In the end, a strategy is tactics.
Not exactly correct. Strategy is what you want to do. Tactics is how you go about doing it.
Strategy: "Sergeant! We need to take that hill so that we can get a better view of the battle!"
Tactics: "Yes Sir! Tom, you, Dick and Harry flank left. John Doe, I want you and Jane to flank right! Jack, I want you and Jill charge straight up that hill! Now let's go!"
Strategy: Establishing a safe landing zone so that more troops can be moved.
Tactic: Marines performing a low altitude drop into the zone and clearing a block. Once they have, they call in a second drop so that they can slowly expand that perimeter until a safe LZ has been established.
Strategy: Establish stability in the region by defeating Iraq. (I am neither agreeing nor disagreeing with this. Merely using a familiar example.)
Tactics: Using superior air power to knock out communications and establish complete air supremacy. Using superior agility and ground firepower to outflank and outgun the army on the ground, accompanied by airstrikes.
You get the point. If you want to get general enough then sure. They both follow the same basic theories of psychology laid out by Sun Tzu, Miyamoto Musashi, Clausewitz, etc. But on an operational level, there is a big difference.
No, I can't say I get the point, really.
Don't they blend into each other, in some sense?
Strategy: Establish the superiority of Toolism by defeating Jetstone (Sidenote: how about we stick to LESS politically charged examples? Is it that hard to use an example from the webcomic about a military campaign that we all read? Or at least use something less current? You say you want to avoid it, and in the *very next post* you bring the conversation back to Iraq.)
Strategy? Tactics?: Take the cities that are in between your current army in Unaroyal and the Jetstone Capital of Spacerock and then Spacerock.
Strategy? Tactics?: Take cities along the way using infantry and siege-heavy armies led by your ground-capable warlords, while keeping your dwagons hidden; then, take Spacerock by air after they withdraw their army and prepare for a ground assault.
Tactics: Warlords Tom, Dick, and Harry will lead the assault on Progrock, with support from Jill's Siege. At Spacerock, Jane and John will lead max stacks of purples while... [and so on and so forth].
I'm just not sure how to make the distinction - goals are achieved by subgoals, which are further split up into subgoals, which are further split up into subgoals, and so on and so forth. You make the distinction that "Strategy is what you want to do. Tactics is how you go about doing it. " But it seems like most things that you WANT to do, are things you want to do BECAUSE they're part of the plan of HOW you want to do something else. And vice versa - if you decide HOW you're going to do things, a series of steps, you or someone else now has to drill one level deeper and figure out how you're going to do the steps that you WANT to do. Not everything, of course - there's certainly an uppermost level and probably a lowermost level - but most things seem like they'd be in the middle.
We can even take my example one level up - at the end of the day, what Wanda WANTS to do is unite the arkentools. Does that mean that every decision she makes in the course of the campaign for Jetstone is now a tactical one rather than a strategic one? Because taking Jetstone is just how she's deciding to go about that uniting?
And you can take the example one level down, too - Tom, Dick, and Harry will each be deciding how to order individual units, as in your example #1.
In your first example that seems like it would work too. One person's strategy (take the hill) is another person's tactics (why do they want to take the hill? Presumably because of it's usefulness for achieving something else, such as knocking out communications or establishing air supremacy.)