Saturday, August 2, 2008

So why the Clausewitz?

Carl's unfinished masterpiece 'Vom Krieg' ('On War') has long fascinated me. During my Masters at Kings College, London I specialised in Clausewitz and strategy. From escalation in war to friction in operations to determining the centre of gravity when making strategy I am convinced that Clausewitz is a powerful prism through which to understand modern politics.

Take the battle for the White House: a Clausewitzian approach begins with identifying the centre of gravity: is it a state? the campaign message? fundraising? Get Out The Vote ops? The electoral college? The popular vote? That decision determines everything else so you'd better get it right. (I'll offer my own thoughts on this one in a few posts time.)

These are the kind of ideas that I want to directly and indirectly explore with this blog.

1 comment:

John said...

Impressive site.
In my humble opinion from Britain, McCain's COG is Ohio. For McCain,the loss of Ohio makes victory highly unlikely, as getting to 270EVs without Ohio is extremely difficult,(538 puts his chances at about 5% if he loses OH). Furthermore, his supporters know he needs Ohio and hence, if he start to fall back in the polls in Ohio his fundraising numbers (or at least the RNCs given McCain's decision to go public) will dry up and his ground workers across the country will became depressed, further reducing the chance of victory. The vital nature of Ohio will curtail McCain's freedom to spend what money he does have, to mainly Ohio.
For Obama, his COG is his message. So long as he can been seen as a 'comfortable' canditate for change, with the economy and after 8 unpopular years of Bush should be enough to win. He needs to satisfy voters that while he will improve washington, he will not drastically alter their culture, (guns/religion etc). With his message he should have large amounts of funds and hence will have the freedom to pick and choose which states he will fight in.