Historical Perspectives on Future War
by Robert F. Baumann [Military Review (March-April
Thinking deeply about the future of war requires careful
reflection on its past. A paradox? Certainly. B.H. Liddell Hart
likened the opposing pull of science and history in forecasting
the role of future armaments to a "tug of war." The march of science suggests the next
war will employ many new means. In contrast, history suggests
that by its very nature, war exhibits many continuities amid
change. Broadly speaking, history gives a sense of the trajectory
of war's evolution.
Using historical perspectives on the future, this article
addresses several fundamental questions. First, how did past
futurists frame their arguments in historical terms and what
common approaches did they adopt? Second, how have past
approaches to speculation on future war influenced the way we
think today? And, third, how have historical perspectives entered
into the current debate about shifting paradigms in strategy and
the revolution in military affairs (RMA)?
Before addressing these questions, a brief review of a few
prominent European intellectual trends during the century and a
half before World War I reveals emerging assumptions about change
and progress that are basic to any analysis of why war has
assumed its variety of forms. The modern fascination with
cutting-edge technologies and their undeniable impact on war
often obscures our view of war's other dimensions. Historians
have widely noted the social, political and economic factors in
shaping the evolution of conflict. Cultural and intellectual
changes have played a powerful role as well.
Past patterns of thinking about the future have influenced the
way we speculate about war – so much that we often use them
subconsciously. First and foremost examples are our notions of
change and progress. As noted by scholar J.B. Bury in The Idea
of Progress, until the Middle Ages, Western cultures
generally adhered to a static view of history. The ancient Greek
philosophers did not perceive progressive development as natural
to humanity. While they did grasp the cyclical rise and decline
of city-states and empires, they perceived no general direction,
and certainly no conspicuous or inexorable improvement, in
unfolding human history. Even at the dawning of the Renaissance,
when the intellectual preconditions for its appearance were
taking form, the idea of progress in earthly affairs was yet to
However, by the late 18th-century, faith in progress was
virtually a fixture in the outlook among all but the most
pessimistic of Western thinkers. Period analysts founded this
perception on an appreciation of comparatively recent but
dramatic change brought about by scientific and technological
advances. Progressive discovery in biology, botany, chemistry,
physics and astronomy revealed dazzling patterns and regularities
in the universe. Some inferred from the unlocking of nature's
secrets that comparable tendencies might govern human affairs. A
critical component of this revelation was the constancy of change
and a fresh sense of the trajectory of historical development.
Many looked boldly to a brighter future. For instance, Marquis de
Condorcet wrote effusively in 1793 about the limitless
perfectibility of humanity even as he was under death sentence
and evading revolutionary authorities in France.
Contemporary thought about warfare reflected the spirit of the
time and place. In his Essai general de tactique,
written in 1770, Frenchman Jacques Antoine Hippolyte Comte de
Guibert purported to make a science of tactics. Based on a
historical review of the art of war, he professed to have
established a series of enduring tactical principles that would
transcend changes in weaponry. Along the way, he concluded that
the states of the ancient world often exhibited a better grasp of
the relationship between war and state institutions than kingdoms
of contemporary Europe, although he held out hope for Frederick
the Great's Prussia.
By the early 19th-century, European interpretations of the
historical development of human knowledge, warfare and social
organization tended to share one distinctive characteristic: They
saw human progress unfolding not in a perfectly linear fashion
but in distinct stages. Each stage represented a fundamental
transformation that built on the foundation left by its
predecessor. Even the French
Revolution's excesses, the Napoleonic Wars' horrors and
conservative reaction across Europe did not stifle the optimistic
profusion of new writings anticipating a bold new age. War, many
believed, was crossing a historic threshold as well.
