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Clausewitz Condensed

War Continues Policy By Violent Means

Clausewitz defines war as "an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will." (75) One salient point emerging the On War is the political purpose of fighting. Armed combat, Clausewitz argues, is only the means to a political end, without which war becomes "pointless and devoid of sense." (605) Clausewitz repeatedly states that "war is nothing but the continuation of policy with other means." (69) Therefore, war should not be removed from its political context:

" ...[W]e also want to make it clear that war in itself does not suspend political intercourse or change it into something entirely different. In employs. The main lines along which military events progress, and to which they are restricted, are political lines that continue throughout war into the subsequent peace. How could it be otherwise? Do political relations between peoples and between their government stop when diplomatic notes are no longer exchanged? Is not war just another expression of their thoughts, another form of speech or writing? Its grammar, indeed, may be its own, but not its logic." (605)