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The quotation at the beginning of Kasparov's article is derived from Carl v. Clausewitzs "Vom Kriege" (~ "about war"). There he states, that in a military campaign the defender is usually in the better position. Because he can evade the attacker and refuse battle until he has found the perfect battleground at the perfect time. Hence the defender dictates the choice of ground and time and thus is in the stronger position. Wellington proved that to be true in numerous occasions during the Iberian campaign and finally at Waterloo/Belle Alliance. And until he decided to engage an enemy in a much stronger defensive position at Gettysburg, this strategem was the winning factor of General Lee of the Confederates, too.

This is certainly one of the major impediments in fighting terrorism: other than in Afgahnistan, were the Taliban could be forced into battle and thus been beaten or at least severly crippled,the small terrorist groups of Bin Laden and the likes can evade battle easily and pick a fight only, when they are sure of the ground and timing to be in their advantage.

I should probably finally try to find and read Clausewitz' other famous book about "Der kleine Krieg" (=the little war, an indepth analysis of the guerilla war in Spain during the Napoleon wars), but unfortunately this book is hard to come by.

Note from David: Many thanks for your interesting comment, Pat. I think the Clausewitz piece you refer to ("Meine Vorlesungen über den kleinen Krieg") can be found here:

CLAUSEWITZ, Carl von, Schriften, Aufsätze, Studien, Briefe. Dokumente aus dem Clausewitz-, Scharnhorst- und Gneisenau-Nachlaß sowie aus öffentlichen und privaten Sammlungen. Hrsg. von Werner Hahlweg. Mit Vorwort von Karl Dietrich Erdmann. Bd 1. Göttingen, Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht 1966. 768 S. M. Abb. und Beilagen. OLwd
Anbieter: Keip GmbH - Bücher [D-63773 Goldbach]
Preis: EUR 60,00
Versand (Landweg): EUR 4,50
Gesamt: EUR 64,50

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