"Strategy" is an abused term

There exist few modern circumstances, where the removal of the word ‘strategy’ from any passage containing it fails to clarify matters, usually demonstrating the argument’s circularity.

Matthew Parris, Strategy1

In the opening to Strategy1, Sir Lawrence Freedman observed that “strategy” as a term has become overused jargon. It conveys gravitas and deep thinking. Someone who is thinking strategically is obviously thinking better than someone who is not. While the previous statement may be true in principle, I’ve often observed it as a shield for bolstering one’s argument. It is an appeal to the authority of “greatness”. If a business decision is “strategic” it elevates to the pantheon of decisions among Napoleon’s and Caesar’s campaigns.


Freedman, L. Strategy: A History. (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2015).