Prize Essay 1968: Third Honorable Mention
The words of President Lincoln in 1862 to a group of women hospital volunteers shortly after the Battle of Antietam have a direct bearing on one of today's most complex problems—strategy. "The fact is," said Lincoln, "the people have not yet made up their minds that we are at war with the South. They have not buckled down to the determination to fight this war through; for they have got the idea into their heads that we are going to get out of this fix somehow by strategy. That's the word—strategy! General McClellan thinks he is going to whip the Rebels by strategy; and the Army has got the same notion."
Over a century later, to judge by the current flood of book, magazine, newspaper, and TV commentary on strategy, it is evident that many believe "that we are going to get out of this fix somehow by strategy." Strategy is such a potent word that many protagonists of specific policies mask their advocacy with it: strategic deterrence, strategic reserve, strategic military balance, strategic bombing, and strategic targets.