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Military theory is the analysis of normative behavior and trends in military affairs and military history, beyond simply describing events in war, Military theories, especially since the influence of Clausewitz in the nineteenth century, attempt to encapsulate the complex cultural, political and economic relationships between societies and the conflicts they create.
Theories and conceptions of warfare have varied in different places throughout human history. The Chinese Sun Tzu is recognized by scholars to be one of the earliest military theorists. His now-iconic Art of War laid the foundations for operational planning, tactics, strategy and logistics. In India, Chanakya (350 – 275 BCE) laid the foundations of military theory through his seminal text called Arthashastra. While the views of Clausewitz, Sun Tzu and Kautilya are not directly applicable to the modern battlefield, they are still referenced and acknowledged by military theorists for the insights they provide, which are then adapted to modern times.
- Sun Tzu (2003). The Art of War. New York City: Barnes & Noble Books. ISBN 978-1-59308-016-7.
- Clausewitz, Carl Von (1976). On War. Edited and translated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret (Revised 1984 ed.). Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-05657-9.
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