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George Washington's Strategic Skill or British Operational and Strategic Failures

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Submitted By loftonjd
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Patriot Success: Washington’s Strategic Skill or British Operational and Strategic Failure

Introduction Sun Tzu considered war as a necessary evil that must be avoided whenever possible. Many opportunities were presented to the British rule by the Americans to prevent the Revolutionary War and vice versa. The design, execution and effects of operations played a significant role on both sides from the outset of the war thus completely affecting the Clausewitzian Trinity of government, people, and army. Operational and strategic mistakes of the British led to Patriot success. However, it can be argued that the strategic skill of George Washington led to Patriot success.
Center of Gravity The first, the supreme, the most far-reaching act of judgment that the statesman and commander have to make is to establish by that test the kind of war on which they are embarking; neither mistaking it for, nor trying to turn it into, something that is alien to its nature (Clausewitz, 88). He says this is the first of all strategic questions and the most comprehensive. Strategically, the British never established the type of war they would be committing themselves to until the passion of the people within the Colonies reached a point of no return. George Washington saw Great Britain’s center of gravity (CoG) as the will of its government (Weigley, 5). The British government deduced that the plausible center of gravity for the Americans was the Continental Army but the argument remained open in properly assessing the will of the people. According to Joint Publication 1, the ability of the United States to advance its national

interests is dependent on the effectiveness of properly assessing national power. National power

would...

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