There are some questions concerning with military and war which up to this present time cannot be satisfactorily answered yet. First, it concerns with the relation between the military theories and theories about the war: Is the Science of War standing alone or just only a theory and becoming a part of Military Science, or on the contrary – the Military Theory becomes a part of the Science of War. Second, the question related to the Science of War itself, is it a science, an art or a philosophy?

The above questions appear because up to this present time the scientific status of the Military Science and the War Science has not yet been known, although their involvement and connections with other scientific disciplines are acknowledged. But actually the facts have indicated that the history about military and that of the war are as old as that of the history of human being.

The fact also indicates that the matters about military and war, either related to the military power development or to the occurrence of war, always become interesting news, and never-lastingly studied and discussed.

In this writing, the term “Science” is pursuant to the common terminology, namely a knowledge on a certain subject set up systematically. Whereas “Theory” is the foundations of science, namely the parts set up in a systemization of a science. Meanwhile “Concept” is an idea, notion, or expression of thought about “whatness” proceeding the establishment or birth of a theory.


Philosophy about war shall be seen from philosophical point of view on human being, because human is the subject and at the same time object of war.
Being aware or not, human being living in this universe feel as if they were thrown away from ‘not knowingness’. All humans as if did not understand why they had to undergo the life as human being. Why should they be born as certain tribes and not as the other ones?

 Why should they be born from a certain family, so that they have a certain religion, which is different from the person born from different family with different religion? Also, why should they have to undergo a life as men and not as women, or on the contrary as women rather than as men? There are still many other questions to ask, and it will be difficult to obtain the satisfactory answers.

Such questions arise from the not-knowingness, because in every human being, there have attached to himself his basic natures, namely: forgetfulness, imperfect, and is always “in the process of being”. Human being is a not-yet finished reality, and is still “in the process of being”. Being what? We do not know.

With the limitation due to his basic natures, human being is very much bound to his surrounding world, moreover to the same human being, thus, human being is a personal creature and at the same time also as a social creature. Such a view upon human being as stated above derives from the philosophy about human being since the golden era of philosophy in ancient Roman time until the mid century.    Their school of philosophy known under the term of “existentialism” gave a great influence to the war thinkers.   Clausewitz, Antonius Jomini, A.T. Mahan,  Sir Julian Corbett, as well as the war thinkers in the afterward periods.

In regard to the war, it is undeniable that although it is separated by a very far distance and the span of time in centuries, it is found out that the ‘existentialism’ is also contained in the book of “Art of War” by Sun Tzu.

A big war always happens in each century.   From the aforesaid war experiences,  the though about the war in the mid century produces a teaching in the form of theory,  or frequently called as ' Just War Doctrine '.  The Just War Doctrine among others was exposed by Santo Augustinus,  stating that a war in an inseparable part of the right of the ruler of country in his effort to sustain the peace.   Such a war intended to create the peace is deemed as a Command of God.

According to Santo Augustinus,  a war is legitimate if it is executed on the command of the legitimate ruler of a country,  and is carried out in defending the peace in this universe.

Regarding the essence of war,  Clausewitz answered the question of  '  What is a War  ?  '  by using his two famous dictum,  that war is a continuation of politics with other instruments and other ways,  and a war is the act of violence to force the enemy to obey our wish.

If before the 19th century the main focus of study on military and war concerned with two main subject,  namely  '  What Is A War ? '  and  '  How Is A War To Be Won  ? ',  the list of question after the 19th century are added with  '  How Should A War Be Prepared ?  '  and  '  How To Prevent A War ?  '.
Thus,  the scope of study on military and war from time to time is getting wider.

Seeing the wide scope of war in modern time,  the scientific approach to military theory or to war theory obliges us to use many other disciplines of science,  either in the sciences of politics,  economics,  social-culture,  law,  psychology,  geography,  organization and management and the like,  and even the philosophical approach.    Such big studies are historical compulsory,  considering that a war can determine the progress or backwardness of a nation,  and also determine the survival of a country.

As a social creature,  human being lives in groups,  commencing from the groups in a small community till the big ones,  the so-called a Nation.   Each group of human life or the whole of aggregation of groups have the collective intention to defend their life.   If such collective intention is illustrated starting from the small community until the big one,  a spectrum of colletive intentions or the existence spectrum will be established.

The existence spectrum is in line with the theory on hierarchy of human need presented by Abraham Maslow  (  Hierarchy Of Needs  ) consisting of Five Stages.

The Five Stages of Human Need Hierarchy of Abraham Maslow were simplified by Clayton P. Alderfer into Three Stages Of Human Need Hierarchy  :  Existence,  Relatedness,  and Growth.

The Spectrum Of Existence of a group of human beings in the form of a Nation or Country,  in general has been formulated in the form of National Interests of the said nation and country.


From the view point of Spectrum of Existence,  the Clausewitz's concept about  a war contains three principles,  namely  :    Forcing the wish,  by means of violence and by using instrumet / power.   The principle and the way of forcing the wish occur because the spectrum of existence hit each other.  *)

In another word,  there is an Interest that has to be achieved or maintained.   Meanwhile,  the principle by means of Violence can only be conducted if the party having the aforesaid interest has the instrument / Power.
Under such a circumstance,  there are three prinsiples causing the occurrence of a war, namely  :   Interest,   Force,  and Violence.

-   *)  Principle is something having a fixed permanent nature so that it can be used as a guideline,  whereas the ' rule ' is the description or application of the said principle.

The theory of war occurrence is illustrated in the form of War Triangle Model containing three principles: Interest, Force and Violence.          

The war can occur if the aforesaid three principles are met and they are equally strong.   Just one of them is not available,  or available but in a very weak condition,  then a war will not occur.

Such War Triangle can be used as a model of the theory on occurrence of a war,  that a war may occur if there is an interest that has to be maintained whereas the other means taken such as diplomacy comes to a dead-end,  so that a violence is taken by using the force.

This War Triangle can also be described again to answer the question   '  What Is A War  ? ',  and each of the principles can be simplified into the rules  :

First,  Principle of Violence,  its description and application will be related to the ways taken.   It can be in the form of military strategy,  operational strategy and battle strategy.   In other words,  the rules describing everything related to the question  '  How Is War To Be Won  ?  '

Second,  the Principle of Force,  means all and any powers or forces possessed by a nation,  either military force including all of its weaponry and technological abilities,  political as well as its economics powers.   The description and implementation of the Force Principle into the warfare mean everything that can answer the question  '  How Should A War Be Prepared  '.

Third,  the Principle of Interest,  means the national interest of a nation and a country,  so that it will be closely related to the factors of politics,  economics,  geography,  strategic environmental  development,  law,  psychological condition of the nation,  national leadership,  thread,  etc.   The description and implementation of Principle of Interest into rules of war is everything that can answer the question  '  How Can A War Be Prevented  ?  '.

Two of the three principles above,  namely  Force  and Interest are the most determinant factors in arising of the third factor  :  Violence.   It means,  that if the instrument in the form of forces possessed by a country are big and their ability is also strong and tends to be excessive,  it can become a stimulant factor in defending its interest by means of violence.