To forecast the path the future would take, those analysts who
most influenced 20th-century perspectives attempted to use
scientific methodology. Setting the pace were the "positivists"
and Auguste Comte. Comte set aside the questions of causality and
meaning. Believing that contemporary German idealists and
romantics were wasting time in their preoccupation with such
problems, he focused his attention on what could be known. Thus,
Comte sought to ascertain the laws governing human and social
development through empirical observation – the cornerstone
of positivist methodology. Comte described history as inexorably
unfolding in three intellectual stages: theological, metaphysical
and positivist. The latter did not build on its predecessors but,
instead, replaced them by virtue of its superior insight. Comte
dubbed the application of positive doctrine to human affairs
"social physics," the spirit of which incidentally pervades
modern social science theory and warfare modeling. Accordingly, positivists anticipated
that knowledge of the laws by which societies functioned would
make it possible in the future to engineer a perfect society and
even put an end to war. Not only was the future predetermined,
humanity itself could self-consciously bring it to reality.
Even John Stuart Mill, the English paragon of classical Western
liberalism and champion of free speech and free will, could not
entirely escape the idea that certain laws actually governed the
flow of history. Mill separated history into so-called organic
and critical periods. The former represented periods of stability
and the latter, disruption and change. The search for truth was
the moving force in history. Overall, he contended that
historical laws direct human action, and "the influence exercised
over each generation by the generations which preceded it,
becomes more and more preponderant over all other
influences." Shaping the
same logic toward a different end, German historicists and early
philosopher-nationalists, such as Johann Fichte, argued that the
present and future were governed by the past.
Fichte saw the unfolding of history in the evolution of the
modern nation, viewing the state as the vehicle by which
politically self-conscious peoples would secure their destinies.
Similarly, German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel saw
historical progression as a dialectical process involving
creative destruction in which each stage produced the forces that
would undermine it and synthesize a new stage. In this context,
Hegel wrote, "Freedom is nothing but the recognition and adoption
of such universal substantial objects as Right and Law, and the
production of a reality that is accordant with them – the
state." This logical
foundation served as the point of departure for much of Carl von
Clausewitz's interest in the state and its defense.
Against this common European cultural background, it is hardly
surprising that popular philosophical concepts should have found
their way into theoretical musings about warfare. Henri Jomini's
works on warfare and his belief in the immutable principles that
regulate it exhibit positivist influence. Although he was also
influenced by empirical scientific precepts, Clausewitz expresses
German philosophical concerns with "how we know what we know,"
the force of human will and a host of other problems. Clausewitz
adapted the Hegelian dialectical method to his consideration of
war. He recognized implicitly that Napoleon's crushing defeat of
the Prussian army in 1806 demolished the military synthesis of
Though cognizant of change, Clausewitz did not foresee the
perfecting of humanity or a prescription for perfect soldiering.
His grasp of friction – sand in the gears of the perfect
Enlightenment rationalist machine – doubtless made him
skeptical of positivist influence on the study of war. Still, he
did believe that soldiers could improve their minds through
experience and the study of history and theory.
Another perspective that affected interpretations of change and
warfare surfaced in 1859 with the publication of Charles Darwin's
Origin of Species. All the theoretical parts of Darwin's
synthesis were well established before he wrote his book.
However, no one had woven them together as distinctively as he
did. When fully assembled, Darwin's theory of evolution offered a
new paradigm for thinking about the world. This paradigm depended
on the assumptions that change was constant and normal, the earth
was far older than previously supposed and the mechanism of
biological evolution was natural selection. The most explosive
implication was that humans were the product of
Reactions to Darwin varied. To some, namely those who came to be
called social Darwinists, "survival of the fittest" became the
governing principle of peoples and states. This world view
reflected a distinct notion of progress but certainly dispelled
the optimism of preceding decades. The idea that struggle was
integral to civilization's advance resonated widely and merged
with another seminal 19th-century trend – nationalism.
A relatively recent phenomenon, nationalism was rooted in a late
18th-century cultural movement emphasizing the historical rise of
distinct nations as expressed through ethnicity, language and
heritage. Afforded political impetus by the Napoleonic Wars,
nationalism became an incredibly potent social force in late
19th-century Europe, where the imagery of nations as living
organisms fused with the concept of Darwinian struggle. A splendid example is Russia and
Europe, published in 1869 by Russian Pan-Slavic theorist
Nikolai Danilevski, which forecast a great war with Germany to
decide whether Slavs or Germans would be masters of Central and
Eastern Europe. With remarkable speed, the new nationalistic
strain gained adherents among Europe's armies.
