chapter  9
The Supreme Act of Judgment: Understanding the ‘Nature of War’ and the ‘Trinitarian Analysis’
Pages 21

In the conclusion of Chapter 1 of On War, Clausewitz briefly develops two of his bestknown analytical concepts. The fi rst explains the importance of knowi ng the ‘kind of war’ (i.e., the nature of the war) that one is about to fight, while the second proposes the remarkable (or paradoxical) trinity as the starting point for reaching such an understanding.1 Although simple in principle, these two closely related concepts are frequently misunderstood.