CLAUSEWITZ SEMINARS I & II

Christopher Bassford
January 2013

Portrait, Clausewitz

Theory then becomes a guide to anyone who wants to learn about war from books; it will light his way, ease his progress, train his judgment, and help him to avoid pitfalls … Theory exists so that one need not start afresh each time sorting out the material and plowing through it, but will find it ready to hand and in good order.  It is meant to educate the mind of the future commander, or, more accurately, to guide him in his self-education, not to accompany him to the battlefield.

Carl von Clausewitz
On War, p. 141


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Foreword
I. Introduction
II. Key Questions
III. Readings, Topic 2a (15 JAN)
IV. Readings, Topic 2b (22 JAN)
V. Guide to Additional Reading

Foreword

This module was designed for delivery in a U.S. military master's program. The difference in this particular seminar design is that it avoids what has become the common approach of presenting Clausewitz "naked"—i.e., giving students large doses directly from On War without providing any context for the man and his times, the nature of politics and war in his era, the impact and controversies over his ideas, or the vast range of contemporary interpretation. In my experience, that approach breeds incomprehension and, accordingly, frustration and resentment.

I. Introduction

The Prussian General Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831) is widely considered to be the most profound of all thinkers on the subject of war—and not just among Westerners. Clausewitz's most famous book, On War (in German, Vom Kriege, Berlin, 1832), has been translated into a vast number of languages. He was held in the highest regard by the non-Western revolutionaries Mao Zedong in China and Vo Nguyen Giap in Vietnam, as well as by politically conservative Western soldiers like Dwight Eisenhower and Helmuth von Moltke (the famous Chief of the German General Staff during the Wars of German Unification) and by Western revolutionaries, including Engels, Marx, and Lenin. A great many subsequent strategic thinkers and historians have presented their ideas as either reflecting or contradicting some aspects of Clausewitz's work. In practice, many alleged followers have radically altered his ideas (or never understood them in the first place), while many detractors or competitors have criticized Clausewitz for positions he did not hold, offered arguments perfectly compatible with Clausewitz, or, in some cases (e.g., Liddell Hart), consciously plagiarized Clausewitz while seeking to steer readers away from the original. Others effectively built on Clausewitz's foundations to deal with the continuously changing conduct and character of politics and war or sought genuine alternatives.

The point is that, whether Clausewitz himself was right or wrong on any particular issue, you can't understand the debate over military theory if you don't understand this central influence. Perhaps the best mark of Clausewitz's relevance is that the controversy concerning the intent, meaning, and impact of his writings continues today as energetically as ever. At least 16 major books about him have appeared in English alone over the last decade—and that's just the positive treatments.

On War is, however, a notoriously difficult book. This is so for a number of reasons, the most important being that the subject itself is inherently difficult: the fundamental intellectual problems posed by war have not been "solved" despite 2,500 years of recorded efforts to do so. The book we have is also based on a large number of unfinished drafts, of uncertain dates in relation to each other; originally composed in a foreign language (and not particularly well translated in the current standard English translation); in an alien intellectual, social, political, and military environment; reflecting an unfamiliar philosophy of history using historical examples we've never head of; by an individual genius whose complex personality largely eludes us. It is, in fact, an absolutely terrible book—if we had anything better, surely we would drop it. But we are stuck with it, because a great many people think that Clausewitz's work represents the most serious and successful effort in human history to come to terms with war's complexities.

It is also important to note that much of the confusion and disagreement over On War reflects fundamental issues that Clausewitz himself could not address in any detail. That is, On War is a book that, for all its great length, attempts to focus narrowly on the practical problems (including the political aspects) of conducting military operations in war. It does not focus on larger policy or on the vast range of non-military issues in war (e.g., economics, technology, finance, diplomacy, propaganda, etc.), even though Clausewitz was well aware of such matters. It does not attempt to analyze the nature of reality, of the physical universe, or of man, nor to define such basic concepts as policy, politics, society, or the state. It is simply a mark of the book's profundity that discussion of it inevitably raises all of these issues in stark form. People with varying views on these fundamental matters inevitably interpret Clausewitz in varying ways. Indeed, that is one of the major values to studying Clausewitz: he demands that you work to understand not only his ideas but your own. To paraphrase another great military writer, "Understand yourself and understand Clausewitz and you will win a thousand seminar debates."