In the 1870s, Russian General Mikhail Skobelev remarked that only
war, the highest manifestation of the life of the state, could
stir a self-indulgent citizenry to the service of higher
values. In 1911, in Germany
and the Next War, retired German cavalry general and Pan-German
publicist Friedrich von Bernhardi embraced the idea of struggle.
War was not merely essential, it was the highest expression of
Not all, however, read Darwin the same way. To Herbert Spencer,
evolutionary theory implied that human nature itself was subject
to change and therefore offered a renewed hope for the perfection
of humanity. Civilization's development through natural selection
was itself natural. In contrast to the social Darwinists, Spencer
suggested that societies would evolve away from armed struggle
toward harmony and cooperation. An industrial age of peace would
supplant the age of militant struggle.
Marxism presented yet another competing interpretation. Though
influenced by Comte and Hegel, Karl Marx predicated his views on
materialist thought – all events and even intellectual
processes have material or physical causes – and scientific
social analysis. In 1848, Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote the
Communist Manifesto, as well as several other works on the
formation of social classes and proletarian revolution. They
organized the past and future into stages of development from
slave societies, through feudalism and capitalism, to communism.
Marx looked ahead to the annihilation of capitalism, the
withering of the state and the creation of a classless society.
The engine of history was class struggle and periodic revolution
against the prevailing order of economic relations in society. A
historical determinist, Marx saw humanity's path toward this end
After Marx's death, Engels applied the Marxian dialectic to the
discussion of war. In 1887, Engels described a cataclysmic future
European war that would lay waste to bourgeois societies and
create the necessary climate for revolution and working class
triumph. Vladimir Lenin borrowed Engels' vision to create a new
typology of war. Drawing from Clausewitz and Marx, Lenin penned
"The Principles of Socialism and the War, 1914-1915," an essay in
which he contended that bourgeois-national wars, which had
predominated until 1871, subsequently gave way to imperialist
war, a distinctive and inevitable feature of mature
capitalism. In 1917, Lenin
forecast in War and Revolution that World War I would
devolve into international civil war and revolution.
By the eve of The Great War, many believed change and progress
had joined with biological metaphor to define the relationship
among European states. This outlook steeled the will of peoples
across the Continent to raise gigantic armies and justified
virtually any sacrifice in the name of the nation.
Speculation on War and Change
At the turn of the century, well before Lenin came to his
revelation about war, Polish banker Jan S. Bloch published a
radical non-Marxist critique of contemporary warfare. Employing
only information that was available to professional soldiers of
his day, Bloch contended that Europe's generals were wrong about
what future war would hold. He wrote that "... war, instead of
being a hand-to-hand contest in which the combatants measure
their physical and moral superiority, will become a kind of
stalemate, in which neither army being able to get at the other,
both armies will be maintained in opposition to each other,
threatening each other, but never being able to deliver a final
and decisive attack. It will be simply the natural evolution of
the armed peace, on an aggravated scale .... That is the future
of war – not fighting, but famine, not the slaying of men,
but the bankruptcy of nations and the breakup of the whole social
Bloch, failing to appreciate nationalism's power, was not
entirely correct, although he did discern some of war's
dimensions with remarkable clarity. In the end, there was a
decision, but only at a stupendous and irrational cost that
toppled empires and pulverized a generation.
The point is to note Bloch's revolutionary view of war. Bloch
appreciated that the arms evolution had reached a new threshold
which would fundamentally alter the conditions of the next great
European war. Aside from his skills as an economic analyst and
his mastery of professional military literature, Bloch brought a
different perspective to his examination. His paradigm was
partially a function of his pacifist outlook, but it was equally
attributable to his perception that the old way of thinking about
warfare could not accommodate new realities.
Many military thinkers on the eve of World War I also recognized
the importance of recent changes, but most construed them
differently. As early as 1893, Russian Captain E.I. Martynov
wrote a study titled "Thoughts about the Technique of Future
Wars," in which he attempted to describe how future strategy
would guide theater-level war. Another forward-looking Russian
was A.A. Neznamov, who served as an instructor at the Nicholas
Academy of the General Staff from 1907 to 1912. Neznamov was
among the leading proponents of unified military doctrine –
a common approach to war for the Russian army.
