Before turning our attention to the concept of land warfare, it is important first to give some thought to the concept of war itself. The reason is quite straightforward: land warfare is but one element in the conduct of modern war, and must therefore be seen in context. Many would agree that the best way to begin would be with reference to, perhaps, the most famous philosopher of war, the nineteenth-century German writer, Carl von Clausewitz. In a deceptively simple — and, incidentally, one which is often misunderstood and misquoted — but insightful observation, he encapsulated the essence of war: it is, he said, ‘nothing but the continuation of policy with other means’.1 Although this quotation has been taken out of context from his book On War, his meaning is quite clear: war is a collective act of violence; it cannot be divorced from the ends that those engaged in it hope to achieve. It is a social phenomenon involving two parties in violent conflict, and should not be considered in the abstract.


Nuclear Weapon International Security Weapon System Political Objective North Atlantic Treaty Organisation 
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© Martin Edmonds 1992

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  • Martin Edmonds

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