Concepts we want you to get a firm grasp on include:

Clausewitz's dialectical method. Understanding this will clear up much of the confusion caused by Clausewitz's presentation of differing, often contradictory ideas. (You also might find it a useful method yourself.)

War as an expression of Politik. Do we prefer to translate the German word Politik as 'policy' and/or as 'politics'? What's the difference, and so what?

The meaning of (and the distinctions among) "absolute" or "ideal" war; "real war"; "war of limited objectives"; and war to "disarm" the enemy (i.e., to render your opponent politically or militarily helpless). The latter two kinds of objectives underlie Clausewitz's central concept from the specific standpoint of "strategic analysis."

Clausewitz's 'wunderliche Dreifaltigkeit'—his remarkable/paradoxical/strange/ fascinating/miraculous (translations vary) "trinity." This is the central concept of On War, in the narrow sense of being the idea that ties all of Clausewitz's many ideas together.

Clausewitz's argument that defense is inherently the stronger form of war. Why might he say that, what does it mean, and why do most of us seem to find it so surprising? And, by the way, is it true?

Many of you may already have some familiarity with Clausewitz, but his ideas have a strange quality of seeming to change—sometimes drastically—as we ourselves evolve. It is not the purpose of these two seminars to make you an expert. That would be unrealistic, given that there are so many 'angles' to Clausewitz's thinking and so many facets to the many controversies about him. Our fundamental purpose in this Topic—beyond introducing a particular set of ideas that will be immediately useful in this course—is simply to prepare you to engage intelligently and usefully with Clausewitz on your own volition and on your own time over the remainder of your professional life. We think you'll find the experience personally rewarding.

II. Questions for Consideration

Read these questions before you start the reading assignments, so they can be floating in the back of your mind as you read. These questions apply to both Clausewitz Topics.

1. Who is this guy, and does it matter?

2. It appears that each generation reads Clausewitz's On War differently, as do different societies. Why? And does that reflect strengths or weaknesses in the book?

3. The Howard/Paret translation of Clausewitz that we are using first appeared in English in 1976, just as the United States was emerging from its long and unsuccessful involvement in the Vietnam War.  How do you think that historical context shaped or influenced the American interpretation of On War?

4. Some writers, describing Clausewitz's trinity as People/Army/Government, argue that this is a description of the state and that Clausewitz's thinking therefore applies only to formalized state-on-state warfare. Others argue that these are not in fact the components of Clausewitz's trinity and that, in any case, non-state actors have analogous structures in whatever population base they draw on, their fighting organizations, and their leadership (which must be political as well as military). So, what is Clausewitz's trinity and what are its implications for the nature of war across the spectrum of historical, contemporary, and future armed conflict?

5. What is "the state," anyway? Were early 20th-Century European states the same sorts of organization as those in Clausewitz's era or our's? Is the state now "obsolete"? Is the state or state system a good thing worth defending or not? As a form of political organization, what are the alternatives to the state?

6. How could Clausewitz, a fundamentally conservative representative of a strong, monarchical state, also be a theorist of insurgency? How could a revolutionary actor and theorist like Mao Zedong find inspiration in Clausewitz's ideas on "People's War," when Clausewitz's intent was to use popular forces in the service of the state?

7. Clausewitz says: "Once the expenditure of effort exceeds the value of the political object, the object must be renounced and peace must follow." Do political leaders in fact follow this advice? Why/why not?

