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The Continuing Relevance Of Clausewitz: Illustrated Yesterday And Today With Application To The 1991 Persian Gulf War
AUTHOR Major Herbert T. Holden, USMC
CSC 1991
Introduction:  The theories of Clausewitz are timeless because he
analyzed warfare from the social, political, moral, and emotional
perspectives.  This paper addresses eight prominent Claueswitzian ideas.
Each idea is explained and illustrated by historical examples of two
types.  The first set of examples are drawn from two centuries of war
from the Napoleonic ara to 1990.  The second set of examples are drawn
from the recently concluded 1991 Persian Gulf War.
The Nature of War:  Clausewitz insisted that before any conflict begins,
civilian and military leaders must understand the kind of war upon which
they are embarking.  A mistake in identifying the nature of the conflict
can lead to defeat on the battlefield.
Political:  War is tightly intertwined with politics.  War and politics
cannot exist independently.  War is so permeated by politics that to plan
a war without political guidance is useless.
Fog and Friction:  These terms are often used interchangeably, but are
clearly different words used to explain different events.  The fog of war
focuses on uncertainty.  Friction is that force which separates real war
from war on paper.  Training can reduce friction but not eliminate it.
Centers of Gravity:  Clausewitz explains centers of gravity as being the 
hub of all power and movement on which everything depends.  The center of
gravity is the point against which all energies should be directed.
Culminating Point of Attack/Victory:  The culminating point of attack is
the point when the attacker's strength is sapped and his superiority is
exhausted.  The culminating point of victory occurs when a country
refuses to be beaten totally and that country rises up in a partisan war
to prevent the total destruction of a country.  It is necessary to 
understand both concepts or unfavorable results may occur.
Diversions:  A diversion is an attack in enemy territory that draws enemy
forces away from the main objective.  Clausewitz warms that diversions
can be dangerous because resources committed to a diversion may be better
used in the main attack.
Moral Elements:  The importance of moral should never be underestimated.
Moral is beleiving and fighting for a cause.  The cause may be a 
democracy, a nation, or a way of life.  Moral runs deep and is not easily
changed or swayed.
Civilized Warfare:  Clausewitz believed that conbatants should not
mistreat POWs, level cities, or destroy the environment during the
prosecution of a war.
Conculsion:  As a theorist of war, Clausewitz still has relevance.  Terms
such as fog, friction, and center of gravity are common military
phraseology used to discuss and explain military events from the distant
past to the conflict with Iraq.  All indications suggest that 
Clausewitz's legacy and import will continue to grow.
      Illustrated Yesterday and Today with Application to the
			1991 Persian Gulf War
Thesis statement.  The theories of Carl von Clausewitz can be applied
to all wars, Napoleonic through the recently concluded Persian Gulf
I.      Nature of the War
	A.  The Idea of Clausewitz
	    1.  Understand Objectives of the Enemy as well as Our Own
	    2.  Understand the Means that must be Expended
	B.  Historical Examples
	    1.  Peninsula War, 1808-1813
	    2.  Vietnam War, 1954-1972
	C.  Historical Application to the Persian Gulf War
	    1.  U.N. Objectives
	    2.  U.S. Objectives
	    3.  Iraq's Understanding of the Nature of the War
II.     Political
	A.  The Idea of Clausewitz
	    1.  Relationship Between Politics and War
	    2.  National Political Aims are Paramount
	B.  Historical Examples
	    1.  Korean War, 1950
	    2.  Vietnam War
	C.  Historical Application to the Persian Gulf War
	    1.  Political Factors Influencing President Bush
	    2.  Political Factors Influencing President Hussein
III.    Fog and Friction
	A.  The Idea of Clausewitz
	    1.  Definition
	    2.  Causes
	B.  Historical Examples
	    1.  Utah Beach, D-Day, 6 June 1944
	    2.  Omaha Beach, D-Day, 6 June 1944
	C.  Historical Application to the Persian Gulf War
	    1.  Effects of Fog on U.S.
	    2.  Effects of Fog on Iraq
	D.  Friction
	    1.  Definition
	    2.  Causes
	E.  Historical Examples
	    1.  Utah Beach, D-Day, 6 June 1944 (continued)
	    2.  Omaha Beach, D-Day, 6 June 1944 (continued)
	F.  Historical Application to the Persian Gulf War
	    1.  Effects of Friction on U.S.
	    2.  Effects of Friction on Iraq
IV.     Centers of Gravity
	A.  The Idea of Clausewitz
	    1.  Definition
	    2.  The Importance of Understanding
	B.  Historical Examples
	    1.  Vietnam War - U.S. did not define properly
	    2.  Vietnam War - North Vietnam did define properly
	C.  Historical Application to the Persian Gulf War
	    1.  U.S. Clearly Identified Center of Gravity
	    2.  Iraq Clearly Identified Center of Gravity
V.      Culminating Point of Attack/Victory
	A.  The Idea of Clausewitz
	    1.  Definition
	    2.  Causes
	B.  Historical Examples
	    1.  World War II, 1941
	    2.  World War II, 1944
	C.  Historical Application to the Persian Gulf War
	    1.  Bombing Missions out of England and Spain
	    2.  Quick U.S. Attack
	D.  Culminating Point of Victory
	    1.  Definition
	    2.  Causes
	E.  Historical Examples
	    1.  Peninsular War, 1808-1813
	    2.  Sino-Japanese War, 1937-1945
	F.  Historical Application to the Persian Gulf War
	    1.  Quick Victory Prevented Culminating Point
	    2.  Problems for U.S. if Iraq Held Out
VI.     Diversions
	A.  The Idea of Clausewitz
	    1.  Definition
	    2.  Proper Timing
	B.  Historical Examples
	    1.  WWII, 1942
	    2.  WWII, 1944
	C.  Historical Application to the Persian Gulf War
	    1.  U.S. Diversions
	    2.  Iraq Diversions
VII.    Moral Elements 
	A.  The Idea of Clausewitz
	    1.  Definition
	    2.  Why are they Important
	B.  Historical Examples (High Moral)
	    1.  French Revolution, 1789
	    2.  WWII, Pacific Theatre
	C.  Historical Examples (Low Moral)
	    1.  Battle of France, 1940
	    2.  WWII, Italy
	D.  Historical Application to the Persian Gulf War
	    1.  American Moral Element
	    2.  Iraq Moral Element
VIII.   Civilized Warfare
	A.  The Idea of Clausewitz
	    1.  Clausewitzian View
	    2.  Governental Restraints
	B.  Historical Examples (POW Treatment)
	    1.  WWII, 1942
	    2.  WWII, 1943
	C.  Historical Examples (Leveling Cities)
	    1.  China, 1937
	    2.  Battle of Britain, 1940-1941
	D.  Historical Application to the Persian Gulf War
	    1.  U.S. Conducted a High Technology War
	    2.  Iraq made Three Fundamental Mistakes
	Illustrated Yesterday and Today with Application to the
			1991 Persian Guf War
	The writings of Karl von Clausewitz continue to generate a great
deal of discussion both within the military community as well as the 
civilian sector.  He is often quoted to prove a point or to explain an
event or situation.  How can this be,  when Clausewitz wrote about
Napoleonic warfare, which occurred almost two centuries ago?  In his day
there were no airplanes, no laser guided bombs, no tanks, no
submarines.  Soldiers rode horses and fired individual weapons with very
limited ranges.  Moreover, his writings on the theory of war were found
and published by his widow after his sudden death.(9:27) Von Kriege (On
War), the title of this work,  consisted of eight books, of which
Clausewitz considered only the first chapter of the first book
complete.(9:20)  Considering all this, how can Clausewitz be relevant
	The theories of Clausewitz are timeless because he did not analyze
war from the mechanical aspects of how battles were fought between
opposing generals.  Instead, he analyzed warfare from the social,
political, moral, and emotional perspectives as well as the tactical and
strategic levels.  This paper addresses eight prominent Clausewitzian
ideas.  Each idea will be explained and illustrated by historical
examples of two types.  The first set of examples are drawn from two
centuries of war from the Napoleonic era to 1990.  The second set of
examples are drawn from the recently concluded 1991 Persian Gulf War.
