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Κυριακή, 5 Μαρτίου 2017

Το τέλος των μεταμοντέρνων μύθων περί πολέμου -- 4GW is Groundless, and Here's Why - The Strategy Bridge

4GW is Groundless, and Here's Why - The Strategy Bridge


War has changed” has become a common refrain in modern pop culture.
Defence analysts and armchair generals alike tell us that the character of modern war is unlike that of any previous era. Where once the primary form of warfare was counterforce, with armies fighting armies, the primary form of modern war is that of armies fighting insurgencies, or so the theory goes. The idea that modern war is significantly different from any type of historical war can be found in places as diverse as scholarly articles and popular films. Two prominent advocates of this idea have been the strategic theorist William S. Lind, and the Israeli strategist Martin van Creveld. Both are exponents of 4th Generation War theory, namely the idea that war has been evolving through the centuries in successive “generations.” Lind describes these generations of warfare.[1] 
  • 1st Generation: Relies on the line and column as the primary formation and the smoothbore musket and bayonet as its primary weapon.
  • 2nd Generation: Still relies on linear fire, but with the genesis of maneuver emerging and the single-shot bolt-action rifle as the primary weapon.
  • 3rd Generation: Uses basic infiltration techniques to bypass enemy defences as well as defence in-depth, with magazine-fed bolt-action rifles and machine-guns as the primary weapons.
  • 4th Generation: Modern insurgency and counterinsurgency, which features states facing off against evolved, technologically sophisticated insurgents who use terrorist attacks to strike directly at the vulnerable points of modern nations.
An examination of the 4GW theory shows that its authors and exponents do not seem to believe war as a concept existed prior to the invention of gunpowder, despite the generations of complex warfare carried out by ancients.[2] In Fourth Generation War and Other Myths, Dr. Antulio J. Echevarria II argues 4GW theory is overly technologist, based on a simplistic view of blitzkrieg theory, and overly focused on predicting the future.[3] Lind, himself an apostle of the “German technological/strategic superiority” viewpoint, certainly based his theories in large part on those of the Wehrmacht Heer during the Second World War.[4]
The validity of the Wehrmacht’s primacy is now in doubt, meaning that the main aspects of 4GW are at the very least problematized.[5] However, what this paper takes issue with is the idea that warfare has evolved in general. Profound continuities have existed in warfare from the time humans first picked up heavy sticks, and any attempt to separate it into neatly delineated iterations or generations risks oversimplification. By attempting to sort military history, or any history, into neat generations, we risk overlooking points of continuity that might enhance our impressions of what “the past” must have been like.
While 4GW theorists admit that nations have fought insurgencies before the so-called 4GW era, they view modern insurgencies as “evolved insurgencies” which operate outside the Clausewitzian trinity. As time goes on, the evolved insurgencies will become increasingly sophisticated technologically and tactically, using strategic attacks to “judo throw” modern nations, bringing them down by striking at weak points. Dr. Echevarria notes that this model failed to predict the raw, unsophisticated brutality of the Rwandan Genocide, a 4GW conflict that did not fit into 4GW theory. To that I would add the Islamic State. While making sophisticated use of social media, the Islamic State in its battlefield tactics and equipment is no more technologically sophisticated than the Taliban.[6,7]

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