In 1800 B.C., Babylonians were carrying out siege computations on clay tablets, working out the number of bricks needed for siege ramps. World War II saw the birth of operational research.
Knowledge gives strength to the arm. Information is power. We’ve heard it all. In strategic terms, computing power increases its owner’s decision space, i.e. the range of options that can be chosen, by decreasing the time it takes to calculate the effects of each option.