The Operational Milieu

Both the historical context and the physical environment in which military 5 conflicts take place combine to shape them. The historical context—a product of the past interaction of such elements as ethnicity, religious belief, political ideology, economic conditions, and social relationships—influences both the causes and the objectives of military campaigns as well as their intensity. The physical realities of terrain, climate, prevailing weather patterns, and the nature of the man-made infrastructure, particularly the lines of communications (roads, rail lines, inland waterways, ports, and airfields), determine the nature of plans and influence their execution. Like many other conflicts, the Muslim-Croat civil war in central Bosnia in 1992-94 was shaped by both historical and physical factors, some patent and immediate, some obscure and remote.1

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