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Principles of War, Clausewitz and Jomini - Essay Example

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In comparison with the elements of Jomini's work, Clausewitz work had an element of timelessness. In his conception of war, Clausewitz work is considered to have an element of being overly descriptive in the sense that he considers warfare more of an art that conforms only loosely to principles. …
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Principles of War, Clausewitz and Jomini
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Download file to see previous pages It is worth noting that Clausewitz work very dialectically constructed; continuously, Clausewitz follows his declarations with sound arguments, which are intended to strengthen the principle being advanced (Clausewitz 1976). Clausewitz work presents warfare as an act of politics and emphasizes on the element of war as being more an economic, a psychological, and a political contest. Therefore, in terms of strategy, Clausewitz work and theories is more relevant compared to the theories by Jomini. Clausewitz works advances arguments mostly for the superiority of using defense. A clearer element of Clausewitz work is its exploration of the use of popular and partisan opinion.
Therefore, the contrasting aspect of these two war theorists is that, for Jomini, his work was concerned more about maneuver, a war-fighting function widely used in the 19th century battlefields. On the other hand, Clausewitz work was in its outlook, strategic and mainly focused on the art of war. In short, the elements of Jomini’s work were offensive and maneuver kind of war, whereas the elements of Clausewitz work was characterized mostly by chance, violence, and reasons as the key elements.
These theorists of war each emphasized certain warfare principles. We first look the principles advanced by Jomini. First, we must realize that the warfare principles advanced by Jomini, now referred to as Jominian principles were mostly designed for wars that were fought earlier under very different views about wars and circumstances. One of the principles of war that Jomini emphasized was the “line of operation.” According to him, this was an essential warfare principle, which he categorized as topographical barriers, i.e., natural lines of operation. He referred to this as the strategic choices and territorial lines, i.e., how and where to fight. He referred to this as “maneuver lines.” In addition, Jominian principles of warfare were mostly centered upon the key argument that an effective and successfully war had to adhere to strategy controlled by several consistent principles (Jomini 2008). These principles focused more on the massing of forces, the offensive, and attacking an enemy force that is weaker at a very decisive point. In comparison to Clausewitz, Jomini looked at war in terms of clarity and simplicity. He viewed war in heroic and personal terms. Clausewitz considered warfare to be a complex, tragic affair that is always under the threat of escaping human control. Clausewitz viewed the war subject in a manner consistent with the eighteenth century Romanticism. The main principle of war that Clausewitz work advanced was that the art of decision-making and war defied the habit ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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