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Clausewitz in the Twenty-First Century$
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Hew Strachan and Andreas Herberg-Rothe

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199232024

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199232024.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 May 2021

On Defence as the Stronger Form of War

On Defence as the Stronger Form of War

(p.163) 9 On Defence as the Stronger Form of War
Clausewitz in the Twenty-First Century

Jon Sumida

Oxford University Press

Confusion about the meaning of On War is in large part attributable to the failure to recognize the importance of Clausewitz's contention that defence is a stronger form of war than offence. This argument is supported by three interlocking propositions, namely: that war is an extension of policy (or politics) by other means; that policy both affects and is affected by the course of armed conflict; and that policy affects the attacker more than the defender. In particular, Clausewitz believed that a defender capable of waging guerrilla war could not be overcome by a much more powerful attacker.

Keywords:   defence, offence, policy, politics, guerrilla war

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