Critical Review Essay

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In this essay I have discussed and compared the ideas and arguments of the various authors in relation to the military leader's role in defining national interests and military objectives in war. Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, and Clausewitz have differing views on the attributes of a good military leader.


Sun Tzu has a praiseworthy approach when he propounds the attributes of a good military leader and it seems he is able to state his case in the best way possible. In my view Clausewitz has also given some interesting views which have allegations of bias against them. In the paragraphs below I have analysed the approaches of all these military leaders and whether or not their ideas can be reconciled with each other as well as my own views on the issue.
For Clausewitz, by the time he was writing his book "On War" his thoughts on war had evolved towards notions like "War is a continuation of politics with an admixture of other means" and that there could be different ways and means of warfare. Here the concern is particularly towards his views on the practical uses of military history to and his "critical analysis" where he distinguished carefully between the historian and the military critic, despite his admission that both roles were often complementary.According to Clausewitz for a military historian there had to be a use of the critical analysis which would involve the tracing of effects back to their causes which would be essentially an investigation into what military steps were taken and whether they were effective at a tactical,operational,strategic and political level. ...
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