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Clausewitz in the Twenty-First Century$
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Hew Strachan and Andreas Herberg-Rothe

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199232024

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199232024.001.0001

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Clausewitz and the Privatization of War

Clausewitz and the Privatization of War

Chapter:
(p.219) 12 Clausewitz and the Privatization of War
Source:
Clausewitz in the Twenty-First Century
Author(s):

Herfried Münkler

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199232024.003.0013

The growth of the state in the early modern period was attributable to its monopolization of warfare. In what have been called ‘new wars’, that monopoly has been eroded, but for two different reasons. Powerful states have withdrawn from their monopoly of war through the employment of private military companies: they employ asymmetric methods out of choice. Failed states have permitted the privatization of war out of weakness, and non-state actors have adopted asymmetric methods for the same reason. Clausewitz's original definition of war, as an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will, still provides an effective means to understand war, enabling us to see terrorism as a strategy.

Keywords:   new wars, privatization, mercenaries, state, asymmetry, definition of war, terrorism

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