Always Strategic: Jointly Essential Landpower

  • February 01, 2015
  • Dr Colin S Gray

American Landpower is a strategic instrument of state policy and needs to be considered as such. This monograph explores and explains the nature of Landpower, both in general terms and also with particular regard to the American case. The monograph argues that: (1) Landpower is unique in the character of the quality it brings to the American joint team for national security; (2) the U.S. has a permanent need for the human quality in Landpower that this element provides inherently; (3) Landpower is always and, indeed, necessarily strategic in its meaning and implications—it is a quintessentially strategic instrument of state policy and politics; (4) strategic Landpower is unavoidably and beneficially joint in its functioning, this simply is so much the contemporary character of American strategic Landpower that we should consider jointness integral to its permanent nature; and, (5) notwithstanding the nuclear context since 1945, Landpower retained, indeed retains, most of the strategic utility it has possessed through all of history: this is a prudent judgment resting empirically on the evidence of 70 years’ experience. In short, the strategic Landpower maintained today safely can be assumed to be necessary for security long into the future. No matter how familiar the concept of strategic Landpower is when identified and expressed thus, it is a physical and psychological reality that has persisted to strategic effect through all of the strategic history to which we have access.