DEVELOPMENT OF THE MILITARY SUPERIOR THOUGHT

The formation.

A quick glance and intuition must be developed so that, following a series of accepted techniques, they help those in command to control and direct the operations.

Studiousness and reasoning are used to know the best techniques and how to apply them. Once learned by experience and reflection, these must open the way to governance by intuition. This prevails in a global, holistic sense – in an internal processing of the spirit – that settles down a pace and gives proportion and adjustment to the given situation. Which is much more rapid and effective, that the continuous resource to the analysis, the feedback and the check list of things to do.

Aníbal - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre
Hannibal Barca

The possibilities, advice and techniques that follow one from another in a given and changing situation, grow in exponential form. Knowing all of them at any given moment is impossible. And it can be source of errors, since that stance does not allow readily for feedback, verification, and adaptation. That stance is not very useful either, because it slows deliberation and because possibilities, techniques, and advice are sometimes contradictory, in light of all the conditions that define a situation.

Vasilevski, Aleksandr: biografía y la posición
Alexander Vasilevsky

Thus, once formed, an officer must trust his military sense, that is, the specific intuition on how to act in all occasions. Excessive emotion, especially fear and hatred (negative ones), block the intuitive management and the agility of the mind, reducing its effectiveness to that of fallible reasoning. Serenity and discipline are the best assistants of intuition.

Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck (Reichsheer) | Cronología de la Primera Guerra  Mundial - WWI
Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck

An anonymous sage said that «reasoning was a way to err with conviction». The cause or reason of this is nothing more than «we do not have at hand all the conditions or parameters that define a complex situation».

The practice application.

The search for a solution for an operational or tactical mission happens through a mental process of investigation, information and deliberation. The results of intelligence and exploration must also inform and be rooted in the command’s mind. According to the western psychology, these mental processes give rise to intuition.

Erich Von Manstein | Eurasia1945
Erich von Manstein

In this process it is not absolutely clear the nexus between deliberation and solution, since these cases have numerous “variants” and diverse possibilities for reality or certainty. The solution does not arise by accumulating data and its ruminating,

But by a “qualitative leap”, after which the essential concept of the situation or its total conceptual apprehension is clearly contemplated.

Dos siglos de la muerte de Napoleón, el emperador que temía a los gatos
Napoleon Bonaparte

These “leaps” take place in unconscious mental elaboration by a mind trained to discern these essential concepts. That can be absolute or referred to the mind in itself, or relative, referred to situations or external facts to it, as parcels of the knowledge. After information is considered, the analytical mind verifies it and validates the correctness of one or two “special” solutions (better than “ideals”) available.

Georgios Grivas - Alchetron, The Free Social Encyclopedia
Georgios Grivas

This apparent incoherence between the Solution which we postulated, and the branched solution that is obtained, arises as a result of the natural indetermination that exists in defining and considering all the variables in any given phenomenon or situation. Mental courage is the best aid of wisdom, enabling one to overcome doubt in a situation and take hold of creative opportunities.

Daniel Morgan - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre
Daniel Morgan

This is even more important in a military action, surrounded as they are by the “smoke or fog of war”, and being affected by friction and the errors ofoperatingmen and units. Part of that “smoke” is generated by our own knowledge, that is incomplete, erroneous, and only partially correct, about the “enemy at the other side of the hill”.

Some practitioners of theory.

All the examples we present are characterized by having repeatedly overcome their enemies in their confrontations. And, maintaining a striking creativity and freshness in their use of the «art science of war».

Although, at times, an operational strategy of hammering, on the part of an enemy with more means and resources, has finally deprived some of the victory.

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