The Great Military Theorist, Carl Von Clausewitz

2066 Words9 Pages
The great military theorist, Carl von Clausewitz, defines strategy narrowly as “the use of an engagement for the purposes of the war.” More broadly, Clausewitz implies that strategy is the application of ways and means to achieve the desired ends in war. Thus, strategy is the mechanism for connecting war to policy. However, the National Security Strategy (NSS) clearly states, “a smart national security strategy does not rely solely on military power.” Therefore, the NSS is not a Clausewiztian military strategy but what B.H. Liddell Hart describes as grand strategy, or “policy in execution,” whose goal is to “marshal all the resources of a nation” towards achieving a political objective. By its reliance on “all elements of our national strength,” the NSS can therefore be described as a grand strategy. The NSS is clear in its reliance on “all elements of our national strength,” as a whole-of-government approach to achieving US strategic ends that coordinates the nation’s diplomatic, information, military, and economic (DIME) power. It is a strategy that requires significant non-military ways and means. Therefore, the answer to the question of whether the Department of Defense (DoD), as the embodiment of the nation’s military power, has sufficient ways and means to meet this strategy’s prescribed ends, the answer must be no. At its heart, as stated in the summary, the strategic goal of the NSS is to “ensure the safety of the American people and advance our national
Open Document