Carl Von Clauseewitz Analysis

749 Words 3 Pages
When looking at the works of both Carl von Clausewitz and John Boyd, there are many points of similarity and one particular difference. The point of similarity with the most common threads is that of the ever-changing and dynamic nature of war. This includes Clausewitz’s ‘Trinity’ and Boyds ‘OODA loop’ cycle, particularly the ‘Orient’ phase. The main point on which they differ is Clausewitz perceiving defense as the main focus as opposed to Boyd’s inherent bias toward the offense. The central point of both Clausewitz and Boyd’s teachings is the thread in which they share the most similarities; their analysis of the dynamic and ever changing nature of war. Clausewitz used his ‘Trinity’ to describe this, Boyd his ‘OODA loop’. For Clausewitz, …show more content…
Clausewitz stated in ‘On War’ that “…As we shall show, defense is a greater form of fighting than attack.” Further, Clausewitz detailed “…defense over attack often destroys the effect of polarity, and this explains the suspension of military action.” Both of these observations are in direct conflict to Boyd’s teachings. The main theory and intent behind Boyd’s ‘OODA loop’ is that a commander needs to use this decision cycle to try and act in a faster manner than his adversary. He felt that the individual who can act on this cycle faster will create an advantage of “…variety, rapidity, harmony, and initiative” and ultimately lead to military victory. An aggressive bias for action in battlefield decision-making is, by nature, an inherently offensive concept used to confuse and disorient your enemy, and therefore in stark contrast to Clausewitz’s defensive focus and ”..suspension of military action”. In particular relation to today’s Marine Corps warfighting doctrine, Boyd’s offensive theory is the more relevant of the two as it can be found interlaced throughout MCDP-1, chiefly within “Chapter 2: The Theory of War” where the bias for offense can be found within the sections on ‘Initiative and Response’, ‘Surprise and Boldness’, and is explicitly referenced within the ‘Speed and Focus’ discussion of

Related Documents