In war and peace, yea, I still haven’t finished reading it, there is a dialogue between Prince Andrew and Pierre about war that I think is well articulated.
But what is war? What is needed for success in warfare? What are the habits of the military?
The aim of war is murder; the methods of war are spying, treachery and their encouragement, the ruin of a country’s inhabitants, robbing them or stealing to provision the army and fraud and falsehood termed military craft.
The habits of the military class are the absence of freedom, that is, discipline, idleness, ignorance, cruelty, debauchery and drunkenness. And in spite of all this it is the highest class, respected by everyone. All the kings, except the Chinese, wear military uniforms, and he who kills most people receives the highest rewards.
They meet, as we shall meet tomorrow, to murder one another, they kill and maim tens of thousands, and then have thanksgiving services for having killed so many people and they announce a victory supposing that the more people they have killed, the greater their achievement.