Abstract and Keywords
The theory of war is part of the very idea of war and at the same time opposed to war itself. Whatever form it takes, war is only thought of, prepared for, and anticipated so that it can be shortened and, at times, avoided. Over the long term, such preparation takes the form of works of military science, often based on past experiences; closer at hand, as seen daily in Afghanistan, a battle plan or the concept of a modern operation are still kinds of theories of war. It is therefore not surprising that the theory of war always manages to slip out of the hands of those wanting to explore and to perfect it. The study of some of the most influential thinkers provides a good picture of the main trends of strategic thought over time and illustrates its extreme relevance for modern conflicts.
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