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High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! A scorched earth policy is a military strategy or operational method which involves destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through or withdrawing from an area. Although initially referring to the practice of burning crops to deny the enemy food sources, in its modern usage the term is not limited to food stocks, and includes the destruction of infrastructure such as shelter, transportation, communications and industrial resources. The practice may be carried out by an army in enemy territory, or its own home territory. It may overlap with, but is not the same as, punitive destruction of an enemy's resources, which is done for purely strategic/political reasons rather than strategic/operational reasons. Scorched earth is often referred to as a tactic. This is strictly speaking not correct. It is a strategy or an operational method. The words 'strategy' and 'tactics' are not synonymous but often confused.