Tomorrow will be a full century since the ‘Miracle of the Marne’, a battle from the WWI during which the French managed to stop the seemingly invincible German army at some 35 miles from Paris. Apparently the Germans erroneously appraised the state of the French army and lost a huge opportunity while the French had shown a lot more stamina and determination than they were credited for.
Also there are some chances that tomorrow will be remembered as the first day of peace in Eastern Ukraine after many month of (un)civil war.
What I would like to do now is take a fresh look at what we know as ‘wars’. Hot, cold, asymmetric, commercial, trade…you name it.
There are two interesting definitions that I would like to share with you:
“War is the continuation of politics by other means.” This one belongs to Claus von Clausewitz, the mastermind behind the German strategic thinking during the second half of the XIX-ht century. The most immediate impression one gets from reading it is that war, per se, is a legitimate tool when it comes to solving problems. You try ‘diplomacy’ first but if that doesn’t work there is always the option of “WAR”.
“War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace.” A XX-ht century hippie tree hugger? Not exactly… Another German, a writer this time, who had witnessed the WWI as a mature thinker – Thomas Mann, 1875 – 1955. I don’t know when had Mann come up with his definition but it is quite the opposite from the one proposed by his fellow countryman. On the other hand I cannot fail to observe that while in von Clausewitz time Germany was on the rise as a military power during Mann life it had suffered two humiliating defeats.
To be continued.