Military doctrine is the expression of how
military force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media L ...
s contribute to
campaign Campaign or The Campaign may refer to: Types of campaigns * Campaign, in agriculture, the period during which sugar beets are harvested and processed *Advertising campaign, a series of advertisement messages that share a single idea and theme *Blit ...
s, major operations,
battle A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force ...

s, and
engagement An engagement or betrothal is the period of time between a marriage proposal A marriage proposal is an event where one person in a relationship asks for the other's hand in marriage in Stockholm Marriage, also called matrimony o ...
s. It is a guide to action, rather than being hard and fast rules.
Doctrine Doctrine (from la, Wikt:doctrina, doctrina, meaning "teaching, instruction") is a codification (law), codification of beliefs or a body of teacher, teachings or instructions, taught Value (personal and cultural), principles or positions, as the e ...

provides a common frame of reference across the military. It helps standardize operations, facilitating readiness by establishing common ways of accomplishing military tasks. Doctrine links theory, history, experimentation, and practice. Its objective is to foster initiative and creative thinking. Doctrine provides the military with an authoritative body of statements on how military forces conduct operations and provides a common lexicon for use by military planners and leaders.

Defining doctrine

NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance A military alliance is a formal agreement betwe ...
's definition of doctrine, used unaltered by many member nations, is: :"Fundamental principles by which the military forces guide their actions in support of objectives. It is authoritative but requires judgement in application". The Canadian Army states:
"Military doctrine is a formal expression of military knowledge and thought, that the army accepts as being relevant at a given time, which covers the nature of conflict, the preparation of the army for conflict, and the method of engaging in conflict to achieve success ... it is descriptive rather than prescriptive, requiring judgement in application. It does not establish dogma or provide a checklist of procedures, but is rather an authoritative guide, describing how the army thinks about fighting, not how to fight. As such it attempts to be definitive enough to guide military activity, yet versatile enough to accommodate a wide variety of situations."
A U.S. Air Force Air University staff study in 1948 defined military doctrine functionally as "those concepts, principles, policies, tactics, techniques, practices, and procedures which are essential to efficiency in organizing, training, equipping, and employing its tactical and service units."
Gary Sheffield Gary Antonian Sheffield (born November 18, 1968) is an American former professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system. It ...
, of the Defence Studies Department of
King's College London King's College London (informally King's or KCL) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or ...
JSCSC Joint Services Command and Staff College (JSCSC) is a British military academic establishment providing training and education to experienced officers of the Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Altho ...
J F C Fuller Major-general (United Kingdom), Major-General John Frederick Charles "Boney" Fuller (1 September 1878 – 10 February 1966) was a senior British Army Officer (armed forces), officer, military history, military historian, and military strategy, st ...
's 1923 definition of doctrine as the "central idea of an army". The Soviet ''Dictionary of Basic Military Terms'' defined military doctrine as "a state's officially accepted system of scientifically founded views on the nature of modern wars and the use of the armed forces in them. ... Military doctrine has two aspects: social-political and military-technical." The social-political side "encompasses all questions concerning methodology, economic, and social bases, the political goals of war. It is the defining and the more stable side." The other side, the military-technical, must accord with the political goals. It includes the "creation of military structure, technical equipping of the armed forces, their training, definition of forms and means of conducting operations and war as a whole." ''See also'': Allied Joint Publicatio
edition(delta)issued-21 December 2010. (NATO's capstone doctrine)

Development of doctrine

Before the development of separate doctrinal publications, many nations expressed their military philosophy through regulations.

United Kingdom

Field Service Regulations were issued by the
War Office The War Office This article contains text from this source, which is available under th Open Government Licence v3.0 © Crown copyright was a Departments of the British Government, Department of the British Government responsible for the adminis ...
in 1909, 1917, 1923, 1930, and 1935. Similar publications under various names were subsequently published. Formal British Military Doctrine was first published in 1988 and in 1996 became British Defence Doctrine applicable throughout the armed forces.


The development of military doctrine in France came about in the aftermath of the nation's defeat during the
Franco-Prussian war The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War,, german: Deutsch-Französischer Krieg often referred to in France as the War of 1870, was a conflict between the Second French Empire The Second French Empire (; officially the French Empire ...
. The
École supérieure de guerreThe ''École supérieure de guerre'' ("Superior School of Warfare") was the most senior military education institute and staff college of the French Army, from 1876 until 1993, when it was merged into the inter-service ' (Joint Defense College), whi ...
, under the direction of its commandant,
Ferdinand Foch Ferdinand Foch (2 October 1851 – 20 March 1929) was a French general and military theorist who served as the Supreme Allied Commander during the First World War World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a ...

Ferdinand Foch
, began developing a consistent doctrine for handling armies, corps, and divisions. Foch's 1906 work, ''Des principes de la guerre'' (translated by
Hilaire Belloc Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc (, ; 27 July 187016 July 1953) was an Franco-English writer and historian of the early twentieth century. Belloc was also an orator, poet, sailor, satirist This is an incomplete list of writers, cartoonists ...

Hilaire Belloc
as ''The Principles of War'') expressed this doctrine.

Prussia and German Empire

Prussian doctrine was published as ''Regulations for the Instruction of the Troops in Field Service and the Exercises of the larger Units of the 17th June, 1870''. The doctrine was revised in 1887 and published in English in 1893 as ''The Order of Field Service of the German Army'', by Karl Kaltenborn und Stachau, and once again in 1908 as ''Felddienst Ordnung'' ("Field Service Regulations").

United States

In the period between the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
and the
First World War World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainmen ...

First World War
, doctrine was defined by the War Department in " Field Service Regulations". In addition, many officers wrote military manuals that were printed by private publishers, such as Hardee's Tactics, used by both
Confederate Confederacy may refer to: A confederation, an association of sovereign states or communities. Examples include: * Battle of the Trench, Confederate tribes * Confederate States of America, a confederation of secessionist American states that existed ...

and Union forces. General
George B. McClellan
George B. McClellan
wrote a cavalry manual, ''Regulations and Instructions for the Field Service of the U.S. Cavalry,'' in 1862. The General Staff became responsible for writing Field Service Regulations. They were published in 1908, were revised in 1913 and again in 1914 based on experiences of European powers in the first months of the war. As late as 1941 U.S. Army doctrine was published in '' Field Service Regulations – Operations''. This designation was dropped and replaced by U.S. Army Field Manuals (FM).

Relationship between doctrine and strategy

Doctrine is not
strategy Strategy (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxim ...

. NATO's definition of strategy is "presenting the manner in which military power should be developed and applied to achieve national objectives or those of a group of nations." The official definition of strategy by the United States Department of Defense is: "Strategy is a prudent idea or set of ideas for employing the instruments of national power in a synchronized and integrated fashion to achieve national or multinational objectives." Military strategy provides the rationale for military operations. Field Marshal Viscount
Alan Brooke Field Marshal Field marshal (or field-marshal, abbreviated as FM) is the most senior military rank, ordinarily senior to the general officer A general officer is an officer of high rank in the armies, and in some nations' air f ...
Chief of the Imperial General Staff Chief of the General Staff (CGS) has been the title of the professional head of the British Army since 1964. The CGS is a member of both the Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Army Board. Prior to 1964 the title was Chief of the Imperial Genera ...
and co-chairman of the Anglo-US
Combined Chiefs of Staff#REDIRECT Combined Chiefs of Staff 220px, Combined Chiefs of Staff in Quebec – August 23, 1943. Seated around the table from left foreground: Vice Adm. Lord Louis Mountbatten, Sir Dudley Pound, Sir Alan Brooke">Dudley_Pound.html" ;"title="Lo ...
Committee for most of the Second World War, described the art of military strategy as: "to derive from the olicyaim a series of military objectives to be achieved: to assess these objectives as to the military requirements they create, and the pre-conditions which the achievement of each is likely to necessitate: to measure available and potential resources against the requirements and to chart from this process a coherent pattern of priorities and a rational course of action." Instead, doctrine seeks to provide a common conceptual framework for a military service: * what the service perceives itself to be ("Who are we?") * what its mission is ("What do we do?") * how the mission is to be carried out ("How do we do that?") * how the mission has been carried out in history ("How did we do that in the past?") * other questions. In the same way, doctrine is neither operations nor tactics. It serves as a conceptual framework uniting all three levels of warfare. Doctrine reflects the judgments of professional military officers, and to a lesser but important extent civilian leaders, about what is and is not militarily possible and necessary. Factors to consider include: * military technology * national geography * the capabilities of adversaries * the capability of one's own organization Warfare is conducted on three levels:
strategic Strategy (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxim ...
operational An operational definition specifies concrete, replicable procedures that reliably produce a differentiated, measurable outcome. For example, an operational definition of fear often includes measurable physiologic responses such as tachycardia, galva ...
, and tactical.
The strategic level of war is that which a nation or group of nations determine national or multinational strategic security objectives and guidance, and develops and uses national resources to achieve these objectives. National leaders translate
national interests National Interest, often referred to by the French expression ''raison d'État'' (), is a rationality of governing referring to a sovereign state's goals and ambitions, be they economic, military, cultural, or otherwise. "Raison d'etat" is an integ ...
policy Policy is a deliberate system of guideline A guideline is a statement by which to determine a course of action. A guideline aims to streamline particular processes according to a set routine or sound practice. Guidelines may be issued by a ...

into national strategic objectives. Military commanders base their theater or campaign
planning Planning is the process A process is a series or set of activities that interact to produce a result; it may occur once-only or be recurrent or periodic. Things called a process include: Business and management *Business process A business p ...

on these objective.
At the operational level of war a campaign is a series of related
military operations A military operation is the coordinated military action War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or paramilitary groups such as Mercenary, mercenaries, Insurgency, insurgents, and m ...
aimed at accomplishing a strategic or operational objective within a given time and space. Operational art determines when, where, and for what purposes commanders employ major forces. Actions at the operational level usually involve broader dimensions of time and space than those of tactical actions.
Tactics is the employment and ordered arrangement of forces in relation to each other. It includes the ordered arrangement and maneuver of units in relation to each other, the terrain, civil considerations, and the enemy to translate potential military power into successful operations.<-->

Military doctrine by country


Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...

military doctrine is influenced by a number of sources including an indigenous classical military tradition characterized by strategists such as
Sun Tzu Sun Tzu ( ; zh, t=孫子, p=Sūnzǐ) was a Chinese general, military strategist A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense a ...
and modern strategists such as
Mao Zedong Mao Zedong pronounced ; also Romanization of Chinese, romanised traditionally as Mao Tse-tung. (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who was the Proclamation of the ...

