Searching for the Stronger Form of War in the 20th Century: The Defense or the Offense
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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A key theoretical proposition offered by Clausewitz in On War was that the defense was the stronger form of war over the offense. Members of the military, theorists, and historians have intermittently grappled with this proposition and have tended to reach conclusions flawed by poor analytic methodology or by the manipulation of Clausewitzian criteria. One would be distorting the very essence of Clausewitz to suggest one form of war always maintained an advantage over the other. Even when discussing the offense and defense Clausewitz recognized that the relationship of one to the other was situationally dependent. The purpose of this study is not to redefine, manipulate, or interpret any new criteria to determine which form of warfare is the stronger but rather to use the model developed by Clausewitz which he utilized to support his thesis in favor of the defense and find if it is applicable to 20 century tactical warfare. Keywords Surprise, Terrain, Concentic attack, Initiative, Waiting time, Strategies.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics