The Continuing Irrelevance of Clausewitz
by Wm. J. Olson
Beauty in things exists merely in the mind which contemplates them.David Hume
--it is a theory of war itself, war as war, and is, therefore, equally valid in describing the phenomenon of war and violence both forward and backward in time, for all time. Universal and continuingly relevant.--it is a theory of war based on the major evolution of war with Napoleon and the wars of organized states, that is, it is to be read forward to cover all wars since the changes resulting from the French Revolution and the emergence of strong nation-states. It is not just a product of its time and place but is not useful for 'pre-history'--that is BN, Before Napoleon.--it is a theory of war based on the nation-state model, thus it covers only one category of possible conflicts, its notions of friction and politics, etc., being features of human activity in general. It is limited but useful on this narrow front.--it is a theory so vague and flexible as to describe anything and thus describes nothing except what the beholder most wants to behold.