Comparing Sun Tzu and Clausewitz
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Comparing Sun Tzu and Clausewitz book
In political history or intern ational politics, certain fundam ental principles and insights into human behavior are general ly held to be universally applicable. In the theory of international relations, for example, the assumption that all nations share a need to protect and promote their vital interests-and therefore strive to maximize their power vis-à-vis potential adversaries-is the type of broadly applicable insight that enables international politics to exist as an autonomous discipline.1 All foreign policy decisionmakers face common problems in assessing th eir own relative power as well as the intentions and policies of other nations; to implement their policies, all must learn how to manipulate public opinion and how t o function within complex bureaucratic and
organizational milieux. In short, the discipline assumes that despite the multiplicity of approaches to the formulation of foreign policy throughout the world, many aspects of national behavior can be reduced to a common denominator. A similar assumption can be made in the study of strategy.