Friday, August 07, 2009

Regier, Willis G. "The Essence of War: Clausewitz as Educator." CHRONICLE August 3, 2009.

Clausewitz's most quoted remark, "War is merely the continuation of politics by other means," remains central to debates about his continuing relevance. However much wars are alike, they differ as the politics that support them differ—and the relations between war and politics are seldom static. Clausewitz wrote, "Every age has its own kind of war, its own limiting conditions, and its own peculiar preconceptions. Each period, therefore, would have held to its own theory of war." He reacted against a mode of theorizing that aspired to imitate geometric and mechanical sciences. "Theory cannot equip the mind with formulas for solving problems," he warned, "nor can it mark the narrow path on which the sole solution is supposed to lie by planting a hedge of principles on either side. But it can give the mind insight into the great mass of phenomena and their relationships, then leave it free to rise into the higher realms of action.". . . . Read the rest here:

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