Quotes by Famous Strategic Thinkers

Uncategorized Quotes

"Leadership is about balance. It is about playing your strengths and weaknesses. To be good, you need to know about the dark side. Be aware and seek to learn about your weaknesses. It is awesome to be the king. But it is even more fulfilling to know the gratitude of self-improvement as you reign. But when you reign, reign with an Iron Fist and an aluminum heart "

Sgt. Burbage (USMC 1998)

"No plan survives contact with the enemy."

Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke

"The chief incalculable in war is the human will."

B.H. Liddell Hart

"The enemy resembles us. Therefore, he needs to be approached not as an assembly of 'targets' to be destroyed one by one; but as a living, intelligent entity capable of acting and reacting."

Martin Van Creveld

"The center of gravity is "those characteristics, capabilities, or localities from which a military force derives its freedom of action, physical strength, or will to fight.""

DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

"The more reliant we become upon computers and information systems, the more vulnerable we become to cyber-terrorists who will conceive unlimited ways to cripple our infrastructure, our power grids, our banking systems, our financial markets, our space based communications systems"

Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen

"Cyberspace is the battlefield of tomorrow...Instead of confronting us head-to-head on the traditional battlefield, adversaries will confront the U.S. at its point of least resistance-- our information infrastructure."

Sen. Fred Thompson, Chairman of the Senate (1998)

"To see the right and not to do it is cowardice."

Confucius (551-478 B.C.)

"War is just when it is necessary; arms are permissible when there is no hope except in arms."

Machiavelli, "The Prince"

"War is much too serious a thing to be left to military men."

Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand

"Nine-tenths of tactics are certain and taught in books: but the irrational tenth is like the kingfisher flashing across the pond and that is the test of generals. It can only be ensured by instinct, sharpened by thought practicing the stroke so often at the crisis it is as natural as a reflex."

T.E. Lawrence, "The Science of Guerrilla Warfare"

"The power of an air force is terrific when there is nothing to oppose it."

Winston Churchill

"It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it."

Gen. Douglas MacAurthur, 1952

"Nothing makes a man more aware of his capabilities and of his limitations than those moments when he must push aside all the familiar defenses of ego and vanity, and accept reality by staring, with the fear that is normal to a man in combat, into the face of Death."

Major Robert S. Johnson, USAAF

"Anybody who doesn't have fear is an idiot. It's just that you must make the fear work for you. Hell, when somebody shot at me, it made me madder than hell, and all I wanted to do was shoot back."

General Robin Olds, USAF.

"There is only one tactical principle which is not subject to change. It is to use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wound, death, and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time."

General George S. Patton, Jr.

"Another such victory over the Romans,and we are undone."

Pyrrhus, King of Epirus

"In no other profession are the penalties for employing untrained personnel so appalling or so irrevocable as in the military."

Douglas MacArthur, General of the Army

"We want to be in a situation under maximum pressure, maximum intensity, and maximum danger. When it's shared with others, it provides a bond which is stronger than any tie that can exist."

SEAL Team Six Officer

"Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I am attacking."

Ferdinand Foch at the Battle of the Marne

"By way of deception, thou shalt do war."

Israel's Mossad

"War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

John Stuart Mill

"War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen, and I say let us give them all they want."

General William T. Sherman

"The morale of the soldier is the greatest single factor in war."

Field marshal Sir Bernard Law Montgomery

"You must love soldiers in order to understand them, and understand them in order to lead them."

Henri Turenne

"They taught me that no man could be their leader except he ate the ranks' food, wore their clothes, lived level with them, and yet appeared better in himself."

T.E. Lawrence, "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom"

"Hit the other fellow, as quick as you can, and as hard as you can, where it hurts him most, when he ain't lookin'."

Unrecorded British sergeant-major, (On the definition of strategy)

"Read over and over again the campaigns of Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, Gustavus, Turenne, Eugene and Frederic. ... This is the only way to become a great general and master the secrets of the art of war. ..."

Napoleon Bonaparte, "Military Maxims of Napoleon"

"Strategy is the art of making use of time and space."

Napoleon Bonaparte

"The starting point for the understanding of war is the understanding of human nature."

S.L.A. Marshall, Men Against Fire