CLAUSEWITZ AND SMALL WARS: THE STRATEGIST CHANGED HIS MIND

Clausewitz.com has published an article by Professor Christopher Daase. Excerpt below:

In the “Bekenntnisdenkschrift”, however, Clausewitz changes his view. Facing the overwhelming military power of the Napoleonic forces in Prussia, he sees small wars in a much more revolutionary way. No longer is the state, represented by a hesitant king and a reactionary bureaucracy, the driving force of war, but the nation. Drawing on various narratives of popular uprisings in the Vendée, Tyrol, and most prominently in Spain, Clausewitz comes to regard the spontaneous mobilization of the masses as a crucial element in war. So, his second definition of small war would be the application of organized and unorganized violence by non-state actors against military forces to harass and exhaust the enemy’s army in order to change his policy. Small war has now gained a rather distinct form in Clausewitz’ thinking as ‘people’s war’ or Landsturm

A paper presented by Christopher Daase at the conference “Clauswitz in the 21st Century,” Oxford University, 21-23 March 2005. An edited version can be found in Clausewitz in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Hew Strachan and Andreas Herberg-Rothe (Oxford University Press, September 2007). Prof. Dr. Christopher Daase was at the time of publishing Chair of International Organisation Cluster of Excellence “Normative Orders,” Goethe‐University Frankfurt.

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