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IPFS News Link • WAR: About that War

War Without End

• By Philip Giraldi

Prussian Major General Carl von Clausewitz famously drew on his own experience in the Napoleonic Wars to examine war as a political phenomenon. In his 1832 book "On War" he provided a frequently quoted pithy summary of war versus peace, writing in terms of politico-military strategy that "War is a mere continuation of politics by other means." In other words, war-making is a tool provided to statesmen to achieve a nation's political objectives when all else fails.

One can reject the ultimate amorality of Clausewitz's thinking about war while also recognizing that some nations have historically speaking exploited war-making as a tool for physical expansion and the appropriation of foreigners' resources. As far back as the Roman Republic, the country's elected leaders doubled as heads of its consular armies, which were expected to go out each spring to expand the imperium. More recently, Britain notably engaged in almost constant colonial wars over the course of centuries to establish what was to become history's largest empire.

America's dominant neocons characteristically believe they have inherited the mantle of empire and of the war powers that go hand-in-hand with that attribute, but they have avoided other aspects of the transition in turning the United States into a nation made and empowered by war. First of all, what comes out the other end after one has initiated hostilities with another country is unpredictable. Starting with Korea and continuing with Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq as well as other minor operations in Latin America, Africa and Asia, American war-making has brought nothing but grief on those on the receiving end with little positive to show for the death, destruction and accumulated debt.

Anarchapulco June 2024