The Next Generation of War?


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Ktulu
September 28, 2004, 03:49 PM
Terrorist tactics for war with the West: Al-Qaeda and other jihadist groups have adopted the principles contained in an American military initiative as an attempt to overcome traditional strategic defenses - The nation: war on terror

Scott L. Wheeler

Experts and evidence confirm that the al-Qaeda terrorist organization has borrowed both doctrine and strategy from an American military initiative to fight the terror War against the United States. Called the "Fourth Generation Warfare" doctrine, it was laid out and codified in 1989 by a handful of American military officers and a civilian military adviser to a U.S. senator. But while the Department of Defense (DoD) ignored it, al-Qaeda's battle planners claim they have used it so successfully that, "in many instances, nation-states have been defeated by stateless nations."

The new approach to warfare first was described to the public in a 1989 Marine Corps Gazette article. It was written by William S. Lind, who at the time was military-affairs adviser to Sen. Gary Hart (D-Colo.), and two Army and two Marine Corps officers. They explained what they saw as the next, or fourth generation, of warfare. According to these tacticians, "First-generation warfare reflects tactics of the era of the smoothbore musket--the tactics of line and column." This, the authors explained, was dictated by technology, tradition and the training levels of conscripts.

The second generation began with grooved barrels on rifle muskets, then moved on to rapid reloaders, the machine gun and indirect fire from artillery. "Massed firepower replaced massed manpower," according to the article.

The third generation saw the tactics of outmaneuvering, rather than destroying, the opposing force. "The attack relied on infiltration to bypass and collapse the enemy's combat forces," the article states.

According to these tacticians, the purpose of their analysis was to predict the next generation of combat U.S. forces would encounter--the so-called "fourth generation." As they saw it, this type of warfare has "a goal of collapsing the enemy internally rather than physically destroying him. Targets will include such things as the population's support for the war and the enemy's culture." The authors predicted that armies of the future would "be widely dispersed and largely undefined; the distinction between war and peace will be blurred to the vanishing point. It will be nonlinear, possibly to the point of having no definable battlefields or fronts."

If this description of fourth-generation warfare seems familiar it is because that is how al-Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist groups conduct business against Israel, the United States and other Western nations.

But those who developed the concept of fourth-generation warfare warn that the DoD still does not get the picture. In an interview with INSIGHT, Lind says the Pentagon is stuck in linear thinking as it prosecutes the war on terror, without understanding that the United States is up against practitioners of fourth-generation warfare. "It's like it's 1942 and the Pentagon is ignoring carrier aviation," he says.

Lind, who now is with the Free Congress Foundation, explains that, "We define a bomb as legitimate if it is delivered by an airplane or a cruise missile," but points out that to terrorist armies it can be "a car or a suitcase." As the 1989 article put it, in the mind of the fourth-generation warriors, "the distinction between `civilian' and `military' may disappear."

The U.S. defense and intelligence community may or may not be in denial over what is happening, but there is no doubt that al-Qaeda and other jihadist groups have embraced the tenets of fourth-generation warfare and see it as their way to victory against the vast military machine of the West in general and the United States in particular. In February, the Middle East Media Research Institute published excerpts from an article it found on a now-defunct al-Qaeda Website, Al-Ansar: For the Struggle Against the Crusader War. The article, "Fourth-Generation Wars" by Abu 'Ubeid al-Qurashi, was pseudonymous, but intelligence sources tell INSIGHT that the writer is a figure of significant stature within al-Qaeda and should be taken seriously. He openly acknowledges the 1989 Marine Corps Gazette article, embraces the principles advanced therein and says, "This new type of war presents significant difficulties for the Western war machine."

Al-Qurashi's article claims that by using the fourth-generation doctrine al-Qaeda overcame "the elements of America's strategic defense, which the former U.S.S.R. and every other hostile state could not harm. These elements are: early warning, preventive strike and the principle of deterrence." According to al-Qurashi, "With the Sept. 11 attacks, al-Qaeda entered the annals of successful surprise attacks ... because it put every individual in American society on alert for every possibility, whether emotionally or practically. This has an extremely high economic and psychological price."

