The culminating point.
Understanding the new phase of the war in Ukraine.
The Institute for the Study of War posted a very interesting assessment this weekend:
It should be understood in its proper context. “Culmination” here is not synonymous with “end.” It is jargon, a term of military art originating in the work of Prussian theorist Carl von Clausewitz. The military thinker served as an officer, and eventually a major-general, through the tumult of the Napoleonic era, including the national disaster of Jena and the pan-German war of revenge in 1812-1814. His efforts to synthesize and understand the titanic events of his time are captured in his Vom Kriege — On War — written in the decades following Napoleon’s final defeat and published posthumously. Within this considerable work (nearly one thousand pages divided into eight books), we come to the fifth chapter of the seventh book, “The Culminating Point of the Attack.” Take it away, Generalmajor von Clausewitz:
Culmination, then, is not the end of war, nor even the campaign. It is the end of a specific attack: the point at which it may proceed no further upon its initial conceptual or material basis. What follows may therefore be significantly worse, more protracted, and more violent, as a new conceptual or material basis for attack is either sought or implemented.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Armas to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.