Clausewitz and Strategy in the Missile Age: A Critique of Bernard Brodie's Strategic Thought
NATIONAL WAR COLL WASHINGTON DC
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In the normal course of things it is modern commentators that critique their predecessors. In the following pages I will turn this idea on its head by critically reviewing the strategic thought of Bernard Brodie 1910-1978 using the strategist thought of Carl von Clausewitz 1710-1831 as the basis for my critique . Specifically, I propose to compare their thought using four major criteria as a framework. These criteria include what is war why employ military power when, or under what conditions should military power by employed and how should military power be used. To put this effort in proper perspective it is necessary first to say a few words about the lives and times of these two military thinkers. Clausewitz lived his life over a hundred years before the advent of nuclear weapons. he was a professional military officer for most of his life. He knew war at first hand. Brodie, by contrast, was an academic. He never wore a uniform nor did he know from direct personnel experience about the horrors of war. He was, however, associated throughout his life with military institutions. He was, in fact, a member of the faculty that opened the National War College in 1946.
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