Military theory is a way of distilling the raw materials of history into a concentrated, potent form that educates the strategist and commander. In this way, theory can serve as a starting point for strategy. While sound military theory is a good starting point for strategy, however, context and execution matter. The positive impacts of theory upon strategy are often limited by the context in which theoretical principles are applied, and by the commander’s judgment and skill in applying them.
Operational and strategic level leaders cannot get caught in the rapid pace of tactics, but neither can they ignore the fact that decisions at the tactical level must proceed at the pace demanded by the situation. When operational and strategic leaders increase the pace of decision-making, it can lead to a chasing of the bright and shiny object mentality. Decisions in these orbits include a set of dialogues and tend to be iterative. Further, leaders at all levels must consider the complexity of decision making at each level above and below them.
Strategy is a form of communication; a message that you have the intentions and capabilities to impose your will, and the enemy cannot impose theirs. As war can be likened to two combatants trying to impose their will on the other, they must communicate their will and their intention not to abide by the will of the opponent. Since war is a human endeavor, this communication occurs in the same manner as other forms of communications.