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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Warfare by Other Means

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Warfare by Other Means Economics, demographics, cultural, technological, and other factors that have affected the course of history.

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  #1  
Old 09 Oct 15, 01:22
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What is War ~ Concepts and Conditions

Prologue,

Looking over this Board, this Sub-Forum seems the most likely for a 'Generic' topic such as this. One would think that on a Board focused upon history, especially Military History, there might be an area for some discussion of conclusions. This seems like the most likely place, pending objections~actions of the Admins.

Second, this is not meant as an originator/OP dominated thread. I encourage any and all of any level in Historical Studies to input here.

I'll be presenting a couple of "starter" concepts here for seed development ...

WAR is aggressive application of violence~force by one group of sentient s/humans(Group Alpha ; Attacker ) against another group of sentients/humans (Group Delta ; Defenders ) whom decide to resist with countering aggression - armed resistance, etc. ...

Take away that "armed resistance" and you just have "annexation" such as Germany upon Czechoslovakia, c. 1937-1939 ...

So if Poland had not resisted, would we have had a start of a war (topic for n alternative thread ) ... ???

Back to track here ... First, Main Concept I'm throwing out for consideration is that the less the resistance the less the conflict level hence the less one has a "WAR" as an aggressive plundering.

Note those "concepts and conditions" mean that most "WARS" will have a wide range of trigger-points and Objectives ...

Engage ...
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  #2  
Old 09 Oct 15, 03:03
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I'm might point to the Indian Independance movement as an example of "MORE (passive) resistance, LESS (armed) conflict" straight off the bat.

If the Independance movement had armed themselves and tried to fight a traditional struggle, their movement would have recieved a military shock of powerful proportions.

This was the essential genius of Mohandis Ghandi. He was like a leprechaun on the shoulder of the British, constantly whispering into the ear of the powers that be, challenging accepted norms of exactly what it was to be powerful, and popping up when least expected after terms in prison, court appearences, etc.

He stayed several steps ahead of the oppositions mindset, and it truly was a mind.....set. Their preconceptions of what it meant to oppose something like their own rule blinded them to what MKG was actually doing at the time.

I just wish modern India would heed his lessons. They seem hell bent on becoming more western than westerners, but in an Indian way!


Christopher
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Old 09 Oct 15, 09:51
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I suppose you could define "war" as a passive resistance, but the conventional definition is the use of force. Passive resistance is generally regarded as a form of political movement.

War is active; Ghandi was a pacifist, and what bit the British was one of the earliest forms of PC'ism - the desire not to look bad in front of the world. Pacifism is only useful in situations involving relatively civilized Western governments. It never works on the Middle East or the Far East or Africa, where force simply rounds everyone up and makes them disappear.

The pen is not actually mightier than the sword. Remember that Ghandi was killed by an act of violence.

OTH, the Asians regard economics as a form of warfare, and it is more effective than Ghandi, IMHO.
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Old 17 Oct 15, 09:14
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True MM....Your points are valid.

But, look at this.....

This is Richard Pipes...

"Seen in perspective, Lenin owes his historical prominence not to his statesmanship, which was of a very inferior order, but to his generalship.

He was one of history's great conquerers: a distinction not vitiated by the fact that the country he conquered was is own*...(*Clausewitz had noted already in the early 1800s that it had become "impossible to obtain possession of a great country with a European civilization otherwise than by internal division":Carl von Clausewitz, The Campaign of 1812 in Russia(London, 1843,) p.184). Lenin's innovation, the reason for his success, was militarizing politics. He was the first head of state to treat politics, domestic as well as foreign, as warfare in the literal sense of the word, the objective of which was not to compel the enemy to submit, but to annihilate him.
This innovation gave Lenin significant advantages over his opponents, for whom warfare was either the antithesis of politics or else politics pursued by other means.
Militarizing politics and, as a collary, politicizing warfare, enabled him first to sieze power, and then to hold on to it. It did not help him build a viable social and political order. He grew so accustomed to storming on all "fronts" that even after asserting undisputed authority over Soviet russia and her dependencies, he had to invent ever new enemies to fight and destroy: now the Church, now the Socialist-Revolutionaries, now the intelligensia. This belligerence became a fixed feature of the Communist regime, culminating in Stalin's notorious "theory" that the closer Communism approached final victory the more intense grew the social conflicts- a notion that justified a bloodbath of unprecedented ferocity.
It caused the Soviet Union in the 60 years that followed Lenin's death to exhaust itself in entirely unecessary domestic and foreign conflicts that eviscerated her both spiritually and physically.

(PIPES, Richard, "Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime -1919-1924)

In a sense, Ghandi was taking Lenin's philosophy of war. and turning it on it's head.

He was seperating War and state policy, rather than running it together as Clausewitz tells us.....De-militarizing politics, in the name of achieving state policy.

