Carl von Clausewitz in his book On War introduced convincing theories concerning the future of the modern warfare. Despite of the efforts put forth by Carl von Clausewitz to write the Book, he died of Cholera and left the remaining part of the book unfinished. During this period, Clausewitz was in military and thus many people recognized him as military theorist who was very interested in examining war. However, the content of book revealed that he was a military thinker whom wrote with a passion to strengthen the way military conduct, perform and even execute their entire tasks. Carl von Clausewitz ideas and elements are still important and essential on the way people understand in terms of dissimilarity between absolute and limited war. Clausewitz’s strategy on war was considered exceptional and unique compared to that of his colleagues since he believed in paradoxical and contradictory trinity of violence, politics and chances. Evidently put forth it implied the society, commander and even politics.
First, the strategy implies that an officer who is operating at the strategic and tactical level must comprehend on how the entire society participates in any war. This would enable the officer to merge ideas that would be useful in proceeding with the war effectively. In Clausewitz theory, the main aim was to establish and even develop a comprehensive approach which will ensure the war tactics are effective. According to Clausewitz approach, war is a known phenomenon that usually depends on the conditions which can actually take diverse forms. Basis sources of such changes on the available conditions are believed to lie within the elements defined in Clausewitz trinity approach. This implies the trinity is comprised of the people, army and the government which signify three groups of forces which include irrational forces filled with violent emotion such as hatred, enmity and primordial violence. The other forces comprise the non-rational forces such as forces which are not products of human intent or thoughts like fiction. The last force is rationality which is always the instrument of policy.
The Officer at the tactical and strategic level is able apply such forces to different categories of the society. Clausewitz theory connects the three forces to each diverse human actors which enable the Officer understand the whole concept involved in war appropriately. People are usually paired with the irrational forces which include emotions of hatred, primordial violence and even enmity. This concept enables the people involved in war to fight with hostility something that even assist them to win the battles. The army which is commonly known as the military forces and its commander are always paired mainly under the non-rational forces basically based fictional, probability and chances. Therefore, the Officer understands on how the fighting organization or army deals with aspects normally under the creative guidance and directive of the commander. Finally, the government is usually paired with the rational forces which imply that policy is perfectly driven by a purpose or reason. The Clausewitz argument is that war is normally an instrument of policy and thus such policy is only treated as the representative of all interests of the entire community or society.
Additionally, Clausewitz argument is that army’s officers and men as well as political leaders are usually at a varying degree across the different societies. In most democrat societies, people associated to that particular society are always expected to participate the rational decision making process. It is evidently that political leaders are mostly driven by personal interests and needs derived from rational calculations. This implies that events in the military or the army’s battlefields always affect or influence the people and even the political leadership of that given society. On the other hand, popular aspects and political factors usually affect the military or Army performance. For instance, the American army actions always affect the political life of the State whereas political leadership of United States also influences the Army’s performance.
The Field Grade Officers usually required to incorporate all the teachings Clausewitz elaborate in his theory into their strategic thinking in regards to the commander’s orders. In his approach, Clausewitz elaborates on how military geniuses use their artistic abilities to incorporate them in war. In the 21st century, Clausewitz approach is applicable in the Chinese Military where Sun Wu argues that Wisdom is very essential in strengthening the army. It therefore implies that the Chinese Army values unity (quan) and also focus (zhuan) under the commander’s orders. In the 21st century, American warriors have evolved and matured to the extent of enhancing confidentiality among itself and thus forming small capable and autonomous teams as well as individuals who operates appropriately.
Moreover, Clausewitz also continues to argue some level of uncertainty is usually involved when incorporating strategic ideas from a commander’s point of view. For instance, immediately after the bombing of USA in 9/11, its army invaded the Afghanistan and Libya, a step that involved some level of uncertainty or risks. In addition, politics play a vital role in extending warfare as many countries will continue to engage in conflicts which may result to wars or fights between the enemy nations. In order for a country’s or state’s army to win the battle, its warriors or military must be modern and not cavemen or barbarian. Therefore, the army should always remain diplomats at a given moment, yet respond or react proportionally at the final resort. The maintaining the same tactics, techniques and procedures may pose some level of uncertainty to the Army since they are no longer appropriate and smart. For instance, in August 6th 2011, an American CH-47 helicopter crushed in Afghanistan caused a quick reaction amidst the force and enemies got the opportunity to fire a simple rocket-propelled grenade which killed more than 30 highly skilled and knowledgeable special operation forces.
It is evident that Clausewitz approach tends to explore the symbiotic associations political ends as well as the military means. In the argument, it is clear that in the 21st century, war is not only an act of policy but also a political instrument which will continue to occur as long as politics is involved. This implies that any nation that has been defeated in a war will wait for its political background to stabilize after which it engages itself in another battle. Politics are intertwined with the army’s reaction as well as performances. Political leaders are in the frontline in triggering war due to personal desires. Additionally, the army’s war in the 21st century is believed to have a tremendous influence on political leadership of a certain country as well as its people. If a nation is defeated, it will wait until its political stability is appropriate to start another battle. A country that has weak political grounds is said to have a weak military power. For instance, American army invasion in Iraq and Afghanistan was a result of political involvement of USA.
Clausewitz’s trinity on issues such as violence, chance and politics play a vital role in portraying the complexity of war. Moreover, it is clear that the role played by the society, commander and political necessities are eventually dependent to each other as each one must be present for a war to be effective. Therefore, the military or army leaders should have appropriate knowledge on such complexities involved in order for them to execute their tasks effectively.
Von Clausewitz, Carl. 2010. On War (Vom Kriege). Boston: MobileReference.com.