Clausewitz was a Prussian soldier, military historian, a prominent thinker, and a military theorist. He is most famous for his military treatise Vom Kriege, translated into English as On War. He stated that warfare is a human activity and therefore it is imperfect, thus it cannot be broken down into a narrow set of rules. He also stated that war and battle are filled with the unexpected. He called these unplanned variables and surprises, "friction.” Only the general who had the genius for flexibility and strategy could minimize the impact of friction, but not completely. He suggested that war was not end itself, but rather a means to an end. Clausewitz also believed that the more serious the objective, the more serious the soldier’s mindset would become, resulting in more violence and bloodshed during a battle. One of his central themes is focusing on the opponents “center of gravity.” The center of gravity could be the enemy’s armed forces, or it could be public opinion depending on the nature and objectives of the war. Just like Jomini, Clausewitz preferred the offensive instead of the defensive. He also said that the best general was the one who remained calm during the chaos of a battle.
"War is nothing more than the continuation of politics by other means." - Karl von Clausewitz
by Paul Wall Da People's Champ December 01, 2009