Mao Zedong
, along with Western and Soviet influences. One distinctive characteristic of Chinese military science is that it places emphasis on the relationship between the military and society and views military force as merely one part of an overarching
grand strategy Grand strategy or high strategy is the long-term strategy pursued at the highest levels by a nation to further its interests. Issues of grand strategy typically include the choice of primary versus secondary theaters Theatre or theater is ...
. According to French newspaper ''
Le Monde ''Le Monde'' (; ) is a French daily afternoon newspaper A newspaper is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial Serial may refer to: Arts, entertainment, ...

Le Monde
'', the Chinese nuclear doctrine is to maintain a nuclear force allowing it to deter and respond to a nuclear attack. However, new evolutions show that China could allow use of its nuclear arsenal in more situations.


World War I

Following the defeat of the
French Army The French Army, officially the Ground Army (french: Armée de Terre , ) to distinguish it from the French Air and Space Force The French Air and Space Force (AAE) (french: Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace, ) is the air File:Atmosphere gas ...
in the
Franco-Prussian War The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War,, german: Deutsch-Französischer Krieg often referred to in France as the War of 1870, was a conflict between the Second French Empire The Second French Empire (; officially the French Empire ...
, the French military, as part of its movements to increase professionalism, emphasized officer training at the École de Guerre.
Ferdinand Foch Ferdinand Foch (2 October 1851 – 20 March 1929) was a French general and military theorist who served as the Supreme Allied Commander during the First World War World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a ...

Ferdinand Foch
, as an instructor, argued against the concept of a commander moving units without informing subordinates of his intentions. In doing so, a common doctrine served as a point of training.
We have then, a doctrine. All the brains have been limbered up and regard all questions from an identical point of view. The fundamental idea of the problem being known, each one will solve the problem in his own fashion, and these thousand fashions, we may very well be sure, will act to direct all their efforts to a common objective.”


German military doctrine incorporates the concept of ''Auftragstaktik'' (Mission-type tactics), which can be seen as a doctrine within which formal rules can be selectively suspended in order to overcome "friction". Carl von Clausewitz stated that "Everything in war is very simple but the simplest thing is difficult". Problems will occur with misplaced communications, troops going to the wrong location, delays caused by weather, etc., and it is the duty of the commander to do his best to overcome them. Auftragstaktik encourages commanders to exhibit initiative, flexibility and improvisation while in command.


The current combat doctrine of the
Indian Army The Indian Army is the land-based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces The Indian Armed Forces are the military forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organi ...

Indian Army
is based on the effective combined utilization of holding formations and strike formations. In the case of an attack, the holding formations would contain the enemy and strike formations would counter-attack to neutralize enemy forces. In the case of an Indian attack, the holding formations would pin enemy forces down whilst the strike formations attack at a point of Indian choosing. India's nuclear doctrine follows the policy of credible minimum deterrence, No first strike, No use of nuclear weapons on Non-nuclear states and Massive nuclear retaliation in case deterrence fails. India has recently adopted a new war doctrine known as " Cold Start" and its military has conducted exercises several times since then based on this doctrine. "Cold Start" involves joint operations between India's three services and integrated battle groups for offensive operations. A key component is the preparation of India's forces to be able to quickly mobilize and take offensive actions without crossing the enemy's nuclear-use threshold. A leaked US diplomatic cable disclosed that it was intended to be taken off the shelf and implemented within a 72-hour period during a crisis.


Strategic doctrine

Israel's military doctrine is formed by its small size and lack of
strategic depth Strategic depth is a term in military literature that broadly refers to the distances between the front line A front line (alternative forms: front-line or frontline) in military terminology is the position(s) closest to the area of conflict of ...
. To compensate, it relies on deterrence, including through a presumed nuclear weapons arsenal. It tries to overcome its quantitative disadvantage by staying qualitatively superior. Its doctrine is based on a strategy of defense but is operationally offensive, by pre-empting enemy threats and securing a quick, decisive victory if deterrence fails. Israel maintains a heightened state of readiness, advanced
early warning An early warning system is a that can be implemented as a of s and comprises s, and for early identification of hazards. They work together to forecast and signal disturbances that adversely affect the stability of the , providing time for t ...
systems, and a robust military intelligence capability to ensure attackers cannot take advantage of Israel's lack of strategic depth. Early warning and speedy victory is also desired because the
Israel Defense Forces The Israel Defense Forces (IDF; he, צְבָא הַהֲגָנָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל ; ), commonly referred to by the Hebrew-language acronym ''Tzahal'' (), are the combined military forces of the Israel, State of Israel, consisting of t ...
rely heavily on
reservists A reservist is a person who is a member of a military reserve force. They are otherwise civilians, and in peacetime have careers outside the military. Reservists usually go for training on an annual basis to refresh their skills. This person is u ...
during major wars; lengthy mobilization of reservists is costly to the Israeli economy. Israeli doctrine is constructed with the assumption that Israel would be largely self-sufficient in its war-fighting, without nearby allies to assist. Israel's emphasis on operational offense was espoused by its first prime minister,
David Ben-Gurion David Ben-Gurion ( ; he, דָּוִד בֶּן-גּוּרִיּוֹן ; born David Grün; 16 October 1886 – 1 December 1973) was the primary national founder of the State of Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yī ...
, as early as 1948 (during the
1948 Arab–Israeli war The 1948 (or First) Arab–Israeli War was the second and final stage of the 1947–1949 Palestine war, 1947–49 Palestine war. It formally began following the end of the British Mandate for Palestine at midnight on 14 May 1948; the Israeli ...
he Arabs He or HE may refer to: Language * He (pronoun), an English pronoun * He (kana), the romanization of the Japanese kana へ and ヘ * He (letter), the fifth letter of many Semitic alphabets * He (Cyrillic), a letter of the Cyrillic script called '' ...
attack us as they did this time, we shall transfer the war to the gates of their country. ... We do not intend to conduct ... a static defensive war at the venue where we were attacked. If they attack us again, in the future, we want the war to be waged not in our country, but in the enemy's country, and we want to be not on the defensive but on the attack.
Yitzhak Rabin Yitzhak Rabin (; he, יִצְחָק רַבִּין, ; 1 March 1922 – 4 November 1995) was an Israeli politician, statesman and general. He was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms in office, 1974–77, and from 1992 until h ...

Yitzhak Rabin
, who was Chief of the IDF Staff during the
Six-Day War The Six-Day War (; ar, النكسة, translit=an-Naksah, lit=The Setback or ), also known as the June War, the 1967 Arab–Israeli War or the Third Arab–Israeli War, was an armed conflict fought from 5 to 10 June 1967 between Israel and a ...
, offered a similar explanation for Israel's pre-emptive beginning to the war:
The basic philosophy of Israel was not to initiate war, unless an was carried out against us. We then lived within the lines prior to the Six-Day War, lines that gave no depth to Israel—and therefore, Israel was in a need, whenever there would be a war, to go immediately on the
offensive Offensive may refer to: * Offensive, the former name of the Dutch political party Socialist Alternative (Netherlands), Socialist Alternative * Offensive (military), an attack * Offensive language ** Fighting words or insulting language, words that ...
—to carry the war to the enemy's land.

Tactical doctrine

IDF command has been decentralized since the early days of the state, with junior commanders receiving broad authority within the context of mission-type orders. Israeli junior officer training has emphasized the need to make quick decisions in battle to prepare them appropriately for
maneuver warfare Maneuver warfare, or manoeuvre warfare, is a military strategy Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organization Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the s of a so as to offer suc ...

Russia and the Soviet Union

The Soviet meaning of military doctrine was very different from U.S. military usage of the term. Soviet Minister of Defence Marshal Grechko defined it in 1975 as "a system of views on the nature of war and methods of waging it, and on the preparation of the country and army for war, officially adopted in a given state and its armed forces." In Soviet times, theorists emphasised both the political and "military-technical" sides of military doctrine, while from the Soviet point of view, Westerners ignored the political side. However, the political side of Soviet military doctrine, Western commentators Harriet F Scott and William Scott said, "best explained Soviet moves in the international arena". Soviet (and contemporary Russian) doctrine emphasizes combined-arms warfare as well as
operational An operational definition specifies concrete, replicable procedures that reliably produce a differentiated, measurable outcome. For example, an operational definition of fear often includes measurable physiologic responses such as tachycardia, galva ...
warfare. It emphasizes the initiation of military hostilities at a time, date, and location of its choosing on terms of its choosing and the extensive preparation of the battlespace for operations. Former Soviet/Russian doctrine sacrifices tactical flexibility and adaptability for strategic and operational flexibility and adaptability; tactical personnel are trained as relatively inflexible executors of specific, detailed orders, while the operational-strategic level of Russian military doctrine is where most innovation takes place. The Soviet response to problems of nuclear strategy began with classified publications. However, by 1962, with the publication in the
Marshal of the Soviet Union Marshal of the Soviet Union (russian: Маршал Советского Союза, ) was the highest military rank of the Soviet Union. The rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union was created in 1935 and abolished in 1991. Forty-one people held thi ...

Marshal of the Soviet Union
Vasily Sokolovsky Vasily Danilovich Sokolovsky (russian: Васи́лий Дани́лович Соколо́вский; July 21, 1897 – May 10, 1968) was a Soviet general and Marshal of the Soviet Union who led Red Army The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, ...

Vasily Sokolovsky
's volume, ''Military Strategy'', the Soviets laid out their officially endorsed thoughts on the matter, and their ideas on how to cope with nuclear conflict.