			The Nature of War
The Idea of Clausewitz
	One of the most improtant and lasting contributions of Clausewitz is
his insistence that before any conflict begins, civilian-and military
leaders and strategists must understand the kind of war upon which they
are embarking.
	The first, the supreme, the most far-reaching act of judgement that the
	statesman and commander have to make is to establish. . .the kind of war
	on which they are embarking; neither mistaking it for, nor trying to
	turn it into, something that is alien to its nature.(9:88)
Coming to grips with the nature of the war is the first, and most
comprehensive, question that must be answered.  A mistake in identifying
the nature of the conflict can lead to defeat on the battlefield.  The
folowing must be carefully considered in this identification:
	1)  The political objectives of the enemy as well as our own.
	2)  The power and condition of the enemy's state as well as our own.
	3)  The character and capacity of the enemy's government and of his
people as well as our own.
	4)  The political connections of other states and the effect which
war will produce on these states.(9:585-586)
	Clausewitz said the "means" (capabilities) must be addressed when
considering war.(9:90)  The enemy's means are of primary concern,
Questions that must be asked include:
	1)  Will he fight conventionally or unconventionally?  Air, land or
	2)  Will he likely give in easily?  How much punishment can he take?
	3)  Will he fight according to the Geneva Conventions?
	4)  What will it take to be successful against him?
Historical Examples
	1)  From 1808 to 1813, France was involved in the Peninsular War with
Spain.  The Spanish military forces were defeated and Napolean put his
brother on the throne.  French revolutionary reforms were institutes in
the government and in the church.  The Spanish people rejected these 
reforms, refused to be defeated, and 100,000 Frenchmen a year were
killed in Spain during the ensuing harshly fought partisan war.
Napoleon's military lost many fine troops that he could have used
elsewhere.  Because Napoleon failed to understand the motivations of the
Spanish people, he could not possibly comprehend the nature of the war
in Spain.
	2)  From 1954 to 1972, America was bogged down in a war in Vietnam
with an elusive enemy and no clear objectives.  America's high
technology weapons were not suited to a jungle, guerilla type war.
There was confusion regarding the enemy center of gravity.  As the war
dragged on and casualties mounted, American public support waned.  The
United States then accepted a political settlement designed to save
face; many believed that thereafter a communist takeover was
inevitable.  Was it a civil war? A revolutionary war? A conventional
war? A case of overt aggression from North Vietnam?  American civilian
and military leaders could not agree on answers to these
questions--questions critical to identifying the nature of the conflict
in Vietnam.
Historical Application to the Persian Gulf War
	The United Nations during the later half of 1990 established clear
objectives for the conflict in Southwest Asia:
	1)  Iraq must leave Kuwait unconditionally.
	2)  The legitimate government of Kuwait must be restored.
	3)  Iraq must pay reparations for damages inflicted as a result of
its aggression.
These objectives were clear, and in line with guidance provided by
Clausewitz.  "No one starts a war--or rather, no one in his senses ought
to do so--without first being clear in his mind what he intends to
achieve by that war and how he intends to conduct it." (9:579)
	During late 1990 and early 1991, the United States embraced the
United Nations Security Council resolutions and established the 
following additonal objectives:
	1)  Restore some semblance of stability and ensure free movement of
oil out of the Gulf Region.
	2)  Restore the international status quo and show would-be
aggressors that aggression does not pay.
	3)  Destroy Iraq's nuclear, biological, and chemical capabilities.
	4)  Weaken Iraq's military and destroy Saddam hussein's ability to
wage offensive war.
	5)  Remove Saddam from power (not officially stated).
The Bush administration was careful to establish very specific
objective early in the campaign.  The administration did not want to be
accused of not clearly establishing policy.  Thus the administration
produced a comprehensive stategy that proved to be a major asset for
the Allied powers.  American officials understood the kind of war that
occurred in Southwest Asia.  The SCUD firings at Saudi Arabia and Israel
were anticipated.  The SCUD firings at Israel were an attempt to get the
Jewish state involved in the war and divide the coalition.  These SCUD
lauchings were Iraq's primary offensive thrust.  It is reasonable to
state that the Bush administration was fairly accurate in predicting the
kind of war that evolved.
	On the other hand, it appears that Saddam did not understand the
nature of the war upon which he embarked.  Initially, he may not have
understood that the invasion of Kuwait would mean opposing over half a
million American and Allied troops with modern equipment.  Nor did he
choose to pull back in the face of this build-up.
	While Saddam continued to improve defensive positoins inside
Kuwait, the first phase of the U.S. and coalition build-up began.  This
phase involved a near total embargo on imports to Iraq and the
introduction of 250,000 U.S. troops into the theater.  Phase II of the
build-up included more than 200,000 additonal American troops and a
stiffer embargo.  The United Nations meanwhile, passed numerous
resolutions denouncing the Iraqi invasion and demanding a withdrawal of
Iraqi forces from Kuwait.  Still Saddam indicated no real intention of
leaving Kuwait.  Instead, he spoke of drowning the American forces in
their own blood in the 'mother of all battles'.  It is logical to
conclude that he did not understand the kind of war that evolved.
The Idea of Clausewitz
	One of Clausewitz's most lasting contributions is his pronouncement
of the proper relationship between politics and war.  He stresses that
politics and political interactions between countries continue even
after the outbreak of hostilities.  Clausewitz is clear on this
	  We maintain,. . .that war is simply a continuation of political
	intercourse, with the addition of other means.  We deliberately use
	the phrase "with the addition of other means" because we also want to
	make it clear that war in itself does not suspend political
	intercourse or change it into something entirely different.(9:605)
It is readily apparent that war is tightly intertwined with politics.
"War for Clausewitz is an inescapable part of political life."(7:64)
War and politics cannot exist independently.  War is so permeated by
politics that to plan a war without political guidance is useless.
Wars are fought for political reasons, not military reasons.(9:87)
	National political aims should always be center stage when
contemplating going to war.  The prime reason for the existence and
continuation of a war is to achieve clearly defined political
objectives.  The military, therefore, must adapt itself to and work
toward these objectives.  Policy must provide the framework for
appropriate military strategy.  The role of the military in this
political framework is to conduct  operations according to guidance and
direction from the National Command Authority.  Attempts by military
leaders to ignore, negate, or circumvent political guidance, can lead to
disaster.  It can be no other way according to Clausewitz.  Military
leaders must resign themselves to military strategies which are in
harmony with political goals.
Historical Examples
	1)  After communist China became involved in the Korean War in
November 1950, General Douglas MacArthur wanted to expand the Korean War
by blockading the Chinese coast, bombing air and logistical bases in
Manchuria as well as Chinese cities.  He also implied that he favored
assisting General Chiang Kai-shek's forces in reentering mainland China
to overthrow the communist Chinese government.  This approach, however,
was strongly rejected by President Truman and the Joint Chief of Staff
because it threatened and challenged the administration's policy
designed to keep Korea from turning into World War III.  The 
administration's policy was based largely on the theory of containment
of Soviet expansion advocated by George Kennan in his famous "Mr. X"
article.  President Truman and the Joint Chiefs of Staff believed that
the primary Soviet threat was in Europe, not the Far East.  In fact,
during the Korean War more American troops were sent to Europe than to
Korea.  Policy and politics dictated that the Korean War be limited in
scope and intensity because the political goal was one of moderation--a
show of force to prevent further Soviet military adventures.
	2)  A variation of this theme was repeated during the Vietnam War.
Generally, American military leaders advocated, over the course of time,
such things as invading Laos to cut the Ho Chi  Minh trail, blockading
Haiphong harbor, bombing Hanoi and the Red River Delta dikes, and later
invading Cambodia.  All of these suggestions made sense from a purely
military perspective.  However, as in the Korean War, policy dictated
different action.  The Johnson administration had its allies, American
public opinion, and potential reaction of the Soviet Union and China
to consider.  Again, South Vietnam was not worth World War III.  One may
disagree with the policy but we must understand that policy governs
Historical Applicaiton to the Persian Gulf War
	Tactics and the manner on which high technology weapons were
employed had significant political ramifications.  For example, the
Patriot missile system became a political weapon because it rendered the
SCUDs ineffective and therefore kept Israel out of the war.  The Allied
air strikes into Iraq were politically sensitive.  Smart weapaons enabled
the U.S. to conduct a surgical air campaign aimed at keeping the
coalition together.  It destroyed Iraq's infrastructure with minimum
Iraqi ciivian casualties.  The air campaign successfully appeased the
Arab/Moslem community and the United Nations, and sat well with the
American public--diverse political groups which would have reacted
negatively to heavy civilian casualties.
	President Bush and other coalition leaders clearly set the tone for
the war.  The military leaders, including General Colin Powel, Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Norman Schwarzkopf, Commander
of Coalition Forces, understood that it was President Bush's decision to
begin the air war and his decision to commence the ground war.  The hub
of power and decision making lay in the White House, not in the hands of
the military.  President Bush cited the lessons of the Vietnam War when
he announced that the hands of the military would not be tied with
restrictions making prosecution of the war overly difficult.  This
attitude showed the close cooperation between the White House and the
military leadership.
	The political leaders of the U.S. and Iraq had to deal with 
internal factors that influenced them.  President  Bush had to be aware
of public opinion and the attitude of Congress.  A key question was:
Would public opinion and Congress turn away from President Bush in the
face of an intensive ground war involving high American casualties?
What if Kuwait were liberated but Saddam refused to surrender and the
ground war continued in an effort to eliminate him?  What if Israel
entered the war and the coalition fell apart?
	Saddam also had to deal with internal factors.  The religious
leaders in Iraq were extremely powerful and could sway public opinion.
The loyalty of the military, particularly Saddam's closest military
advisors, was essential to avoid a coup.  Additionally, the loyalty of
the Republican Guard was essential in maintaining his political
leverage in Iraq as well as his hold on military power.  Being a
dictator, he had to firmly control the political and military dealings
in his country very closely.
			Fog and Friction
The Idea of Clausewitz
	Two words that are frequently used to explain events relating to
war are fog and friction.  These terms are often used interchangeably,
but are clearly different words used to explain different events.
	The fog of war focuses  on uncertainty as explained by Clausewitz:
	War is the realm of uncertainty; three-fourths of the factors on
     which action in war is based are wrapped in a fog of greater or lesser
     uncertainty.  A sensitive and discriminating judgment is called for; a 
     skilled intelligence to scent out the truth. (9:101)
The primary cause of fog is that the true picture of the enemy is
unclear.  What has happened, what is happening, and what will likely 
happen is unclear under the best of conditions.  The picture gets 
particularly muddy and confused when intelligence cannot provide
accurate information, and command and control functions are degraded.
	Between combating nations there rarely exist a complete screen or
fog.  The fog of war varies in time and place.  Sometimes it is
impenetrable; at other times it permits glimpses; at other times it
lifts altogether and events become clear.  It is most common for each
nation to have some idea of enemy intentions.  How much of an idea 
largely depends on reconnaissance measures and security precautions
taken by the combatants.(5:46)
Historical Examples
	1)  When American paratroopers landed off target behind Utah Beach,
on D-Day, 6 June 1944, the troops and their commanders did not know
where they were.  Even the higher level commanders, such as Montgomery
and Eisenhower, did not know where many paratroopers had landed.  There
was uncertainty and confusion concerning the friendly situation.  In
this case, the uncertainty of where the paratroopers were related to the
fog of war.
	2)  On D-Day, 6 June 1944, the 716th German Coastal Defense Division
was defending Omaha Beach right up until the time of the Allied
amphibious assault.  Just prior to the assault, this division was moved
to a position away from Omaha Beach and was replaced by the 352nd
Assault Infantry Division, which had been defending well behind Omaha
Beach.  The 352nd Division was more capable and certainly inflicted more
punishment on the Americans than would have 716th.  Allied 
intelligence did not find out about this change until it was too late.
The American troops hitting the beach had an inaccurate picture of who
the defenders were.
Historical Application to the Persian Gulf War
	Before G-Day, 16 February 1991, the effects of the fog of war had a
limited impact on Allied forces.  The U.S. had tremendous intelligence
assets at work, from spy satellites high above the earth to human
intelligence spying on the ground.  The U.S. knew where the Iraqi units
were and could very capably track the movement of units.  More
importantly, the U.S. had a very effective command and control system
which fed information up and down the chain of command keeping leaders
informed and the fog or uncertainty of war greatly diminished but not
totally eliminated.
	The effects of fog on Iraq were magnified because the command and
control facilities had been substantially reduced by Allied bombing.
Futhermore, Iraq's intelligence gathering assets were inadequate, even
at the beginning of the air war.  Iraq had a poor picture of the
location of Allied forces and the ground order of battle.  There were
three major questions that the Iraqis could not answer and which
contributed to the Iraqi fog of war:
	1)  Will the U.S. conduct an amphibious assault?
	2)  How long will the air campaign continue and when will the ground
campaign begin?
	3)  How will the Allied Forces prosecute the ground campaign?
Without an accurate picture of the enemy, the Iraqi military was 
confused as to enemy intentions.  Without the "eyes and ears" needed to
gather intelligence, Iraq was limited to reacting, and to delayed 
reaction at that.  Uncertainty regarding the Allied ground forces and
capabilities contributed greatly to the swiftness and totality of Iraq's 
The Idea of Clausewitz
	Friction is a related but different idea.  " the force
that makes the apparently easy so difficult."(9:121)  Friction and
chance are closely connected.  Examples of friction include:  a tank not
starting when it should, a messenger being delayed due to getting lost,
elements of an amphibious assault attacking the wrong beach, or sand
clogging up a rifle and causing it to misfire at a critical point.
	Friction can be reduced but not totally eliminated.  Training is an
important element in reducing friction.  The old axiom, "The more we
sweat in peacetime, the less we bleed in war," certainly applies.  There
is no substitute for hard, realistic training to prepare combat forces
for the rigors and uncertainty of combat.  Sharpening individual combat 
skills and carefully preparing equipment will reduce friction to a more
manageable and therefore less crucial level.
	Experience in combat not only reduces friction but prepares
soldiers to cope with and to overcome its effects.  Recognizing the 
effects of friction, and good leader rehearses whenever possible, allows
ample time for preparation, and permits subordinate leaders freedom of
action in making decisions that were not previously covered by
guidance.  Clausewitz believes the best general is not the one who is
most familiar with the idea of friction, but the one who does not expect
a standard of achievement in his operations which friction makes
impossible.(9:120)  By understanding and accepting friction and its 
constraints, leaders are better able to master the effects of 
Historical Examples  (continuation of Utah and Omaha Beach examples)
	1)  On D-Day, during the Normandy invasion, the American 82nd and
101st Divisions planned to land in drop zones behind Utah Beach.  The
first waves of paratroopers landed on target, but successive waves badly
missed assigned drop zones due to poor visibility, antiaircraft fire,
and less qualified pilots who were flying in the follow-up waves.  It is
estimated that more than one-half of both divisions failed to land in
proper drop zones.  This landing plan looked good on paper, but was very
difficult to execute due to friction.
	2)  On D-Day, during the invasion of Omaha Beach, infantry and tanks
(that could "swim") were to make a coordinated assault on the beach.
The tanks, however, got caught in rough seas and sank or landed late.
The initial infantry assaults went in without armor support.  This
landing also looked good when planned, but friction (rough water)
jeopardized success on Omaha Beach.
Historical Application to the Persian Gulf War
	Friciton was not a big factor in the Allied coalition's air
campaign.  Highly trained air crews, with higly technical equipment,
took the fight ot the enemy in the air over Iraq and Kuwait.  Although
friction certainly exists in an air campaign, it is usually less
pronounced that in a ground campaign.
	Friction was certainly evident in the coalition ground effort.  On
at least two occasions, Allied planes bombed freindly positions, causing
numerous casualties each time.  Allied planes which had been sent to
destroy Iraqi targets ended up destroying American and British personnel
and equipment.  This can easily happen unless very precise precautions
are taken by air crews, especially in a fast paced, fluid battlefield.
These crews must have detailed knowledge of enemy and friendly
equipment.  This knowledge is gained by training.  Additioanlly, air
crews must know where freindly as well as enemy locations are.  This is
gained by keeping up-to-date on the current situation and applying that
knowledge, not on paper where friction is absent, but on the modern
	Iraq, on the other hand, suffered greatly from the effects of
friciton, mainly due to the destruction of much of their command and
control system.  The Iraqi high command was blind--virtually unable to
obtain accurate and timely information on the enemy, or even the
friendly, situation.  The result was confusion and loss of cohesion.
	The Allied strategy from the beginning was to introduce as much
friction into the Iraqi command and control system as possible.  This
was accomplished by Allied air strikes continually pounding critical
centers of communication inside Iraq and Kuwait.  By cutting off command
and control, front line Iraqi commanders were often isolated from higher
headquarters.  Without this higher headquarters link, valuable enemy
intelligence information was not received quickly enough to respond in a 
fluid, fast moving situation.  Additionally, information from
subordinate commanders to Iraqi higher headquarters could not be
processed smoothly.  This lack of coordination between higher
headquarters and subordinate units led to a lack of unity of effort
among Iraqi commanders.  Thus, the Allied strategy designed to induce
friction into the Iraqi military machine was successful.
			Centers of Gravity
The Idea of Clausewitz
	Clausewitz explains center of gravity as being the hub of all power
and movement, on which everything depends.  The center of gravity is the
point against which all energies should be directed.  It is essential in
war to understand the enemy's center of gravity and then to focus your
efforts against it.  Clausewitz wrote:
	  . . .two basic principles that underlie all strategic planning and
	serve to guide all other considertions....  The first task, then, in
	planning for war is to identify the enemy's centers of gravity, and 
	if posssible trace them back to a single one.
	  The second task is to ensure that the forces to be used against
	that point are concentrted for a main offensive.(9:617-619)
	The idea is clean and clear cut.  If possible, the enemy's critical
vulnerability must be identified early, ideally before the war begins.
Once identified, the task of the strategist is to strike repeated blows
against this critical spot.  Once this center of gravity has been
identified and attacked, and the enemy thrown for a loss, he must be
struck repeatedly and not given time to recover.
Historical Examples
	1)  During the Vietnam War, the U.S. did not properly identify the
enemy's center of gravity.  By simple comparison of military power, the
United States should have won and won quickly in Vietnam.  Some believed
the center of gravity was the Viet Cong, others believed the extended
lines of communication between military supplies in the North and the
military fighting in the South were the center of gravity.  Even today,
nearly 20 years after the American pullout, debate and controversy still
rage.  Not properly identifying the enemy center of gravity led to the
confused execution of the war.
	2)  During the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese, on the other hand,
clearly recognized the most vulnerable center of gravity in the United
States, that is, the American people.  Perhaps at the begining of the
war, North Vietnam did not understand this.  But clearly, as time
passed, and dissent in America grew (especially after the Tet offensive
in 1968), it was obvious that public support for the war was
diminishing.  All North Vietnam had to do was hold out and continue to
inflict losses on American soldiers.  The loss of American support
caused immense political pressure for the U.S. to bring the war to a
close as quickly as possible.
Historical Application to the Persian Gulf War
	President Bush clearly identified the correct center of gravity in
Iraq as Saddam.  This man was definitely the hub of all power and
controlled everything of significance in Iraq.  President Bush
repeatedly said that the U.S. did not have a quarrel with the people of
Iraq.  The U.S. had, according to the President, a quarrel with Saddam
Hussein.  Although the President publicly said that it was not targeting
Saddam Hussein, he repeatedly called for the Iraqi people and/or the
Iraqi military to rise up and overthrow Saddam.  The Bush Administration
believed this would bring a quick end to the war, particularly if the
war-weary military engineered a coup.
	Although clearly Saddam was the main center of gravity in Iraq,
other less important centers of gravity existed such as the extended
lines of communicaiton from Baghdad to the Iraqi troops in Kuwait.  The
bombing of logistics and supply convoys heading south had a telling
effect.  Captured enemy prisoners of war told of limited water supplies,
sparse food rations, and unsanitary health conditions.  These conditions
contributed significantly to the mass surrenders and diminished fighting
spirit among the Iraqi troops seen during the brief ground war.
	Other Iraqi centers of gravity included:
	1)  The Republican Guard.
	2)  The loyalty of military commanders who were cut off from 
higher headquarters.
