Although a great deal has been written about the war, the average American is only vaguely aware of why we fought or who the enemy was. This is not surprising. In British eyes, the conflict with America was an annoying sideshow.
Some sections are often left out of abridged versions, especially Books Five, Six, and Seven, allegedly because they are tactical in nature and thus obsolete. It is the antithesis in a dialectical argument whose thesis is the point—made earlier in the analysis—that "war is nothing but a duel [or wrestling match, a better translation of the War of 1812 necessary essay Zweikampf] on a larger scale.
This synthesis resolves the deficiencies of the two earlier bald statements, indicating that war is neither "nothing but" an act of brute force nor "merely" a rational act of politics or policy.
Rather, it is a dynamic, inherently unstable interaction of the forces of violent emotion, chance, and rational calculation on all sides. Identifying precisely who was to benefit from reading On War, and precisely how, are perplexing questions.
He hoped that such an understanding would improve the judgement of military commanders, but he also believed that "military genius" was more a matter of character, personality, and temperament than of intellect.
Perhaps because of his awareness of his own character, he felt that intellectuals generally made poor commanders. Only a self-conscious intellectual, however, was likely to wrestle with a book like On War. University Press of Kansas, These are important distinctions; Sumida emphasizes the latter.
But Clausewitz was an eclectic thinker who sought to integrate many diverse aspects of the problem, and it is difficult in practice to separate the two goals. On War certainly was not intended to provide a practical "cookbook" for commanders in the field.
That approach is common in military doctrinal writing, and Clausewitz the practical soldier had himself written and taught doctrine during the Napoleonic Wars. Knowledge, he knew, was not ability, and abstract education must always be accompanied by practical experience.
No theory, no general, should have anything to do with psychological and philosophical sophistries. Actual experience always took precedence over the kind of abstract "truth" that can be transmitted by mere writing. Theory must never conflict with reality, and thus must be essentially descriptive of war, never prescriptive of action.
Alone, his historical studies of Napoleonic campaigns would probably not have altered his approach to theory. As time went on, however, he also made detailed studies of earlier and quite different wars. These included seventeenth-century campaigns like those of Gustavus Adolphus and Turenne, the War of the Spanish Successionand eastern European wars with the Turks.
Thus On War reflects a much wider range of historical experience and a much more sophisticated approach to history as a discipline than did the earlier "Principles of War. Clausewitz, along with broader historical philosophers like Hegel and Ranke, did much to shape our modern understanding of historical inquiry itself.
Sumida argues and, with some caveats, I tend to concur with him that On War is essentially "about learning how to do something—namely, how to exercise supreme command in war. His rejection of these approaches was based on his conviction that effective command performance in war—and especially at the level of strategic decision—is the product of genius.
Genius, defined as the command capability of the commander in chief, consists of a combination of rational intelligence and subrational intellectual and emotional faculties that make up intuition.
Intuition, in particular, becomes the agent of decision in the face of difficult circumstances such as inadequate information, great complexity, high levels of contingency, and severe negative consequences in the event of failure.
Clausewitz had observed that during the Napoleonic Wars, intuition had been improved by experience. He thus reached two conclusions. First, the primary objective of officer education should be the enhancement of intelligent intuition. And second, the only effective means of doing so during peace is to have officers replicate the experience of decision making by a commander in chief through historical reenactment of command decisions and reflect on that replicated experience.
Replication, moreover, had to be based on actual events in the past because Clausewitz was convinced that resort to hypothetical case studies increased the possibility of setting up unrealistic governing conditions. Clausewitz recognized, however, that the historical record does not include many of the factors that affected the performance of commanders in chief of the past.
That is to say, the domain of verifiable historical fact is critically incomplete, and thus an insufficient basis for productive historical reenactment. In order to remedy this deficiency, Clausewitz specified that verifiable historical fact had to be augmented by surmise about factors that are supposed to have been important.
The basis of this surmise is a body of theory about those forces that affect decision making in war.
The past has to be accepted on its own terms. The historian must attempt to enter into the mindsets and attitudes of any given period, the "spirit of the age.
This attitude is particularly obvious in two key themes of On War that are missing in the Principles. These are the famous notion that "War is a continuation of politics with an admixture of other means" i.
This approach could not, however, explain the relatively indecisive and limited warfare of earlier periods, unless earlier generations of soldiers were to be dismissed as fools—a solution Clausewitz ultimately rejected.
Writing in the context of the politics of eighteenth-century Western Europe, he said that most former wars were waged largely in [a] state of equilibrium, or at least expressed tensions that were so limited, so infrequent, and feeble, that the fighting that did occur during these periods was seldom followed by important results.
In our opinion it is essential that a commander should recognize these circumstances and act in concert with their spirit.The War of is a production of WNED-TV, Buffalo/Toronto and Florentine Films/Hott Productions Inc., in association with WETA Washington, D.C., with funding provided by the National Endowment.
Instead, in need, it is the Reserve, the National Guard, and the Militia units that are called up, in turn, as the gravity of a situation increases .This gives us a system of checks and balances, by which here, as elsewhere, alone there is a hope of restraining the power of government in any form.
Thomas Jefferson envisioned a peaceful, agrarian society that used diplomacy, rather than military might, to execute America’s foreign policy. Jefferson believed that a large standing army was an invitation to dictatorship, and he drastically reduced the size of both the American Army and Navy.
Taking a Look at the Spanish American War - The idea of war was mainly spread with the rapidly growing journalism industry of the ’s, and journalists used the concept of war and problems with Spain as a source for information, articles, and comics to sell more papers.
The Cause of An Insignificant War: War of Essay - The War of was one of the most insignificant wars in U.S. history which despite its failure to accomplish its strategic goals, the country showed the world that the U.S., military could stand up to the British on land.
This essay revisits the infamous publication of American trader and soldier John Cleves Symmes’s “No. 1 Circular” from St. Louis Missouri in , tracing the roots of Symmes.