In the 2000s and early 2010s, the
Moderate Party The Moderate Party ( sv, Moderata samlingspartiet , ; M), commonly referred to as the Moderates ( ), is a Liberal conservatism, liberal-conservative List of political parties in Sweden, political party in Sweden. The party generally supports ta ...
–led governments transformed the
Swedish Armed Forces The Swedish Armed Forces ( sv, Försvarsmakten, "the Defense Force") is the government agency A government or state agency, sometimes an appointed commission, is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government The ...
from a
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...
posture of defence to one of participation in international operations. The assumption was that Sweden's homeland would face minimal external threats. Supreme Commander estimates that as of 2014, Swedish forces could resist a limited enemy attack for only one week. The 2014 Crimean Crisis has stirred debate within Sweden that a return to significant defensive forces and/or a closer alliance with
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance A military alliance is a formal agreement betwe ...
may be necessary in the wake of Russia's actions in Ukraine.

United Kingdom

For some 280 years the British Army did not have a formal 'Military Doctrine', although a huge number of publications dealing with tactics, operations and administration had been produced. However, during his tenure as Chief of the General Staff (1985–89) General Sir Nigel Bagnall directed that British Military Doctrine was to be prepared, and tasked Colonel (later General)
Timothy Granville-Chapman General (British Army), General Sir Timothy John Granville-Chapman, (born 5 January 1947) is a former British Army officer, who served as Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff (United Kingdom), Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff of the British Armed Forc ...
(an artillery officer who had been his Military Assistant in Headquarters 1st British Corps) to prepare it. The first edition of British Military Doctrine (BMD) was published in 1988. It led to the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force developing their own maritime and air-power doctrines. However, in 1996 the first edition of British Defence Doctrine (BDD) was published, drawing heavily on the BMD. The Army adopted BDD as their Military Doctrine. The fourth edition of BDD was published in 2011; it uses the NATO definition of doctrine. NATO underpins the defence of the UK and its Allies, while also providing deployable expeditionary capabilities to support and defend UK interests further afield. However, until recently, most NATO doctrine has been mirrored by equivalent, but different, national Joint Doctrines. This has often caused a dilemma for UK Armed Forces committed to operations as part of a NATO-based coalition. In 2012, the Chief of Defence Staff and Permanent Undersecretary for Defence issued direction on how the UK contribution to NATO could be improved, stating that; 'We should use NATO doctrine wherever we can, and ensure coherence of UK doctrine with NATO wherever we cannot.' The 2014 edition o
Joint Doctrine Publication (JDP) 0-01 UK Defence Doctrine
reflects this change in policy However, the British Army had formal publications for a long time, and these amounted to its doctrine. ''Field Service Regulations'' (FSR), on the Prussian pattern, were published in 1906 and with amendments and replacement editions lasted into the Second World War. They required each arm and service to produce their own specific publications to give effect to FSR. After the Second World War FSR were replaced by various series of manuals, again with specific training pamphlets for each arm and service. These deal with operational and tactical matters. The current capstone publication for the army is Army Doctrine Publication ''Operations'' alongside maritime and air-power equivalents and joint warfare publications all under the umbrella of BDD. The four layers constituting "land doctrine" are summarised as:
British Defence Doctrine
– provides philosophy * Joint (and Allied) Operational Doctrine and Capstone Environmental Doctrine
AJP-01 Allied Joint Operations
– provides principles * Joint Functional and Thematic Doctrine such as JDP 5-00 Campaign Planning and JDP 3-40 Security and Stabalisation provide doctrine on specific areas or themes. JDP 5-0

JDP 3-4

* Army Field Manual (two volumes) – provides practices * Land component handbooks and special to arm publications – provide procedures The ''Army Field Manual'' comprises Volumes 1 (Combined Arms Operations) in 12 parts led by "Formation Tactics" and "Battlegroup Tactics", and Volume 2 (Operations in Specific Environments) in 6 parts (desert, urban, etc.). BDD is divided into two parts: "Defence Context" and "Military Doctrine". Defence Context deals with two matters. First, the relationship between Defence policy and military strategy, and—while highlighting the utility of force – emphasizes the importance of addressing security issues through a comprehensive, rather than an exclusively military, approach. Second it expounds the Nature of and the
Principles of War Principles of war are rules and guidelines that represent truths in the practice of war and military operations. The earliest known principles of war were documented by Sun Tzu Sun Tzu ( ; zh, t=孫子, p=Sūnzǐ) was a Chinese general, ...
, the three Levels of Warfare (Strategic, Operational and Tactical) and its evolving character. The ten Principles of War are a refined and extended version of those that appeared in FSR between the two world wars and based on the work of . The Military Doctrine states that it comprises national Joint Doctrine, Higher Level Environmental Doctrine, Tactical Doctrine, Allied Doctrine and doctrine adopted or adapted from ad hoc coalition partners. The part deals with three matters. First it describes the likely employment of the British Armed Forces in pursuit of Defence policy aims and objectives. Next it explains the three components of fighting power (conceptual, physical and moral components) and the criticality of the operating context to its effective application. Finally it describes the British approach to the conduct of military operations—"the British way of war". This includes mission command, the manoeuvrist approach and a warfighting ethos that requires accepting risks. The BDD is linked to a variety of unclassified policy documents such as Defence White Papers and Strategic Defence Reviews, as well as classified Strategic Planning Guidance. The current, 2011, edition of BDD is underpinned by recent developmental and conceptual publications such as ''The DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme 2007–2036'' and ''The High Level Operational Conceptual Framework'', which comprises specific army, navy and air force publications.

