Accession Number:

ADA207262

Title:

Clausewitz and the Iran-Iraq War

Descriptive Note:

Study project

Corporate Author:

ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1989-03-06

Pagination or Media Count:

66.0

Abstract:

During the 1980s there has been a resurgence of interest in On War, Clausewitz famous study of warfare. His work has been used extensively in the developing study of operational art. At the same time, the longest mid- intensity war in modern history has raged between Iran and Iraq. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the conduct of the Iran-Iraq conflict using concepts found in On War, and, in so doing, to assess the continuing validity of using Clausewitz as a conceptual framework for the study of warfare. The paper provides a brief overview of the conflict, to include discussion of its causes and the manner in which the land, sea, and air campaigns were fought. It then presents an analysis using Clausewitzian principles related to intelligence, culminating points, political-military relations, concentration of force, primacy of the defense, center of gravity, and role of the commander and the military. The paper discusses how failure of both sides to apply the concepts effected the course of events and unnecessarily prolonged the conflict. Finally, the paper discusses lessons learned from the Iran-Iraq war which the U.S. Army must consider if called upon to fight in the Middle East.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE