Accession Number:

ADA523442

Title:

Defining War in 21st Century America

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2010-05-01

Pagination or Media Count:

57.0

Abstract:

It is dangerous to assume that in todays operating environment a universally accepted definition of what war is, and what war is not, is readily available. While most Soldiers and policy makers claim to know war, knowing it when they see it is a precarious and superficial approach. This monograph provides a framework for understanding why a comprehensive definition of war is so difficult for America to maintain, and so necessary in preparing for future conflict. The theories of Carl von Clausewitz are revisited in the context of the definition of war provided by Joint Publication 1 JP-1, Doctrine of the Armed Forces of the United States. This monograph demonstrates the inadequacy of the JP-1 definition and the superficiality of applying Clausewitzian theory to a poorly structured definition. By analyzing the reason why Clausewitz is so conspicuously present at the beginning of the U.S. militarys capstone doctrinal document, it becomes possible to appreciate the difficulty of incorporating his theory into modern decision making. The monograph utilizes Clausewitzian theory to extract a definition of war that attempts to be at once both comprehensive and comprehensible. The author recommends that the U.S. military incorporate a better structure for defining war. The education of both military and civilian leaders ultimately requires an educational process based on a definition anchored in proven theory instead of unproven rhetoric.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE