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STRATEGIC STUDIES

What is the main contributions of Clausewitz to strategic theory?

There are many main contribution of Clausewitz to strategic theory. A number of the concepts that Clausewitz introduce in On War are central to the study of strategy. These include the trinity, the need to understand the nature of the war, the difference between limited and unlimited wars, the rasional calculus of war, and friction. First, is the concept of trinity. Clausewitzs description of war is one of his most enduring legacies. He views war as a paradoxical trinity composed of passion,

probability, and reason. These tendencies generally correspond to the people , the military, and the government. Passion is most often associated with the people , who animocities move state to fight . Probability and chance are the realm of the military. He views war as a paradoxical trinity composed of passion, probability, and reason. These tendencies generally correspond to the people , the military, and the government. Passion is most often associated with the people , who animocities move state to fight . Probability and chance are the realm of the military. Indeed, soldiers most constantly deal with uncertainly and friction. Reason is generally a characteristic of the government , which determines the aims of war and the means for waging it. Clausewitz argued that the relative intensity of and relationship among these tendencies change according to the circumstances of the war. 'three difference code law , deep-rooted in their subject and yet variable in their relationship to one another. A theory that ignores any one of them or seeks to fix an arbitrary relationship between them would conflict with reality to such an extent that for reason alone it would be totally useless. Then the tasks therefore is to develop a theory that maintains a balance between these three tendencies , like an

STRATEGIC STUDIES

object suspended between three magnets. The interaction of these three tendencies thus determines the character of a war. In the concept understanding of the nature of war , Clausewitz argues that understanding the nature of war is necessesary preconception to developing an effective strategy. As he put the first , the supreme, the most far-reaching act of judgement that the statesmen and commander have to make is to establish by that test the kind of war on which they are embarking, neither mistaking it for , nor trying to turn it into, something that is alien to its nature. This is the first of all strategic questions and the most comprehensive. In Clausewitz views , the nature of war is the result of the interaction of the objectives of two sites the people, the government and the militaries of the belligerents and the attitude of allies and neutrals. Inherent in understanding the nature of war is gaining an appreciation of one's comparative advantages. This, in turn , forms the basic of sound strategy. The key to doing so, in Clausewitz's view , is

understanding the enemy's centre of gravity. Then, he also view's a state achieves victory by seeking out and attacking the enemy's centre of gravity. He wrote the centre of gravity was most likely the enemy's army, capital city, principal ally, leader, and public opinion, in descending order. This concept help us to understand more on strategic theory. Besides, the limited versus unlimited wars also the concept introduced by Clausewitz in On War. Clausewitz drew a distinction between wars fought for limited aims and those fought for unlimited aims. In limited aims, soldier and statesmen must translate battlefield success into political leverage over the adversary. They must

STRATEGIC STUDIES

continually reassess how far to go militarily and what to demand politically. Then, war for unlimited aims are fought to overthrow the adversarys regime or achieve unconditional surrender. They end in a peace settlement that is imposed rather than negotiated. Then, another concept that flows from Clausewitzs is the notion that there should be a correlation between the value a state attaches to its ends and the means it uses to achieve them. The notion of calculus of war would appear to be one area in which strategy most resembles a science. Although the notion makes sense in theory, it is problematic in practice. It is often immposible , for example , for soldiers and statesment to determine the costs and benefits of military action beforehand Moreover, estimates of the political , social, and economic costs change as war unfolds. As Clausewitz notes, the original political object can greatly alter during the course of war and many finally change entirely since they are influenced by events and their probable consequence. States may continue fighting beyond the rational point of surrender when their leaders prestige becomes invested in the war or the passions of the people become aroused. Next, the concept of friction with enduring value is also contributed by Clausewitz. This concept describes that which makes the simplest of activities in war difficult. Clausewitz defines the concept as "the only concept that more or less corresponds to the factors that distinguish real war from war on paper''. Clausewitz get the name and concept from physics. As he wrote in the 'Principle of War,' which carried the war machine resembles a complicated traveling with a large friction, that combination easily planned on paper can be executed only with hard work. Sources of

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friction include the dangers posed by the enemy, the effort requires of ones own forces, the difficulties presented by the physical environment, and the problem of knowing what is occurring. Concept of friction abound in recent war like the largest Iraqi counterattack of the 2003 Iraq War, which occured early on 3 April near a key Euphrates River Bridge south-west of Baghdad, surprised US forces. US sensors failed to detect the approach of three Irai bridges composed of 8000 soldiers backed by seventy tanks and armoured personnel carriers. Clearly, the concepts contributed by Clausewitz like friction,is very important in the strategic theory which used until now also as a reference. In conclusion, there are many contributions of Clausewitz for example as he wrote in 'On War', which has helped us to learn more and any understanding of strategic theory.