Based on his Russo-Japanese War analysis, Neznamov identified
four essential features that would characterize the next war and
which competent future commanders would have to reckon with:
- The predominant role of fire – more lethal, accurate
- The lower quality of conscript soldiers.
- Mass armies.
- The unprecedented complexity of command and
Bloch shared most of Neznamov's projections. Both also pondered a
question that had stirred great debate among generals and
military theorists since the Franco-Prussian War: Was there a new
relationship between technology and the human/moral factor in
war? They both held to the radical view that "man was losing his
grip on war." Future firepower would dominate combat and reduce
soldiers to cogs in a vast, incomprehensible machine. Commanders would wrestle to control
mass forces beyond the reach of communications.
Unlike many of his predecessors, Neznamov never referred to the
power of genius in his writings. Whether or not he believed in
genius, he did not expect to find it. What he sought were
competent commanders – schooled leaders capable of properly
executing any task in harmony with an overall battle scheme.
Therefore, the Russian army's central problem was not a lack of
genius but a parade-ground mind-set that stifled practical
preparation and substituted templated courses of action for
scientific analysis and artful judgment.
According to Neznamov, the education of a proficient general had
to be based on self-study. He cited Russian Field Marshal
Aleksandr Suvorov's proposition that a good commander first
mastered the regulations, then the principles of war and,
finally, the history of recent and ancient wars. If the first two
instilled a sense of what to do and why, the latter developed his
critical faculties and an appreciation of the uniqueness of any
situation. A commander had to create solutions, because every
problem he would face in future war would necessarily be new,
even if it was historically familiar in a general sense. In sum,
Bloch rejected war because of its intrinsic futility, whereas
Neznamov planned to prepare commanders to cope with future
The problem confronting Bloch and Neznamov was no different than
the one leaders face today. The social and political changes that
reshaped military organizations were combined with rapid,
incremental technological advances and seemingly normal
evolutionary design improvements in existing weapons to produce
jarring, disorienting changes on the battlefield. In Marxian
terms, quantity became quality.
Paradigm Shifts and RMA
Current literature on policy and international security hails a
paradigm shift in US foreign policy and strategy. The basis for this shift is the
Soviet Union's collapse, the disintegration of the Eastern bloc
and the dissolution of Yugoslavia. Since 1991, the United States
has adjusted to a world without its principal political,
ideological and military adversary. The implications are large
What exactly do we mean by a paradigm shift, and how do we
recognize one? Physicist and historian Thomas Kuhn brought the
expression "paradigm shift" into common usage in 1962 with The
Structure of Scientific Revolutions. He attacked traditional
interpretations of scientific development that depicted a steady
building process where each breakthrough added to an established
knowledge foundation. Kuhn's thesis maintained that science
advances alternately between the accumulation of discoveries
within a given system of understanding and revolutionary changes
which undermine the structure of existing knowledge and
necessitate the building of a new conceptual framework.
"Paradigms gain their status because they are more successful
than their competitors in solving a few problems that the group
of practitioners has come to recognize as acute."
During periods of so-called normal science, new discoveries flow
logically from, and in turn support, the prevailing paradigm.
However, Kuhn explains that "... the successive transition from
one paradigm to another via revolution is the usual developmental
pattern of mature science."
Scientific revolutions occur because an existing paradigm cannot
accommodate new discoveries or theories. "Normal science ...
often suppresses fundamental novelties because they are
necessarily subversive of its basic commitments." In other words, people are more
receptive to new evidence that conforms to previously held views
than evidence which contradicts them. Ultimately, normal science
approaches a crisis when the results of research can no longer be
adapted to fit the established pattern. Ultimately, each paradigm
generates the very research that will eventually undermine it.
Therefore, a scientific revolution must drive the old paradigm
from center stage to permit the advance of science. A revolution
is not a mere reinterpretation of the existing paradigm. Rather,
it leads to a fundamentally new comprehension of pre-existing
knowledge. Thus, revelation and revolution demand a new paradigm.
Given the widespread adoption of Kuhn's terminology, it is
appropriate to reconsider the extent of recent changes in the
strategic environment in light of his definition. Has the
American paradigm undergone a shift or merely a reinterpretation?
The latter may be closer to the truth. Consider the continuities.
