Our thinking about war and strategy must change

Our thinking about war and strategy must change

Von Clausewitz is the author of the work “On War” (“Vom Kriege“), and until today dominates thinking about war and strategy-formulation.

However, Von Clausewitz’s theory and strategic imperatives are based on some fundamentally false/misguided assumptions. These false and misguided assumptions include:

  • Von Clausewitz assumes that there is full state-control, and the existence of an isolated military domain;
  • Von Clausewitz theory is based on the analysis of a systemic war, which was furthermore characterized by certain distortions;
  • Von Clausewitz ignores fundamental differences between systemic and non-systemic wars;
  • Von Clausewitz did not take the thermodynamic nature of war-dynamics into account, e.g. the workings/effects of a dissipative structure that typically produces KA/-war-cycles.

These false/misguided assumptions have serious consequences. They e.g. limit our ability to:

  • Prevent war
  • Adequately prepare for war
  • Effectively fight wars, if unavoidable
  • Effectively control war, and war-fighting
  • Optimally utilize war for political purposes
  • Achieve policy objectives, through war
  • Escape from the war-trap, a dissipative structure imposes on our (international) System

In the upcoming blog posts, I will discuss this subject in more detail.