8. Clausewitz offers several different definitions of war—as 1) an "act of force to compel our enemy to do our will," as 2) "merely an expression of Politik by other means," and as 3) an inherently unstable interaction of violent emotion, chance, and rational calculation. Which of these definitions does Clausewitz believe to be true? What is his 'bottom line'? HINT: This is one of those dialectical thesis/antithesis/synthesis things you've heard rumors about.

9. Why do you think Clausewitz bothered to create his "logical fantasy" of "ideal war"? What functions does it serve? Does "ideal war" mean "real good war"? How does it differ from "real war"?  

10. What does it mean to say that "war is an expression of Politik"? What does Clausewitz mean by that word Politik? What do we mean when we translate it as 'policy' or 'politics'? Does it make any meaningful difference which English word you choose? What are policy and politics, anyway, and what is the relationship between them?

11. In 'real war,' the opponents' political and military objectives (two distinct and different things) are each either 'limited' or not. For the opposite of "limited objectives," Clausewitz does not actually use the term "unlimited objectives." Nor does he write of "total war," though an amazing amount of ink has been wasted by writers criticizing Clausewitz for this idea he never mentioned. What are the actual terms he uses for the opposite of limited objectives? How does the "total war" waged by Germany in the World Wars differ from Clausewitz's concept?

12. Pick any war. Can you peel apart the opponents' political and military objectives? Can you identify them as 'limited' or 'not limited'? How do you distinguish one from the other? Can you pursue 'unlimited' political ends via limited military objectives? Can you pursue limited political aims via unlimited military objectives?

13. Why would Clausewitz suggest that a political entity might want to terminate a war short of the military destruction or political overthrow of its adversary? Under what conditions could, should, or must we seek such 'limited' objectives? Can you think of any historical or contemporary examples to illustrate your analysis? Why might such an approach succeed or fail?

14. Clausewitz argued that the defense is inherently the stronger form of war. Does that surprise you? Why do you think he makes that argument? Do you agree? BTW: Is the United States the defender or the attacker in Afghanistan?



 

III. REQUIRED READING, CLAUSEWITZ SEMINAR 2a

First, we'll try to get a handle on Clausewitz the man and the political/military context in which he worked, then we'll consider some of the debates about him and his work. After that, our main focus in the first of our two Clausewitz seminars will be on some high-level abstractions: the "nature" of politics, policy, and war and Clausewitz's dialectical approach to thinking and writing about them.

Please don't neglect to read the "Key Questions" above before you do the reading. They are designed to prime your mind for the reading. Whether these specific questions (or others) actually come up in seminar will in part be up to you.

After you've done the readings for this Topic, please provide some brief feedback on them via the course blog.

1. Christopher Bassford, introduction and sections "A Short Biography," "On War," and "Clausewitz on History and Military History," in article "Clausewitz and His Works" (that's the first 11pp, out of 33). This article originated as Chapter 2 of Christopher Bassford, Clausewitz in English: The Reception of Clausewitz in Britain and America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994). This version was written as courseware for the Army War College in 1996 and has been periodically updated since.

2. From Carl von Clausewitz, On War, ed. and trans. Michael Howard and Peter Paret, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1976, Book 1 Chapter 1, "What is War?" pp.75-89. ISSUED. This is Clausewitz's famously difficult dialectical examination of that subject, including his discussion of 'ideal' war. It concludes with his synthetic concept of the "Trinity" of war. Read this but do not get bogged down in trying to critique Clausewitz's specific arguments as you go. What we're looking for is a sense of the structure of his approach, which is pretty well indicated by his section headings. Note that the seemingly powerful points he makes in the first few pages are only an opening bid, not his actual argument—a fact that confuses (and often outrages) many readers. Read the short (c.300-word) final section (#28, concerning his famous "Trinity") carefully and think about how it relates to the earlier discussions.

