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Really interesting article on 4th Generation Warfare

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  • Really interesting article on 4th Generation Warfare

    With lots of links to other articles in it.

  • #2
    Re: Really interesting article on 4th Generation Warfare

    Very interesting, intelligent article. I particularly thought the list of new factors in today's world was balanced and insightful.

    explosion in drug trafficking, with associated money flows and corruption to the extent that trafficking organizations are the de facto governments in a growing number of areas

    worsening income inequities combined with a general decline in standards of living in many Third World countries, particularly in Africa and Central/South America

    continued exponential increase in the world population

    a growing "demographic youth bulge" in Third World countries, where un- / underemployment is already severe [cited in recent CIA testimony]

    escalating sectarian violence as evangelizing religions (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc.) clash over influence in rapidly growing Third World countries

    survival of non-representative governments in the Third World that use religious and ethnic animosities and anti-American sentiments to distract from their own corruption and economic mismanagement

    insertion & maintenance of a largely Christian American Army into the heart of the Muslim Middle East

    accelerating AIDS epidemic in parts of the Third World [~30% of adults in Botswana are HIV-positive]

    rise of Third World mega cities with populations exceeding 20 million

    growth of worldwide connectivity (CNN and the Internet, for example)

    ease of global transportation (24 hours between any two points)

    increasing scarcity of arable land and water

    increasing world demand for petroleum as China and India increase their consumption

    disintegration of the Soviet Union and continued instability in that region

    end of the bipolar world order and of the interpretation of events through a Cold War filter

    ready availability of small arms and other weapons from the end of the Cold War

    growing use of pre-adolescent children as combatants

    resurgence of violent ethnic and ideological groups (e.g., Rwandan Interahamwe, and of course al-Qa'ida), which are becoming increasingly transnational

    safe havens for these groups in areas of Africa, Asia, and South America where any effective government (even if corrupt and incompetent) is lacking

    beginning of cooperation between transnational ideological groups and traditional criminal organizations such as narcotrafficking cartels

    continued growth in wealth and influence of multinational corporations that sometimes have incentives to perpetuate corrupt, non-democratic regimes

    emergence of the US as the only conventional / economic superpower and the inevitable resentment this causes

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    • #3
      Re: Really interesting article on 4th Generation Warfare

      I was up with my precious darling screaming child at 4 this morning and had the opportunity to read some more on this site. This writer wrote the book on maneuver warfare (Maneuver Warfare Handbook) and an interesting thread on the Iraq war. To sum up: he's not a fan of it or of the Bush doctrine.

      But he says a lot of strange things that I don't understand and doesn't seem to offer much in the way of alternatives, only criticisms. For example, if we shouldn't be in Iraq, what should we be doing to defeat the threat we face? He writes:

      The first, the supreme, the most far-reaching act of judgement that the statesman and Commander have to make is to establish...the kind of war on which they are embarking: neither mistaking it for, nor trying to turn it into, something that is alien to its nature. This is the first of all strategic questions and the most comprehensive. (from Clausewitz's On War)

      With the invasion of Iraq, Washington is trying to turn a Fourth Generation war, a war with non-state entities, into a Second Generation war, a war against another state that can be conquered by the simple application of firepower to targets. If Clausewitz were still with us, I suspect he would warn that we are marching toward Jena*

      Jena was the battle where Napoleon decisively defeated Prussia in 1806.
      But this defies logic. You win by using your strengths to attack your enemy's weakness, not by submitting to his plan and tailoring your own plans and strategy based on "rules" he made without asking you! It's like saying we must have a knife fight because the opponent doesn't have a tank like you do.

      Still, he makes good arguments against our involvement in Iraq and raises some seriously troubling points:




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