oa Scientia Militaria : South African Journal of Military Studies - From the editors

Volume 42, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1022-8136
  • E-ISSN: 2224-0020



The use of armed force, Clausewitz argues, has its own grammar but not its logic. In general, most military practitioners have a sound understanding of the nature of the political process that underpins the logic of war. At the same time, though, they tend to view politics with scepticism because politicians "... by virtue of their craft, perceive or fear wide ramifications of action, prefer to fudge rather than focus, and like to keep their options open as long as possible by making the least decision as late as feasible". Instead of muddling through, the military realm, in contrast, is perceived as an orderly world set to "... simplify, focus, decide, and execute". The reality of the military grammar that Clausewitz refers to, of course, is somewhat different. More specifically, it would be more correct to speak of the grammars of war since warfare, as the manifestation of war, displays itself in a number of ways.

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