3. David Kaiser [Professor of Strategy, US Naval War College], "Back to Clausewitz," Journal of Strategic Studies, vol.32, no.4 (August 2009), pp.667-685. This excellent review essay covers a great deal of the current debate amongst Clausewitz scholars in the US and UK. It explicitly reviews:

• Hew Strachan, Clausewitz’s On War, A Biography (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press), 2007
• Antulio J. Echevarria II, Clausewitz and Contemporary War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007)
• Hew Strachan and Andreas Herberg-Rothe, eds., Clausewitz in the Twenty-First Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007). This is a collection of articles based on presentations at Oxford University's 2005 conference, "Clausewitz in the 21st Century."

4. Christopher Bassford, "The Strange Persistence of Trinitarian Warfare," in Ralph Rotte and Christopher Schwarz, International Security and War: Policy and Grand Strategy in the 21st Century (New York: Nova Science, 2010), pp.45-54. (10pp.) This piece focuses on the meaning of Clausewitz's trinitarian concept for wars both historical and contemporary. [If you are a glutton for this sort of thing, you can access the much larger working paper from which this article was extracted: “Tiptoe Through the Trinity, or, The Strange Persistence of Trinitarian Warfare.” It has pictures.]

5. OPTIONAL. Pick one of the following articles.

A. Alan D. Beyerchen, "Chance and Complexity in the Real World: Clausewitz on the Nonlinear Nature of War," International Security, Winter 1992/1993, pp.59-90. Beyerchen is a historian of science and this is an ambitious (and influential) effort to understand Clausewitz's theories in the light of modern scientific theories about the nature of real-world systems like weather, economies, biological systems, etc. Note to skeptics: Don't delude yourself. Despite the popularity in Hollywood of weird nonlinear concepts like "the Butterfly Effect," Nonlinearity and the related concepts of Chaos and Complexity are not some kind of 'New Age' mysticism. They are the most rigorous sort of "hard science" and mathematics, reflecting the direction that virtually all of modern science took in the later 20th century.

B. Terence M. Holmes [Swansea University, UK], "Planning versus Chaos in Clausewitz’s On War," The Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 30, No. 1 (February 2007), pp.129-151. Holmes takes on some writers who argue that Clausewitzian theory is somehow inimical to practical military planning. This exploration of the subject of planning in On War may misinterpret Beyerchen's  nonlinear interpretation of Clausewitz. But that's a good subject for debate.

C. Bart Schuurman, "Clausewitz and the 'New Wars' Scholars," Parameters, Spring 2010, pp.89-100. This is a survey and critique of various recent efforts to dismiss Clausewitz as irrelevant to war in the current era—e.g., the work of Mary Kaldor, Martin van Creveld, John Keegan, etc. (Backup copy)

D. Thomas Waldman, "Politics and War: Clausewitz’s Paradoxical Equation," Parameters, Vol. 40, No. 3 (Autumn 2010), pp.1-13. This is an exploration of the meaning of the most quoted—and most frequently misunderstood—concept in On War. (Backup copy)



 

IV. REQUIRED READING, CLAUSEWITZ SEMINAR 2b

 
Please don't neglect to re-read the "Key Questions" above before you do the reading. They are designed to prime your mind for the reading. Whether these specific questions (or others) actually come up in seminar will in part be up to you.
 
After you've done the readings for this Topic, please provide some brief feedback on them via the blog.

Our primary focus in this second Clausewitz seminar is on the interrelationship of political and military objectives. We will also be interested in Clausewitz's argument that defense is inherently the stronger form of war and in Jon Sumida's controversial arguments concerning Clausewitz's ideas about strategic education.

1. From Carl von Clausewitz, On War, ed. and trans. Michael Howard and Peter Paret, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1976, Book 1, Chapter 2, "Purpose and Means in War," pp.90-99. ISSUED. From the standpoint of analyzing the strategic structure of a particular conflict, this is the most important discussion in On War.

2. For background, here's a long xxx

3. Clausewitz, On War, Book 6 ("Defense"), Chapter 1, "Attack and Defense," pp.357-359, and Chapter 8, "Types of Resistance," pp.379-389. ISSUED.

