Written by:

Phua Seng Yoong

Singapore Military, 2011

Problem 1: The actual insights furnished by Clausewitz who died one hundred and eighty years ago – friction in war, the culmination in the attack, the roles of chance, uncertainty, and irrational elements in war, plus the center of gravity – offer anything at all worthwhile intended for 21st Century strategists and war-fighters?


The work of Carl vonseiten Clausewitz continue to be bring about heated debate nowadays. While many students see Clausewitz's On War as a great indispensible military thought in the modern times, others view it as an out of date or morally repellent argument for unlimited, unrestrained and brutal combat.[1] Notwithstanding the opposition of present times, this renowned work is recognized as incomplete as well as lack of prescriptive contents provides subjected this to interpretations and discourses. Facing this kind of encumbrance, the study of On Conflict has to go beyond textual research to an gratitude of the famous context which usually influenced the author's pondering and the development of the publication over time. Luckily, with the long-lasting efforts of several historians, we now know that Clausewitz's experiences in the Napoleonic Battles and his analyze in the age of Frederick the truly great (and beyond) allowed him to create a single, all encompassing theory of war.[2] To date, much literary works has been crafted to attest to the relevance of Clausewitz's theories in modern rivalry and state the timelessness of Upon War.[3] This kind of paper investigates the information gained through the great research on Clausewitz's works and re-confirm the continued relevance of his theories by: (1) identifying the smoothness of modern world warfare, then (2) an interpretation of Clausewitz's hypotheses and his actual thinking, and then (3) examining the significance of the hypotheses concerned and determine how they might be applied nowadays.

The 21st Century Warfare

The smoothness of combat has evolved considering that the passing of Carl vonseiten Clausewitz one hundred and eighty years ago. The likelihood of massive rupture between conventional forces seems to be diminishing as well as the world has seen the dawn of non-state celebrities challenging established states with asymmetric rivalry[4] techniques. Bill Lind appropriately chronicled the evolution of warfare in four ages, which began with the Tranquility of Westphalia in 1648. He defined present day combat as fourth-generation warfare (4GW) that is seen as a a widespread crisis of legitimacy with the state, where militaries was required to fight against threats which can be transnational in nature and are also very difficult to manage.[5] The features of these danger entities stem from the associated with globalisation that have enabled further more, faster, further and cheaper means to reach around the world.[6] Beyond the physical reach, today's technology has also caused various modern day communication strategies that enable collaboration and ready access to information. Therefore, this as well allowed fast access to press pipelines enabling belligerents to use them to even more their trigger. These have got bestowed transnational terrorist organisations such as Al-Qaeda, and the hotter Hezbollah[7], with the abilities to acquire products, knowledge and instruments that rival the ones from the traditional point out to salary wars. In respect to Lind, 4GW as well brings together the relevance of mass firepower dominated by simply artillery inside the second-generation combat and manoeuvre concepts of third-generation warfare, making it more complex than ever before. Consequently , we can determine at this point that 21st Century strategists and war-fighters have to contend with both typical threats via traditional states and non-traditional threats coming from non-state stars, both which are capable of waging wars.

Intricacies of Clausewitz's Work

To seize how Clausewitz's theories can be applied in 4GW, you need to decipher the underlying thinking of the author's work. Most of...

Bibliography: 1 . Alan M. Beyerchen, " Clausewitz, non-linearity and Unpredictability of Warfare, ” Worldwide Security, 17: 3 (Winter, 1992) [Online], Available: http://www.clausewitz.com/ readings/Beyerchen/CWZandNonlinearity. htm [2 June 2011].

some. Carl von Clausewitz, Upon War, eds. /trans. Micheal Howard and Peter Paret (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989).

13. Jon Tetsuro Sumida, Decoding Clausewitz: A fresh Approach to About War, College or university Press of Kansas, 08.

16. Michael Handel, " Clausewitz inside the Age of Technology, ” Clausewitz and Contemporary Strategy (Frank Cass and Company Limited, London, 1986).

17. Nikolas Gardner, " Resurrecting the " Icon” – The Enduring Relevance of Clausewitz's On War, ” Tactical Studies Quarterly (Spring 2009).

18. Paul Cornish, " Clausewitz plus the Ethics of Armed Push: Five Idea, ” Log of Armed service Ethics (2003).

20. Jones L. Friedman, The Tuning and the Olive Tree (New York: Anchor, 1999), pp. 7-8 [Online], Readily available: http:// www.sociology.emory.edu/globalization/glossary.html [12 January 2008].


[1] Paul Cornish, " Clausewitz and the Ethics of Provided Force: Five Proposition, ” Journal of Military Ethics (2003), g

[2] Nikolas Gardner, " Resurrecting the " Icon” – The Enduring Relevance of Clausewitz's On Conflict, ” Strategic Studies Quarterly (Spring 2009), pp. 121-22.

[3] Christopher Bassford, Clausewitz in English: The Reception of Clausewitz in Great britain and America, 1815 – 1945 (Oxford University Press, New York, 1994), pp. 3-8.

[6] Thomas L. Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree (New York: Core, 1999), pp. 7-8 [Online], Readily available: http:// www.sociology.emory.edu/globalization/glossary.html [12 January 2008].

[8] Carl von Clausewitz, On Battle, eds. /trans. Micheal Howard and Peter Paret (Princeton: Princeton College or university Press, 1989), p. fifth there�s 89.

[13] Clausewitz, 1989, p. 79.

[14] Jon Tetsuro Sumida, Decoding Clausewitz: A New Approach to On War, University Press of Kansas, 2008, p. 125.

[15] Clausewitz, 1989, p. 479.

[18] Alan M. Beyerchen, " Clausewitz, Nonlinearity and Unpredictability of Conflict, ” Intercontinental Security, 18: 3 (Winter, 1992) [Online], Obtainable: http://www.clausewitz.com/readings/Beyerchen/CWZandNonlinearity. htm [2 June 2011].

[19] Clausewitz, 1989, s. 119.

[20] Michael Handel, " Clausewitz in the Associated with Technology, ” Clausewitz and Modern Technique (Frank Cass and Company Limited, London, 1986), g. 77.

[21] Beyerchen, 1992.

[23] Clausewitz, 1989, g. 528.

[27] Clausewitz, 1989, pp. 595-96

[28] Echevarria II, 2002, p