Carl Gottieb von Clausewitz was a German military theorist born in July 1, 1780. His work on moral, social and political aspects of is very indispensable in the analysis on current war in Afghanistan. Current philosophers, political scientists, peace keepers and humanitarian bodies have understood the sate cause and trend of war in Afghanistan which has prevailed for several decades. From his book: On War by General Carl Von Clausewitz, he started with the simple definition of war as “an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfill our will”. He later realizes the existences of different types of wars and quickly intervenes to modify the definition. In his consideration, war can be an absolute fight for total supremacy, or complete destruction of the enemy, and is fought with utmost violence. Likewise, war can be a limited war. In this type, the conduct of war is restricted to the realities of life and its objectives. Here politics becomes the central conduct. Form his definitions, the current analysts are able to understand that the battles in Afghanistan are mostly if not wholly politics. The political objective is the epicenter of all the involvement by states like USA in Afghanistan. (Fiscus, 2004).
Afghanistan is one of the volatile nations in regard to terrorism. Al Qaeda is a troop giving rise to globally known terrorist like Osama Bin Laden. The questions have been raised regarding their criminal proficiency yet are not clear if they attended any war colleges. On the same not, analysts have further put more analysis to study if forces like America are able to fully crack whip on this terrors through deployment of the military.
Clausewitz did a lot of research on military issues and their connection to war. He also made inclusive studies to show how trend of any war was linked to human social warfare. In his publication in On War, the central argument about warfare surrounded the understanding by one as a social phenomenon. The war is understood to emerge from specific extreme circumstances and the same situation enables one to comprehend critically about it. He was ahead and described that the two beliefs existed to support comprehension. By applying this, current analysts view that war propagates to a simple linear solution i.e. the relationship between the military base and the army is the responsible to bringing victory. The war is should be obviously chaotic and should not be subjected to rational analysis.
According to Him, war is an extension of politics facilitated by other factors like violence. The war changes with time in response to the changes in the form of social organizations. As a result, conflicts arise with their ways of resolving them largely depending on their sources and methods the offenders use. Also Clausewitz pointed out that in order to understand a conflict; one has to view military action from political perspective and context. Military events are directed and influenced by the prevailing political scenes. Therefore, current analysts have to first understand the politics behind any military deployment and operations before questioning their conduct. In analytically and practical terms, Clausewitz formula can be used to show that there is a linear relationship usually exist between the objectives sought and the magnitude of force applied to achieve it. In a war where the attacker intends to defeat the opponent (country) and occupy it, then more efforts are expected than the vice versa.
Violence is an inevitable option as a result of people suffering due causes attributed to war. This was one of his normative aspects to the formula. One should believe that administering force is the most efficient solution if consciously taken as a state policy. The theorist further analyzed that the events prevailing at the battlefield were associated with politics which influenced each other. (von Clausewitz, 1976). In the context of Afghanistan, analysts should clearly understand that political spheres including USA are getting involved in Afghanistan as a result of influence from each other. The victor from one of these is seen by the others as a danger to them, many forces from most angles of the world had interests in involving themselves in Afghanistan but the battle seemed to be decisive as the strong military, from US in this case, seemed to be victorious hence deterring other from involving. This is used by current analysts to explain the involvement of few Nations.
Analysts should also take into consideration the Clausewitz’s idea of withdrawal. According to him, the morale of each state fighting is largely affected by the intervention or withdrawal by the other. For any battle, military-political collusion is not simply about setting the objectives and criteria: the political influence on the conflict attributes to all factors that can impact on military operation. One should regard military as being the narrower instrument while politics being the broader one towards any battle.
In a contrary situation, Clausewitz was keen to put across that war was not simply all about politics. According to his words “do political relations between the people and between their governments stop when diplomatic notes are no longer exchanged? Is war not just another expression of their thoughts, another form of speech or writing? Its grammar indeed may be” (von Clausewitz, 1976). From this, analysts are able to understand the military conduct poses its own peculiar requirement. He went ahead and argued that “political considerations do not determine the posting of guards or employment of patrols. But they are the more influential in the planning of war, of the campaign and even the battles”. (von Clausewitz, 1976). This brings the fact that there is a twist between the role of politics in a war and the exemption.
In his further argument which of great importance to current analysts, war can be seen just as a “calculation or probabilities” and does not favor creation of “doctrines”, simply because it doesn’t guarantee success. As a result, the battling nations in Afghanistan are trying to fuel-up their physical and mental strength, a major necessity in warfare. All nations are making all efforts to encourage moral strength of their militaries which according to Clausewitz; a successful commander can win a war by morally destroying the opponent’s will to fight. This quite evident as the analysis of US military has found out that the state treats or regards military commanders as indispensable morally, academically, mentally and social upright professional recruited under great sensitive on their abilities to deliver in the battlefields. He also talked about the challenges in the field, physical infringements, information flow and control in regards to the commander’s wit to differentiate between rumors and the correct information. This has enabled researchers with interests in Afghanistan battle to come up with conclusion that, fighting in a battle is a difficult like walking on waters, where the simplest of all tasks like walking becomes the most difficult. Therefore a god nation should be able to assign their troop an able commander capable of overcoming all these challenges.
In conclusion Clausewitz, theories and observations are known to have strongly stood the test of time for the last two centuries. His ideas and arguments have been found to prove their validity through out the experience in the First and Second World Wars, Guerilla war in Africa and the recent and ongoing fight against Al Qaeda troops by USA in Afghanistan. The United States of America have not been able for crack a total finish of terror as they lack a political objective of the fight. Taliban have been able wear out America morale to fight because of their failure to dedicate their fully efforts to the battle (Ussery, 2009). Finally, for any analyst to succeed in his work, military troop and nations; Clausewitz’s ideas are the one to be put on focus as it is full of facts on warfare witnessed each day after another.