To What Extent Has On War Rendered Nuclear Weapons Irrelevant Politics Essay

2945 words - 12 pages

To what extent have nuclear weapons rendered On War irrelevant?
Introduction
Prussian general, Carl Von Clausewitz’s doctrine ‘On War’ was first published in 1832 and yet scholars today argue ‘Clausewitz’s theory of war is as timeless as the phenomenon of war’ (ref). Thus, despite the development of nuclear weaponry, Clausewitzian thought remains relevant and hence, timeless. However, 113 years after Clausewitz published his work came the first testing of a nuclear bomb in New Mexico, America. This marked the ‘machine age of warfare’ (Stalin, 1947, 4), followed by the ‘nuclear’ World War 2 and is said to have created a paradigm shift in the theory of war and how international relations is approached (Handel 1986: 12). For this reason, some scholars such as Martin Van Creveld have rendered ‘On War’ irrelevant and ‘out of date’ (van Creveld, 1951, 58). Whilst parts of ‘On War’ can be considered obsolete, ultimately, it is still seen as the most complete and comprehensive work on the theory of war. Fundamentally, the nature of war has not changed for hundreds of years, and thus shows how his work can still be used in modern day warfare and political conflict. This essay will be argued in three parts to determine the relevance of Clausewitz’s ‘On War’; firstly I will analyse Clausewitz’s key war and political theories, including his ‘trinity’ and his theory of war being a ‘continuation of political intercourse’ and consider to what extent such theories hold relevance to political and modern war strategy. Next I will apply such theories to modern warfare case studies such as the Vietnam War and Iraqi war in which nuclear weapons have a presence, in order to assess the true relevance of Clausewitz war theory. Lastly, I will argue for Clausewitz relevance in terms of his writing style, which has led to a variety of interpretations of his theories on the battlefield and in a boardroom. Alongside his writing style, I will judge the extent of relevance through comparing his work to similar theories.
Clausewitz basic concept of war and how it fits into the Nuclear Age
The first theory in Clausewitz’s ‘On War’, which still holds relevance to modern nuclear warfare, is his ‘trinity’ concept. Despite the increasing use of technology such as nuclear weaponry in wars, the fundamental nature of war remains the same as it was when Clausewitz was writing on the Napoleonic wars. In Book 1, chapter 1, Clausewitz frames his concept of trinity to encompass three interlinking components involving violence and passion – taking the form of people and society, uncertainty and chance – regarding the commanders and military, and political policy – which is to do with the government (Clausewitz 1832 30). The significance and vitality of this trinity is emphasised by Clausewitz’s allegation that any theory which ignores one of the three components or attempts to create an ‘arbitrary relationship between them’ would be essentially be worthless and an unsound theory of the...

Find Another Essay On To what extent has On War rendered nuclear weapons irrelevant - politics - essay

To What Extent Has the Digital Age Revolutionized Learning?

2284 words - 10 pages grappling with is how this new found technology is impacting the way people live, learn and work. It is this particular state of affairs that forms the basis for this essay. For purposes of coherence, the essay will focus more on the characteristic of learning, but will also incorporate living and work life in instances where they interrelate. To what extent has the digital age revolutionized learning? Has this transformation been negative or

To What Extent has the Bedroom Tax Affected People

2329 words - 9 pages To What Extent has the Bedroom Tax Affected People Britain is currently undergoing the biggest overhaul of the welfare system since its introduction. The welfare system was first established with the assurance that people less fortunate would be able to have a standard of living that would ensure equality. But the recent amendments brought into place by the current government’s legislations may see the biggest divide between rich and poor

To what extent has Arno Mayer (historian) understood the 'Holocaust'?

2799 words - 11 pages To what extent has Arno Mayer understood the 'Holocaust'?As the sun prepares to set on yet another century of humanity, it is a time to reflect on the hallmarks that have changed our society, either through good or bad. Unfortunately, the event, that produced the greatest change, was also the darkest in our brief history. This event was the 'Holocaust.' Historians, today, continue to puzzle at its origins and have formulated several theories in

To what extent was World War I a total war?

1081 words - 5 pages The Great War took place during 1914 to 1918, it was a global war where the world fought the triple Alliance, which was made up of Austria-Hungary, Germany and Italy. It was one of the first times in history where every resource and weapon was used against an opposing nation. It completely fulfilled all aspects of a total war, as all civilians, both men and women, were affected by the on-going warfare. Specifically in Britain, where everybody

To what extent did the Spanish Civil war represent a microcosm of the polarization of European politics between the right and the left?

