Clausewitz Applicability to Non-State Actors Essay

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Clausewitz’s theories on war are still relevant today with the revisualization of non-state actors on the world scene. The purpose of this essay is to expand on the applicability of these theories in today’s modern warfare where non-state actors play a larger, more global role. The study of theory, especially translated theory, requires an open mind to determine its applicability to various and ever-changing situations. In the case of Clausewitz, many strategists do not view his theories as relevant to today’s wars involving a Nation State vs. non-state actors. This is not true. The U.S. Army Command and General Staff College teaches that the commander’s intent is the most important part of proper execution. Strategists need to look …show more content…
Examples of the relationship between non-state actors and Clausewitz’s definition of war include: 1) Non-state actors often use force, insurgencies, to attempt to compel a legitimate Nation State into conforming to their will; such as Texas’s success from Spain. 2) Most clashes involve a fundamental difference that results in conflict and bloodshed; such as the Moro Rebellion in the Philippines following the Philippine-American War. Finally, 3) conflicts involving non-state actors involve some type of fighting or hostilities to gain the required end-state of the movement; such as the French revolution. In modern history, the trend in warfare is sharply moving away from the inter-state conflict and more toward wars of identity, as well as reengaging historic wrongs and not about difference between Nation States. War in not changing, it has been wrapped into globalization and become more visual than ever before in history. Another factor in the increase in non-state actor conflicts is the decline in “super powers” resulting in a belligerent scramble by communities to seize their historic opportunity to achieve the sovereign homeland that they feel they deserve. Not only does Clausewitz’s definition of war apply to non-state actors but also so does “the remarkable trinity.” Clausewitz’s trinity, which summarizes the environment in which war and strategy are made, applies to conflicts involving non-state actors. Before examining how this