Principles of war essay

Principles of war For instance, while Clausewitz argues as to the impossibility of absolute war, he lists three requirements for it to occur in the real world. War would become a completely isolated act in no way motivated by the previous history of a state or politics, limited to a single solution or to several concurrent solutions , and would contain within itself the perfect solution. The probabilities and chance that exist in reality prohibit an entirely absolute war from happening because the political will always enter the realm of war, even in its conclusion.

Though often confused with absolute war, and even used interchangeably, real war is war as it exists in the real world. War, in its ideal form, cannot be waged in a limited way, though in reality a war without limits would be neither possible nor preferable. Gat In addition, allies that have recently been involved in war should be made during peacetime to share lessons and experiences from different types of warfare.

VIII Whereas Michael Doyle, the author of Ways of War and Peace , criticizes Clausewitz for ruminating that war is a constant and never gives an explanation as to how to eliminate war entirely, it would seem that Clausewitz never set out to eradicate war but to theorize on how to be successful in war. To Clausewitz, there are no special tactics for peace. In what Clausewitz refers to as the theoretical concept of war, he outlines three objectives for success.

First, the armed forces of the opponent must be destroyed. Second, the country must be occupied. Third, the will of the enemy must be broken. Though Clausewitz admits that war could begin again directly after the peace, he argues that it only serves to prove that war does not carry in itself elements for a final settlement of peace.

War, though not always constant, is continual.

Principles of War, Clausewitz and Jomini - Essay Example

The less controlled the use of violence is by one side, the lengthier the war. The trinity serves as a magnet to balance the three forces of war — the people, the military, and the statesmen. Clausewitz argues that the passions that kindle war must be innate in the people, the courage and talent of the commander and army plays into the realm of probability and chance, but the political aims are only the business of the government alone.

Though, without the three branches working in harmony, war cannot be successfully waged. I Bassford Above all, Clausewitz emphasizes that war exists in the realm of chance. The most certain idea about war lies in the uncertainty of it. Chance acts in a way that makes all of the elements of war more uncertain and can ultimately alter the course of events. The difficulties accumulate and end by producing a kind of friction that is inconceivable unless one has experienced war.

Clausewitz Book 8, Ch. Earle War then seems to be approaching its abstract form, and appears to be purely military and less political. Book I, Ch. In wars where one side cannot disarm the other side entirely, the motives towards peace will rise and fall on each side depending on the probability of future success. II While war clearly provides the foundations for Vom Kriege , it is evident that politics holds together the space between war and politics. In the way that Clausewitz understands the relationship between war, peace, and politics, his work remains the most comprehensive and, in some instances, modern contribution to political, military, and strategic thought as it stands.

The main strength in Vom Kriege lies in that Clausewitz never attempts to impose a set solution. Bassford Hart even went so far as to suggest that Clausewitz had inadvertently caused the bloodbath on the Western Front from , with the great misinterpretation of his theories by his disciples.

Sun Tzu’s classic work is a fascinating mixture of the poetic and the pragmatic

While Clausewitz himself recognized that these standards were next to impossible to meet in reality, both the possibility and the impossibility have increased exponentially with new technology. First, though Clausewitz could not have foreseen the possibility of nuclear weapons whilst living in the 19 th century, with the advent of nuclear bombs and the like, his theory of absolute war could, in fact become a reality in the 21 st century.

However, in the present day, an opponent cannot feasibly disarm a nuclear-armed superpower, as mutually assured destruction MAD ensures this. On the other hand, while war in itself was no longer a playable option due to deterrence during the Cold War, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of more regional and world powers, the international arena began to transform into one ruled by the political will of the nation-states.

While Clausewitz was considered obsolete in the context of the bi-polar Cold War, the resurgence of world and regional powers in a multi-polar world reaffirmed the lessons of Clausewitz. The change back to multi-polarity shows that Clausewitz is even more relevant today than his work was for the better half of the 20 th century, and there is strength in that Vom Kriege has, in fact, withstood the test of time.

Summary Of the Chapter

Adapting quickly to changing environment and tactics of its adversaries, it has been able to blunt the Israeli attacks each time with a mix of brilliant adaptation and use of terrain, weapons and employment of the weapons. Today, Hezbollah has exploited its privileged position in Lebanon to create a mass media outlet, the al Manar TV station, with global reach. Net at DigitalEssay. But all that by no means dissipated the darkness of which the conqueror of Fontenoy complained. Several political historians, like Ancillon, Segur the elder, Karamsin, Guichardin, Archenholz, Schiller Daru, Michaud and Salvandy have recounted also with talent many operations of war, but they cannot be counted in the number of military writers.

Because of this continued application to the modern world, even over years later, it is difficult to disagree with Clausewitz and the concepts of war, peace, and politics set forth in his work. Napoleon was a master of the turning movement, using it many times between and Robert E. Lee used the maneuver at the Second Battle of Bull Run ; the German drive to the French coast in was another example.

The Historical and Theoretical Development of Strategy and Tactics The historical roots of strategy and tactics date back to the origins of human warfare and the development of large-scale government and empire. The dense tactical infantry formation of overlapping shields called the phalanx, for example, existed in an early form in ancient Sumer c.

The development of strategy and tactics parallels to some extent the growth, spread, and clash of civilizations; technological discoveries and refinements; and the evolution of modern state power, ideology, and nationalism. Early Strategy and Tactics. The Mediterranean basin saw the dawn of modern military strategy and tactics.

