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Why Decisive Victory is Much More Difficult to Achieve in Modern Warfare - Essay Example

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Achieving decisive victory in war is much more difficult today. In the past, countries or nations will use all of their resources to destroy another country's or nation's capability to wage war…
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Why Decisive Victory is Much More Difficult to Achieve in Modern Warfare
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Download file to see previous pages The principles of 'Total' war was formulated by Carl von Clausewitz (June 1, 1780-November 16, 1831), a Prussian general who wrote the book Vom Kriege (On War). The horrific consequence of 'Total' war has been the distruction of civilians and civilian infrastructure being the targets for destroying a nation's capability to wage war. The American Civil War is one example of such war. It involved the whole population fighting for a 'Total' end, in the attempt to the defeat the Confederacy. US Army General William Tecumseh Sherman's 'March to the Sea" destroyed the resources required for the South to make war. He is considered one of the first military commanders who knowingly use 'Total' war as a military tactic. In recent history, it was Germany's blitzkrieg strategy used during World War II that demonstrated the decisive victory campaign by using new military equipments such as tanks, aircraft, and radio. However, time had changed as well as the public perception and opinion about war. The emergence of modern communication such as the media and the changing public opinion has greatly influence the government's policies on war. Additionally, factors such as global terrorism, globalization, new advance weaponry, and the increasing influence of international organisations such as the European Union and NATO all contributed, in some way, to the changing the face of modern warfare. The establishment of International criminal court and the highly publicised prosecution of war criminals made political leaders think twice before even considering any war strategy. Today, there are two general factors that limit the pursuit of Total war policy, one being political and the other is military strategy. The political factor, as being influenced by public opinion, seeks to control escalation via consensual arrangements with the adversary, while the military strategy factor, as being influenced by civilian government's policies, seeks to forestall escalation by precisely destroying the enemy's military capability in a rapid manner1.

The public opinion about war had changed significantly over a couple decades especially after the world experienced the two world wars. Most people have seen and read about the horrors of war over the news, documentaries, books, and modern day media. Most people don't want it to happen again especially during their lifetime. The culture of today demand for expedient success in war with very few casualties and governments are pressured into limiting their objectives. Combined with instantaneous communications and the unrealistic expectations of the networked classes, the global media has fundamentally altered the acceptable timetable for tactical combat. Speed of tactical execution has emerged as the new critical demand upon military forces2. The acceptability of Total war, that is to say of organised violence for political ends, is declining markedly both for practical reasons of its inutility, and because of a cultural taboo, hopefully one eventually of global domain. By far the most influential cause of the possible trend towards the delegitimisation of warfare is the global media. With live video feeds via satellite to a global market, much of the ugliness of war is brought into homes almost everywhere. The claim is not that there is a trend of moral improvement which regards war as all but immoral, save in the most desperate cases of self-defence, but rather that publics around the world now can see what is perpetrated in their names. Since war, except of the cyber variety, necessarily involves killing people and breaking things, confrontation with some of its brutalities can hardly help but be shocking to those who ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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War has also been modified in many other facets and has added new facets as it has evolved over the years (Katoch, 2005). The current style of warfare is more popularly known as Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW). One of the most notable things about 4GW is the removal of boundaries between war and the relationship between politics, civilians and soldiers.
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