their own survival. As in the first hypothesis, certain words here too need to be defined conceptually as well as operationally. The word ‘defective’, conceptually means faulty or not functioning properly or at all. In operational terms, it means faulty battlefield strategic intelligence gathering structures in relation to Kaunda’s Government and Mushala’s DSC. ‘Intelligence’ in conceptual terms means processed information or processed raw data. In operational terms means processed information pertaining
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