1987 words - 8 pages Franco's forces and their German and Italian allies. However, heroism was not enough, material help was also needed. Due to the constraints imposed upon them by the non-intervention committee, they would eventually capitulate just months before the politics which had engendered this war would give rise to a second world war.ConclusionIn this essay I hope I have shown the extent to which the Spanish civil war represented the polarization of

The Unparalleled Effect of Nuclear Technologies and Politics on the Outcome of the Cold War

1349 words - 5 pages ceased to exist. The United States had won the Cold War without ever firing a direct shot at its powerful adversary. From the start of the rivalry between these two great countries, the politics and technologies of nuclear weapons were defining factors. They were what made the Cold War cold. They were what kept the world from another world war. Their stockpiling and the financial cost associated with that is what eventually lead to the downfall

The Impact of Limiting Nuclear Weapons during The Cold War

1846 words - 7 pages What was the Effect of Limiting Nuclear Weapons during The Cold War? A. Plan of Investigation The investigation assesses the effect of limiting nuclear weapons during the Cold War. In order to evaluate its significance, the investigation evaluates the role of Détente and the Strategic Arms Limitation Talk during the Cold War. These causes are investigated by the SALT process, Strategic Defense Initiative, the role of Détente policy and

To what extent should we embrace nationalism? To what extent has nationalism been positive throughout the world?

1824 words - 7 pages TO WHAT EXTENT IS NATIONALISM A POSITIVE FORCE?Nationalism has been viewed as both a positive and a negative force, and both positions have been demonstrated today and throughout history. It is the biggest social and political force of the world. It unifies people and makes them stronger. It can lead to a stable economy, patriotism and even ultranationalism. But, one could argue that all these things, especially ultranationalism have had bad

"To what extent was the Irish Civil War a result of the Anglo Irish Treaty" - History Class - Essay

1064 words - 5 pages To what extent was the Anglo-Irish Treaty responsible for the Irish Civil War? The Irish Civil War occurred following the signing of a treaty between Sinn Fein and the British government. The Anglo-Irish Agreement brought the Irish War of Independence to an end and establihsed the Irish Free State.. The civil war caused a split in the nationalist movement between those who supported the Treaty with Britain and those who were opposed. It created

To What extent did the US escalate the Cold war?

2211 words - 9 pages various techniques such as acquiring new weapons, surveillance weapons, the development of and acquiring new techniques and strategies, media and propaganda, and above all, a competition in each and everything. Over the years it's been scrutinized and debated as to actually who was the reason behind the escalation. Was the U.S behind what is termed the "Domino Effect" in the war, or was it the USSR? Looking over what the historians say, some of my own

To what extent was the impact of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War on the GMD regime responsible for CCP’s victory?

1905 words - 8 pages To what extent was the impact of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War on the GMD regime responsible for CCP's victory?In July 7 1937, Sino-Japanese hostilities were initiated by the Marco Polo Bridge Incident and lasted 8 years until formal surrender by the Japanese in September 1945. Immediately after war, the GMD turned their attention to resisting the CCP. After four years of full scale civil war, on October 1 1949, Mao Zedong proclaimed the birth of

Similar Essays

War And Nuclear Weapons Essay

1052 words - 5 pages War. War never changes. Since the dawn of time, man has killed for the sake of their territory and their beliefs. Weapons evolved along side the intelligence of man giving people more ways to kill one another with quicker methods. When a neutron is split from a proton in the nucleus of an atom it causes an atomic blast. Over time these blasts have grown larger and stronger to the point where they could lead to the end of the world. Nuclear

To What Extent Are Judges Both Independent And Neutral In Uk Politics? Government And Politics Essay

1068 words - 5 pages up in 2006. These comprise of senior members of those courts and representatives. This therefore shows that the Judges are selected exclusive of the government. That being said, the Lord Chancellor does still have a say in the selection of the judicial role, and this creates a lack of independency as the Prime Minister has a final veto on such appointments (from advice from the Lord Chancellor). This could be seen as problematic as it combines

Reaons To Abolish Nuclear Weapons Essay

1565 words - 6 pages prevalent they are, “…there is a 20% per year probability of nuclear weapons being used on a U. S. or European city” (Krieger 10). In order to prevent this from happening again, nuclear weapons must be removed from the picture, for with the absence of nuclear weapons, any accidents that would end up causing nuclear war would become totally avoidable and nonexistent. “Critics say that hair-trigger alert makes it possible that an exchange of missiles

Nuclear Weapons A Possible End To Civilization

3011 words - 12 pages about the Arms Race since World War II in order to be able to understand how this technology begins. The Arms Race is a continuous race among many nations to make and improve weapons in a struggle to maintain and/or gain power. The United States and the Soviet Union are two key players in this race. These two major nuclear weapons nations see one another as a reason and a justification for spending an enormous amount of money and resources on