4. Clausewitz, On War, Book 6 ("Defense"), Chapter 26, "The People in Arms" (literally "Arming the People"), pp.479-483. ISSUED. To understand this, put yourself in the shoes of an indecisive King who doesn't really trust the common people of his Kingdom, but who's growing pretty desperate under the foreign (French) occupation of his country.

5. Jon T. Sumida,  "The Clausewitz Problem," Army History, Fall 2009, pp.17-21. This short piece well encapsulates Sumida's controversial but important arguments in his book Decoding Clausewitz: A New Approach to On War (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2008). That book usefully emphasizes Clausewitz's belief in the inherent superiority of the defensive form of war and offers a powerful explanation of Clausewitz's views on strategic education, stressing the concept of "historical reenactment."

6. OPTIONAL. Pick one of the following articles.

A. Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Prof. Dr. Freiherr Claus von Rosen and Colonel Dr. Uwe Hartmann, "The Reception of Clausewitz in Germany," in Clausewitz Society [Clausewitz Gesellschaft, Hamburg, Germany]. Pommerin, Reiner, ed. Clausewitz Goes Global: Carl von Clausewitz in the 21st Century (Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Clausewitz Society), Berlin: Carola Hartmann Miles Verlag, 2011, pp.123-150. Note: The prose in this chapter—written in English by a German and published in Germany—is a little rough.

B. Clausewitz, On War, excerpts relating to "Centers of Gravity." CoG is a notorious black hole of US military doctrine—a zone of theological hair-splitting of the "How many CoGs can dance on the head of a pin" variety that long ago nauseated most serious students of Clausewitz. But that makes it interesting in a different, if highly perverse, manner.

C. Jon T. Sumida, "On Defense as the Stronger Form of War" (draft, 15 March 2005). Paper delivered at the University of Oxford, March 2005. A more polished version appears in Jon Sumida, "On Defence as the Stronger Form of War," In Hew Strachan and Andreas Herberg-Rothe, eds. Clausewitz in the Twenty-First Century (Oxford University Press, 2007), pp.163-181. (Local backup)

D. Prof. Yu Tiejun, "The Western Master and Bible of War: Clausewitz and His On War in China," in Clausewitz Society [Clausewitz Gesellschaft, Hamburg, Germany]. Pommerin, Reiner, ed. Clausewitz Goes Global: Carl von Clausewitz in the 21st Century (Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Clausewitz Society), Berlin: Carola Hartmann Miles Verlag, 2011, pp.43-60. Note: The prose in this chapter—written in English by a Chinese scholar but edited in Germany—is more than a little rough but is, in the main, comprehensible.

E. Colin Gray, "Clausewitz, History, and the Future Strategic World," prepared for the Strategic and Combat Studies Institute Conference "Past Futures," Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, 3-4 July, 2003 and Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Quantico, VA, USA, 9-10 September, 2003. Strategic and Combat Studies Institute Occasional Paper No 47. (23pp.) (Local backup)



 

V. GUIDE TO ADDITIONAL READING

CLAUSEWITZ AND THE CLAUSEWITZIANS ARE JERKS: REASONS WHY

• Tony Corn,  “Clausewitz in Wonderland,” Policy Review, September 2006. A hostile review of Clausewitz and today's Clausewitzians.

• Fleming, Bruce. "Can Reading Clausewitz Save Us from Future Mistakes?" Parameters, Spring 2004. pp. 62-76. [See also Craig Henry, "Confusion? Or Willful Misreading?"; responses to Fleming's article in Parameters, Summer 2004.]

• John Keegan, A History of Warfare (New York: Vintage Books, 1994), pp. 347-355.  See also the critique by Christopher Bassford, "John Keegan and the Grand Tradition of Trashing Clausewitz," War in History, November 1994, pp.319-336.

• Phillip S. Meilinger [Colonel, USAF, ret.], "Busting the Icon: Restoring Balance to the Influence of Clausewitz," Strategic Studies Quarterly (Fall, 2007), pp.116-145. This a critique of the use and misuse of Clausewitz in Western military thought generally and by the US military in particular. It is similar in some respects to other recent critiques like those of Tony Corn, Bruce Fleming, and Stephen L. Melton. See reply by Nik Gardner, "Resurrecting the 'Icon': The Enduring Relevance of Clausewitz’s On War," Strategic Studies Quarterly, Spring 2009, pp.119-133.

• Stephen L. Melton [U.S. Army Command and General Staff College],  The Clausewitz Delusion: How the American Army Screwed Up the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (A Way Forward) (Minneapolis: Zenith Press, 2009).

GENERAL

• Larry Addington, "From Dynastic to National Warfare, 1775-1815," The Patterns of War Since the Eighteenth Century, 2nd edition, (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1984), pp. 19-42.  (Instructor Issue)

• Raymond Aron,  Clausewitz: Philosopher of War (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1985). A famous French political philosopher's treatment of Clausewitz. (This translation has been widely criticized, however.)

• Christopher Bassford, Clausewitz in English: The Reception of Clausewitz in Britain and America, 1815-1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).

• Brian Bond, "Frederick the Great and the Era of Limited War," in The Pursuit of Victory: Napoleon to Saddam Hussein (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 12-27.  (Instructor Issue)

• Carl von Clausewitz and Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, On Waterloo: Clausewitz, Wellington, and the Campaign of 1815, ed./trans. Christopher Bassford, Daniel Moran, and Gregory W. Pedlow (Clausewitz.com, 2010), pp.23-26. The Campaign of 1815 was among the last major historical studies Clausewitz wrote, so it reflects his most mature thinking. Unlike his earlier studies, however, these findings were never incorporated into On War. This will therefore be new material for most readers. This book also contains the Duke of Wellington's somewhat annoyed response to Clausewitz's observations and other relevant materials.

• Paul Cornish [At that time Director, Centre for Defence Studies, Kings College, London], "Clausewitz and the ethics of armed forces," Journal of Military Ethics, Volume 2, Number 3/November 2003.

• Christopher Daase [Chair of International Organization Cluster of Excellence "Normative Orders," Goethe University Frankfurt], Christopher Daase, "Clausewitz and Small Wars," in Hew Strachan and Andreas Herberg-Rothe, eds., Clausewitz in the Twenty-First Century (Oxford University Press, 2007), pp.182-195. Also available on-line as a paper presented at the conference "Clausewitz in the 21st Century," Oxford University, 21-23 March 2005.

• Antulio J. Echevaria, II, "Clausewitz's Center of Gravity: It's Not What We Thought," Naval War College Review, Winter 2003, pp.108-123.

• Michael I. Handel, ed.,  Clausewitz and Modern Strategy  (London: Frank Cass and Company Limited, 1986). This is an anthology of 14 articles reflecting the post-Vietnam surge in Clausewitz's popularity in the US. Almost all of these articles can be found on-line at http://www.clausewitz.com/bibl/CwzBiblEnglish.htm#HandelCMS.

• R. D. Hooker, Jr., “Beyond Vom Kriege: The Character and Conduct of Modern War,” Parameters (Summer 2005): 4-17.

• Rudolph M. Janiczek, A Concept at The Crossroads: Rethinking The Center Of Gravity  (Carlisle, PA: US Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, October 2007).

• Stuart Kinross,  “Clausewitz and Low-Intensity Conflict,” The Journal of Strategic Studies 27, No.1 (March 2004): 35-58.

• Janeen Klinger, “The Social Science of Carl von Clausewitz,” Parameters (Spring 2006): 79-89.

• Suzanne C. Nielsen (West Point), "Clausewitz and the Morality of War" http://www.ciaonet.org/wps/nis01/nis01.pdf  (This URL requires a subscription. There is a draft at http://isanet.ccit.arizona.edu/noarchive/nielsen.html.)

