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The Society in Brief
"The Clausewitz-Gesellschaft e.V. is a union of officers serving on General Staff/Admiral Staff duty and of personalities who have distinguished themselves in terms of the objectives of the Clausewitz-Gesellschaft, promoting and supporting them" (Charter of the Clausewitz-Gesellschaft, Preamble)
The Clausewitz-Gesellschaft e.V. was founded in 1961 as an independent, non-partisan and non-profit organization. At present, there are some 1000 members, the majority General Staff/Admiral Staff officers, both active and retired; increasingly also personalities drawn from politics,science, economy and the media. Current President is LtGen. (retd.) Dr. Klaus Olshausen. Honorary President is the former Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, General (retd.) Wolfgang Altenburg.
The Clausewitz-Gesellschaft e.V. has charged itself with drawing useful conclusions for the present from the encounter with the thoughts of military thinker and great philosopher Carl von Clausewitz. This is not about a historical retrospective on Clausewitz and his time, let alone a detailed analysis of his creation; rather, this constitutes the attempt to visualize the present political and strategic challenges through the mirror of the insights of Carl von Clausewitz; and to examine, which of his principles and insights are still relevant today and thus, timeless. Whereas initially the focus of the society's endeavours was to preserve the intellectual heritage of the German General Staff and to support research into Clausewitz, nowadays the critical and intensive occupation with present-day strategic and security-political questions is coming to the fore.
It is to this latter part that the society's work is particularly dedicated today. The focus of interest is on the critical occupation with the strategic and security-political questions of our time, without neglecting the intellectual reference to Carl von Clausewitz. Thus, Clausewitzian statements refering to Guerilla Warfare as "Little Wars" are very relevant today, at a time of terrorism, violent conflict about resources, religion and failing states.
Three annual central events of the Clausewitz-Gesellschaft serve to promote the objectives of the society: the "Berlin Colloquium"; the "Annual General Meeting" in conjunction with a security-political information event; and "The Forum". In addition, there are numerous events hosted by the Regional Chapters, the Switzerland Section and the Clausewitz-Table in Bremen. The society publishes a yearbook containing contributions selected from its work. It supports scientific work in the field of Clausewitz research and publications concerned with security-political questions.