Thursday September 3, 2015
Former US Rep. Ron Paul lays out a national security strategy for the United States in his book, Swords into Plowshares, which Carl von Clausewitz , the author of On War, would have approved. Clausewitz, a Prussian general in the early Nineteenth Century, is considered perhaps the West’s most insightful strategist, and On War is his classic work on the inter-relationship between politics and war.
A close reading of On War reveals a book far more on the strategy of statecraft, that is Grand Strategy, than it is on the mere strategy of warfare. Unfortunately, very few readers have understood that. Indeed, Clausewitz’s target audience may have been principally civilian policy makers with his view that the political perspective must remain dominant over the military point of view in the conduct of war.
Whether or not Ron Paul ever read Clausewitz, Swords into Plowshares restores a proper understanding of statecraft as Clausewitz understood it and today’s American leaders fail to.