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6 pg paper not including the cover and reference pages
- A critical 21st century challenge will be maintaining and reinforcing the critical relationship between government, military and people specified by Clausewitz?s ?holy trinity? a function that has sustained increased pressures from America?s wars and extensive ongoing military commitments. In your analysis, what are the most critical problems (and the sources of these problems) regarding the relationship between the United States government, its armed forces and the people? What remedies do you prescribe to improve the nature of this critical relationship?
Running head: HOLY TRINITY 1 Holy Trinity
Institution HOLY TRINITY 2
Holy Trinity In his development of the trinity theory, Clausewitz identifies war as a composite of
three elements. In his theory, Clausewitz identifies these three elements;
a) Violence and passion. According to Clausewitz, for a war to be sparked, there
needs to be violence and passion in the mind of the people that want to spark a
war (Heuser, 2013). This kind of violence is not necessarily physical violence but
emotional violence. According to him, if the amount of emotional violence in the
mind of a person is right, then it will be easy for that person to be able to get that
motive and motivation to continue fighting.
b) Uncertainty, chance and probability. For a country to be able to engage in a war,
the country should be prepared for all the outcomes possible that can come up
after a war has been fought. Before a country engages in war, there is a possibility
that they might lose or win all depending on the strength and the preparedness of
the enemy. It is therefore necessary, according to Clausewitz, that one understands
this so that they can be able to give their best in the battlefield.
c) Political purpose and effect. One of the reasons why a lot of war take place is
because of the political purpose that a country is going to achieve when they get
into a war with someone. Most of the time, wars are caused by boundary disputes.
Therefore, to be able to solve this problem a war becomes the only solution so
that the strongest nation claims what they feel belongs to them.
In his description, Clausewitz states that war is made up of the above elements.
For a long time America has been known as one of the most powerful countries in the
world. After the Second World War, America established itself as a world super power alongside HOLY TRINITY 3 the likes of Russia, France, China, UK and Germany. According to Clausewitz, any country that
needs to be good in war need to engage in war using the above three factors that he calls ?The
Trinity?. Since its recognition as a world super power, the US has engaged itself in a lot of fights
as well as peace keeping mission.
A case in example is the war in Iraq. In 2003 Iraq was ruled by one of most powerful
dictators and leader by the name of Saddam Hussein. According to the then US president George
Bush, Iraq possessed very dangerous weapons of mass destruction which if let to remain in the
hands of the Iraq people, it will be very dangerous to the security and superiority of the US.
Based on this reason, The US army and a few of its allies such as the British swept through Iraq
in a move that saw, Saddam Hussein being ousted as the leader of Iraq. America?s intention in
this war was one, they saw Iraq as a possible threat to their political superiority and their
influence in the making of decisions in the world and thus they resorted to cut that influence
before it grew big enough to become a possible threat (Rauta, 2014).
The other war, is against ISIS which is currently ongoing. Out of their own twisted
beliefs ISIS believe that people who are non-Muslim are not allowed to live and as such, they are
determined to see all people who do not believe in Islam erased from the face of the world. They
also believe that they are good enough to lead Iraq and Iran and are against America?s presence
in the region. The US being the super power that it is, views this as a threat and as such would do
anything to stop ISIS. Currently, the US army is based in the region together with other forces in
the world trying to fight off the influence of ISIS. Based on the above cases, it is therefore safe to
say that the US army has strong virtues in the political effects that a war would cause. The US
engages in a war that they know if they succeed, their political ambitions will succeed as well. HOLY TRINITY 4 Chance and probability remains the biggest element of this relationship in the trinity that
would be detrimental to the security of a state. It is wise that before a country first gets into war,
it first analyzes its chances of winning the war. If the chances of winning are low, then it might
not be wise to engage in war. Clausewitz states that in every war there is a possibility of winning
and a possibility of losing, for this reason, therefore, according to him it is okay to enter into a
war with such a mindset where one is open to the probabilities of losing. This is not right, a
country should engage in war when they have a hundred per cent probability chance of winning
the war, it?s the only way that the national a country can protect itself from attack by the enemy.
This is because if the enemy is defeated at war, then they stop being a national threat.
To be able to improve the functioning of these bonds in the trinity, the following should
a) Sound policies should be adopted. When the policies adopted are sound, then the
US will only engage in war when it is absolutely necessary and not when they feel
like they want to.
b) To be able to ensure that an army wins a war, and that the chances of winning are
high, then it?s important for a country to be careful in the kind of people that they
choose as army commanders. Based on their experience and skills an army
commander can be the reason for a defeat or success (Bowen, 2014). It is
therefore important to have the right one.
c) Lastly, emotions can be a bad driving force it it?s the one that a person depends on
to be able to make a decision. Before engaging in war, it is wise that all the
avenues of making peace are utilized so that people can have the right emotions
and passion. When the only passion that people have is that to fight, then it
becomes hard for peace to exist which is what is important. HOLY TRINITY 5 HOLY TRINITY 6
References Bowen, B. (2014). Thomas Waldman, War, Clausewitz and the Trinity. Intelligence And National
Security, 30(6), 916-919. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02684527.2014.977613
Heuser, B. (2013). War, Clausewitz and the Trinity. The RUSI Journal, 158(6), 108-108.
Rauta, V. (2014). War, Clausewitz and the Trinity by Thomas Waldman. Farnham: Ashgate,
2013. 203pp., £55.00, ISBN 978 1 4094 5139 6. Political Studies Review, 12(2), 284284. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1478-9302.12053_58
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