This podcast is the first episode of a War Room special series featuring some of history’s greatest strategists. Featured is Carl von Clausewitz, famed for his book On War (Vom Kriege) which is a staple of professional military education in the U.S. and many partner nations. This is remarkable given that the original text of On War is an unfinished manuscript published posthumously by his wife Marie. Clausewitz scholar Vanya Eftimova Bellinger and War Room podcast editor Jacqueline Whitt explore the book’s major theses and implications they present for modern scholars and practitioners of strategy.
This is the biggest idea. . . . There is no cookbook [of] how to wage war. There is no formula, people. There is no secret out there. Clausewitz believed that war is such a complex activity, shaped by its own time and circumstances, depending on a thousand little details, which can go wrong. And also on individuals, who can also act irrationally.
Vanya Eftimova Bellinger is Professor of Clausewitz Studies at the U.S. Army War College and Jacqueline Whitt is Professor of Strategy at the U.S. Army War College. The views expressed in this podcast are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense.
Featured Image: 1807, Friedland by Ernst Meissonier (French, Lyons 1815-1891 Paris)
Image Credit: Gift of Henry Hilton, 1887 / Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (public domain)
Posts in the “Great Strategists” series:
- SUN TZU AND THE ART OF WAR — GREAT STRATEGISTS (EPISODE 2)
- KAUTILYA, THE ARTHASHASTRA, AND ANCIENT REALISM — GREAT STRATEGISTS (EPISODE 3)
- MAHAN AND SEA POWER — GREAT STRATEGISTS (EPISODE 4)
- THREE PIONEERS OF AIRPOWER — GREAT STRATEGISTS
- JOHN BOYD AND THE “OODA” LOOP (GREAT STRATEGISTS)
- JOHN WARDEN AND THE ENEMY AS A SYSTEM (GREAT STRATEGISTS)
- BEYOND THUCYDIDES: HERODOTUS, XENOPHON & UNDERSTANDING WAR (GREAT STRATEGISTS)
- THE NATURE AND CHARACTER OF WAR — THUCYDIDES (GREAT STRATEGISTS)
- A SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO WAR? ANTOINE-HENRI JOMINI (GREAT STRATEGISTS)