The concept of absolute war (or "real war") was developed by military theorist Karl von Clausewitz as a philosophical construct, the war in which every aspect of society was bent towards the conflict. Clausewitz held that this was impossible, as war was always subject to some political constraints. Carl Phillip Gottlieb von Clausewitz (June 1, 1780 - November 16, 1831) was a Prussian general and military thinker. ...
The terms absolute war and total war, are often confused, but theorists differentiate: This article needs a complete rewrite for the reasons listed on the talk page. ...
"Absolute war describes the deployment of all of a society's resources and citizens into working for the war machine. Total war, on the other hand, describes the absence of any restraint in warfare. Moral and political responsibility becomes problematic for proponents of both absolute and total war, for they have to justify the incorporation of civilians who do not work for the war effort as well as the infirm, children, and the handicapped and wounded who cannot fight."
Christopher Bassford, professor of strategy at the National War College, describes the difference in this way: "It is also important to note that Clausewitz's concept of absolute war is quite distinct from the later concept of 'total war.' Total war was a prescription for the actual waging of war typified by the ideas of General Erich von Ludendorff, who actually assumed control of the German war effort during World War One. Total war in this sense involved the total subordination of politics to the war effort—an idea Clausewitz emphatically rejected—and the assumption that total victory or total defeat were the only options. Total war involved no suspension of the effects of time and space, as did Clausewitz's concept of the absolute"
Categories: Military stubs The National War College (NWC) of the United States is a school in the National Defense University. ...
War certainly generates confusion, as Clausewitz noted calling it the "fog of war", but that does not discredit the notion that war is organized to begin with.
Many who explain war's origins in man's abandonment of reason also derive their thoughts from Plato, who argues that "wars and revolutions and battles are due simply and solely to the body and its desires." That is, man's appetite sometimes or perpetually overwhelms his reasoning capacity, which results in moral and political degeneration.
Just war theory begins with an assessment of the moral and political criteria for justifying the initiation of war (defensive or aggressive), but critics note that the justice of warfare is already presumed in just war theory: all that is being outlined are the legal, political, and moral criteria for its justice.
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