United States


United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation An organization, or orga ...

United States Constitution
invests Congress with the powers to provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States and to raise and support armies.
Title 10 of the United States Code Title 10 of the United States Code outlines the role of armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized ...
states what Congress expects the Army, in conjunction with the other Services, to accomplish. This includes: Preserve the peace and security and provide for the defense of the United States, its territories and possessions, and any areas it occupies; Support national policies; Implement national objectives; Overcome any nations responsible for aggressive acts that imperil the peace and security of the United States.

Key concepts

Most modern US doctrine is based around the concept of
power projection Power projection (or force projection) is a term used in military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and ma ...
and full spectrum operations, which combine offensive, defensive, and stability or civil support operations simultaneously as part of an interdependent joint or combined force to seize, retain, and exploit the initiative. They employ synchronized action—lethal and nonlethal—proportional to the mission and informed by a thorough understanding of all dimensions of the operational environment. Offensive operations defeat and destroy enemy forces, and seize terrain, resources, and population centers. They impose the commander's will on the enemy. Defensive operations defeat an enemy attack, gain time, economize forces, and develop conditions favorable for offensive or stability operations. Stability operations encompass various military missions, tasks, and activities conducted abroad to maintain or reestablish a safe and secure environment, provide essential governmental services, emergency infrastructure reconstruction, and humanitarian relief. Civil support operations are support tasks and missions to homeland civil authorities for domestic emergencies, and for designated law enforcement and other activities. This includes operations dealing with the consequences of natural or manmade disasters, accidents, and incidents within the homeland. Under President
Lyndon Johnson Lyndon Baines Johnson (; August 27, 1908January 22, 1973), often referred to by his initials LBJ, was an American educator and politician who served as the 36th president of the United States from 1963 to 1969. He had previously served as the ...

Lyndon Johnson
it was stated that the US armed forces should be able to fight
two 2 (two) is a number, numeral (linguistics), numeral and numerical digit, digit. It is the natural number following 1 and preceding 3. It is the smallest and only even prime number. Because it forms the basis of a Dualistic cosmology, duality, it ...
—at one point, two-and-a-half—wars at the same time. This was defined to mean a war in Europe against the Soviet Union, a war in Asia against China or North Korea, and a "half-war" as well—in other words, a "small" war in the
Third World The term "Third World" arose during the Cold War The Cold War was a period of tension between the and the and their respective allies, the and the , which began following . Historians do not fully agree on its starting and ending poi ...

Third World
. When
Richard Nixon Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913April 22, 1994) was the 37th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the and of the . The president directs the of the and is the of the . The power o ...

Richard Nixon
took office in 1969, he altered the formula to state that the United States should be able to fight one-and-a-half wars simultaneously. This doctrine remained in place until 1989–90, when President
George H.W. Bush George Herbert Walker BushSince around 2000 he was usually called George H. W. Bush, Bush Senior, Bush 41 or Bush the Elder to distinguish him from his eldest son, George W. Bush, who served as the 43rd president from 2001 to 2009; previousl ...

George H.W. Bush
ordered the "Base Force" study which forecast a substantial cut in the military budget, an end to the Soviet Union's global threat, and the possible beginning of new regional threats. In 1993, President
Bill Clinton William Jefferson Clinton ('' né'' Blythe III; born August 19, 1946) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 42nd president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and ...

Bill Clinton
ordered a "Bottom-Up Review," based on which a strategy called "win-hold-win" was declared—enough forces to win one war while holding off the enemy in another conflict, then moving on to win it after the first war is over. The final draft was changed to read that the United States must be able to win two "major regional conflicts" simultaneously. The current strategic doctrine, which Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld Donald Henry Rumsfeld (July 9, 1932 – June 29, 2021) was an American politician, government official and businessman who served as United States Secretary of Defense, secretary of defense from 1975 to 1977 under president Gerald Ford, a ...

Donald Rumsfeld
issued in his Quadrennial Defense Review of early 2001 (before the
9/11 attacks The September 11 attacks, also commonly referred to as 9/11, were a series of four coordinated Terrorism, terrorist attacks by the militant Islamism, Islamist terrorist group al-Qaeda against the United States on the morning of Tuesday, S ...
), is a package of U.S. military requirements known as 1-4-2-1. The first 1 refers to defending the US homeland. The 4 refers to deterring hostilities in four key regions of the world. The 2 means the US armed forces must have the strength to win swiftly in two near-simultaneous conflicts in those regions. The final 1 means that the US forces must win one of those conflicts "decisively". The general policy objectives are to (1) assure allies and friends; (2) dissuade future military competition, (3) deter threats and coercion against U.S. interests, and (4) if deterrence fails, decisively defeat any adversary.

