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Winning the Battle Leading to Peace

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General Tactics

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Command in Operations Exercise for Tactical Leaders

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Winning the Battle Leading to Peace

FT-01

Armed confrontation of wills, war always brings destruction and suffering, but its face and its place in the world have changed.

The political effectiveness of military confrontation has evolved, with the destruction of the other often proving to be an inadequate response to conflict situations. The battle which, until recently, could lead directly to political success is no longer sufficient, nor is it a sign of victory or final failure for the protagonists. Its place has been reduced to that of a first stage, violent and brief, in the general course of conflicts whose duration is increasing and for which the establishment of the conditions for a return to peace becomes decisive. It is then necessary to lead to peace. But war has also changed with the emergence of new belligerents who, far removed from the traditional military logic, act and live among populations that have become both actors and essential stakes. Now at the centre of conflicts, the latter are a major preoccupation of the military forces.

Faced with this change, military action is evolving. The capacity for destruction is no longer the major argument for a tool that no longer leads directly to the achievement of the strategic objective but merely participates in it. It does so with a set of actors who all have their share in the success or failure and with whom armies must act and coordinate.

The articulation and purpose of operations are changed as a result. The initial intervention, in which the force generally acts to the full extent of its power, now prepares for a stabilisation phase which, as the core of the engagement and the decisive stage, is essentially played out in the land environment.

The aim of this document, which is the fruit of collective reflection within the land forces, is to present these essential developments which profoundly affect land forces engaged in many theatres of operation. At the heart of these commitments, they are building up their full effectiveness in the resolution of crises that have moved away from the struggles between states to enter the field of confrontation within societies.

In this new environment, the army asserts and implements a dual requirement: that of power and control of force.