Military Geography

Military geography is a sub-field of geography that is used by, not only the military, but also academics and politicians to understand the geopolitical sphere through the militaristic lens. Following the Second World War, Military Geography has become the “application of geographic tools, information, and techniques to solve military problems in peacetime or war.” To accomplish these ends, military geographers must consider diverse geographical topics from geopolitics to the physical locations’ influences on military operations and from the cultural to the economic impacts of a military presence. Military Geography is the most thought-of tool for geopolitical control imposed upon territory.

Without the framework that the military geographer provides, a commander’s decision-making process is cluttered with multiple inputs from environmental analysts, cultural analysts, and many others. Without the military geographer to put all of the components together, a unit might know of the terrain, but not the drainage system below the surface. In that scenario, the unit would be at a disadvantage if the enemy would have chosen that drainage system as a point to ambush the unit as it passed through the area. The complexities of the battlefield are multiplied tenfold when military operations are to take place within the boundaries of areas of urban development.

If a general desired to be a successful actor in the great drama of war, his first duty is to study carefully the theater of operations so that he may see clearly the relative advantages and disadvantages it presents for himself and his enemies.
— Baron De Jomini

Read more about Military GeographyUrbanistics, Base Construction and Closings, Types of Terrain, Resources; Future Flashpoints

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