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Clausewitz Condensed

Policymakers Shape Military Strategy

Clausewitz illustrates how political leaders and their policies can have a profound impact on the operational conduct of a war. He sums up the process as follows:

" No one starts a war--or rather, no one in his sense 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. The former is its political purpose; the latter its operational objective. This is the governing principle which will set its course, prescribe the scale of means and effort which is required, and make its influence felt throughout down to the smallest operational detail." (579)