It has three central characteristics:
- The loss of the states monopoly on war and on the first loyalty of its citizens and the rise of non-state entities that command peoples primary loyalty and that wage war. These entities may be gangs, religions, races and ethnic groups within races, localities, tribes, business enterprises, ideologiesthe variety is almost limitless;
- A return to a world of cultures, not merely states, in conflict; and
- The manifestation of both developmentsthe decline of the state and the rise of alternate, often cultural, primary loyaltiesnot only over there, but in America itself.
Fourth Generation war is asymmetrical, but it is asymmetrical on a much broader scale than simply the pitting of a conventional army against guerillas. The larger asymmetry is political. Fourth Generation was pits a state, or alliance of states, against a shifting mass of opponents of wildly varying motives and goals. Among the problems that presents is that the state has no one to talk to about making peace. Who does Mr. Kissinger sit down with in Paris this time?
Nor does Fourth Generation war have as its objective the mind of the leader on the other side. Rather, what it does is pull its enemy apart on the moral level, fracturing his society. We see that clearly today in Israel, where the fractures may soon reach the point where the political process cannot bridge them.
- In the BlitzKrieg, the basis of the operational art shifted from place (as in Liddell-Hart's indirect approach) to time. This shift was explicitly recognized only recently in the work of retired Air Force Col John Boyd and his "OODA (observation- orientation- decision- action) theory." *
Explicitly understood by AlQaeda? : http://www.memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Area=middleeast&ID=SP34402
What is resilience :http://zenpundit.blogspot.com/2006/05/on-moral-and-psychological-resilience.html
JohnRobb on Chechnia : http://jrobb.mindplex.org/2003/02/03.html#a3081
Strategy : http://www.d-n-i.net/lind/lind415_05.htm
- More on 4GW and criminal gangs : http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2007/01/theopensource.html
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