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Über dieses Buch

This book presents a detailed discussion of Clausewitz's principal lines of thought and methods of implementation. It elaborates on his main objective of laying a foundation for the education of up-and-coming creative, knowledgeable and experienced future leaders. The book encourages reflection and study in strategic thinking in order to transform knowledge into genuine capability.

The book explores the question of what a twenty-first-century decision-maker can learn from these strategic lines of thought. It bridges the gap between philosophical theory and strategic interaction in conflicts with an equal opponent. Readers learn to understand and employ the clash of wills, attack and defence, and friction, and in essence the necessary virtues of a strategic commander.

The findings presented help to identify the essential features in complex decision-making situations and developing possible courses of strategic action from a holistic standpoint. As such, the book is a must read for strategists, business practitioners, and scholars of political leadership and management interested in a better understanding of strategy and decision-making.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
Souchon presents select lines of thought and insights of Clausewitz’s theory and methods of implementation to improve the strategic culture in the twenty-first Century. This book pursues three objectives: The First is to present Clausewitz’s findings strictly based on his original work “Vom Kriege” (On War) from a present-minded perspective, interpret them in depth and highlight their timeless significance for understanding social conflicts. The Second is to expose the potential of the main elements in Clausewitz’s work and to show a methodology and depth of thought associated with strategic assessments in the twenty-first Century. The Third is to clarify whether these elements help in forming and implementing strategies and improving strategic culture as a whole. Souchon argues that this is the only appropriate approach to fathom the phenomena of twenty-first Century wars.
Lennart Souchon

Chapter 2. Terminology

Abstract
Souchon focus is on the essence of Clausewitz’s theory, and the conclusions drawn for conflicts in the twenty-first century, it also counters any apologetic or doctrinaire glorification or unreflected criticism. Souchon shows that the well-known English translation of Clausewitz’s book by Howard and Paret title On War contains many inaccuracies. These liberal translations lead to ambiguities, misunderstandings and misinterpretations. The key terminology of Clausewitz’s original German book get new interpreted from today’s point of view. This is necessary in order to allow a basic understanding to be established of the essence of Clausewitz’s writings, which date from the early nineteenth century. A thoughtful reflection of the key terminology—including their historical background—is presented in this chapter.
Lennart Souchon

Chapter 3. The Belligerent Genesis of Europe

Abstract
Souchon outlines the phenomenon of war and politics in the history of Clausewitz’s Europe. He emphasizes the motives for and causes of war during this period and examines the role of historical field commanders and events. Souchon stresses the major theoretical works of Carl von Clausewitz and Antoine-Henri Jomini on how to conduct war and especially what theoretical and practical considerations have to be done to be successful. Souchon transfers these insights to the twenty-first century, where mass-army wars between countries fighting against a clearly identified enemy have been replaced by hybrid wars i.e. fighting against terrorist enemies. This calls for a holistic approach for commanders to be educated commanders in strategic thinking and the method of waging war.
Lennart Souchon

Chapter 4. Prussia, Clausewitz and the Interpretation of His Works

Abstract
Souchon shows that the use of Clausewitz’s theory in strategic analyses of wars in the twenty-first century demands two steps to be taken to provide the necessary knowledge: The first one, involves the portrayal of the situation in Prussia at the beginning of the nineteenth Century, the life and work of Carl von Clausewitz in the light of his days and including the belligerent and philosophical milieus in which he socialises. This secondly, by an in-depth discussion of three interpretations of Clausewitz’s theory: (a) Clausewitz from the historical perspective, (b) as scholar of military science and (c) the holistic interpretation of war with the theory of Clausewitz. It is primarily, the third interpretation, related to the present, that forms a general basis for strategic thinking in the future.
Lennart Souchon

Chapter 5. On War: Basic Features

Abstract
Souchon emphasises that the basic features of Clausewitz’s theory are of pre-eminent importance for strategists. He focuses on what are the known and most frequently quoted characteristics and pith of On War from the strategy point of view: The Fascinating Trinity, the Appropriateness of Means, the relation between Purpose, Objective and Means, the Frictions, Probabilities and Chance as well as the true Moral Quality of the Commander and the Virtues of the Army. The Fascinating Trinity is designed to achieve an abstract relationship between the philosophical, generic and real essence of war. It is the synthesis or capstone of Clausewitz’s entire intellectual work on the theory of war and the result of a dichotomous process that combines theory (essence) and action (manifestation) of abstract and real war. Souchon argues that with the inclusion of the important moral aspects Clausewitz sets high standards for the character and quality of commanders that still hold in today’s world.
Lennart Souchon

Chapter 6. On War: Individual Aspects

Abstract
Souchon argues in this chapter, that the frequently quoted sentence that war is a continuation of policy is only meaningful if the close dialogue between the government and the commander is established and the intention of the political leader do not clash with the quantities and quality of the means provided and the degree of effort made in the course of a conflict. However, there are important individual aspects in the book On War that must be understood to fill the gap between Clausewitz’s line of thought and the formulation of a strategy in the twenty-first century. Souchon carefully inspects the structure and method of presentation of the book On War and explains the elementary notions that constitute the key building blocks of Clausewitz’s theory.
Lennart Souchon

Chapter 7. War in the Twenty-First Century

Abstract
Souchon describes the fundamental change in the security risks and the objectives, intensities and results of the conflicts in today’s world. Wars undergo a process of tectonic decentralisation and globalisation. In the twenty-first century combinations of Islamist hyperterrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, regional wars, state failure, mass migration and organised crime that are intensified by cyberspace attacks and climate change are forcing the Western community to reassess all strategic approaches thoroughly. The powerful rise of China, the resurrection of Russia, new nuclear states and global operating terrorist forces increase the challenges in the post-Cold War order. In this chapter the striking deficits in coping with conflicts in the twenty-first century are identified and a fundamental change in strategic thinking will be provided.
Lennart Souchon

Chapter 8. Exemplary Implementation of Clausewitz’s Theory and Strategy Consulting

Abstract
Souchon applies the interpretation of Clausewitz’s war theory to the situations in a selection of wars in the twenty-first century. His basic idea is to use the Fascinating Trinity to initially evaluate key parties in a conflict, compare their individual strength and weaknesses and developing adequate strategies are shown to be assisting substantially in reforming strategic assessments of current conflicts. Five scenarios of historical events such as the war in Afghanistan, 2003 war in Iraq, 2006 war in Lebanon and the incident on the USS Vincennes as well as Operation ANACONDA in Afghanistan in 2002 are analysed as examples of how the pith of Clausewitz’s lines of thought can be applied. Finally, a methodological approach to government-level strategy consulting is presented to substantiate this statement.
Lennart Souchon

Chapter 9. Epilogue

Abstract
This book discovers the complexity of Clausewitz’s work and operationalises his findings with regard to the challenges in the twenty-first century in a credible and comprehensible way. The instrumentalisation of Clausewitz’s theory to analyse conflicts in the twenty-first century and to develop strategies is uniquely presented in this chapter. This book is intended to bridge the gap between findings of a strategic theorist in the early nineteenth century and strategy of our times and to encourage reflection and study in strategic thinking in order to transform knowledge into genuine capability. Souchon presents an intellectual foundation for a strategy culture in the twenty-first century and offers a libretto that educates the minds of up-and-coming creative, knowledgeable and experienced future strategic leaders.
Lennart Souchon

Backmatter

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