• Peter Paret, "Clausewitz," in Peter Paret, Editor, Makers of Modern Strategy (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1986), pp. 186-213.  (Student Issue)

• Peter Paret,  Clausewitz and the State: The Man, His Theories, and His Times (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985, reissued 2007).

• Peter Paret,  Understanding War: Essays on Clausewitz and the History of Military Power  (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992).

• Willis G. Regier [Director, University of Illinois Press], "The Essence of War: Clausewitz as Educator," review article, The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 3, 2009.

• Clifford J. Rogers, “Clausewitz, Genius, and the Rules,” The Journal of Military History (October 2002): 1167-76.

• Gunther E. Rothenberg, The Art of Warfare in the Age of Napoleon (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1978).

• Hugh Smith,  On Clausewitz: A Study of Military and Political Ideas (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004). Looks at Clausewitz's ideas rather narrowly in terms of their meaning with regard to Clausewitz's own era. Part I, "Clausewitz's Life and Personality," pp.3-21, offers a different approach to Clausewitz's biography (which is in fact based on an approach to Clausewitz's personality long common in Germany and France). Whether this is "psychohistory" or "psycho-babble" may be a matter of taste.

• Hew Strachan, Clausewitz's On War (Books That Changed the World). New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2006.

• Hew Strachan and Andreas Herberg-Rothe, eds., Clausewitz in the 21st Century (Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2007). This is an anthology of 16 articles on various aspects of Clausewitz’s thinking delivered at a conference on Clausewitz at Oxford University in March 2005.

• Hew Strachan, "Clausewitz and the First World War," Journal of Military History, Vol.75, Issue 2 (April 2011), pp.367-391. Posted to The Clausewitz Homepage with the permission of The Journal of Military History.

• Joseph L. Strange and Richard Iron, “Center of Gravity: What Clausewitz Really Meant,” Joint Force Quarterly, Issue 35: 20-27. A Jominian interpretation.

• Jon Tetsuro Sumida,  Decoding Clausewitz: A New Approach to On War  (Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 2008). An important but controversial work that focuses on Clausewitz's belief that the defense is inherently the stronger form of war and on Clausewitz's ideas concerning the use of history in strategic education. See reviews (not all friendly) by:

Nikolas Gardner (Air War College), Air Force Research Institute (AFRI), 7/23/2010.

Eugenia C. Kiesling, Army History, Summer 2010, pp.46-48.

Janeen Klinger, Parameters, Vol. 39, No. 3 (Autumn 2009), pp. 133-135. Local copy of text.

John T. Kuehn, Joint Force Quarterly, No. 54 (Third Quarter 2009), p. 140.

Brian Holden Reid, The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 82, No. 2 (June 2010), pp.441-443.

John Shy, Journal of Military History, Vol. 73, No. 2 (April 2009), pp. 642-644.

James E. Varner [LTC, US Army, Military Review (Jan-Feb. 2009), pp. 119-120. Local copy of text.

J. Alex Vohr, Marine Corps Gazette (March 2009), “Is Clausewitz Still Relevant,” pp. 62-63.

• Tiha von Ghyczy, Bolko von Oetinger and Christopher Bassford, eds., Clausewitz on Strategy: Inspiration & Insight from a Master Strategist (New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 2001). From The Boston Consulting Group's "Strategy Institute." (BCG is a leading business-strategy organization.) Also available in German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Turkish. Audio ad.

• Dale Walton, “The Strategist in Context: Culture, Development of Strategic Thought, and the Pursuit of Timeless Truth,” Comparative Strategy, Spring 2004, pp. 93-99.

• Barry D. Watts,  Clausewitzian Friction and Future War (Washington, D.C.: National Defense University, McNair Paper 68, revised edition, 2004).

• Jason Wood,  “Clausewitz in the Caliphate: Center of Gravity in the Post-9/11 Security Environment,” Comparative Strategy (January 2008): 44-56.


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