"Not only was Clausewitz not the Prussian aggressor or proponent of total war as he is sometimes caricatured, but he was a genuine voice of moderation among Prussian military leaders. An example of his moderation can be found in his discussion of the balance of power in Book 6, Chapter 6. His analysis suggests that common effort and common interest ultimately maintained the balance of power rather than sheer military might—a view that in contemporary social science places his ideas closer to liberal international relations theory than to realism.11 After Napoleon’s final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, many of Clausewitz’s contemporaries were urging revenge against France while Clausewitz resisted this temptation. Ultimately, Clausewitz’s moderation meant that he had a better grasp of the requisite conditions for a lasting peace agreement. He expressed his views in a candid letter to his wife:
My dearest wish now is that this aftermath should soon be finished. I dislike this position of having my foot upon someone’s neck, and the endless conflicts of interests and parties are something I do not understand. Historically, the English will play a better role in this catastrophe, because they do not seem to have come here with a passion for revenge and for settling old scores, but rather like a master who wishes to discipline with proud coldness and immaculate purity; in brief, with greater distinction than ourselves.12
In fact, Clausewitz’s moderation proved detrimental toward the end of his career because of his commitment to one of his cherished reforms—the creation of a popular militia. Clausewitz failed to appreciate the domestic political implications of a militia for Prussia, although the authorities did not. Thus, Frederick William III denied Clausewitz an appointment to a diplomatic post at the Court of St. James because he assumed that such a vocal champion of the militia would hardly be expected to be politically reliable. "
My understanding of modern German history is that Clausewitz's classic was seldom read by the leaders of either the Kaiser's Grossgeneralstab or Hitler's Oberkommando der Wehrmacht. Of course, the same can probably said of the senior leaders of the U.S. Army today.