Christopher

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Old 17 Oct 15, 15:58
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Buy the book...

http://www.jstor.org/stable/137443?s...n_tab_contents
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Old 17 Oct 15, 17:09
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What is war ? Back to von Clausewitz.
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Old 18 Oct 15, 07:34
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Originally Posted by BELGRAVE View Post
What is war ? Back to von Clausewitz.
Or Jomini
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Old 29 Oct 15, 01:16
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Wright is better at defining it. Jomini or Clauswitz are better at telling you how to fight it.
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Old 29 Oct 15, 02:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
Wright is better at defining it. Jomini or Clauswitz are better at telling you how to fight it.
Maybe. Karl von Clausewitz came up with the classic:" Der Kreig ist nichts als eine Fortsetzung des politischen Verkehrs mit Einmischung anderer Mittel".

"War is nothing but the continuation of politics with the admixture of other means".

Mind you ,this is perhaps less true now than it was in the 19th century.
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Old 02 Jan 16, 20:46
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Clausewitzian theory of war is primarily descriptive, not prescriptive. He is at considerable pains throughout the first elements of his treatise to define war’s very nature, and does so in a number of very nuanced ways which are not easily grasped. On War is a heavy going work and its misunderstanding has led to a considerable amount of further misunderstanding, effectively allowing a ‘strawmanning’ of CvC over the years, since Summers, actually, since well before, since Moltke II. (Actually, I think misrepresentation - the 'strawmanning' is the work of Van Crevald and John Keegan, who need not be mentioned in serious discussion of the matter.
Jomini is prescriptive and severely limited – his current utility in the academy lies only really as a foil for Clausewitz.
Thucydides, Sunzi, Clausewitz, although not the alpha and omega of strategic thought (including philosophy on war), said much of what actually needs to be said. For the rest, there’s Gray.
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Mind you ,this is perhaps less true now than it was in the 19th century.
I wouldn’t say so – without political direction, war isn’t war, it’s just fighting.
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Old 07 Jan 16, 17:08
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Hi

Like many over the years I've read countless books about theories, strategies and concepts to do with war, how their waged, won, lost, born, built-upon etc etc.
A lot of the time the people writing these often monumental tomes tie themselves up in gobbledygook terminology and academic pitch prefect presentation, yet lose sight of the actualities of war as experienced by those in it.
From my relatively lowly rank the lessons I was taught at various academies, seminars, conferences were worth absolute jacksh@t were faced with the realities of war, which are often very far removed from the sanitized classroom. Equally everyone in every military knows what each other academies teach their officers & men and then all sides spend time trying to devise C/M's or C/M C/M's etc. It becomes a bloody merry-go-round of drilled down theories etc that don't provide clarity of thought, but quite the opposite-unnecessary information overload.

Semi-rant over, please carry on

Regards

Andy
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Old 07 Jan 16, 18:42
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Originally Posted by Andy H View Post
Hi

Like many over the years I've read countless books about theories, strategies and concepts to do with war, how their waged, won, lost, born, built-upon etc etc.
A lot of the time the people writing these often monumental tomes tie themselves up in gobbledygook terminology and academic pitch prefect presentation, yet lose sight of the actualities of war as experienced by those in it.
From my relatively lowly rank the lessons I was taught at various academies, seminars, conferences were worth absolute jacksh@t were faced with the realities of war, which are often very far removed from the sanitized classroom. Equally everyone in every military knows what each other academies teach their officers & men and then all sides spend time trying to devise C/M's or C/M C/M's etc. It becomes a bloody merry-go-round of drilled down theories etc that don't provide clarity of thought, but quite the opposite-unnecessary information overload.

Semi-rant over, please carry on
Hi Andy,

That is part of the brilliance of Clausewitz: A soldier himself, he was at pains to set down a working, essential concept of what war was which was timeless and simple which would open itself up to simple understanding and yet stand up to academic rigour. During the Enlightenment there were a host of books providing mathematical treatments of how to win a battle, what angles to advance upon, etc. etc. and even some philosophers musing on what war was.

Clausewitz rubbished the lot, he wanted describe what war was at its core, and his result is simple and accurate a treatment of the parts and parcel as you'll find.
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Old 19 Jan 16, 04:43
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I like the Russian strategy after Napoleon captured Moscow, he sat there for 6 weeks waiting for them to come sign the surrender documents, BUT THEY NEVER DID, they just left him sitting there looking stupid, and when he realised they weren't going to play ball he ordered a wholesale retreat and was hit by the Russian winter on the march..
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Old 23 Aug 17, 19:26
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Maybe could be a separate thread, but placing here for now ...

The strongest armies in the world: 2017 edition

http://www.worldation.com/opinions/s...68d0e610fd.jpg
Starts at #41 and moves up from there.

Another click-bait from another source for comparision ...

The Top 20 Strongest Militaries In The World Are Not Necessarily Who You Think They Are

http://burstdaily.com/a/news/top-20-...utm_term=26061
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