posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 11:50 AM
I was reading an editorial today that talked about 'Fourth Generation Warfare", in the context of the insurgency but also the Syrian assasination in
lebanon, and how it backfired greatly for them. The author noted that in 1989 a strategist noted that warfare had gone thru a few generations
- First Generation: Decisive/Typifying Factor is Manpower. Large masseed armies and such
- Second Generation: Decisive/Typifying Factor is Firepower. Long Range artillery and powerful cannons and the sort
- Third Generation: Decisive/Typifying Factor is Maneuvers. Using tactics and mobile formations and complex maneuvering to bring firepower to bear
on the enemy.
- Fourth Generation: Decisive/Typifying Factor is Diffusion. Terror cells and small operation units with great power.
So, if this is true, should perhaps the US and other Western countries adopt the Diffuse method, ie form entire divisions of troopers out of
decentralized 'cells', that are perhaps given great support and state of the art weaponry but giving large tactical lattitude and even strategic
control over their own objectives? Fight jihadis and assasins 'cell to cell' so to speak?
Obviously this can't mean abandoning the 3rd Generation type military, as not every enemy is going to be 4th Generation. But has the expectation that
most enemies will be 3rd Generation been a miscalculation? I know that Stryker Brigades are supposed to address somewhat the problems of 4th
Generation Warfare, insofar as they are 'rapid response' and are a base that can be tailored to the specifics of the situation. But should more be
done, and what form can it take?
Also, while I can see that Firepower can win over sheer manpower, and that tactical maneuvering can overcome both, diffuse combat can't be said to
consistenly win over 3rd Generation warfare. While its debatable as to its effectivness in Vietnam, its generally been shown, I should think, that
partisans, guerillas, and commandos, can't actually defeat massed armies. So 3rd generation militaries, in this usage, can defeat 4th generation
militaries, but only slowlyand with consistent pressure, and probably lots of diplomatic and sociological maneuvering as well. Can 4th generation
militaries effectively fight against other 4th generation militaries? Or is the diffusness something that renders this nearly immpossible?