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fog of war

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A phrase now much used to describe the complexity of military conflicts (The Fog of War was the title of Errol Morris's 2004 award-winning documentary about Robert S. McNamara, US Secretary of State during the Vietnam War). Fog of war is often attributed to Clausewitz, but is in fact a paraphrase of what he said: ‘War is the realm of uncertainty; three quarters of the factors on which action in war is based are wrapped in a fog of greater or lesser uncertainty.’

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