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The Reality of War: A Companion to Clausewitz
Maj. Stewart L. Murray
A. Hilliard Atteridge
"War is an act of violence which in its application knows NO bounds." "Let us not hear of generals who conquer without bloodshed; if a bloody slaughter be a horrible sight, then that is a ground for paying more respect to war (for avoiding unnecessary war), but not for making the sword we wear blunt and blunter by degrees from feelings of humanity, till some one steps in with a sword that is sharp, and lops off the arm from our body."
"Hardly worth mentioning"! So that is how Clausewitz regards International Law, Clausewitz to whom in Germany "our most famous victors on the more modern battlefields owe their spiritual training," and on whom "everybody who to-day either makes or teaches modern war bases himself, even if he is not conscious of it." And we must regard nearly every foreign statesman as, consciously or unconsciously, a disciple of Clausewitz. It is, therefore, high time that we should cease to pin our faith on International Law, or think that it can in any way protect us, if we neglect strongly to protect ourselves. Power and expediency are the only rules that the practical politicians of foreign countries recognize, and the only question they ask themselves is, "Have we got sufficient power to do this," and if so, "Is it expedient to do it?"
It is only possible to obtain a proper conception of policy if we regard it as continuous both in peace and war, using sometimes peace negotiations, sometimes war negotiations, as circumstances require, to attain the political object.
War is only a part of policy, a continuance of the previous negotiations; but the instrument is now the sword and not the pen. As Clausewitz says, "In one word, the art of war, in its highest point of view, is policy; but no doubt a policy which fights battles instead of writing notes." War is merely a means whereby a nation attempts to impose its will upon another nation in order to attain a political object.
- Publication Date:
- 1493797204 / 9781493797202
- Page Count:
- Binding Type:
- US Trade Paper
- Trim Size:
- 8.5" x 11"
- Black and White
- Related Categories:
- History / Military / General