"Given the nature of the subject, we must remind ourselves that it is simply not possible to construct a model for the art of war that can serve as a scaffolding on which the commander can rely for support at any time."
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The overall pattern is clear: war seen as a nonlinear phenomenon-as Clausewitz sees it-is inherently unpredictable by analytical means. Chance and complexity dominate simplicity in the real world. Thus no two wars are ever the same. No war is guaranteed to remain structurally stable. No theory can provide the analytical short-cuts necessary to allow us to skip ahead of the "running" of the actual war. No realistic assumptions offer a way to bypass these uncomfortable truths. Yet these truths have the virtue that they help us identify the blinders we impose on our thinking when we attempt to linearize. And what Clausewitz says about the conduct of war applies to the study of war: "once barriers-which in a sense consist only in man's ignorance of what is possible-are torn down, they are not so easily set up again.