For those interested in how ideology can transform war from something terrible to absolutely barbaric I recommend John Dower’s “War Without Mercy: Race, Religion, Ideology and Total War”
Dower, John W. War without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War.” Pantheon Books, a Division of Random House, New York, NY 1986.
The study of war cannot simply be confined to the study of battles, weapons and leaders. While all of these are important one must as Clausewitz understood examine the human element of policy, ideology and the motivations of nations as they wage war. Clausewitz understood that war could not be reduced to formulas and templates but involved what he called the “remarkable trinity” which he described in on war as (1) primordial violence, hatred, and enmity; (2) the play of chance and probability; and (3) war’s element of subordination to rational policy. Clausewitz connects this with the people being connected to the primordial forces of war, the military with the non-rational elements of friction, chance and probability and the government.
The Clausewitzian understanding of war is…
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