Toward a Nonlinear Theory of War: Changing the Root Metaphor
NATIONAL WAR COLL WASHINGTON DC
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The beginning of the l9th Century was a time of profound upheaval. The French Revolution unleashed the power of a people numerous and armed upon the nations of Europe. Napoleon harnessed that power to the nascent Scientific, Industrial, and Agricultural Revolutions and created a new mode of warfare. During and immediately after the Napoleonic Wars, political and military thinkers of all nations and positions faced the challenge of understanding and adapting to Napoleons methods. Out of the ranks emerged two seminal thinkers whose theories remain influential almost 200 years later - Antoine Henri Jomini and Carl von Clausewitz. As the quotes above illustrate, they approached the analysis of military success from strikingly different frames of reference. And it is an irony of history that while Clausewitzs work is still studied almost universally, it is the mostly-ignored Jomini whos influence, while quite subtle, is more pervasive Jomini essentially won the battle for posterity because his frame of reference, and thus his methodology and conclusions, was more attuned to the mode of thinking dominant in both his time and the present.
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics