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  • Clausewitz, On War, Book 1: Clausewitz on Military Genius

    Posted by Nathaniel T. Lauterbach on 11th January 2009 (All posts by )

    I am reading Clausewitz because I fight as a profession. It is therefore my duty to heed my obligation to society that I read and understand my craft. Clausewitz, whether one agrees with him or not, has shaped the doctrine of all modern state-owned militaries. The capstone doctrinal document of the Marines, MCDP 1: Warfighting, is laced with Clausewitzian thought and terminology. Ask any Marine lieutenant what Friction is. He almost certainly knows!

    On my road to professionalism I have wondered what makes a person a genius at the military arts and sciences. Fortunately Clausewitz provided me the Third Chapter of Book One of On War, where he dissects military genius into its component parts and discusses them. In doing so he provides a great starting point to discuss the nature of military genius. What is military genius? Where does it come from? What kinds of people are military geniuses? Do we make geniuses, or are they born?

    Here I will digest the chapter and provide my thoughts, as well as questions for the Round Table.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Clausewitz Roundtable, Military Affairs | 17 Comments »