Warfighting is a book written by the United States Marine Corps to help develop better tactics and understanding in times of war and battle. This document covers everything from policies to actually conducting war. Topics vary widely, but revolve around one main objective: war.
Chapter one starts the book off with the definition and characteristics of war. War is a complex endeavor. It is shaped by the human will and spirit. It is characterized by friction, uncertainty, fluidity, danger and disorder. While the nature of war is constant, it remains unpredictable, and is affected by a mix of physical, moral and mental factors. While war has the characteristics of both art and science, it is primarily shaped by human experience.
Chapter two is the theory of war, which means that it describes types of wars that can be declared and why war is declared (certain strategies are mentioned in this chapter). All acts of war are political acts. Thus, war must meet policy goals. War takes place on separate levels simultaneously. Each level of war requires speed, surprise, boldness and focus. Our success derives from our ability to exploit critical vulnerabilities and attack the enemy’s centers of gravity. If opportunities do not present themselves, we must create them.
Chapter three describes preparation of war. This chapter is pretty self explanatory for the most part. There are two military functions: waging war and preparing for war. Conduct and preparation are intimately related: failure in preparation leads to failure on the battlefield.
The final chapter goes into tactics in war. Maneuver warfare exists in the mind of the Marine. It applies to both the battalion commander and the fireteam leader. Maneuver warfare can be used in any situation. It is a basic way of thinking about warfare, and should shape our every action. Maneuver seeks to generate the most decisive effect upon the enemy at the least possible cost to ourselves. It is “fighting smarter.”