Patterns of Politics
Any power which merely opposes its own destruction or the loss of its territory almost never wins the ensuing conflict unless it defines its objectives beyond survival or the perpetuation of the status quo.
In warfare, status never remains quo. All things change, and success for the defender rests on the ability to shift the fight from defence to offense, to place its attacker or attackers on the defensive.
Without such a de facto switch in positions, the most that can be gained is a stalemate, and the result of such a stalemate is inevitably a change in the actual governments of both attacker and defender, even if the outward forms remain apparently unaltered.
Thus, the eventual outcome of any war is a change in the government of at least one of the parties. For this reason, no war should be undertaken by any government interested in its survival without change, not unless the alternative is wide-scale death and destruction.
The Ecolitan Operation - chapter:XI
History has shown that there are two kinds of warfare practiced. The first is the use of military forces and tactics to obtain territory, power, or position. The principle assumption underlying such ‘power-seeking’ warfare is that the participants will refrain from actions threatening their survival.
The second, and rarer, general classification is that of total warfare, where the goal is the total extermination of at least one of the participants. At times, total warfare may be limited to the destruction of a form of government of one participant or to the total destruction of a specific culture or racial type, but the goal is still the total destruction of something.
Governments and generals who fail to understand what kind of war they are pursuing (or opposing) seldom choose the proper strategies or tactics.
The Ecolitan Operation - chapter:XLV