"War in the 21st Century"

War: In the 21st Century


War/conflicts today - understanding the many new dimensions of - appropriate and prompt response to each such threat.

Quotations for consideration:

  • “No one starts a war - or rather, no one in his senses ought to do so without first being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve by that war and how he intends to conduct it.” - Carl Von Clausewitz .
  • “Defence is always a stronger form of fighting than attack ‘for the force of an attack gradually diminishes… absolute war requires the primacy of politics - the subordination of the means of warfare to the ends of foreign policy.” - Carl Von Clausewitz .
  • “The military don’t start wars. Politicians start war.” - William West Moreland .
  • “If you wage war, do it energetically and with severity. This is the only way to make it shorter, and consequently less inhuman.” Napoleon Bonaparte
  • “Force is only justifiable in extremes, when we have the upper hand, justice is preferable” - Napoleon Bonaparte .
  • War is often described as “an extension of diplomacy by other means”, or to quote Bevin Alexander - “War is essentially a Political act to secure an aim… and is a Military act only to the extent that Military Forces are needed to carry out a Nation’s Political goal”.
  • “In war there is no prize for runners up.” - General Omar Bradley .

Key Concepts:

  1. The nature of War, and the methods of fighting it in the 21st Century, has undergone major changes from that in the previous century, and such changes need to be well understood and adapted to.
  2. The organization and operations of our Military Forces today, are mostly as for WW-II times and not as required for this the 21st Century.
  3. First seek ways and means of ensuring better security in ways beyond the purely Military.
  4. Always ‘Begin’ with the ‘End’ in mind.

War in the 21st Century :

We need to clearly understand the circumstances in which we are required to operate in this the 21st Century and the nature of operations we will be involved in and then strive to reorganize our Military so as to best meet the requirements. The nature of future operations is what we will consider here, the Organization of the Forces as may be required there-for we can consider separately. (See “War - Organizing for, in the 21st Century”)

The aim of Military action in modern warfare, said Clausewitz, - “Is to destroy the enemy’s ability to think, decide and act”. The mechanics of warfare depend heavily on cooperation. Without proper planning, quick and reliable communication and broad based coordination, an Army would cease to be a Military Force. The ‘centre of gravity’ - which Clausewitz describes as the situation, where the outcome of the campaign or war is ultimately decided - Is the network of decision makers, machines and infrastructure that animates a Military Force. Wars are therefore best won not by destroying the enemy, but by destroying their


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Excellent Article

Dear Rahul, Thanks for your review.Do read the other articles too. Tuhin Uncle
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