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This review is from: On War (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
'War is merely the continuation of policy by other means' too often this is quoted too often out of context misunderstood. War is not separate of politics war is indeed a part of politics, it is politics 'With' other means. This is the essence of Clausewitz's insight into the nature of warfare and war making, policy makers today really do not understand this any more and neither do the armed forces command hirearchy. Having fed upon the fashionable mantras, pc rhetoric, ideas which have eminated out of academia having a detrimental impact, ideas such as RMA, Transformations of war, the so called humanitarian interventions, far too much uncritical acceptance of these fashionable misdirected mantras, taken from programs of naive and arrogant academic misinformed research with no understanding of the nature of warfare, all extorted from academics the likes of Kaldor and Van Creveld in their myopic Ivory Towers of failure. Indeed the abandonment of Clausewitz is one of primary and functionary reasons why Western military forces can no longer fight to win, all they are able to do is fight to save the political face of their political masters. The armed forces today as with politicians and so called experts in the field do see politics and war as separate entities, something they believe can be switched on and switched off at will. Well it can't be done, both are one you can't have one without the other, failing to grasp this fundamental dooms your military effort to failure, as our military failure in Iraq and Afghanistan clearly show. War and politics are interlinked it is dynamic process which can not by its very nature be separated, you can not have a military operation separate from politics, the very essence of the war is political in its nature from start to completion. This is something the ancient Greeks, Romans understood perfectly as did the great powers of Clausewitz's time. Today it seems only countries such as China, India, Pakistan, Iran and indeed the Taliban understand and practice. Until we can relearn the lessons of Clausewitz great insight, then Western military forces will be condemned to perpetual failure.