Karl von Clausewitz stated that the most common element for victory is numerical superiority.

No one can deny that having numerical superiority when going into battle is an advantage, but it surely does not guarantee victory. The will to win, great tactics, fluidity of movement and force multipliers are important, and how one uses all aspects and information in the battle space can still win. Yes, it helps to have superior numbers, since the law of greatness, which I like to call it, allows you to recover from mistakes or surprises. But, maybe it is important that we have a philosophical discussion about this so that everything is clear.

“The most common element for victory is numerical superiority”, a rough translation of Karl von Clausewitz.

Historically speaking this is true – it has been the “most common” element of victory and certainly in its time, however it is not always the case – it essentially means that the Bully in the School Yard, Law of Bigness is the most important , which is not true, but note that “usually” and “most commonly” do matter.

Examples where it wasn’t might be “David and Goliath” for a fun bible reference, and there are plenty of others in scripture, keep in mind I’m not religious so I wouldn’t use that one, but one debating this point might to surprise your audience there, especially if that audience was filled mostly with Christians, it will make them think, then the debater could “jam it to them” while they’re thinking about it with the old man; The example of “George Washington” crossing the Delaware, and even Clausewitz realizes the value of “Surprise”, as does Sun Tzu, and can also talk about Colonel Boyd’s “guerrilla warfare” tactics to make them seem smart about the topic.

The debater could then take their audience into the realm of the human biosystem, with its superior immune system and how something as small as a virus or bacteria can wipe out everything from a common cold to long-term health. deterioration, sometimes death. The “Law of Greatness” is not a guarantee, although it is “generally” a formidable deterrent – and also in the days of Clausewitz opponents lined up on the battlefield and often played a game of attrition, not recommended in my book , but that’s how they used to do it.

It could be argued that the concept of overwhelming force to win a battle may not actually win the war or complete the objectives, but it will certainly win some battles along the way. For example, the “surges” in the seizure of regions in Afghanistan or Iraq, since there is the problem of maintaining that territory, which is expensive, mouths to feed and the logistics supply chain. One of the biggest problems in those wars was the costs incurred by the US Treasury, $2 billion a week in Afghanistan is a lot to digest at a time when economic recovery here at home is the main driver and political momentum, do you understand that point?

Also, one has to realize, when it comes to costs that for each member on the battlefield, behind those swords, we now see 10-20 in the supply chain for each actual war fighter, huge costs that could lead to been bankrupt, in the future. kill the economy kill the nation with the giant army not the enemy so even if you dominate the enemy you can lose the war. Therefore, the mere fact of having a giant military force, and yet misusing it, is to ignore military strategy during an actual conflict.

Proper tactics allow a military force to penetrate and force a larger army to its knees. Consider the German “Blitzkrieg” tactics, perhaps the best example, as you can exploit the weakest link, so who cares how big the opposing force is? Any force has important matters to be content with; Willpower, morale, supply lines, media, public support, politics, command and control, weather, technology, etc. – Still Clausewitz is right on most part numbers. Now, to end this philosophical investigation, let me leave you with a question; Do robotic weapon systems count as “top numbers” and if so, consider that too?

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