NATO is still with us. The United States still seeks a world
hospitable to free market economies and democracy, takes a
proprietary interest in Western affairs and maintains highly
capable military forces to protect its interests in the post-Cold
War world. The lens of US-Soviet rivalry no longer distorts the
American view of every regional conflict or Third World
insurgency. Today, in terms of national security strategy, we are
looking at the old post-World War II paradigm in an unfamiliar
The same is true of military strategy. Because US military forces
can no longer focus on the former Soviet Union, a huge shift in
emphasis is necessary. Still, the variety of missions proposed
for US forces in the near term differs little from what we have
done historically. US forces have engaged in low-intensity
conflict and operations other than war since the founding of the
republic and repeatedly in this century. Furthermore, if we look
around the globe today, we see nothing unprecedented.
Nationalist, religious and ethnic conflicts are hardly
distinctive late 20th-century phenomena.
Yet, as the information age matures, some unfamiliar problems are
likely to appear. For example, a determined adversary should be
able to devise many insidious ways to sabotage, disrupt or
contaminate the information highway upon which global and
national commerce depend. Competition among multinational
economic organizations could easily assume such a form. In
addition, the advent of the alleged RMA will certainly influence
how we practice war.
Historian Michael Howard recently posed a fundamental question:
"Can technology change what has been, until now, the essence of
warfare?" Many have
attempted to answer this question. In the past several years, a
host of books and articles have heralded the dawning of a new age
in warfare. Characterized variously as the Third Wave, the Fourth
Generation or simply the latest RMA, the new age in warfare has
not escaped the notice of soldiers and scholars. The collective
commentary has been impressive in its insight as well as its
profusion. Perhaps no generation of military commentators has
been so ready to embrace change and administer last rites to
conventional wisdom about warfare.
One striking feature of the discussion is the periodization of
history. Whereas most 19th-century observers periodized the past
in terms of progressive stages of humanity's understanding of the
world, social development or civilization, 20th-century writers
typically focus on new technologies and the economic base that
produces them. New technologies were central to the arguments of
Liddell Hart and Julio Douhet. Even Soviet theorists, who relied
on the Marxist description of historical stages, described the
contemporary period – from World War II forward –
predominantly in terms of technological change. Alvin and Heidi
Toffler's War and Anti-War suggests that warfare is
entering the Third Wave, in which power will be based on
information technology. Eventually, they expect, technology and
rationality will reduce the level of violence inherent in
conflict to that of a hockey game. Could it be that the Tofflers and
others are missing important continuities in the nature of war
even as they offer provocative insights into the manner of its
To be sure, the manner in which future war will be conducted is
most relevant. In 1993, General Gordon R. Sullivan and Colonel
James Dubik suggested five trends:
- Increased lethality and dispersion.
- Increased volume and precision of fires.
- Increased integration of technologies.
- Achievement of greater mass and effect.
- Refinements in invisibility and detectability.
Russian forecasters recently identified a similar set of
distinguishing features for future nonlinear war:
- Absence of well-defined spatial limits.
- Combination of offensive and defensive operations.
- Increasing reliance on information systems for coordination.
- Conduct of mass strikes by radio-electronic high-precision,
laser and superfrequency weapons, large helicopter groups and
Upon close examination, each of these trends exhibits significant
continuity with, or is rooted in, the evolution of warfare since
the late 19th-century. If we are in the midst of an RMA,
historians can make a strong case that it has been unfolding for
a long time. Viewing the same progression in another light, one
could even argue that accelerating advance along the axes noted
by Sullivan and Dubik constitutes one of the fundamental
assumptions of the way we view warfare. Perhaps it is just part
of our 20th-century paradigm and not a new revolution at all.
Warfare has been in a state of rapid change for the past two
centuries, and many modern phenomena were born in that
progression. The recent trends identified by Sullivan and Dubik
and their Russian counterparts differ from those noted by Bloch
and Neznamov more in degree than in kind.
Problems inherent in linking futuristic technological change and
doctrinal concepts are much the same today as they were a century
ago. Consider the US Army's 1950s' response to the nuclear age.
Having retained a conventional focus after World War II, the Army
suddenly revealed the Pentomic Division in 1956. Consisting of
five battle groups, the new division stressed air mobility and
dispersion to function better in a nuclear environment. The bold
experiment failed because "the technology lagged behind the
doctrine, and the strategic concepts raced ahead of tactical
This time, the Army is valiantly attempting to prepare for change
ahead of time. The future holds many eye-opening innovations,
especially in technology. Recent dialogue has described future
electronic combat as achieving spectrum supremacy which "will
prove as critical as conventional battlefield preparation and air
supremacy operations of past wars." The near term also holds the
prospects of cyberwar, robotic war and even neocortical
warfare. Again, the
underlying concepts are not altogether new. Most are consonant
with J.F.C. Fuller's 1919 prescription for attacking the nervous
system of the enemy. The
imperative to gain spectrum supremacy might lead to escalatory
scenarios reminiscent of the 1914 mobilization theory or Cold War
Visions of new capabilities offer a glimpse of the future but
leave even more unknown. In the Fall 1994 issue of
Parameters, David Jablonsky asserted that the quantum
leap in technology may actually increase the "fog of war," given
compressed decision cycles and the increasing integration of the
levels of war. Will we have
more information than we can absorb? Will enemies find new ways
to deceive us?
Because we cannot perfectly model future human behavior and
interaction, past wisdom may be more helpful than critics
suspect. Recent attacks on
Clausewitz stress his neglect of insurgencies and ethnic strife
within his state-oriented, trinitarian framework; his inability
to anticipate the flood of future technologies; and his failure
to consider the role of culture in determining modes of
conflict. Although these
criticisms have some merit, they are based on a misconception of
the Clausewitzian trinity, the constituent parts of which are
violence, chance and reason. The army, the government and the
people are merely the rough real-world correlates of the trinity.
The actual trinity is not bound to any particular historical
context. It is as relevant to Operations Uphold Democracy and
Desert Storm as to Prussia. Perhaps the trinity is a nonlinear
Were Clausewitz alive to comment, he might note that the idea of
the state as Fichte knew it probably applies as well to the
Palestinian Liberation Organization or Chechnya (which aspired to
statehood) as to the United States. Furthermore, the passions and
rationales that move states to roll the dice of war differ little
from those which arouse tribes or insurgents. Finally, would a
man who likened war to commerce really be unappreciative of the
spectrum of conflict? Whatever features conflict assumes –
urban operations, conventional air strikes, guerrilla fighting,
psychological operations, random terror and even peacekeeping
– all are discussable in Clausewitzian terms.
Like Sun Tzu, Clausewitz intuitively understood that the history
of conflict revealed a dynamic tension among competing forces.
Clausewitz, whose On War frequently bewilders American
readers, drew heavily upon Hegelian dialectical reasoning, which
sought synthetic truths through the resolution of opposing ideas
or forces. It is this state of mutual opposition, regarded as
perfectly natural by German philosophers, that characterizes the
three parts of the trinity. Rather than ambiguity, Clausewitz saw
in it flexibility and applicability to a many-sided reality.
Clausewitz did not describe in detail how future wars would be
fought, but he was a futurist in his own right. In constructing a
theory for thinking about war, he assumed that war's essential
trinity would remain constant far beyond his lifetime.
As observed recently by Lieutenant Colonel Poncho Diaz-Pons, a
historian formerly with the US Army Command and General Staff
College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, "If you want to think outside
the box, you want to know how the box was made." His point
– and the point of this article – is that the
writings of past thinkers have left us a legacy of intellectual
constructs which we regularly apply to the study of change and
future war. Thus, to paraphrase Liddell Hart, the "tug of war"
between science and history remains a dynamic element in
contemporary thinking on future war. The concepts of paradigm and
revolution, rooted in past conceptualizations of history and
progress, reflect this tension.
. B.H. Liddell Hart, "Armaments and Their Future
Use," The Yale Review (1930), 649.
. J.B. Bury, The Idea of Progress (New York: Dover
Publications, 1960), 7 and 36.
. Franklin Le Van Baumer, Main Currents of Western
Thought (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1978),
. Azar Gat, The Origins of Military Thought from the
Enlightenment to Clausewitz (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989),
. Frank Baumer, Modern European Thought (New York:
MacMillan Publishing Co. Inc., 1977), 248-49.
