Victory, however, is an increasingly elusive concept. 
Until the mid-twentieth century, the prevailing definition of war was that of Carl von Clausewitz, usually translated as the "extension of national politics by military means." Especially among industrial states, it became obvious that military means alone were not sufficient to extend politics, and the idea of grand strategy evolved, including all the components of national power such as diplomacy (foreign policy), economic warfare and psychological warfare. The assumption still was that war was among nation-states.
Certainly going back to the American Revolution, war could be by a people or group against a nation-state. In the basic revolutionary model, the idea was that the people would form their own nation-state. The concept of guerrilla warfare arose, where the weak could challenge the strong. Still, in the early doctrines, well articulated by Mao Zedong, the weak would eventually form a conventional military and seek victory on the battlefield, such as the Battle of Yorktown in the American Revolution. The Chinese revolution of 1949, however, did not end with a single decisive battle, although the Communists under Mao certainly had formed conventional armies.
Causes of War
History of War
For more information, see Ancient Warfare.
For more information, see Western Warfare.
- Rise of the Nation State
- Colonial and Imperial War
- The Nation in Arms
- Total War
- "Low-Intensity" Conflicts ? War in the Nuclear Age
- War in the Post-Cold War Era
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- Keegan, John, A History of Warfare, New York:Vintage, 1994. ISBN 0679730826.
- U. S. Marine Corps Staff, Marine Corps Doctrinal Publication 1: Warfighting, United States Department of Defense, 1989. ISBN 1557423091.
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- Wright, Quincy A Study of War(abridged ed.), Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983. ISBN 0226910016.