An Analysis Of Clausewitz's ' On War '

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Today’s strategic environment, whether government or corporate, is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) often times characterized by “wicked problems” or unsolvable problems. Compiled during the early 19th century, Clausewitz’s manuscript “On War” arguably posited the same conclusion in relation to the strategic level of war. He described war as uncertain, unpredictable, and marked by chance. The more the scale moved from the tactical realm to the strategic realm, the more complex war became due to the aforementioned variables. Society today must contend with the impacts of globalization, which has led to significant changes in economic, social, and cultural norms. These changes have resulted in compressed timelines and reduced decision space. With so much information available, the risk of information overload has presented challenges to how individuals approach problem solving. As a result, society has become over reliant on what Guy Claxton defines as deliberate mode (d-mode), “a way of knowing that relies on reason and logic.” (Claxton, p2) On War is not just a manuscript on of how to understand war; it also provides insight into what Clausewitz thought about the dynamics of human thinking. Similar to what Claxton outlined in Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind, Clausewitz believed that, “knowledge must be absorbed into the mind that it almost ceases to exist in a separate, objective way.” (Clausewitz, p147). In other words, Clausewitz believed knowledge
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