. Auguste Comte, Introduction to Positive Philosophy,
translated by Frederick Ferre (New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Co.
Inc., 1970), 8, 13 and 28.
. J.S. Mill, System of Logic (New York: Harper &
Brothers, 1884), 631-32.
. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, The Philosophy of
History, translated by J. Sibree (New York: Dover
Publications, 1956), 59.
. Peter Paret, Clausewitz and the State: The Man, His
Theories and His Times (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University
Press, 1985), 177-80. Paret observes that Clausewitz was less
sanguine than Hegel about the state.
. Carl von Clausewitz, "Nachrichten uberPreussen in
seiner grossen Katastrophe," chap. in Carl von Clausewitz,
Politische Schriften und Briefe, edited by H. Rothfels
(Munich: 1922), 202-17, as cited in Gat, The Origins of
Military Thought, 216.
. For exhaustive discussion, see Loren Eisley, Darwin's
Century: Evolution and the Men Who Discovered It (Garden
City, NY: Anchor Books, 1958); and Gertrude Himmelfarb, Darwin
and the Darwinian Revolution (New York: Dover Publications,
. Baumer, 290-91.
. F. Geifel'der, "Vospominaniia vracha o M.D.
Skobeleve," Russkaia starina, 55 (1887), 223.
. Bury, 334-39; and Baumer, 364.
. Jacob Kipp, "Lenin and Clausewitz: The Militarization
of Marxism, 1914-1921," essay (Fort Leavenworth, KS: Soviet
Arms Studies Office, 1985), 2-5. On Engels, see W.O. Henderson,
The Life of Friedrich Engels (London: 1976), vol. II,
. Jean de Bloch, The Future of War, translated by R.C.
Long (Boston: World Peace Foundation, 1914; reprint, Fort
Leavenworth, KS: US Army Combat Studies Institute), xvi-xvii. For
a good background piece on Block, see Jacob W. Kipp,
"Soldiers and Civilians Confronting Future War," in
Tooling for War: Military Transformation in the Industrial
Age, edited by Stephen Chiabotti (Chicago: Imprint
Publications, 1996), 189-230.
. E.I. Martynov, "Mysli o tekhnike budushchogo,"
Voennyi sbornik, No. 5 (1893), 38-39; and Bruce Menning,
Bayonets Before Bullets: The Imperial Russian Army,
1861-1914 (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1992),
128-29 and 176-77.
. A.A. Neznamov, Trebovaniia kotorye pred'iavliaet
soyremennyi boi k podgotovke (obucheniiu) nachal'nikov i mass
(St. Petersburg: 1909), 3.
. For more discussion, see Michael Howard, "Men Against
Fire: The Doctrine of the Offensive in 1914," in Makers
of Modern Strategy, edited by Peter Paret (Princeton, NJ:
Princeton University Press, 1986), 510-26; and Robert Baumann,
"Technology versus the Moral Element: Emerging Views in the
Russian Officer Corps, 1870-1904," in New Perspectives in
Modern Russian History, edited by Robert McKean (New York:
MacMillan Publishing Co. Inc., 1992), 43-64.
. Neznamov, 3.
. Ibid., 21 and 26-27.
. GEN Gordon R. Sullivan and COL James Dubik, "Land
Warfare in the 21st Century," Military Review
(September 1993), 13-32; Headquarters, Department of the Army
(HQDA), Army Focus: Force XXI (Washington, DC: US
Government Printing Office [GPO], September 1994); HQDA,
Decisive Victory: America's Power-Projection Army, White
Paper (Washington, DC: GPO, October 1994). See also MAJ
Norman Davis, "An Information-Based Revolution in Military
Affairs," Strategic Review (Winter 1996),
. Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific
Revolutions, 2d ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
1970), 23. For alternative ways of thinking about foreign policy
paradigms, see David Jablonsky, Paradigm Lost? Transitions and
the Search for a New World Order (Carlisle Barracks, PA: US
Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, 1993), 3-6.
. Ibid., 12.
. Ibid., 5.
