Military theory and recent conflicts

To be honest, I struggle a bit with some prominent Carl von Clausewitz (CvC) concepts in recent conflicts. They don't seem to fit to a certain kind of conflict at all, and I don't mean guerilla wars since that's widely acknowledged to be what CvC didn't add due to his early death.
The conflicts that resemble the Spanish Civil War in regard to tactical and operational level such as Bosnia and Ukraine (and to a lesser extent Syria) don't seem to have much European-style art of war in use. It's mostly "positional warfare by militia", "warlord's warbands" and "foreign ideologue volunteer forces": Warfare by amateurs that built up lightly armed forces with bottom-up created organisations that function well up to about the size of a regiment.
Daesh stands out with its ability to form a somewhat coherent force rather of corps size, complete with a hard core of most motivated fighters used (up) as mobile shock troops (a pattern known from Afghan warfare of the 80's and 90's).

Maybe I miss a lot of relevant info and cannot see many of CvC's main ideas at work for this reason.

Yet it's for sure that to most new civil war factions politics didn't come first, followed (extended) by warfare. Warfare is thus no continuation of their politics. To most of them it rather seems to be the raison d'être - even on an individual ideological level ("72 virgins"). That's but one example - the lack of a decisive battle is striking as well.

All that CvC stuff, the various lists of 'principles of war' etc. seem so much more interesting in regard to (unrealistic) NATO/EU defence scenarios than in the actually ongoing wars that make it into our news.
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Meanwhile, West Pacific war scenarios seem to resolve around the question whether China could overrun Taiwan and take out U.S. airpower bases (floating and on the ground) for good before its amphibious capability and/or economy (electrical powerplants as critical bottleneck?) were taken out by U.S. forces. That would be a race towards different objectives rather than an opportunity for much manoeuvre or high art of war. A strategic surprise would already 'win' the conflict on the military level.

A race towards different objectives would be -if I remember correctly- barely covered in military theory*. The usual assumption is a symmetrical set of objectives, in all classics from Sun Tzu to Clausewitz.
Warden's stupid rings were a unilateral theory, with a rather passive opponent - yet still no race towards different objectives. Well, and Xenophon, since he described a fighting withdrawal.


*: On the tactical level there's "pursuit" that's a race towards different objectives, but it's not fitting to the context above.

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