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HARVARD GOV 1730 - Lecture 4

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War and Politics Lecture #4 Clausewitz, Sun Tzu, Kautilya on Strategy Government 1730 War and Politics Lecture #4 Clausewitz, Sun Tzu, Kautilya on Strategy I. Introduction A. Clausewitz, Sun Tzu and Kautilya. B. Clausewitz wrote On War, not On Strategy, much that is not relevant. War and combat is at heart of book. C. Seems uninterested in modern factors, but… D. War is extension of politics, E. He focuses strategic choice. 1. "How much is enough." How do I know what and where is the center of gravity of the enemy? 2. What do I need to know? the role of strategic intelligence. 3. Perhaps most difficult question for C: how should we think about limited wars? F. Same questions in Sun Tzu and Arthasastra of Kautilya II. Clausewitz on how strategic choices made A. How much force should you bring to bear? In theory, abstract war says you use as much as you can, "the maximum exertion of strength" (I, 1, p. 77). B. In practice, "since war is not an act of senseless passion...the value of the object must determine the sacrifices to be made for it in magnitude and duration. Once the expenditure of effort exceeds the value of the political object, the object must be reounced and peace must follow." (I, 2, p. 92). So first step in strategic planning is the evaluation of the relative political importance of your own war aims. C. Net assessment of political goals, national, not only military capabilities, and the international environment. D. How do I use my forces? The famous "center of gravity...the hub of all power and movement, on which everything depends." (VIII, 4, pp. 595-596). E. C. teaches how to do assessments by giving examples. F. Clausewitz on intelligence, surprises, deception. 1. Intelligence. 2. Surprise. 3. Cunning. (III, 10) C's term for deceptionIII. Sun Tzu A. On War and Politics, generals should be left alone B. Combat is not central. C. Intelligence is the central theme of Sun Tzu. "All warfare is based on deception" and "Know the enemy and know yourself, in a hundred battles you will never be in peril." ( I-17, III-31). 1. Intel about the enemy. 2. Intel about yourself IV. Arthashastra of Kautilya A. Roughly same time as Sun Tzu, Presocratics B. Advice to rulers on governing, most similar to Machiaveli's Prince. C. Like Sun Tzu, heavy emphasis on use of spies D. So use treachery within the enemy camp to win, E. How to make a false alliance and when to betray your ally. F. All this is better than


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