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Real Genius - By John Arquilla | Foreign Policy

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The great philosopher of war Carl von Clausewitz was very clear about the resort to arms being a continuation of politics by other means, but he was more elusive about conflict outcomes. Because of factors like "friction" (a range that includes obstructions arising from bad weather and poor field coordination) and "the fog of war" (basically insufficient or inaccurate information), Clausewitz argued that chance reigned supreme, that the outcome of war was like "a game of cards." Yes, he thought that the genius of a great captain could overcome some of these problems. But later in On War he argued that contending sides, increasingly armed with the same sorts of weapons, would lead to an era in which sheer numerical advantage would determine war outcomes.

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Nowhere in his work did Clausewitz see conflict as primarily posing a design challenge -- a puzzle to be solved about what kind of force to build. Nor have other great thinkers about war focused on design solutions. From Clausewitz's contemporary and rival, the Baron Antoine-Henri Jomini, to modern strategists like B.H. Liddell Hart, the central aim has been to cultivate "genius" through mastery of a particular set of principles thought to govern war outcomes. For all the thousands of pages written about how to win wars, there are but few hints of the need for "design thinking."

"Design thinking" is part of strategy, no?

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