	3)  The security apparatus that surrounded Saddam Hussein.
	4)  The people of Iraq, military and civilian, who had endured a
longer war with Iran from 1980 to 1988.
	Saddam Hussein seemingly understood that the American center of
gravity was American public opinion.  If Saddam could have undermined
American support for the war effort, his country, like North Vietnam,
needed only to hold out to win.  Parading American prisoners of war on
television was an attempt by Saddam Hussein to undermine public
support.  Iraq fought a media war, using claims of large numbers of
civilian casualties in an attempt to influence the American people that
the war was unjust and fought unfairly by the U.S. and Allied countries.
	Saddam also realized that the coalition was a major center of
gravity.  His repeated calls for the Arab community to drive the
infidels out of the Holy Land was an attempt to hammer a wedge into the
coalition.  Saddam Hussein also said, or at least implied, that Allied
forces (particularly western forces) wished to destroy the Iraqi
infrastructure in an effort to totally destroy the nation.  These claims
were made in the hope of destroying the coalition.
			Culminating Point of Attack/Victory
Culminating Point of Attack
The Idea of Clausewitz
	These two points need to be differentiated so that the real meaning
of Clausewitz's writing can be understood.  Both refer to reaching the
highest level or zenith of a particular event.
	The culminating point of the attack is that point when the
attacker's strength is sapped and his superiority is exhausted.
Clausewitz stated:
	The attacker is purchasing advantages that may become valuable at
     the peace table, but he may pay for them on the spot with his
     fighting forces.  If the superior strength of the attack--which
     diminishes day by day--leads to peace, the object will have been
     attained.  There are strategic attacks that have led directly to 
     peace, but these are the minority.  Most of them only lead up to the
     point where their remaining strength is just enough to maintain a
     defense and wait for peace.  Beyond that point the scale turns....This
     is what we mean by the culminating point of the attack.(9:528)
	It is critical for the commander to identify properly this
culminating point or his attack will be continued until he stretches his
lines of communication to the breaking point.  His exhausted forces are
then vulnerable to enemy counterattack.  A wise commander will realize
when this culminating point is approaching and will take up temporary
defensive positions until his lines of communication are restored and
his forces rested.
	When the attack is continued beyond the culminating point, a
situation of diminishing returns may develop.  The attack may become
less effective as the defender becomes relatively stronger.  The
defender is very likely falling back on friendly territory where:  lines
of communication are shortened, local population is supportive,
reinforcement of personnel is easier, and the defense becomes more
solidified.  The object then is for the commander to use judgement and
experience to avoid going past this point and overextending his forces.
Historical Examples
	1)  In June 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union.  At the end of
three weeks, the spectacular attack had carried German armored
spearheads up to 400 miles inside the Soviet Union.  At this point,
however, they were out of fuel and very low on ammunition, thereby
forced to halt their offensive for four to six weeks while logistics
support caught up with the spearheads.  The attack had clearly reached
its culminating point.
	2)  In 1944, Allied forces, racing across France, ran out of fuel as
they approached the German border.  Patton's 3rd Army was halted for 
some time while gasoline and other supplies went to Montgomery's
forces.  The entire Allied logistic situation was aggravated by
Montgomery's failure to secure the approaches to the port of Antwerp.
(He instead opted for the dramatic lunge toward the Rhine in operation
Market Garden in which two depleted SS Panzer Divisions badly mauled the
British 1st Airborne Division.)  Due to unresolved logistical
difficulties, the Allied offensive had temporarily reached its
culminating point.
Historical Application to the Persian Gulf War
	During the air campaign, it appeared that the only chance of the
culminating point of attack being reached was if Allied air forces ran
out of ammunition.  To lessen the chance of this happening, B52s flew
missions directly out of Fairfield in the United Kingdom and bases in
Spain where there were huge munitions depots.
	During the 100 hour ground campaign of the Persian Gulf war, the
Allied campaign plan was one sweeping maneuver designed to cut off and
destroy all Iraqi divisions in the Kuwaiti theater of operations.  The
101st Air Assault Division was used to establish forward petroleum, oil
and lubricant (POL) bases.  Allied forces moved 60 days of supplies to
the area immediately behind the line of departure for the 7th Corps'
advance.  These supplies turned out to be vastly more than what was
needed to prevent a culminating point from being reached.
	Iraq never reached the culminating point of the attack.  After the
2 August 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Iraq maintained a virtually passive
form of defense, except for improving already established defensive
positions.  Iraq consciously chose the military option of defense over
offense and therefore never reached a culminating point of the attack.
Culminating Point of Victory
The Idea of Clausewitz
	The culminating point of victory is more difficult to understand.
In certain cases it is not possible for one country to defeat totally
another, unless that country virtually collapses.  It is vital to
understand the will of the people you wish to conquer and the limit of
your resources before you embark on the road to war.  Simply put, the
country you are fighting may be too powerful or too difficult to defeat
and/or conquer.
	Clausewitz wrote: "It is not possible in every war for the victor
to overthrow his enemy completely.  Often even victory has a culminating 
point.  This has been amply demonstrated by experience."(9:566)  As a
war progresses the attacker may become relatively weaker because of his
own successes.  This may seem to be a contradiction but it is not.
Because of one nations success in a war, other states may join in the
war to prevent the utter destruction of the defeated nation.  In
addition, a whole nation may rise up in extremity to save itself by a
people's war.(12:41)  "It is necessary to know how far (our    	
preponderance) will reach, in order not to go beyond that point and, 
instead of fresh advantage, reap disaster."(12:41)
Historical Examples
	1)  During the Peninsular War between France and Spain, 1808 to
1813, the Spanish people resisted by waging guerrilla and partisan
warfare against the French, even after Napoleon had defeated the regular
Spanish Army and put his brother on the Spanish throne.  Each year,
100,000 French soldiers died in a war Napoleon did not understand and
the French could not win--a classic example of the culminating point of
victory being exceeded, despite the defeat of the Spanish Army, and a
French garrison of over 250,000 troops.
	2)  During the Sino-Japanese War, 1937 to 1945, Japan's Army had
defeated major Chinese armies and occupied huge portions of Eastern
China.  Nevertheless, Japan was effectively stalemated by 1941, despite
having committed 2,000,000 troops to the war.  The Japanese were hard
pressed to make futher gains; indeed, they had difficulty securing
territory already won.  Chiang Kai-shek had withdrawn his government to
Chunking and refused to negotiate.  The Japanese were overextened and
overcommitted in China.  In many ways it was their "Vietnam."  Japan had
reached the culminating point of victory in her war against China, and
sought a way out of that impasse by widening the war to include the
Dutch, British, and the United States, which she did in December 1941.
Historical Application to the Persian Gulf War
	A culminating point of victory might have been reached if Iraqi
 forces in Kuwait had the capability and will to fight effectively to the
 last man.  Instead, their front line forces suffered from lack of
 supplies and replenishment which caused low morale and diminished
 fighting spirit.  The Republican Guard, while giving more resistance
 than front line forces, did not live up to its reputation of a highly
 trained, vastly equipped, and spirited fighting force.  Without
 continued and strenuous fighting from the enemy, no culminating point of
 victory was reached by Allied military forces.
	Another opportunity for reaching the culminating point of victory
 might have arisen if after the liberation of Kuwait, President Bush had
 felt compelled to drive to Baghdad and beyond to secure Saddam's removal
 from political power in Iraq.  This could have occured if the Iraqi
 forces had withdrawn from Kuwait but Saddam had refused to accept all of
 the provisions of the United Nations resolutions and the Iraqi people
 and the Republican Guard had continued to firmly support him and his
 The Idea of Clausewitz
	The term diversion, according to Clausewitz, means an attack on
 enemy territory that draws enemy forces away from the main
 objective.(9:562)  There are two instances when diversions are useful:
	1)  When the enemy diverts relatively more forces from the point or
 area of the intended main attack than you have used in creating your
	2)  If the enemy does not detect or react to the diversion, your
 diversion forces may gain an important secondary objective; such as
 something of value to the enemy or key terrain.(9:562-564)
	Clausewitz warns that creating diversions can be dangerous and
 should be done with utmost caution.
    It is dangerous, in fact, to use substantial forces over any length of
    time merely to create and illusion; there is always the risk that
    nothing will be gained and that the troops deployed will not be
    available when they are really needed.(9:203)
 In the latter case, the resources committed to a diversion may be better
 used in the main atttack.  Successful diversions do not happen very 
frequently.  They are extremely difficult to plan and can be risky if
not successful.
Historical Examples
	1)  The Japanese attempted what proved to be an unsuccessful
diversion during the Battle of Midway in June 1942.  The Japanese sent
four large carriers against Midway Island.  In an effort to create a
diversion, two additional carriers were sent to the Aleutian Islands,
specifically to attack the American base at Dutch Harbor.  Although
privy to parts of the Japanese plan through code breaking and other
intelligence activities, Admiral Nimitz, Commander in Chief U.S. Pacific
Fleet, diverted only a few cruisers and destroyers to counter the
Japanese carriers moving to the Aleutians.  Nimitz concentrated all
three of his available carriers against the four Japanese carriers which
struck Midway.  The result was the dramatic American victory on 4 June
1942 in which all four Japanese carriers were sunk.  Unfortunately, for
the Japanese, the two carriers which might have altered the outcome of
The Battle of Midway, were involved in and unsuccessful diverison a
thousand miles from the main engagement.
	2)  During World War II, American deception plan in 1944 for
Operation Overlord was particularly successful.  The objective of the
diverison was to freeze the German 15th Army in the Pas de Calais.  This
was accomplished primarily through the creation of a bogus army centered
around General George S. Patton.  Dummy equipment, such as inflatable
rubber landing craft and tanks were used, along with fake radio
traffic.  Real units were also used--units which were scheduled to be
moved to Normandy weeks after the D-Day assault.  This deception took
nothing away from the D-Day assault in Normandy and it kept the German
15th Army sitting in the Pas de Calais wondering when Patton's invasion
was coming.
Historical Application to the Persian Gulf War
	In a recent news conference, General Schwarzkopf said that the
Persian Gulf War will be studied for a long time to come.  When asked to
elaborate, he said the deception aspects of the campaign were especially
	The United States used the amphibious forces in the Persian Gulf to
create a large scale diversion, forcing Iraq to commit up to six
divisions to defend the coastline when they could have been used
elsewhere inland.  This diversion was enhanced by the use of heavy naval
gunfire shelling the Kuwaiti coastline, which was a normal precedent to
and opposed amphibious landing.  This deception took very little away
from the Allied ground campaign.
	Iraq was forced to keep approximately 120,000 third-rate troops
positioned along the border with Turkey.  If Turkey could have been
persuaded to posture more aggressively, by moving more troops to the
Iraq border threatening a second front, this passive diversion could
have been made even more effective.  This action might have forced Iraq
to divert front line forces to the Turkish border.  Turkey need not have 
intended to use these troops.  The only requirement was to keep the
Iraqi military guessing.
	The 7th Army Corps was involved in a massive deception plan that
included the largest movement of tanks since World War II.  This
deception concentrated the initial tank build-up and subsequent probing
attacks along the Saudi border with Kuwait.  This plan tricked the
Iraqis into retaining large mobile reserves, including the Republican
Guard, behind the Kuwaiti-Saudi border--more than 100 miles east from
where the main attack actually occurred.  This deception worked so well
that the attacking force had to move its plan ahead 10 hours to take
advantage of very light enemy resistance.
	On the Iraqi side, the SCUDS were an effective diversion.
Thousands of Allied sorties were diverted to find and destroy the SCUD
launchers even though the Patriot weapons system was available to
counter them.  These sorties were diverted from the Baghdad area, the
Republican Guard, and other military targets to go after a militarily
insignificant target.  This was sound military strategy on the part of
Saddam, although it may have backfired politically.
			Moral Elements
The Idea of Clausewitz
	Moral factors are extremely important in the view of Clausewitz.
Moral factors include not only believing in what you are fighting for
but fighting hard for what you believe in.  Simply believing in a cause
is not enought.  The soldier must go one step further.  The soldier must
have a strong fighting spirit and professional pride.  This feeling of
professional pride is not new.  Clausewitz wrote:
   No matter how much one may be inclined to take the most sophisticated
   view of war, it would be a serious mistake to underrate professional 
   pride (esprit de corps) as something that may and must be present in
   an army to greater or lesser degree.(9:187)
	It is important to differentiate between moral an morale.  Simply
put, moral is believing and fighting for a cause.  That cause may be a
democracy, nation, or a way of life.  Moral runs deep and is not 
easily changed or swayed.  Morale, on the other hand, is transitory and
is usually based on more shallow factors, such as the quality or
temperature of the chow, timeliness of mail, or frequency of showers.
	An army which has esprit de corps will not lose cohesion under fire
and will not run when rumors and fear spread.  A unit with high moral
qualities will not lose respect and trust for its officers even in
defeat.  A unit which understands what training and harship means to
victory is a unit filled with military virture and efficiency.  This
esprit cannot be underestimated by the enemy or overestimated by the
friendly govenment.  In either case, disaster could be the
result.(9:187)  Clausewitz believed that:
   ...moral elements are among the most important in war.  They
   constitute the spirit that permeates war as a whole, and at an early
   stage they establish a close affinity with the will that moves and 
   leads the whole mass of force, partically merging with it, since the
   will is itself a moral quanity...
      The spirit and other moral qualities of an army, a general or a
   government, the temper of the population of the theatre of war, the
   moral effects of victory or defeat--all vary greatly.  They can
   moreover influence our objective and situation in very different
Historical Examples (High Moral)
	1)  In the aftermath of athe Frence Revolution in 1789, Napoleon had
the advantage of having troops who had something to fight for.  Among
other causes, the Frenchmen of this time were fighting for ideals of the
French Revolution and Nationalism.  The French also had the advantge of
fighting against mercenaries whose interests were largely monetary.
French armies could sustain tremendous casualties and still maintain a
strong fighting force in the field.  An example is the Battle of
Borodino in Napoleon's 1812 Russian campaign.  This battle represented
the last chance for Russia to keep France away from Moscow.  The size of
the armies was relatively equal, about 100,000 plus.  However, unlike
many previous campaigns and battles, the Russian army, too, possessed
strong moral fiber.  Both armies suffered extremely heavy casuslties and
both stayed on the field until finally the Russian commander withdrew
his army in relatively good order.  The result was a tactical victory,
but a strategic defeat for Napoleon.  The Battle of Borodino
demonstrated the superior moral qualities inherent in both armies.
	2)  In World War II the Japanese armed forces demonstrated unusually
strong moral fiber.  Japanese soldiers, sailors, and airmen fought for
their Emperor, national and family honor, and their personal destiny in
the hereafter.  Kamikaze pilots and banzai charges characterized the
Pacific War.  From one island to antoher, from Guadalcanal to Okinawa,
most Japanese fought until the last man.  American planners for the
final invasion of the Home Islands in 1945 and 1946 had to assume that
many Japanese men, women, and children would fight to the death.  Only
the atomic bomb and Russian entry into the war against them (both in
early August 1945) compelled the Japanese to surrender before the
planned invasion.
Historical Examples (Low Moral)
	The lack of moral elements can lead to defeat and humiliation.
Once defeatism spreads through an army and a nation, the affects can be
very damaging.
	1)  Both before and during the Battle of France in 1940, the French
army suffered from poor moral qualities.  During the 1930's. French
domestic politics saw bitter struggles between French political parties
ranging from the far right to the far left.  Indeed, many French
rightists preferred Nazi domination and conquest of France to being
governed by left wing parties, specifically the Popular Front Party.
Additionally, France as a nation still suffered from the terrible ordeal
of trench warfare in World War I which affected the smaller and older
French population more heavily than it did the larger and younger German
population.  Finally, the French people and soldiers placed great faith
in the vaunted Maginot Line--a system of fortifications on the
Franco-German border.  Therefore, when the Germans avoided the Maginot
Line by suddenly striking through the Ardennes Forest and across the
Meuse River and racing to the English Channel,  thereby cutting off
significant allied armies, France's moral cohesion collapsed.
	2)  Italy in World War II suffered from bad equipment as well as
poor military and political leadership.  Additonally, they fought the
wrong enemy.  Italy had traditionally been friendly with the United
States and Great Britain and did not identify with Germany.  But
Mussolini's primary goal was to build a new Roman Empire and he believed
it was in Italy's best interest to fight on the side of Germany.  The 
result was a poor showing for Italy.  The hearts of the Italian people
were not in the war.  The best example was when General Wavell routed
and captured over 100,000 Italian troops with only two small British
Imperial Divisions in Egypt and Libya in 1940-41.
Historical Application to the Persian Gulf War
	Americn troops had high esprit.  Traditioanlly, American troops
believe in their cause and transfer that strong belief into a firm
fighting  spirit.  The Americn people remained united behind the policy
in Southwest Asia, keeping moral elements at elevated levels.  It is
important to note, however, that hardships in Southwest Asia were not
burdensome for a prolonged time.  American and Allied ground forces did
not have to undergo the hardships of prolonged, intense combat, which
would have been a truer test of esprit and moral mettle.
	The Iraqi troops suffered from the effects of poor moral elements.
Frequent defections and the surrender of battalion-sized units occured
even before S-Day.  On and after G-Day, Iraqi POWs presented a more
serious problem to the Allied advance than did Iraqi resistance.  In all
fairness, many of these early POWs were second line fighters drafted off
the steets of Baghdad who did not match up to the "elite" Republican
Guard, which offered more resistance.
	General Schwarzkopf remarked that the Iraqi troops were tired after
eight years of war with Iran and their "heart was not in it."  Many of
the Iraqi troops were battle hardened and certainly well acquainted with
the horrors and rigors of combat.  However, many ran when Allied troops
approached.  The poor showing by these forces, including the 
Republican Guard, is explained by a combination of other factors
relating to fog, friction, training, equipment, and operational art, as 
well as low moral fiber.
	Finally, what exactly were the Iraqi troops fighting for?  Saddam
Hussein is a brutal dictator who used chemical agents on the Kurds in
Northern Iraq.  He also gave up gains which had been hard won in the war
with Iran.  Then, just days before G-Day, Saddam agreed to a
"conditional" withdrawl from Kuwait--the so-called "nineteenth province
of Iraq."  What was left to fight for?
			Civilized Warfare
The Idea of Clausewitz
	Clausewitz believed that war is a serious undertaking that should
not be taken lightly.  Joseph Greene wrote in The Living Thought of 
   ...he was the first man to express clearly the idea of war as a
   national affair....he was one of the first to write extensively about
   opening wars with a sudden stroke at the enemy with all the armed
   force a commander can bring to bear.(8:6)
In fact, some historians insist that Clausewitz is the intellectual
father of total war.(8:6)
	Clausewitz knew first hand that war is a tough business and it
takes hard fighting to win.  To introduce moderation into the philosophy
of war would be absurd according to Clausewtiz.  He believed that war is
such a bloody spectical that it should be given due respect and entered
into only after reason has been applied.(9:642)  How then does civilized
warfare fit into his writing?  Even in war, Clausewitz believed there
were restraints that governmental leaders must impose on the military
and civilian populations in connection with the prosecution of war.
Specifically, these restraints are directed against nonmilitary
   If, then, civilized nations do not put their prisoners to death or
 devastate cities and countries, it is because intelligence plays a
 larger part in their methods of warfare and has taught them more
 effective ways of using force than the crude expression of
	Clausewitz clearly said that combatants should not mistreat POWs,
 level cities, or destroy the environment during the prosecution of a
 war.  Yet throughout history, countries have crossed over the line that
 not only Clausewitz but many others have drawn.
 Historical Examples
	1)  During the Bataan death march in April-May 1942, the Japanese
 forced 70,000 American and Filipino prisoners to march 70 miles to
 relocation camps.  Malnourished and suffering from disease, many died
 during the march.  Upon reaching their new camps, many more were
 tortured and deprived of proper medical care.  Poor Japanese treatment
 of POWs is explained in part by the Bushido Code which stated that death
 was preferable to surrender.  If the Japanese had no respect for their
 own soldiers who surrendered, why should they treat enemy POWs with
 respects?  An answer is that as military strategists they should have
 been concerned about the American reaction to this practice and its
 impact on the American national will to fight for total defeat of 
	2)  The Germans during World War II in North Africa and on the 
 Western Front were generally recognized to have given adequate care to
 POWs.  The war on the Eastern Front between the Germans and the Russians
 was totally different.
	a)  From June through December 1941, approximately 3.5 million
 Russians were captured by the Germans.  Treatment of these POWs was
 shocking.  They were put in cattle yards and not given adequate food,
 shelter, or medical attention.  Seventy-five percent of these POWs died
 within one year of capture.  Part of the reason Germans treated Russian 
 POWs so poorly was that Hiltler wanted Libensraum (living room).  He 
 needed room to spread out so that the German nation might grow.
 Additionally, Hitler believed in Untermenschen (under-people or
 sub-humans).  He believed that the people he was killing really did not
 matter anyway.
	b)  German POWs were also treated badly by the Russians.
 Specifically, during February 1943, 90,000 Germans surrendered at
 Stalingrad.  These troops had been on low rations and were being
 provided poor health care even before their capture.  After
 surrendering, they were forced to march long distances before they were
 put on trains bound for relocation camps in Siberia.  Less than 4,000 of
 these 90,000 German POWs lived to return to Germany after the war.  It
 should be noted, however, that the Russians did not have food, clothing,
 or medicine to spare for the POWs.
