On War by Carl Von Clausewitz Essay

On War by Carl Von Clausewitz Essay

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Amongst military theorists and practitioners who studied war, its origin and implications, Carl von Clausewitz assumes a place among the most prominent figures. With his book On War, he demonstrated his capability to provide thorough historical analysis and conclusions of the conflicts in which he was engaged, and as a philosopher he reflected about all encompassing aspects of war. Today, Western armies conduct modern warfare in a dynamic environment composed of flexible and multiple threats in which civilians form a substantial part. Studying Clausewitz provides current military and political leadership useful insights to understand twenty-first century warfare. He explains the nature of war, provides an analytical tool to understand the chaos of warfare, and he argues for well educated and adaptable leadership capable of creative thinking. Although he died before his work was complete, his writing style was ambiguous and unclear at some moments, and current technology reduced some of his tactics obsolete, his work still arouses and inspires military and political strategists and analysts.
Current military leadership should comprehend the nature of war in which they are engaged within a given political frame in order to develop plans that are coherent with the desired political end state. According to Clausewitz, war is an act of politics that forces an enemy to comply with certain conditions or to destroy him through the use of violence. A nation determines its vital interests, which drives national strategy to obtain or protect those interests. A country achieves those goals though the execution of one of the four elements of power, which are diplomatic, informational, military and economical means. The use of military force...


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...r. Edited and translated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret, 89. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1976.
Carl von Clausewitz, “What is War?” On War. Edited and translated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret, 89. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1976.
Carl von Clausewitz, “What is War?” On War. Edited and translated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret, 89-112. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1976.
Carl von Clausewitz, “What is War?” On War. Edited and translated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret, 139. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1976.
Gunther, Rothenberg E. “Maurice of Nassau, Gustavus Adolphus, Raimundo Montecuccoli, and the ‘Military Revolution’ of the Seventeenth Century”. Makers of Modern Strategy, from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age. Edited by Peter Paret, 33-40. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1986.

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