An Analytical View of Concept and Dimensions of War in Carl Von Clausewitz’s Thought

Document Type : Original Article


War and war-related concepts constitute a considerable portion of key words in political literature and strategic-security studies. Apart from its theoretical significance, war is a palpable term for the individuals and political players. It is a serious threat to humanity that has been paid due attention in the course of history by the political philosophers, strategists and even ordinary people as a highly challenging social phenomenon. Therefore, war has always imposed and will always impose its impact on the ordinary life of people. Many thinkers have written on war thus far, but few of them like Tzu, Jomini, Hart and Carl von Clausewitz have managed to introduce a novel discussion on war and create outstanding work on military issues. Clausewitz, among them, introduced warfare in a quite new form in his magnum opus “On War” to create an unrivaled work on one hand, and exert influence on strategic thought on warfare on the other hand. In his book, he bestowed a futuristic and comprehensive insight on warfare issues upon political scientists. Clausewitz’s influence and perspicacity on war have introduced his thought as the completing piece of the puzzle on nature of war and as a great help to the military and political analysts. As a key member of continental school of military thought, Clausewitz could introduce to and redefine new terms such as friction, strategy, center of gravity, opportunity and chance in the military literature and promote popular war in a sense. His reinforced attitude toward war is an inseparable trinity of enmity, chance and subordination. This paper intends to study the concept and dimensions of war in Clausewitz’s doctrines.