Clausewitz on Strategy: Inspiration and Insight from a Master Strategist


From Clausewitz on Strategy . . . On strategic genius 'If the mind is to survive this constant battle with the unexpected, two qualities are indispensable: first, an intellect that even in this moment of intense darkness retains some trace of the inner light that will lead it to the truth, and second, the courage to go where that faint light leads.' On the role of strategic theory '. . . all principles, rules, and methods increasingly lack universality and absolute truth the moment they become a positive doctrine. They are there to present themselves for use. Judgment must always be free to determine whether or not they are suitable. Criticism must never use these results of theory as laws and standards, but only as a person acting in war should also do: as aids to judgment.' On risk 'It is not true that we should always choose the case with the least uncertainty. That would be a terrible mistake, as all of our theoretical deliberations show. There are instances in which the most daring course of action is the wisest choice.' On leadership qualities 'The further we go up the chain of command, the more necessary it becomes for boldness to go hand in hand with the superior mind . . .' On strategy 'Everything in strategy is very simple, but that does not make everything easy.'

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 2001


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