• Military Thought
  • 2002-03-01MTH-No. 002
  • Size: 28.6 Kbytes .
  • Pages:107-117.
  • Words: 4472

"Balance of Forces" Category in Potential Military Conflicts


Col. V.N. TSYGICHKO (Ret.) Doctor of Technical Sciences

The category of "balance of forces" was and remains to be most important in military art theory. The appraisal of balance of forces in an operation (a combat) serves to forecast the course and outcome of military (combat) operations under prevailing situations and determine the forces and fires needed for an operation (a combat). Up to now, they have been using methods of appraising the balance of forces with regard to traditional forms of warfare-from strategic operations at different theaters of military operations to tactical combat operations. In both these forms there are opposing dispositions of forces (or individual units) on a territory determined by the borders of the theater of military operations, areas of responsibility of fronts, armies, divisions, etc. It is implied that either side in the conflict is prepared to try to achieve its goal: The superior side tries to defeat the adversary's disposition of forces and seize its territory, and the other side tries to wear down the offensive forces in defensive action and then decisively defeat them during a counteroffensive. Both should take into account the balance of forces if they are to attain their goals. The existing procedures of balance of forces calculation are based on appraising the opposing sides' combat capabilities by adding up combat potentials of their weapons and military equipment. This procedure of assessing the forces of sides has not lost its practical value even under today's conditions. At the same time, extensive use has been made of mathematical models to forecast the course and outcome of military (combat) operations. The use of mathematical models made it possible to create a methodology and, based on it, practical methods of calculating combat potentials of weapons and military equipment 1 and significantly increase the reliability of appraisals of balance of forces.

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