Brett's War Theory

Superior Essays
Machiavelli, Kautilya, Clausewitz, and Jomini were all strategic thinkers who presented models for describing the nature and character of war. Each of them could certainly be credited with providing insights in statecraft and military power. Each also had insights limited by the context of the conflicts of their times. Subsequent theorists had the advantages of not only reading the works of their predecessors, but also the perspectives of understanding such areas as geopolitics, economic and cultural globalization, global powers, and nationalism. Two such theorists, B.H. Liddell Hart and Sir Julian Corbett are particularly relevant in explaining the nature and character of war in the 21st Century. Hart, in imparting a modern definition …show more content…
The many factors of this framework can all lead peoples and states to attempt indirect approaches to warfare as they test the new balances of power and the limits of national and trans-national influences, or begin to influence resources and activities on the global commons. The following case studies are a small sampling to illustrate the applicability of Hart’s and Corbett’s …show more content…
B.H. Liddell Hart’s approach was evident in both the adversaries. This was an attack by a non-state actor (arguably with state support) against a powerful sovereign state using an undeclared and limited war tactic. The attacks’ objectives (again, arguably) were to instill fear, likely to warn the West that new influences were being tested and expanded in south Asia and the Middle East to change the global balance of power and geopolitical realities. Osama Bin Laden’s network could not hope to conquer the United States in a total war but could potentially reach some of its objectives in the indirect approach surprise attacks that it used. The United States’ response could be described as total war against Afghanistan and later Iraq, but I would argue that the US still used a limited war response in that only limited Reserves were mobilized, US industries were not nationalized, and both strategic and tactical targeting was limited initially to national and military targets and then later only to insurgents. More importantly the United States was not trying to conquer to occupy territory, but to reestablish a better peace. Subsequent terrorist attacks against the United Kingdom, France, and elsewhere, were all similar in employing indirect approaches to attacking our civilian open society weaknesses essentially trying to send a message to the West to get out of

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    War Argumentative Analysis

    • 1613 Words
    • 7 Pages

    The first factor that makes powerful states struggle to achieve the intended political outcomes is military power restriction and the fear of escalation. To clarify, major military powers avoid the escalation to the extent that makes other major powers to interfere directly, or to use a destructive weapon like the atomic bomb. With the innovation of nuclear weapon the Clausewitz concept of “absolute war” is finally achievable. This will generate fear and will restraint powerful state from using maximum power to prevail. Thus the victory as a proper outcome to be expected of the use of American arms was intractable for the duration of the cold war, for the reason of the sensible fear of the escalation of nuclear holocaust.…

    • 1613 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Walt (1985) analyzed the variables that influence whether a state will ally to balance a threat or bandwagon with that threat. He notes that in the Cold War, “America’s knee-jerk opposition to leftist forces in the developing world” was contradictory in light of the weakness of ideology as an influence on alliance decisions (Walt, 1985, 40). The aggressive actions that were taken by the US derived from the perception of its role in the system, as well as its relation between allies. US policymakers such as Presidents Kennedy and Reagan expressed the belief that without a show of force and strength, allies could seek to align with others instead (Walt, 1985, 7). The process of interaction in context of the Cold War structure helped to reinforce the US position, and cause it to identify leftist states as an adversary.…

    • 1680 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Great Essays

    Counter Terrorism is state action used to “ inhibit terrorist attacks or curtail their consequences” (Sandler 78). The success of these operations relies on a cohesive exertion of power by the international community. Unilateral responses to terror often work against global welfare and strengthen the non state actor (Sandler 76). Unified mutual deterrence of terror stands to be the most effective way to eliminate ISIS (SU 31). Traditionally states are hesitant to work together towards an issue that does not directly affect their population.…

    • 1688 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Great Essays

    Interdependence Theory

    • 1968 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Two great books that exemplify such theories are “The Tragedy of Great Powers” by John J. Mearsheimer and “Power and Interdependence” by Robert O. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye Jr. These books explain theoretical tools by showcasing how such tools explain state behavior. As the world continues to evolve scholars and theorist attempt to change and…

    • 1968 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    This significantly increases the possibility of violating the jus in bello proportionality rule. Globalization, diffusion of technology, and demographic shifts are causing complexity and rapid change in today’s strategic environment. Some non-state organizations like VEOs are taking advantage of those trends to propagate their destructive ideologies, using violence and terror as a primary means of power to achieve their objectives. Therefore, the United States National Military Strategy recognizes them as one of the primary threats to the transregional security, thus posing the immediate threat to national interests. Today, the United States and its allies and partners are fighting a war against those organizations in multiple regions.…

    • 2009 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The similarities between warfare and elections is what enables many of the tactics in the art of war to seamlessly be used in a different arena. How the two campaigns were able to strategized with their assessment of themselves, their opponent and the environment in consideration, dictated the results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Future campaigns would be wise to learn from what these respective campaigns did correctly, to learn from their mistakes and to attempt to adhere to some of the major themes in The Art of War if they want to have the best chance of emerging…

    • 1039 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    It means that understanding of anarchic system would be in all beginnings to deal with global issues. She has also borrowed some ideas from notable scholars in this field to stress the gravity of anarchy for explaining the world politics. In her writing, prominent theorists, such as Kenneth Waltz and Robert Keohane who suggested each different approach to see international relations, have pointed out that the essence of anarchic system could be explicated by game theories, for example, the Stag game and the Prison’s Dilemma. The more important thing here is that their analyses of anarchy’s characteristic are in line with enduring pursuit of either national or common…

    • 2374 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Clausewitz: Purpose Of War

    • 1183 Words
    • 5 Pages

    According to Clausewitz book 1 chapter 1, On War there are a few purpose of war. Where is for political objectives, war is a mere continuation of policy by other means, Utmost use of force, military objectives and utmost exertion of powers. The idea that Clausewitz outlined to explain were useful until today. There are many advantage that military todays can use from a very talented leader like Clausewitz. Political Objective The political object, as the original motive of the war, will be the standard for determining the two purposes of the armed forces, as well as the number of attempts to be made .…

    • 1183 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    During the time of Frederick, the state played a central role in building a strong military to exercise power and control. However, Clausewitz introduced the concept of the trinity which includes new elements in the character of warfare. Clausewitz suggested that warfare is characterized by violence/emotion, uncertainty and reason. This nature involves human and environmental issues such as reason, emotion, and technology in policy implementation on issues related to war. Following this idea, the 19th century approach introduced the human elements of war, suggesting that the state should be involved in a diplomatic and democratic process of seeking the people’s ideas and consent on war based on the prevailing economic, environmental, social and political…

    • 1182 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Cause Of War Analysis

    • 1050 Words
    • 4 Pages

    With no state willing to back Iraq militarily, the United States was free to attack Iraq without fear of a large scale response” (Goldstein & Peevehouse 2014). This statement attributes to the fact that the U.S. having a powerful globally military no other state nation wanted to aid Iraq militarily due to the fear of opposing the U.S. and have to deal with the U.S. militarily. Such actions by an opposing state might reflect unfavorable for that state due to the possibility of future alliances in which they would want to enlist the U.S support to aid in some crises which could very well be terrorism. The reluctance of other states to become involved allowed the U.S. to invade Iraq on its own terms to win the war on…

    • 1050 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays