“Contrast the Art of War with any non-Chinese treatise on warfare”. Essay

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Many philosophers have attempted to grasp the concept of war in its various forms or have similarly attempted to define it in absolute terms. The nature of warfare in any given time period has been ever changing which results in great difficulty when attempting to define it. However, perhaps more than any other individuals who have philosophised on war, the works of Carl Von Clausewitz and Sun Tzu have come closest to giving a complete insight into the fickle nature of war. The celebrated treatises of war, “On War” and “The Art of War” by Carl Von Clausewitz and Sun Tzu respectively, have greatly influenced the study of the conduct of warfare. Sun Tzu and Carl Von Clausewitz both theorized on the tactics, influences, and consequences of war. Clausewitz’s On War is an “extraordinary attempt to construct an all-embracing theory on how war works” (Willem-Honig: 2004). Clausewitz was a Prussian officer who fought against the French during the Napoleonic Wars and desired to understand the occurrence of war in order to provide a guide for leaders of the future to conduct wars more effectively with an enhanced chance of victory. On the other hand, The Art of War is considered the oldest military treatise in the world and possesses a timeless quality, which is demonstrated by its continual practical use in the modern day. Despite the fact that these two individuals are separated by history in excess of two thousand years, the works of these men have been comprehensively examined and revered for their guidance on succeeding in war, and while many of their ideas have commonality, various aspects of their theories deviate in particular areas. In order to understand the contrasts, it is important to recognise the points of similarity and areas of differentiation between these two treatises on war. Therefore, this paper will clarify the contrasts between these two famous

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