Critical Topic Review: On War By Carl Von Clausewitz

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a CRITICAL TOPICAL REVIEW ASSIGNMENT Name Course Title Professors Name Institution Affiliation Date Critical Topic Review Introduction ‘On War' which is Carl von Clausewitz famous work, it is a prism on the essential understandings of the war theory. There are dominant political positions that he talks about to back his statement such as political situations being the basis of conflict, war's subordination as a tool of policy and war as a continuance for politics (Clausewitz 2008). To Clausewitz, the only way to comprehend war is in the framework of politics as he openly states that, "politics is the womb in which war develops, where its outlines already exist in their hidden rudimentary form, like…show more content…
The dogma in his literature has great influence from his experience in the Napoleonic wars and the French Revolution. Throughout his book, Clausewitz makes use of politics as the principal factor of war. In regards to his discourse, we understand war and politics as being interrelated which is dominant in his statement that military actions override political ends. To Clausewitz (2008) war is only a branch of political activity, and it is no sense autonomous since it does not suspend political intercourse or change it into something entirely different. This means that politics places itself above war and modify it to suit its needs, with Clausewitz arguments, it is difficult to think of war as something apart from politics. The Clausewitz's theory underwent a lot of criticism by the end of the Cold War due to the transformational changes that took place in the international system which altered the nature of war (Shaw…show more content…
This is illustrated from his proclamation that "war is merely the continuation of policy by other means," the concept of "remarkable trinity" and the general uncertainties of war which he termed as ‘friction' (Moran 2007: 91-106). Many scholars have assumed that the concept of trinity is fundamentally linked to states. Thus critics claim that the end of state legitimacy brought about by the international system of nations will lead to only violent, non-Trinitarian and non-political Wars. This argument is supported by the changes of structure of modern conflicts where the confrontation between opposing armies has been replaced by contemporary wars which do not follow a conventional norm and lack rationality. According to Mary Kaldor (2005: 491-498), who is the leading proponent of new war, the primary example of the new type of warfare is the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina whereby the conflict appears to manifest in irrational traits that are guided by other factors other than politics. This is a critic on Clausewitz claim that war is only a branch of political activity and its lack of

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