United States Department of Defense

Department of DefenseDepartment of Defence or Department of Defense may refer to: Current departments of defence * Department of Defence (Australia) The Department of Defence (DoD) is a Government department, department of the Government of Australia charged with ...
publishes Joint Publications which state all-services doctrine. The current basic doctrinal publication is Joint Publication 3-0, "Doctrine for
Joint Operations ''Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising'' is a 2004 first-person shooter First-person shooter (FPS) is a video game genre Video is an electronic medium for the recording, copying, playback, broadcasting Broadcasting is the distribution ...

=United States Air Force

= Headquarters,
United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the air File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lower pie represents trace gases that together compose about 0.043391% of the atmosph ...

United States Air Force
, publishes current USAF doctrine. The lead agency for developing Air Force doctrine is the LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education; the Air Staff International Standardization Office works on multinational standardization, such as NATO Standardization Agreements (
STANAG In NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance A military alliance is a formal agree ...
s), and agreements between the American, British, Canadian, and Australian Armies and Navies ( ABCA) that affect the Air Force. Currently the basic Air Force doctrinal documents are the 10-series of Air Force publications.

=United States Army

= The
United States Army Training and Doctrine Command Established 1 July 1973, the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) is a major command of the United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently su ...
(TRADOC) is responsible for developing Army doctrine. TRADOC was developed early in the 1970s as a response to the American Army's difficulties in the
Vietnam War {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Vietnam War , partof = the Indochina Wars The Indochina Wars ( vi, Chiến tranh Đông Dương) were a series of wars fought in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled ...
, and is one of the reforms that improved Army professionalism. Currently the capstone Army doctrinal document is Army Doctrine Publication 3-0, Unified Land Operations (published October 2011).

=United States Navy

= The Naval Warfare Development Command (NWDC) Doctrine Department coordinates development, publication, and maintenance of
United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh" , mascot = , equipment = List of equipment of the United St ...
doctrine. Currently the basic unclassified naval doctrinal documents are Naval Doctrine Publications 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6. NWDC is also the United States Navy lead for NATO and multinational maritime doctrine and operational standardization.

=United States Marine Corps

= The Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC) has responsibility for
United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the maritime land force service branch Military branch (also service branch or armed service) is according to common standard the subdivision of the na ...
doctrine. The capstone doctrinal document is ''Warfighting'' (MCDP1), along with MCDP's 1-1, 1–2, and 1–3 (Strategy, Campaigning, and Tactics, respectively). MCDP 1-0 (Marine Corps Operations) translates the philosophical-based capstone/keystone publications into operational doctrine.

=United States Coast Guard

= Headquarters,
United States Coast Guard The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is the maritime security, search and rescue, and maritime law enforcement, law enforcement military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's eight Uniformed services ...
, published Coast Guard Publication 1, ''U.S. Coast Guard: America's Maritime Guardian'', which is the source of USCG doctrine.

SFR Yugoslavia

With the passing of the National Defense Law of 1969,
Yugoslavia Yugoslavia (; sh, Jugoslavija / ; sl, Jugoslavija ; mk, Југославија ;; rup, Iugoslavia; hu, Jugoszlávia; Pannonian Rusyn Image:Novi Sad mayor office.jpg, 250px, Mayor office written in four official languages used in the ...
adopted a
total war Total war is war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspape ...
military doctrine named ''Total National Defense'' or ''Total People's Defense''. It was inspired by the Yugoslav People's Liberation War against the fascist occupiers and their collaborators in the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, and was designed to allow Yugoslavia to maintain or eventually reestablish its
independent Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group), a group of modernist painters based in the New Hope, Pennsylvania, area of the United States during the early 1930s * Independen ...
and non-aligned status should an invasion occur. According to it, ''any citizen who resists an aggressor is a member of the armed forces'', thus the whole population could be turned into a monolithic resistance army. Starting from the
elementary school A primary school (in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and South Africa), junior school (in Australia), elementary school or grade school (in North America and the Philippines) is a school A school is ...

elementary school
education, over
high schools A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education Secondary education covers two phases on the International Standard Classification of Education The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) is a ...
universities A university () is an of (or ) and which awards s in several . Universities typically offer both and programs in different schools or faculties of learning. The word ''university'' is derived from the ''universitas magistrorum et scholari ...
, organizations and companies, the authorities prepared the entire population to contest an eventual occupation of the country and finally to liberate it. For this purpose, the Territorial Defense Forces (TO) would be formed to mobilize the population in case of an aggression. The combat readiness of the TO meant that the steps of organization and training could be bypassed after the start of hostilities. The TO would supplement the regular
Yugoslav People's Army The Yugoslav People's Army (abbreviated as JNA; sr, / ; hr, Jugoslavenska narodna armija, JNA; bs, Jugoslavenska narodna armija, JNA; sl, Jugoslovanska ljudska armada, JLA; mk, Југословенска народна армија, Ј ...
, giving it greater defensive depth and an armed local population ready to support combat actions. Large numbers of armed civilians would increase the cost of an invasion to a potential aggressor. The most likely scenario in the doctrine being used was a general war between the NATO and the Warsaw Pact. In such a situation, Yugoslavia would remain non-aligned, and it would not accept foreign troops of either alliance on its territory. The doctrine recognized the likelihood that one side or the other might try to seize Yugoslav territory as a , to ensure
lines of communication A line of communication (or communications) is the route that connects an operating military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces ...
or simply to deny the territory to enemy forces. Such action would be considered aggression and would be resisted. Regardless of ideology, the occupiers would be considered Yugoslavia's enemy.

