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What are the 9 Principles of War?

by D. Power

The Army Field Manual (FM-3) of Military Operations defines the following 9 Principles of War

Principle Explanation
1. Mass Concentrate combat power at the decisive place and time
2. Objective Direct every military operation towards a clearly defined, decisive, and attainable objective
3. Offensive Seize, retain, and exploit the initiative
4. Surprise Strike the enemy at a time, at a place, or in a manner for which he is unprepared
5. Economy of force Allocate minimum essential combat power to secondary efforts
6. Maneuver Place the enemy in a position of disadvantage through the flexible application of combat power
7. Unity of command For every objective, ensure unity of effort under one responsible commander
8. Security Never permit the enemy to acquire an unexpected advantage
9. Simplicity Prepare clear, uncomplicated plans and clear, concise orders to ensure thorough understanding



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