With no early, warning of terror attacks, the al-Qaeda strategist says, terror has a force multiplier. With no early warning there can be no preventive strike, al-Qurashi says, because "it is very difficult to launch a successful preventive strike at an organization that maneuvers and moves quickly, and has no permanent bases."

Al-Qurashi says deterrence has been overcome because, "This principle is based on the assumption that there are two sides that seek to survive and defend their interests--but it is completely eliminated when dealing with people who don't care about living but thirst for martyrdom." He points out that deterrence "works well between countries; it does not work at all for an organization."

It is these organizations at war that are at the heart of fourth-generation warfare. The authors of that seminal Marine Corps Gazette article say that future war will be based on organizations, tribes and interest groups that bypass a nation-state's military altogether and instead inflict damage to the civilian infrastructure. Lind refers to it as "cause-oriented warfare," saying that future armies will be made up of individuals fighting for a cause without the glue of a nation-state. "The first loyalty will be to their cause, not to their country," says Lind, who thinks that nations in general are "losing their monopoly on loyalty."

According to military experts familiar with fourth-generation warfare, organizational strategies of this kind pose significant problems for the United States, whose defense doctrine relies mostly on conventional forces. Retired Army Lt. Col. Greg Wilcox tells INSIGHT, "We are not built for fourth-generation warfare in this country. We can't play by the same rules." But Wilcox is convinced the United States now has little choice but to "develop a countermeasure strategy against the terrorist." He says al-Qaeda is bound to strike civilian targets again. "They've got to hit the weak spots," he says.

Wilcox speculates that the reason the United States has not seen suicide-bomber attacks such as in Israel is that "al-Qaeda may have re-evaluated Sept. 11 and considered that it generated too much sympathy" from the international community. Sympathy for the United States would be inconsistent with the objectives of fourth-generation warfare that involve causing civilian casualties while simultaneously engendering sympathy for the cause of the aggressor organization so as to get the targeted people to blame their own leaders for allowing the continuing attacks.

Lind says that effectively combating fourth-generation warfare will present conflicts for American culture. The 1989 report states: "If we bomb an enemy city, the pictures of enemy civilian dead brought into every living room in the country on the evening news can easily turn what may have been a military success--assuming we also hit the military target--into a serious defeat." Lind says that as the war continues, and U.S. forces pursue terrorist forces, Americans must get used to casualties among the civilians in whose midst the terrorist jihadists and their supporters will hide. Lind says Muslims who support terrorist attacks know and expect that. "As we weep even over their casualties," he says, "they will be cheering over ours."

SCOTT L. WHEELER IS A REPORTER FOR Insight.

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1571/is_1_19/ai_95914216

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Lind says that effectively combating fourth-generation warfare will present conflicts for American culture.

It seems to me that one of the defining elements of American culture the individual, personal, ownership of firearms by law abiding civilians would go a long way in preventing and deterring "fourth-generation warfare" attacks on the populace. An age-old solution to a modern problem.

Of course that's my answer to all of society’s problems.

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El Tejon
September 28, 2004, 03:58 PM
:rolleyes: More things change, the more they stay the same.

Seems everyone is copying and repackaging Sun Zi's "Art of War" and calling it a "new doctrine.":scrutiny:

At least General Giap admitted he based his strategy upon Sun Zi. Of course, Giap, unlike militree officers here, probably was not fighting for a Congressional grant for funding for his project. He just wanted to win a war.

Ktulu, yes, without any doubt, the soccermommies and their gun control regime caused 9/11. However, the most important thing is the will to resist.

The Soviets knew this and they were really close to defeating the West with people like Kerry. We shall see if the New Barbary pirates will pull it off or that the West will live.

longrifleman
September 28, 2004, 04:24 PM
If you are interested in more info on Lind's take on 4th Gen war and it's application to current developments go here:

William Lind Archives on LewRockwell (http://www.lewrockwell.com/lind/lind-arch.html)

My understandng is that 4th gen is more than guerrilla warfare, although they share a lot of characteristics.

boofus
September 28, 2004, 04:26 PM
There are some methods of attack that just can not be defended against with conventional means. :barf: pacifism

Azrael256
September 28, 2004, 05:15 PM
Lind says that effectively combating fourth-generation warfare will present conflicts for American culture. Welcome to the market-state. That is one of its hallmarks. Jeez, do people just not read anymore?

Waitone
September 28, 2004, 09:14 PM
Actually the Communist Chinese have a well-developed doctrine of 4th generation warfare. It was the Chinese who put the bee in Al Qaeda's bonnet about airplanes and buildings.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Greg Wilcox tells INSIGHT, "We are not built for fourth-generation warfare in this country. We can't play by the same rules." But Wilcox is convinced the United States now has little choice but to "develop a countermeasure strategy against the terrorist." He says al-Qaeda is bound to strike civilian targets again. "They've got to hit the weak spots," he says.The biggest single obstacle we face in 4th generation warfare will be our Judeo-Christian ethics. Over the centuries we've developed a code of warfare that comports to our ethics. Islamofascists terrormongers for now and other groups later will not be hindered by that ethic. The west will be challenged to severe the relationship between our ethic and the development of an effective counter measure. A plane into a building is an example of 4th generation warfare; so is a Hellfire missile into a Medrasas. A nuke cooking lower Manhattan is an example; so is an AFE over any one of several holy cities.

In the final analysis 4 th generation warfare will eventually morph to look alot like low intensity conflicts of the cold war. The ideology is similar except for overlay of god-talk. States are necessary to support terror operations. Financial institutions throughout history have financed war; 4th genration warfare is no different. Wars are fought on the field of battle however you want to define field. Wars are won in back offices of financial institutions. All of which tells me the current WOT will be won and or lost by how well be channel finances.

El Tejon
September 28, 2004, 10:48 PM
The Chinese have read the "Art of War"?:what:

I am shocked, shocked I tell you.:D

Atticus
September 28, 2004, 11:22 PM
Evidently ...so have the Israeli's.

Destructo6
September 29, 2004, 12:10 AM
Here's another:
The Revolutionary Catechism by Nechayev
The Duties of the Revolutionary Toward Himself

1. The revolutionary is a doomed man. He has no personal interests, no business affairs, no emotions, no attachments, no property and no name. Everything within him is wholly absorbed in the single thought and the single passion for revolution.

2. The revolutionary knows that in the very depths of his being, not only in words but also in deeds, he has broken all the bonds which tie him to the social order and the civilized world with all its laws, moralities and customs, and with all its generally accepted conventions. He is their implacable enemy, and if he continues to live with them, it is only in order to destroy them more speedily.

3. The revolutionary despises all doctrines and refuses to accept the mundane sciences, leaving them for future generations. He knows only one science: the science of destruction. For this reason, and only for this reason, he will study mechanics, physics, chemistry, and perhaps medicine. But all day and all night he studies the vital science of human beings, their characteristics and circumstances, and all the phenomena of the present social order. The object is perpetually the same: the surest and the quickest way of destroying the whole filthy order.

4. The revolutionary despies public opinion. He despises and hates the existing social morality in all its manifestations. For him morality is everything which contributes to the triumph of the revolution. Immoral and criminal is everything that stands in its way.

5. The revolutionary is a dedicated man, merciless toward the state and towards the educated classes, and he can expect no mercy from them. Between him and them there exists, declared or concealed, a relentless and irreconcilable war to the death. He must accustom himself to torture.

6. Tyrannical towards himself, he must be tyrannical towards others. All the gentle and enervating sentiments of kinship, love, friendship, gratitude and even honor must be suppressed in him and give way to the cold and single minded passion for revolution. For him there exists only one pleasure, one consolation, one reward, one satisfaction- the success of the revolution. Night and day he must have but one thought, one aim- merciless destruction. Striving coldbloodedly and indefatigably towards this end, he must be prepared to destroy himself and to destroy with his own hands everything that stands in the path of the revolution.

7. The nature of the true revolutionary excludes all sentimentality, romanticism, infatuation, and exaltation. All private hatred and revenge must also be excluded. Revolutionary passion, practiced at every moment of the day until it becomes a habit, is to be employed with cold calculation. At all times and in all places the revolutionary must obey, not his personal impulses, but only those which serve the cause of the revolution.

The Relations of the Revolutionary Towards His Comrades

8. The revolutionary can have no friendship or attachment except for those who have proved by their actions that they like him are dedicated to revolution. The degree of friendship, devotion and obligation toward such a comrade is determined solely by the degree of his usefulness to the cause of total revolutionary destruction.

9. It is superfluous to speak of solidarity among revolutionaries. The whole strenght of revolutionary work lies in this. Comrades who possess the same revolutionary passion and understanding should as much as possible deliberate all important matters together and come to unanimous conclusions. When the plan is finally decided upon, then the revolutionary must rely solely on himself. In carrying out acts of destruction each one should act alone, never running to another for advice and assistance except when these are necessary for the furtherance of the plan.

10. All revolutionaries should have under them second or third degree revolutionaries, for example comrades who are not completely initiated. These should be regarded as part of the common revolutionary capital placed at his disposal. This capital should of course be spent as economically as possible in order to derive from it the greatest possible profit. The real revolutionary should regard himself as capital consecrated to the triumph of the revolution; however, he may not personally and alone dispose of that capital without the unanimous consent of the fully initiated comrades.

11. When a comrade is in danger and the question arises whether he should be saved or not saved, the decision must not be arrived at on the basis of sentiment, but solely in the interests of the revolutionary cause. Therefore it is necessary to weigh carefully the usefulness of the comrade against the expenditure of revolutionary forces necessary to save him, and the decision must be made accordingly.
"The Attitude of the Society toward the People" seems to describe much of the left.

http://www.spunk.org/library/places/russia/sp000116.txt

NMshooter
September 29, 2004, 03:25 PM
Thank you for this post Ktulu, it led me to read some most interesting stuff.

bountyhunter
September 29, 2004, 07:09 PM
As they saw it, this type of warfare has "a goal of collapsing the enemy internally rather than physically destroying him. For those of us who get information outside of the Rupert Murdoch Propoganda System, this is VERY old news. Osama Bin Laden's Achille's Heel is that he has a big mouth and an ego to match. many years back he made his plans crystal clear.

1) He declared that any ruling body in an Arab state which was not islam-based was corrupt and would be overthrown. PERIOD.

2) His first targets would be Iraq (because Hussein is an infidel lackey who beat the hell out of a true Islamic state when he made war on Iran). Bin :aden's second target would be saudi Arabia because they are a US "ally" (although, with allies like them we need no enemies). But SA did allow US troops on their soil.

3) Bin laden will model his operating plans on the communist plan. Destabilize a wekened country (that would be Iraq). Install an islamic government and use that country as a base to trian and export Islamic fighters. Then take the remaining Arab countries one by one.

4) Bin laden will attack the oil pipe of saudi Arabia to destroy the US economy. It is a relatively easy target to hit and kills two birds with one stone: hurts SA (who expelled Bin laden and humiliated him) and destroys the US economic "recovery".... if there is any such thing.

Destructo6
September 30, 2004, 01:50 AM
His first targets would be Iraq (because Hussein is an infidel lackey who beat the hell out of a true Islamic state when he made war on Iran).
For a wahhabi, there is no true Islam but wahhabi. Shiites are only next to Druze in their perversion of Islam, at least in the wahhabi view.

Ktulu
September 30, 2004, 11:23 AM
NMshooter said:

Thank you for this post Ktulu, it led me to read some most interesting stuff.

My pleasure!

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