Territorial Defense Forces

The Territorial Defense Forces (TO) were formed in 1969 as an integral part of the Yugoslav ''Total National Defense'' doctrine. The TO forces consisted of able-bodied civilian males and females. Between 1 and 3 million Yugoslavs between the ages of 15 and 65 would fight under TO command as irregular or forces in wartime. In peacetime, however, about 860,000 TO troops were involved in
military training Image:Yudh Abhyas 2013, 2nd Batallion, 5th Gurkha Rifles.jpg, 5 Gorkha Rifles (Frontier Force) of Indian Army training with 82nd Airborne Division of United States Army Military education and training is a process which intends to establish and i ...
and other activities. The TO concept focused on small, lightly armed infantry units fighting defensive actions on a familiar local terrain. A typical unit was a company (military), company-sized detachment (military), detachment. More than 2000 communes, factories, and other enterprises organized such units, which would fight in their home areas, maintaining local defense production essential to the overall war effort. The TO also included some larger, more heavily equipped units with wider operational responsibilities. The TO battalions and regiments operated in regional areas with artillery and antiaircraft guns and some Armored car (military), armoured vehicles. Using their mobility and tactical initiative, these units would attempt to alleviate the pressure of enemy armored columns and air strikes on smaller TO units. In the coastal regions, TO units had naval missions. They operated some gunboats in support of navy operations. They were organized to defend strategic coastal areas and naval facilities against enemy amphibious landings and raids. They also trained some Military diving, divers for use in sabotage and other special operations. The TO was helped by the fact that most of its citizen-soldiers were one-time JNA conscripts who had completed their term of compulsory military service. However, TO Military recruitment, recruitment was somewhat limited by the army's desire to include as many recently released conscripts as possible in its own military reserve. Other sources of TO manpower lacked prior military service and required extensive recruit training, basic training. The TO organisation was highly decentralized and independent. TO units were organized and funded by the governments in each of the Yugoslav Country, constituent republics: Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Socialist Republic of Croatia, Croatia, Socialist Republic of Macedonia, Macedonia, Socialist Republic of Montenegro, Montenegro, Socialist Republic of Serbia, Serbia and Socialist Republic of Slovenia, Slovenia.

See also

* Strategy * Grand strategy * Naval strategy * Operational level of war * Military strategy * Principles of war * Military tactics * Foreign policy doctrine * Military science



* * Austin Long. ''The Soul of Armies: Counterinsurgency Doctrine and Military Culture in the US and UK''. Ithaca–London: Cornell University Press, 2016. * * Christopher P. Twomey. ''The Military Lens: Doctrinal Difference and Deterrence Failure in Sino-American Relations''. Ithaca–London: Cornell University Press, 2010. ; History * Robert M. Cassidy. ''Peacekeeping in the Abyss: British and American Peacekeeping Doctrine and Practice after the Cold War''. Westport, CT–London: Praeger, 2004. * Aaron P. Jackson. ''The Roots of Military Doctrine: Change and Continuity in Understanding the Practice of Warfare''. Fort Leavenworth, KS: Combat Studies Institute Press, 2013. * Elizabeth Kier. ''Imagining War: French and British Military Doctrine between the Wars''. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998 (reprint 2017). * Matthias Strohn. ''The German Army and the Defence of the Reich: Military Doctrine and the Conduct of the Defensive Battle 1918-1939'', 2nd revised edn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017. ; Soviet * Willard C. Frank and Philip S. Gillette, eds. ''Soviet Military Doctrine from Lenin to Gorbachev, 1915-1991''. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992. * Raymond L. Garthoff. ''Deterrence and the Revolution in Soviet Military Doctrine''. Brookings Institution Press, 1990. * Harriet Fast Scott and William F. Scott. ''The Armed Forces of the USSR''. Boulder, Co.: Westview Press, 1979. * Harriet Fast Scott and William F. Scott. ''Soviet Military Doctrine: Continuity, Formulation, and Dissemination''. Boulder, Co.: Westview Press, 1989.

External links

Joint Electronic LibraryUK Development, Concepts and Doctrine CentreNavy Warfare Development CommandNWDC

accessed September 27, 2006 – literally thousands of online texts and links to off-site sources
Quadrennial Defense Review Report. September 30, 2001US Military Doctrine since the Cold War
accessed June 24, 2009
Fred Kaplan "The Doctrine Gap. Reality vs. the Pentagon's new strategy."
The New York Times, March 14, 2009.
Joint Doctrine Ontology: A Benchmark for Military Information Systems Interoperability
Semantic Technology for Intelligence, Defense and Security, 2015 {{DEFAULTSORT:Military Doctrine Military doctrines, Military science, Doctrine