Under mighty military command of Alexander they continued to reorganize their army. Since Achaemenid elite believed that Macedonian army would not dare to return after a failure, they were successfully destroyed by Alexander.
After Alexander's untimely death in battle, his generals carved up his vast empire.
Iran succumbed to Greco-Macedonian rule by Seleucid dynasty for two and a half centuries, until Seleucids were overthrown by Parni, another Indo-European who migrated from Central Asia to Iranian plateau, Parni founded his own dynasty - Parthian or Alsatian.
Parthia's approach to warfare was heavily influenced by nature of its political system and class structure, fragmented empire of restive vassal kings with their own local military forces.
The monarchy has never been able to control fratricidal conflicts within family or with powerful nobility defending their independence, attempts by monarchs to gain more central power often lead to fratricide, rebellions and civil war.
While Parthia could easily take on her lesser enemies, she was opposite of Republic and Roman Empire, both of which were her worst enemies and often defeated Parthia in diplomacy and war.
Rome often exploited Parthia's inherent fragility to subvert and undermine monarchy, and while Parthia sometimes managed to defeat Romans, as they did at Battle of Calcha, they could not win major battles.
There was no professional military establishment in Parthia, and army consisted of tribal recruits drawn by nobles, militias from cities, mercenaries from various clients, subjects and peoples, and noble armored cavalry.
The author believes: The Parthians created one of most skilled heavy cavalry in ancient world, "catapults", mounted knights in armor and notorious horse archers, even pretending to retreat, they will also shoot their arrows at enemy with accurate and uncompromising volleys of arrows.
Whenever Romans projected force into Parthian territory, Parthian defense consisted of hit and run, burning everything that could withstand enemy, harassing supply lines, and direct attacks with heavily armored Roman legion cavalry.
The Parthians could not endure long campaigns, especially in winter, since army consisted mainly of noble families and had to be disbanded for spring crops.
Moreover, when Parthian monarch led army on a campaign, hasty and rapid end of campaign was also associated with fear of deceit at court and uprisings within empire, the frequency of which affected combat capabilities of Parthians.
The ongoing wars with Rome eventually weakened Parthian Empire, which eventually succumbed to Ardashir, a Sassanian nobleman who founded Sasanian Empire in 224 AD, distinguished by ideological cohesion, resilience and a large standing army.
Ardashir ideologically legitimized his kingship, and most notable difference between Parthian and Sasanian empires was that latter created a cohesive royal family.
The Sasanian Empire was a relatively centralized hierarchical state whose administrative structure eliminated semi-independence of hereditary vassals.
The Sassanids also built one of most capable armies in ancient world, a combined arms force made up of several branches that could often work together on battlefield.
For centuries, Sasanian Empire and its western counterpart Roman Empire and its successor Byzantium fought wars that used bribery, deceit, coercive diplomacy, assassination and targeted warfare.
Ultimately, former Islamic Empire's three ways of waging war were determined by many geographical, structural and human factors, however, ultimately, key factor that negatively affected Iran's ability to establish effective ways of waging war was issue of political and social stability, and empires often cannot sustain this problem for long.
Permanent instability in turn affects available resources:Monarchy depends on army, army depends on money, money comes from land tax, land tax comes from agriculture, agriculture depends on justice, incorruptibility of officials, king is always vigilant for honesty and reliability.
With defeat of Sasanian Empire at hands of Arab invaders, Iran ceased to be an independent military power for centuries.
With rise of Islamic Empire Iran became a separate entity again, and again, as in pre-Islamic period, they relied on military force to maintain and protect kingdom.
The Safavid dynasty was an Islamic regime fueled by ideology of liberation from Sunni Ottoman Empire in west, Sunni Uzbeks in north, and Sunni Mughal Empire in east of northern India.
The main strength of Safavid dynasty lies in mobilizing power of its radical ideology and ideological enthusiasm of its tribal army Chizil Bash (red cap), although center of gravity of this originally Sunni religious movement is in Anatolia Ya. but it has turned into a missionary movement of Twelve Shiites with an army .
When Ismail Safavi became its leader, he intended to conquer most of Sunni lands in northern Iran and convert people to another faith.
Ismail's victories eventually led to his founding of Safavid dynasty in Iran in 1501, and Ismail's exploits were greeted with horror by Ottoman sultans of Istanbul. Ismail was considered a "heretic" because of his unorthodox beliefs.
He continued to foment subversion in troubled Anatolia, which was source of his military strength, as well as tribe's fear of his centralized policies and presence of anti-Ottoman Sufi and Shia groups. , Istanbul worries.
The Ottoman Empire with a modern army well equipped with artillery and firearms decisively defeated Ismail's aggressive but poorly equipped army at Battle of Chaldiran in 1514, ideological fanaticism and some rulers were not charismatic enough to consolidate Safavid state and maintain way waging war.
The modernization effort requires changes in several areas.
First, sovereign must break country's dependence on military power of tribes, fickle, undisciplined, prone to looting and robbery and brave as individual warriors.
