Follow-up note to the article published on May 7 titled
"What if bin Laden were smart, like Dr. No or Ernest Blofeld?
28 Articles: a guide to a successful insurgency against America."
Second in a series describing a potential threat to America
By Fabius Maximus
May 14, 2007
I have been deluged with requests for the rest of this article. Some of these were from military and other experts in this field. That is its point, proving the extraordinary significance of this moment in time.
That article ended as follows:
Analysis of the remaining 27 articles have been deleted by the Editors of DNI, as these insights could prove dangerous to America’s security if exploited by our enemies.
Consider that so many people asked to see a handbook for insurgents, an article describing how to defeat America. This demonstrates that we – writers for and readers of DNI – know it is possible to write such a thing. This point in time is like that of conventional military theory after WWI, when the tentative beginnings of infiltration tactics were about to become blitzkrieg (aka maneuver warfare). Or guerilla warfare in the 1930’s, when Mao picked up his pen to write Basic Tactics – the handbook for People’s War.
This is easily seen when reading the literature about fourth generation war (4GW). Hammes, Lind, Richards, Robb, Walters, van Creveld, et al … their publications range from brilliant to works of genius. But they are mostly descriptive, not prescriptive. Heavy on the nature of the threat; light on solutions. Motivational literature for insurgents.
“Why We Lose”, published at DNI on January 4, illustrated this using one of the most widely circulated articles about modern warfare: “Twenty-Eight Articles: Fundamentals of Company-Level Counterinsurgency” by David Kilcullen (Military Review, May – June 2006). This is an excellent work, widely praised by field commanders. Unfortunately its advice is more effective for our foes than us. This is true of most works to date about 4GW.
Understanding the reasons for this is essential both to seeing the magnitude of our danger and to developing methods by which America can wage and win 4GWs. That was the point of my May 7 article, not to actually write a handbook for insurgents. One will appear soon from an insurgent, a sympathizer, or (to borrow the wonderful term usually attributed to Lenin) a “useful idiot.”
The other side of this coin is that America’s governmental institutions appear structurally unable to effectively respond to 4GW threats. My May 7 article and the following articles in this series discuss both of these problems.
First tentative sketches of a solution.
My articles are of course equally guilty of the above limitations. I have written two articles that dimly point to a solution, and have others planned. Many others of greater skill also are on the job. If we all work together I am confident that we can find and implement a successful solution.
Are the things reported here good or bad? Please consult a priest or philosopher for answers to such questions. This author only discusses what was, what is, and what might be.
Please send your comments and corrections on this article to
Who was Fabius Maximus?
Fabius Maximus was the Roman leader who saved Rome from Hannibal by recognizing its weakness and therefore its the need to conserve and regenerate. He turned from the easy path of macho “boldness” to the long and difficult task of rebuilding Rome’s strength and greatness. His life holds profound lessons for 21st Century America.
Qualifications of the Author?
Read the past articles by Fabius Maximus. A work of intellectual analysis stands on its own logic, supported by the author’s track record.
A Handbook for Insurgents
Part I – What if bin Laden were smart, like Dr. No or Ernest Blofeld?
or 28 Articles: a guide to a successful insurgency against America, May 7, 2007
Review of The Changing Face of War, by Martin van Creveld, April 30, 2007
Iraq Series - 2006-2007
Part V – The Iraq insurgency has ended, which opens a path to peace, March 13, 2007
Part IV – Why We Lose, January 4, 2007
Part III – More Paths to Failure in Iraq, December 19, 2006
Part II – What Should We Do in Iraq? December 9, 2006
Part I – Situation Report on the Expedition to Iraq, November 12, 2006
Part IV – How America Can Survive and Even Prosper in the 21st Century, April 30, 2007
Part III – America's Most Dangerous Enemy
Interlude – Top Secret US Government Documents About Iraq
Part II – The Fate of Israel
Part I – The Myth of Grand Strategy
Forecast: the Death of the American Constitution, February 22, 2007
More Forecasts – Part Two
More Forecasts – Part One
Forecasts for the American Expedition to Iraq – the Sequel
Forecasts for the American Expedition to Iraq
Lessons Learned from the American Expedition to Iraq
The Rioting in France and the Decline of the State
The Plame Affair and the Decline of The State
Militia: the dominant defensive force in 21st Century 4GW?
Thoughts on William Lind’s Fourth Generation War field manual (FMFM 1-A)
Iraq Series - 2003
Scorecard #4: War in Iraq: New developments & Implications, November 22
Scorecard #3: A look at the Coalition’s Progress in Iraq, November 9
Scorecard #2: an Iraq Update, October 31
Scorecard #1: How well are we doing in Iraq? September 22
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