The American military has long been bewitched operationally and strategically by Antoine-Henri Jomini’s formulaic approach to warfare. The universality of the Jominian consciousness is so well established other strategic schools usually operate beside it – or as a passing veneer above its perpetual architecture. Likewise, Jomini’s geopolitical and diplomatic wisdom is usually less pronounced – but does offer some strategic bull’s-eyes.
“War is always to be conducted according to the great principles of the art; but great discretion must be exercised in the nature of the operations to be undertaken, which should depend upon the circumstances of the case.
“In an offensive movement, scrupulous care must be exercised not to arouse the jealousy of any other state which might come to the aid of the enemy. It is a part of the duty of a statesman to foresee this chance, and to obviate it by making proper explanations and giving proper guarantees to other states.
“…if the principles of strategy are always the same, it is different with the political part of war, which is modified by the tone of communities, by localities, and by the characters of men at the head of states and armies.
“All history teaches that no enemy is so insignificant as to be despised and neglected by any power, however formidable.
“The love of conquest, however, was not the only motive with Napoleon: his personal position, and his context with England, urged him to enterprises the aim of which was to make him supreme.
*All excerpts have been taken from The Art of War, BiblioBazaar.
The Relation of Diplomacy to War – Antoine-Henri Jomini