On Politics – Building Upon Clausewitzian Theory

  • Mr. Douglas A. Boerman

The use of Clausewitzian-based limited war strategies have increased the frequency for United States policy makers to use war as a political tool while delivering less effective results. Clausewitz left indications in his writing that suggest he was still deliberating aspects of his theory, in particular the strict reliance upon force-on-force strategies. This paper provides analysis on how successful the United States military has been in delivering desired political results through war both before and after it began its strict adherence to limited war strategies. The results show that the adoption of limited war strategies coincides with increased frequency and decreased effectiveness at applying war as a political tool. The paper then provides an international politics framework that might be applied to enhance the development of grand strategic thinking. Based upon the assessment findings, recommendations are made to expand the strategic options available to military planners. Finally, the ongoing war against radical Islamic terror is used as a case study for the application of the political model