But collectively, they tend to flee when faced with overwhelming odds, and their primary allegiance is to their tribal leader, not to a distant monarch.
Reformers like Shah Abbas I, probably most successful Safavid king, recruited regular "slaves" from Georgia, Caucasus and Armenia "The soldiers are gulam, they form a permanent army, they are isolated from surrounding social environment, and since sovereign pays them, they serve him.
Secondly, standing army needs modern weapons, especially firearms and artillery.
The cliché that Safavid monarchs shunned gunpowder armies proves that Iran adopted firearms and artillery even before Chaldiran's defeat, but their quality was poor. easy to fit into shaky tribal structure of army.
Furthermore, a resource-poor Iran cannot efficiently produce such weapons, as many European travelers note.
At end of day, efforts to create a centralized standing army depended on strong rulers at helm, Abbas's monarchs were mostly weak, and reform efforts were met with resistance from court and all walks of life in provinces.
Nadir Shah of Afshar Turkic tribe seized power in Iran, which fell into decline after Afghan invasion led to collapse of Safavid dynasty in 1722, which has since collapsed.
The early Qajar state had little administrative or bureaucratic structure, and in fact his mobile "government" traveled with him as he reconquered country.
His troops relied on plunder for pay, which encouraged them to wage wars of conquest, and subsequent rulers faced a more dangerous situation requiring institutionalized state structures and a stronger military.
The rapid development of geopolitics and military technology forced successors of Agha Muhammad Khan to recognize weakness of Qajar state.
Although Safavid Iran traded with Europe and allied against feared Ottoman Empire, it never integrated into international balance of power, and the Turks prevented further engagement with Europe.
Thus preventing any recognition of major changes taking place on continent, including major improvements in military technology and in structure and organization of military institutions.
It was not so with Hajjars: their infiltration into European-dominated international politics was brutal, and Iran's war with Tsarist Russia in early 19th century was first of dynasty's goals as a sustained and destructive test of European military power.
The Russo-Iraqi Wars of 1804 and 1826 resulted in major defeats and huge losses of territory in Iran, neither Qajar rulers nor most of elite could understand their fate, because Russia directs its ability to seize large tracts of Iranian territory.
They have no general knowledge of European events and know very little about Titanic and Napoleonic Wars, as commented by western visitors to Qajar kingdom.
Furthermore, their specific knowledge of Russia, modern warfare, and Western military thought regarding professional armies, organization, discipline, training, and doctrine is lacking.
The entire ruling elite suffered from "cognitive failure" that historians Peter Paret and Marc Bloch used to describe inability of Prussia and France in 1806 to understand changing nature of war in 1940.
The failure of Qajar rulers was reflected in their inability to create a centralized state and obtain financial resources through taxes, not to mention almost insurmountable obstacles they faced in creating a modern army.
For most of 19th century, Iranian military consisted of countless poorly equipped and poorly trained units with no idea how to fight a modern war.
1907 The Qajar British Court Attaché commented on deterioration of Qajar army in early 20th century.
He noted that irregulars and tribal recruits remained same as before, but regular army "has deteriorated greatly, partly due to a complete lack of training, but mainly due to a lack of funds to pay military parts. wages, so exceptional increased sex.
The army is not a demarcated territory within Qajar administrative system. The power of minister of war is temporary and depends entirely on character and social status of person in charge.
Furthermore, tenure of any minister was at whim of monarch, and there was no professional officer corps, only a large number of political appointees and thousands of full-salary followers with no explicit job description.
There is no formal institution to supply Shah's troops, locals have to provide food and fodder for troops, they seize what they can't "voluntarily" get, soldiers are paid poorly, inconsistently or not at all.
Ultimately, 19th century Iranian military was a reflection of society from which it emerged, and development of modern methods of warfare would not have been possible without serious reforms, even revolutions, in state and society.
Like China and other countries in Middle East, but unlike Japan, Qajar Iran has carried out only what one observer called "a la carte" modernization, especially in technological and military areas , But main reforms were abandoned.
The Qajar State has failed to establish and maintain an efficient and regular tax system to provide revenue for administration of state institutions, including military, and has also failed to complete development of administrative and bureaucratic capacity for efficient allocation of resources.
It is affected by tensions between center and periphery, which hinder state's ability to control centrifugal forces, and are characterized by presence of ingrained vested interests that are unwilling to change, which will threaten their status, prestige and material well-being.
By second decade of 20th century, Qajar dynasty collapsed under weight of its internal contradictions and perished at hands of a military officer, Reza Shah, who gradually seized power.
Having understood idea of a republic, he finally made a coup against Khazars and created a new dynasty: Pahlavi, with himself as monarch. Like Reza Shah, he intends to reform Iran and its military.
The Iranian way of war: from Cyrus Great to Qasem Soleimani
Iran-Iraq War and Psychological Warfare by Ji Peilin, Ji Kaiyun
The Ottoman Empire and Imperial Turn by Alan Michael, Christine M. Filliou, Wu Haiyan
A study of evolution of strategy and tactics of Iran-Iraq war and its aftermath. Gu Lifen.