Philip combined infantry, cavalry, and primitive artillery into a trained, organized, and maneuverable fighting force backed up by engineers and a rudimentary signaling system. His son Alexander became an accomplished strategist and tactician with his concern for planning, keeping open lines of communication and supply, security, relentless pursuit of foes, and the use of surprise.

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Hannibal was a supreme tactician whose crushing victories taught the Romans that the flexible attack tactics of their legions needed to be supplemented by unity of command and an improved cavalry. The Romans eventually replaced their citizen-soldiers with a paid professional army whose training, equipment, skill at fortification, road building, and siege warfare became legendary. The Byzantine emperors studied Roman strategy and tactics and wrote some of the first essays on the subject.

The Middle Ages saw a decline in the study and application of strategy — with the exception of the great Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan. Medieval tactics began with an emphasis on defensive fortifications, siegecraft, and armored cavalry. The introduction, however, of such new developments as the crossbow, longbow, halberd, pike, and, above all, gunpowder began to revolutionize the conduct of war.

The Emergence of Modern Warfare. Gustav II Adolf, king of Sweden r. His disciplined national standing army — differing from the common use of mercenaries — was organized into small, mobile units armed with highly superior, maneuverable firepower and supplemented by mounted dragoons his creation armed with carbine and saber.

Frederick II the Great of Prussia r. In the Seven Years' War , Frederick faced a coalition whose various forces almost surrounded Prussia. Using a strategy of interior lines, Frederick — supported by a highly disciplined army and horse artillery his creation — would quickly maneuver, assemble a superior force at some decisive point along the line of encirclement, and, with massed howitzer fire, strike hard against an enemy flank before moving to another point.

With Napoleon I, however, the age of modern warfare was born. The French Revolution had produced a mass patriot army organized into loose divisional formations. Napoleon carefully planned his campaigns and quickly maneuvered his troops by forced marches to a selected field of battle. His battles began with skirmishing and cannonading, followed by an overwhelming concentration of forces in shock bayonet attacks against enemy flanks in turning and enveloping movements designed to utterly destroy opposing forces.

A few words in defense of Colin S. Gray’s essay on COIN and our future strategy

Because of the greater complexities of warfare, a rudimentary general staff began to emerge under Napoleon. The 19th Century: Theory and Technological Change. Napoleonic strategy and tactics were closely studied by the first great theorists of war, the Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz — and the French general Antoine Jomini — Clausewitz's On War —34; Eng. Jomini, on the other hand, emphasized occupying enemy territory through carefully planned, rapid, and precise geometric maneuvers.

The Art of War - Sun Tzu - An Animated Book Summary

Whereas Jomini's theories had influence in France and North America, Clausewitz's teachings in particular were influential on the great Prussian military strategists of the 19th century, Helmuth von Moltke — architect of victory in the Franco-Prussian War — and Alfred von Schlieffen — creator of the Schlieffen plan defense against Russia and envelopment of France , which Germany applied in a modified form at the beginning of World War I.

The 19th century was an era of far-reaching technological change that vastly altered the scope of tactics and strategy, an alteration seen in what has been called the first total war, the U. Civil War. Railroads and steamships increased the volume, reach, and speed of mobilization and of conscription. The consistent support of war industry became critical. The growth in range and accuracy of rifle firepower created new tactical problems: artillery had to be placed farther behind the lines, massed charges became ineffective if not disastrous, cavalry became limited to reconnaissance and skirmish, and troops began to fight from trenches and use grenades and land mines.

Telegraph communications linked widening theaters of war and made large-scale strategy and tactics possible. During the U. Civil War the large-scale strategy of the North blockade, division of the Confederacy, destruction of the Confederate armies and supplies backed by superior industry and manpower were the key factors in its victory. The development of the machine gun late in the 19th century would have its most telling effect in World War I.

Nagel - War and Massacre

World War I began with immense, rapid, national mobilizations and classical offensive maneuvers, but after mutual attempts at envelopment at and after the Battle of the Marne, stationary trench warfare ensued across a wide battlefront. A war of attrition set in that called for total national involvement in the war effort. Two key technological developments in the war were to fashion the strategic and tactical debates of the s and s. They insisted that airpower alone could win wars, not only by striking at enemy forces but by strategic bombing —the massive attack on cities, industries, and lines of communication and supply that characterized part of Allied strategy during World War II.

The other World War I development was that of motorized armored vehicles such as the tank. The use of the tank as the new cavalry of the modern age was advocated by B.

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Liddell Hart, Charles de Gaulle, and J. Fuller — in the interwar period.

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The Germans were the first to effectively use the tactical offensive combination of air and tank power in the field of battle in the blitzkriegs, under such commanders as Heinz Guderian and Erwin Rommel, which conquered much of Europe in World War II. The primary tactical advance in World War II may have been that of amphibious warfare. The principal significance of that war, however, was in the first application of truly global strategies wielded by massive coalitions dedicated once again to the offensive.

The development of nuclear weapons, which continued after the war, introduced the new science of nuclear strategy and tactics. The immense destructive nature of these weapons, however, meant that warfare of limited strategic goals, using conventional tactics and conventional but technologically advanced weapons, would predominate in the "limited" wars that followed World War II.

The very need to keep wars limited has produced a new strategic form: the small, mobile special forces, armed with light but sophisticated weapons and trained in guerrilla tactics, that can be rapidly deployed and as rapidly withdrawn from hostile territory. Bibliography: Baylis, John, et al.