. Michael Howard, "How Much Can Technology Change
Warfare," in Two Historians in Technology and War
(Carlisle Barracks, PA: US Army War College Strategic Studies
Institute, 1994), 9. For an insightful discussion of the military
revolution concept, see Geoffrey Parker, "In Defense of the
Military Revolution," in The Military Revolution Debate:
Readings on the Military Transformation of Early Modern
Europe, edited by Clifford Rogers (Boulder, CO: Westview
Press, 1995), 337-65. See also Jeffrey Cooper, Another View of
the Revolution in Military Affairs (Carlisle Barracks, PA: US
Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, 1994).
. Alvin and Heidi Toffler, War and Anti-War: Survival at
the Dawn of the 21st Century (Boston: Little, Brown &
Co., 1993), 223-40.
. Sullivan and Dubik, 22-30. The authors are careful to note
continuities in the evolution of war as well as impending
. US Army Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO), The
Nonlinear Nature of Future War: A Soviet Commonwealth View,
Issue Paper No. 5 (Fort Leavenworth, KS: FMSO, 1992), 8-9.
. Robert Doughty, The Evolution of US Army Tactical
Doctrine, 1946-76, Leavenworth Paper No. 1 (Fort
Leavenworth, KS: Combat Studies Institute, 1979), 19.
. Gary Griffin, "Future Foes, Future Fights,"
Military Review (November 1994), 57.
. Richard Szafranski, "Neocortical Warfare? The Acme of
Skill," Military Review (November 1994), 41-55.
. Christopher Bellamy, The Evolution of Modern Land
Warfare (New York: Routledge, 1990), 242-43.
. David Jablonsky, "US Military Doctrine and the
Revolution in Military Affairs," Parameters (Autumn
1994), 24-26. See also Barry D. Watts, Clausewitzian Friction
and Future War, McNair Paper No. 52 (Washington, DC:
National Defense University, 1996).
. For a splendid critique of foreign affairs modelling, see
John Gaddis, "International Relations Theory and the End of
the Cold War," International Security (Winter
1992-1993), 27-31; and Michael Mazarr, The Revolution in
Military Affairs: A Framework for Defense Planning (Carlisle
Barracks, PA: US Army Strategic Studies Institute, 1994), 7.
. Steven Metz, "A Wake for Clausewitz: Toward a
Philosophy of 21st-Century Warfare," Parameters
(Winter 1994-95), 127-32; Kenneth McKenzie Jr., "Elegant
Irrelevance: Fourth Generation Warfare," Parameters
(Autumn 1993), 51-60; John Keegan, A History of Warfare
(New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993), 3-12; Martin Van Creveld,
The Transformation of War (New York: Free Press, 1991);
and William Lind et al., "The Changing Face of War: Into the
Fourth Generation," Military Review (October 1989),
2-11. For a good discussion of Clausewitz that tends to clear up
some misperceptions, see Christopher Bassford, Clausewitz in
English: The Reception of Clausewitz in Britain and America,
1815-1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), 24-30.
. Credit belongs to Dr. Richard Swain, US Army School of
Advanced Military Studies, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, for
impressing upon me how widespread this misperception is. For
replies to attacks on the trinity, see Edward Villacres and
Christopher Bassford, "Reclaiming the Clausewitzian
Trinity," Parameters (Autumn 1995), 9-19; and
Antulio Echevarria II, "A Wake for Clausewitz? Not
Yet!," Special Warfare (August 1996), 30-35.
. Alan Beyerchin, "Clausewitz, Nonlinearity and the
Unpredictability of War," International Security
(Winter 1992-93), 68-70.
[Robert F. Baumann is a historian at the Combat
Studies Institute, US Army Command and General Staff College,
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He received a B.A. from Dartmouth
College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University. A specialist
in Russian military history, he was a researcher in residence at
Moscow University from 1979 to 1980 and taught history at Kansas
State University from 1983 to 1984. In the fall of 1992, he was a
visiting professor at Bashkir State University, Ufa, Russia. He
is the author of Leavenworth Paper No. 20, "Russian-Soviet
Unconventional Wars in the Caucasus, Central Asia and
Afghanistan: 1801-1989," published in 1993. His article "The Race
to the Dnieper River" appeared in the September 1993 issue of