scroll to top
Stuck on your essay?
Get ideas from this essay and see how your work stacks up
Word Count: 4,892
Clausewitz and the Nature of War In seeking out the fundamental nature of Clausewitzs own mature theories perhaps the best place to start is with some of the most common misconceptions of his argument Such misconceptions are almost always the product of writers who either never read On War or read only the opening paragraphs or perhaps a condensation or who sought intentionally for propaganda purposes to distort its content The books specific arguments are very clearly stated and rarely difficult to comprehend The first of these misconceptions is the notion that Clausewitz considered war to be a science1 Another and related misconception is that he considered war to be entirely a rational tool of state policy The first idea is drastically wrong the second only one side of a very important coin To Clausewitz war as opposed to strategy or tactics was neither an art nor a science Those two terms often mark the parameters of theoretical debate on the subject however and Clausewitzs most ardent critics Jomini Liddell Hart the early JFC Fuller tended to be those who treated war as a science As Clausewitz argued the object of science is knowledge and certainty while the object of art is creative ability Of course all art involves some science the mathematical sources of harmony for example and good science always involves creativity Clausewitz saw tactics as more scientific in character and strategy as something of an art but the conscious rational exercise of military strategy a term much beloved of theorists and military historians is a relatively rare occurrence in the real world It has become our general conviction he said that ideas in war are generally so simple and lie so near the surface that the merit of their invention can seldom substantiate the talent of the commander who adopts them2 Most real events are driven by incomprehensible forces like chance emotion bureaucratic irrationalities and intraorganizational politics and a great many
@Kibin is a lifesaver for my essay right now!!
- Sandra Slivka, student @ UC Berkeley
Wow, this is the best essay help I've ever received!
- Camvu Pham, student @ U of M
If I'd known about @Kibin in college, I would have gotten much more sleep
- Jen Soust, alumni @ UCLA