Clausewitz advocates attacking enemy “schwerpunkt” or centers of gravity. How does this compare with Sun Tzu’s prioritization for attacking important elements of national power? Which theorist provides the most useful guidance for determining the object of a strategy or strategies?
The influence of various theories and concepts on the conduct World War I has generated a range of studies in an attempt to understand how and why World War I was fought. Specifically, Clausewitz’s theories on warfare have come under a considerable amount of scrutiny with regards to their influence on World War I. This scrutiny has led to the ascertation that the protracted and bloody stalemate of World War I was largely due to a stubborn reliance on Clausewitz’s theories. The question that this paper attempts to address is weather the cause of the bloody and protracted
There are no universal theories to explain the true nature and character of war, and any war theories are not a fact or absolute truth. All strategic principles are dynamic and contextual, so “every age had its own kind of war, its own limiting conditions, and its own peculiar preconceptions.” The battlefield environment of the 21st century will be the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous, and nature of war will be completely different because of the Revolution in Military Affairs. Highly advance communication and information technologies, a dramatic increase in computing capabilities, developed of precision munitions, dominant air and space power ‘war could be waged by the projection of
Carl Von Clausewitz and Helmuth Moltke the Elder were both practitioners and theorists of the war art in the 19th century. Their military thoughts on war’s character and its dynamics have influenced the later militaries in the conduct of war. Particularly, the Clausewitzian concept of the “culminating point of victory” and the Moltke’s principle of “Auftragstaktik”, or mission type tactics by a decentralized command were implemented and culminated in the battlefield of World War II. Moreover, today, the US Army has adopted both concepts in its latest refined “AirLand Battle” doctrine recognizing their importance in the operational art of modern warfare.
This chapter discusses the tactics to support a strong army and navy implementing new advanced weapons to aim the independence of every country. War is a conflict of the armed forces, military and political aspects towards its enemy. The great victory of modernity and the start of new democracy and warfare proved the connection of the military services and political rights which helped discover conflicts and fixed our understanding of the political dimension.
Much confusion has arisen from misinterpretation of Clausewitz’s discussions on Schwerpunkt or “center of gravity”. Many students of military theory interpret Clausewitz’s ideas through their own historical perspectives. For example, military officers tend to confuse military objectives for centers of gravity, assuming physical objects such as ships or cities are the source of a countries power. While these objects may provide tactical advantages, true power arises from the critical strengths possessed by a country, be they political, diplomatic, military, or informational. The Argentinean military junta made similar mistakes during their invasion of the Falklands. Without fully understanding the source of British power in the region,
General Franks and joint planners identified various strengths in the Iraq pre-invasion planning efforts of the Joint Staff. For instance, throughout development of the Iraqi operational approach, planners recognized Saddam Hussain and the City of Bagdad as strategic Centers of Gravity (COG) as a major sources of Iraqi power and strength to the Hussain regime.5 (JP5-0, p. III-22) By comparison, Karl Von Clausewitz referred to the COG as the “the hub of all power and movement, which everything depends or the point at which all our energies should be directed.”6 (JP5-0, p. III-22) In addition, General Frank’s and planners’ operational approach acknowledged the Iraqi Army and the Republican Guard as key operational COGs targeted in pre-invasion
The whole atmosphere…they carried gravity” (O’Brien 124). The reader is given much attention to the weight and pressure of all the external forces the soldier would carry. But the greatest of weight the men carried with them was not physical at all. It was their emotions: “Grief, terror, love, longing these were intangibles, but the intangibles had their own mass and specific gravity, they had tangible weight.” (O’Brien 126)
Clausewitz who was convinced that no theory of war could be taken seriously unless it included the psychology of commanders and soldiers and their relations to one another (Peter Paret, Napoleon and the Revolution in War, pg. 134). The human factor within the nature of war is the most complex and difficult to predict a sure outcome without addressing psychological state of the enemy and environment in with you are about to conduct operations. Boyd integrates the key ideas of two primary theorists, Sun Tzu and Carl von Clausewitz, and hypothesizes that making sense of one’s environment, making military decisions, and acting on those decisions is a respective, competitive process (OODA loop) in which one seeks to make faster and better decisions than one’s adversary, overwhelming his ability to make sense of his environment and cope with change. (Module 3, John Boyd and A Discourse on Winning and Losing, pg. 6). This thought process is relevant today through our military war games, operation plans, and TDG’s providing an opportunity for multiple levels of outcome based scenarios fundamentally rooted in understanding the
Clausewitz defines war as an “act of force to compel our enemy to do our will.” The nature of war is enduring yet the character of war changes over time. Current US strategic guidance is advancing the point of view that since the character of war has changed to focus on irregular wars then the US military should prepare for a future of irregular wars. This shift in focus forgets that the nature of war is enduring and in order to be successful, we must prepare for all types of conflict. This paper will define the types of conflict and the likelihood of each followed by a discussion of US strategic guidance and ending with an analysis of the training resources and force structure requirements needed to achieve success for all types of
The United States remains a country with a rich history in several issues including strong military activities including their incursion in Iraq, Afghanistan and other volatile countries around the world. However, the devastations of the Battle of the Bulge make it as one of the deadliest and bloodiest wars that the U.S has ever witnessed in history. It led to various war tactics with artillery emerging from it and other military operation challenges. Despite its unpredictable nature and the large casualties that it realized on the side of the Americans, it positively contributed to various efficient military operations in the contemporary war battles like those taking place in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan among other places globally. Therefore, this essay purposefully discusses the history and outcome of the role of artillery in the Battle of the Bulge and how it relates to the evolution of the contemporary military operation.
In war teamwork is paramount, and without it one may not find the motivation to carry on. “They were afraid of dying but they were even more afraid to show it. (O’Brien 109” Each man carried the weight of the man next to him. Never
The physical burden of going to be war can be seen described clearly by both Turnipseed and O’Brien, carrying equipment from heavy rifles, flak jackets, helmets and ammunition. The way in which O’Brien describes this equipment is not by function, but by the physical weight, eight ounces for a grenade, twelve for a fully loaded magazine, showing very clearly the physical weight and burden in which soldiers must deal with on a daily basis while at war. However much
To fully identify how counterintelligence supports the maneuver commander an understanding of the operational framework that the maneuver units operate in must be understood. The Army’s overall conceptual framework has changed over time due to the Army’s participation in conflicts. To appreciate the current mission of maneuver forces a quick glance of recent history must be accomplished. In 1982 the Army’s capstone doctrine focus was AirLand Battle. This primarily
The concept of war as a static and unchanging occurrence is an outdated and dangerous miscalculation. More accurately, war is a fluidic, evolving and shifting phenomenon constantly reinventing itself, rendering stagnant, inflexible principles potentially disastrous. Consequently, as students of war and future players in this transforming theatre, the study of eras of significant development is an extremely relevant pursuit. Recognizing the need for adaptation and the creation of doctrine is now a prerequisite for any effective modern commander. War is unpredictable in nature and particularly so in current theatres of operation, in which change is rapid