Archive for the '4GW - Theory' Category

The Rule of Law

In the United States and in the developed world generally, we take the rule of law to be the foundation of our societies. The alternatives are usually thought to be gang/mob rule, anarchy, and a return to pre-civilized days (as in The Road Warrior).

Personally, I think there’s a lot of truth to this, especially if you want a functioning modern economy (It’s well beyond my competence to discuss alternatives, such as tribal societies).

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On War #253: Linearity

By William S. Lind

One of several dead hands the First Generation of Modern War lays on contemporary state militaries’ throats is linearity. Most state militaries both seek and expect linearity on and off the battlefield. Sometimes, this manifests itself in tactics that offer magnificent if unintentional tableux vivant. I recall a field exercise years ago with the Second Marine Division at Camp Lejeune where, rounding a bend, we found a lieutenant had built a perfect 19th century fortress wall across the road, complete with firing step. The Division Sergeant Major, in whose jeep I was riding, said, “My God, it’s the siege of Vicksburg!”

More often, linearity manifests itself in a military service’s culture, as a subtle but omnipresent mindset. It is easy to understand why this is so. Both on land and at sea, tactics became linear right at the beginning of the First Generation in the mid-17th century. In armies, that was when lines of infantrymen two or three deep replaced the square formations of the tercios. In navies, beginning with the British Navy in the Dutch Wars, the line ahead replaced the general melee. The two developments were causally related: the line ahead was adopted when generals took command of the British fleet under the Commonwealth.

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What is “Cultural Marxism?”

by David Barkin

[Author’s note: So far, I have not read one post on this board not worthy of respect. So forgive me the tone of the below essay. It’s the way I write, and I intend no insult to anyone.]

Mr. William Lind often mentions it in tones of the old red menace. On the DNI blog, this fear has been confirmed. This is all very educational for an old fashioned Marxist like myself. I say this because I’ve never heard about this before. Ignorance is bliss.

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On War #251: War or Not War?

By William S. Lind

Between February 8 and February 14, four American schools suffered attacks by lone gunmen. The most recent, at Northern Illinois University on February 14, saw five killed (plus the gunman) and 16 wounded. Similar attacks have occurred elsewhere, including shopping malls.

Is this war? I don’t think so. Some proponents of “Fifth Generation war,” which they define as actions by “superempowered individuals,” may disagree. But these incidents lack an ingredient I think necessary to war’s definition, namely purpose. In Fourth Generation War, the purpose of warlike acts reaches beyond the state and politics, but actions, including massacres of civilians, are still purposeful. They serve an agenda that reaches beyond individual emotions, an agenda others can and do share and fight for. In contrast, the mental and emotional states that motivate lone gunmen are knowable to them alone.

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If We Can Keep It - Briefing

if_we_can_keep_it.jpgDownload a a short PowerPoint presentation (444 KB) highlighting some of the themes from my new book, If We Can Keep It: A National Security Manifesto for the Next Administration. [The book is now available on Amazon.]

New book now available

IWCKI Final Cover If We Can Keep It: A National Security Manifesto for the Next Administration, by DNI Editor Chet Richards. Now available on Amazon.

Sample Chapter

IWCKI Final Cover If We Can Keep It: A National Security Manifesto for the Next Administration, by DNI Editor Chet Richards.Chapter III, “Is It War?” is now available [63 KB PDF]. This is a marketing teaser, to implant a subliminal impulse to buy the book and then tell all your friends about it.It should be on Amazon within the next couple of weeks.

Is Boyd Still Relevant?

The Marines think so. “Is Warfighting Enough?” by Chet Richards and Don Vandergriff is now available in the February 2008 edition of the Marine Corps Gazette.

[Available to members and subscribers only. If you’re eligible, join! If you’re not, subscribe! Click here for details.]

Adaptive Leadership Conference

cover_adaptive_leadership1.jpg The Critical Incident Management Institute at Greenville (SC) Tech will host the first annual Adaptive Leadership Symposium on March 19, 2008. The focus of the symposium will be creating leaders (and therefore organizations) that can use the OODA loop model to survive crises and periods of rapid change.

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Sign up for 4gw (Part II)

You could simply refuse to be terrorized.  Send this to your elected officials:

I am not afraid of terrorism, and I want you to stop being afraid on my behalf. Please start scaling back the official government war on terror. Please replace it with a smaller, more focused anti-terrorist police effort in keeping with the rule of law. Please stop overreacting. I understand that it will not be possible to stop all terrorist acts. I accept that. I am not afraid.

Thanks to cybersecurity guru Bruce Schneier, who posted it on his blog today.

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