	As noted earlier, Clausewitz warns against the indiscriminate
 leveling of cities and their inhabitants.  He realized that the practice
 of leveling cities can backfire and result in galvanizing public
 opinion.  The following examples apply:
	1)  Late in 1937, the Japanese seized Nanking, the capital of
 Nationalist China, and sacked the city.  Within seven weeks 200,000
 Chinese were brutally massacred inwhat historians have called "the Rape
 of Naking".  Eye witnesses reported that the Japanese threw babies into
 the air and caught them on bayonets.  The rape of Nanking infuriated the
 Chinese Nationalists.  On 26 December 1937, Chiang Kai-shek publicly
 stated, in great detail, that he rejected any possibility of a
 negotiated settlement with Japan, in part, because Japan had violated
 the customs of civilized warfare.
	2)  In the Battle of Britain, 1940 to 1941, Hitler directed the
 Luftwaffe to bomb London and other British cities in an effort to
 destroy the will of the British people.  The bombing of Coventry is
 probably the best known example of this terror bombing campaign.  The
 American news reporter, Edward R. Murrow, broadcast to the world daily
 ("This is London calling") describing the Luftwaffe attacks and the
 heroic reaction of the stout-hearted Londoners, who slept in the
 subways, sent their children off to the countryside, and carried on as
 best they could.  The bombing served only to unite the British people
 with no appreciable damage to the British war effort.  This attempt at
 uncivilized warfare backfired on Hitler and provided the background for
 Winston Churchill's inspiring leadership against the Nazis.
 Historical Application to the Persian Gulf War
	The United States conducted a high technology war based on surgical
 precision rather than a meat cleaver approach.  Targets were carefully
 selected to avoid civilian casualties and extremely accurate "smart"
 weapons employed to limit collateral damage and friendly casualties.
 Iraq charged (unsuccessfully) that the U.S. and the Allies targeted
 population centers, as well as religious and culatural artifacts.  Iraq
 further charged (again unsuccessfully) that Allied forces attempted to
 destroy the infrastructure of Iraq through the bombing campaign.
	In the Persian Gulf War, the United States organized a coalition of
 western and eastern nations with diversified cultural, religious, and
 economic backgrounds.  Members of the coalition had to be aware of
 differences in the way each intended to fight the war.  If certain
 coalition partners had believed that the coalition air campaign had
 targeted Iraqi civilians or was designed to destroy the Iraqi culture,
 the coalition might have fallen apart quickly.  The United States, even
 if otherwise inclined, had to avoid acting out of instinct as Clausewitz
 warned, and instead, use reason and caution in the prosecution of the
	Iraq, on the other hand, made three fundamental errors regarding
 the concept of civilized warfare:
	1)  Iraq failed to guage the reaction of the United States and the
 world when they placed Allied pilots on Iraqi television.  These pilots
 appeared to have been beaten and perhaps drugged in an attempt to get
 "confessions" which may have been coerced.  The intent, of course, was
 to show the Iraqi people that Allied pilots had been shot down and that
 these pilots did not support the war.  This parading of POWs was staged
 to benefit internal Iraqi relations but backfired elsewhere because
 mistreatment of POWs goes beyond civilized warfare.
	2)  The launchings of SCUD missiles at Israel and Saudi Arabia had
little effect militarily, except--as pointed out earlier--to divert
Allied sorties away from other targets.  Whe indiscriminate launchings
of these missiles were designed purely to inflict fear and terror into
the civilian sector.  Additionally, SCUD missiles are not precision
weapons.  These missiles are area weapons which can do enormous damage
to targets such as cities.  These missile attacks had little positive
effect for Iraq, but united the coalition and increased international
	3)  We now know that Iraq attempted the virtual complete destruction
of Kuwait (atrocities, killings, rape, torture, over 30,000 Kuwaiti
citizens sent to Iraq, etc.).  Over 800 oil wells were set on fire and 
the supporting oil industry devastated.  Kuwait City was completely
stripped, valuables taken to Iraq, and buildings destroyed.  Kuwait is
now faced with a monumental rebuilding effort.  This destruction is
tantamount to a scorched early policy.
	Clausewitz expressed the modest hope that his writings on war
"would not be forgotten quickly, and might be picked up more than once
by those interested in the subject."(9:58)  As a theorist of war,
Clausewitz has come to mean more to this century than he did to his
own.(10:39)  That American civilian and military officials frequently
explained policies and actions in the Persian Gulf War in Clausewitzian
terms is a testament ot his still powerful contemporary influence.
Terms such as fog, friction, and center of gravity are common military
phraseology used to discuss and explain military events from the distant
past to the recent conflict with Iraq.  All indications suggest that
Clausewitz's legacy and import will only continue to grow.
	The words of Michael Howard written 25 years ago (A Short Guide to
Clausewitz On War) still apply today:
    For all serious students of the problems of war and peace,
    Clausewitz's great study On War is likely to remain a basic text for
    many years....the profundity and originality of his writings brought
    the study of war to an entirely new level:  and  his views on the
    relationship between war and policy, on the part played by `friction'
    in war, on the importance of morale, and on strategy in general remain
    the starting point for almost all later thinking on the
	The modest hope put forth by Clausewitz, over 150 years ago, was
certainly fulfilled as noted by Edward M. Collins in War, Politics and
Power:  "The reason for reading Clausewitz today is quite simple:  he has
something to say which is important, timely, and relevent to our
1.  Aron, Raymond. Clausewitz Philosopher of War. Tr. Christine
	Booker and Norman Stone. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey:
	Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1985
2.  Clausewitz Casyndekan. Colorado Springs: Casyndekan, Inc., 1969
3.  Collins, Edward M., ed. War, Politics, and Power: Selections from
	On War, and I Believe and Profess. Chicago: Henry Regnery
	Company, 1962.
4.  Eccles, Henry E. Military Concepts and Philosophy. New Brunswick:
	Rutgers University Press, 1965.
5.  Falls, Cyril. Ordeal by Battle. New York: Oxford University Press, 1943.
6.  Foch, Marshal. The Principles of War. Tr. Hilaire Belloc. London:
	Chapman & Hall, Ltd., 1903.
7.  Gallie W.B. Philosophers of Peace and War: Kant, Clausewitz,
	Marx, Engels and Tolstoy.  Cambridge: Cambridge University
	Press, 1978.
8.  Greene, Joseph I., ed. The Living Thought of Clausewitz.  New 
	York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1943.
9.  Howard, Michael, and Peter Paret, eds. Carl von Clausewitz On
	War. 1984 ed. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University
	Press, 1984.
10. Howard , Michael, ed. The Theory and Practice of War.
	Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1965.
11. Leonard, Roger Ashley, ed. A Short Guide to Clausewitz On War.
	New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1967.
12. Murray, Stewart L. The Reality of War: An Introduction to
	"Clausewitz". London: Hugh Rees, Ltd., 1909.
13. Strachan, Hew. European Armies and the Conduct of War. London:
	Unwin Hyman, 1983.

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One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias