He mentions heraclites and his idea of polemos gr

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Unformatted text preview: g the point that Clausewitz made about a close interdependence between wars and the societies that wage them, so that a change in the society and its policy will necessarily cause a change in the nature of war. Moreover, in the part devoted to tactical operations in the mountains, he clearly showed that an infinitely smaller force can confront and even halt a larger force in guerrilla-like warfare. The soldiers’ motivation and their superior knowledge of the terrain were clear advantages, as predicted by Clausewitz, both in Vietnam and Afghanistan. Bassford (1993) gives yet another counterargument to van Creveld, when he notices that although the conduct of the Persian Gulf War may have been very Jominian in nature, i.e. a superior military force secured victory, the post war period of reconstruction or indeed its failure, is very reminiscent of the Clausewitzian insistence on developing a post-war strategy before embarking on a war. 3. Philosophy and the concept of ‘war’ Pierre Hassner3 has devoted four essays to the nature of war (Hassner 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002a, translated and published in Poland as Hassner 2002b). In his papers he thoroughly reviews the positions of various philosophers on the issue and formulates his own contemporary view referred to as the bourgeois and barbarian dialectics. Hassner (1996 [2002b]) notes that in philosophical investigations the concept of ‘war’ is often closely related to the dichotomy between harmony and conflict. He mentions Heraclites and his idea of Polemos (Gr. ‘conflict’) as the father of all beings, Hegelian dialectics, the Weberian war of gods, the Darwinian struggle for survival, Marxist class war and Nietzschean will to power all as philosophies advocating the primacy 3 Pierre Hassner is a philosopher and journalist interested in the history of political science in post-Cold War Europe, the ethics of politics and war, the problem of war refugees and the character of nation-states. The concept of ‘war’ in the humanities 79 of conflict over harmony. Hassner, however, refuses to analyse war in such hierarchical axiological terms. He starts his discussion of war by a reference to Rousseau, who noted that war should not be regarded as an interaction between two human beings, but between states. In addition, a distinction should be made between war and social conflict or conceptual contradiction and violence. Then he proceeds to an analysis of the views of Waltz (1959) who distinguished three possible sources of wars: (1) the human psyche, (2) the organization of states, and (3) international anarchy. The first two potential militant drives can allegedly be remedied. The human inclination to violence can be curbed by means of education, religion, psychological or psychiatric treatment. The internal state organization can evolve towards non-violent forms, which traditionally are related to freedom of trade, democracy or, in Marxist philosophy, to som. The international relations, however, are a cause which cannot be overcome, because of the multitu...
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This essay was uploaded on 02/24/2014 for the course LING 1100 taught by Professor Friedman during the Fall '09 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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