Naval War College Review


Norman H. Gibbs


Clausewitz was deeply concerned with why men fight, what it is that makes wars emerge and develop as they do, and what general factors contribute to victory and defeat. However, the writing and discussion about Clausewitz 's book On War which have taken place during the past 30 years or so have concentrated largely on his argument that "war is an extension of policy by other means. " It is undoubtedly an argument basic to his whole concept of the nature of wars that actually occur as distinct from any theoretical concept of war: or, to use his own words, it is an argument which helps explain the contrast between real war on the one hand and absolute or ideal war on the other.