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Clausewitz's PuzzleThe Political Theory of War$
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Andreas Herberg-Rothe

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199202690

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199202690.001.0001

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Clausewitz's Puzzle

Andreas Herberg‐Rothe

Oxford University Press

The prologue explains the fundamental contrasts between the early and the late Clausewitz by reflecting on his analyses of war campaigns. Unfortunately, the erroneous identification of Clausewitz's wondrous trinity with trinitarian war has been further strengthened by a wrong translation in the English edition of Paret and Howard. It is argued that one might win battles and campaigns against weak adversaries with concepts of Sun Tzu, Clausewitz's most important antagonist in past and present, but that it is difficult to win a war in modern times by following his principles. To the contrary, the book argues that Clausewitz is still important in the 21st century because he developed a theory, which concentrates on transforming military success in a true political settlement.

Keywords:   trinity, war campaigns, political theory, early Clausewitz, late Clausewitz, problems of translation, Sun Tzu, Iraq wars

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