The ultimate 21st Century cage match: Titanic Government vs. the National Security Iceberg

Summary: Today GI Wilson writes about the great game of the 21st century — the US government vs. our 4GW foes. Once called “low intensity war”, our foes have taught us the ability of sustained 4GW produces only a series of expensive defeats for foreign armies (no matter how powerful). A slow bleeding, until we either adapt or give up.

We just need bigger weapons!
We just need bigger weapons!



The recent article, “7 Absurd Ways the Military Wastes Taxpayer Dollars” by Laura Gottesdiene at Salon shines a bright light on military waste and the smarmy behavior of general officers. This smarmy behavior is just the tip of a national security iceberg. The personal foibles of these general officers are symptoms of a much deeper problem. In the wake of 9-11 we are witnessing the costly ineffectiveness our Titanic government bureaucracies. Today, a report by the Independent Accountability Review Board on Benghazi slammed senior level leadership and management laying bare national security miscalculations and incompetence. (Chicago Tribune)

What our national security apparatchiks are missing is that we live in a world where we are seeing sub-national “bad actors” use 4th generation warfare (4GW), which embodies low-tech tactics, techniques procedures (TTPs) together with insurrection, sabotage, espionage, and terrorism, to subvert nation-states. In effect, 4GW has emerged to challenge the established international system. While 4GW is not new, as some critics would have you believe, 4GW has emerged over several decades as the dominant style of warfare in the first part of the 21st Century.

The United States Government (USG) has not adapted to this change. Driven by conventional mentality and bureaucratic inertia, the Military Industrial Congressional Complex (MICC) and the US military has responded to the 4th generation warfare (4GW) threats with a conventional techno strategy of fielding high cost acquisition programs that created the MICC in the first place during the Cold War. The acquisition-programmatic approach to strategy led to a welter of highly complex programs and associated complex organizational relationships that force-fits the fighting man into a technological strait-jacket.


How DoD sees 4GW. I don’t understand it either. Click to enlarge.

Trying to win by substituting tech for tactics

A forced-fit strait-jacket where technology is king and very costly. The acquisition-programmatic approach feeds the MICC with more general officers, contractors, and high tech hardware needs. Hardware resigns supreme over people. Personnel cuts are made first to save acquisition programs. The insidious results can be seen in the fact the so-called war on terror is now the second most expensive war in US history, behind WWII, but exceeding the expenditures of the Civil War and WWI on an inflation adjusted basis — and a pervasive culture of waste and moral corruption underwriting careerism and psychopathy in U.S. military leadership. (see “How Tactics of the Weak Confound the Strong“)

This conventional-acquisition force is one where technology is costly. Defense technology has propensity to make everything military bigger, more complex, more complicated, more bureaucratic, more exorbitant reliant of huge sums of money, lots of generals, Congressional porking, all fueled by a legion of lobbyists and a friendly media. The culture of spending creates a mindset that there are only high tech high cost solutions for all DOD problems. The billions of dollars lavished yearly on the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) is a particularly well worth reviewing. In fact, JIEDDO is a case study of how to throw billions of dollars at a problem seeking technological solutions and getting so little in return.

Technological solutions contribute immensely to the money flow for hardware and contractors. Making Congress and DOD suits happy campers plus willing accomplishes in wasteful spending and slathering away of tax payers’ dollars. Odd as it may seem, the defense industry often sees those in military uniform as a kind of competition. The defense industry wants to increase the sale of high-cost-high-tech hardware coupled with lots of contractor support to DOD. In effect this increases the likelihood of fewer dollars going to directly to uniform personnel and more dollars going directly to industry where hardware has a higher priority than people.

America, which sees itself as the world’s strongest nation, has fallen into the trap of substituting technology for tactical ideas. DOD has a predilection for combat where only the most advanced and sophisticated force wins with the most expensive high tech hardware. This in fact makes DOD rigid, predictable, and non responsive to changing conditions. Our fourth-generation foes, on the other hand, perhaps because of their poverty, have concentrated on people and ideas. The prefer the a tactically sophisticated unconventional, low-no-tech, and off-the-shelf ‘tip and stroke’ approach to strike over the widest areas with the smallest possible forces while striving to avoid defense except by accident or error.

The key is to avoid a decisive fight where DOD can bring its firepower to bear. In effect, the 4GW insurgents are leveraging DOD’s addiction to technology and contractors while “throwing such high tech” forces off balance to leverage our own politically driven bureaucracy to exhaust itself spiritually and financially. A sterling example of this is DOD, State Department, and intelligence communities’ bureaucratic missteps surrounding the Benghazi event, which have now evolved into a finger pointing game among domestic constituencies in the Executive and Legislative branches of the US government. You can bet our adversaries are cheering this act on!

Recall too our enemy’s technological advantage in the 11 Sept 2001 attacks consisted of box cutters and ceramic knives, combined with a steely determination to die for a cause. And, it worked turning commercial jetliners into building-piercing missiles and coffins. Yet, our vast weighty and costly government bureaucracies (to include the military, law enforcement, and intelligence communities) were virtually helpless to stop the attacks.

Today, we are witnessing (perhaps more like we are asleep at the switch while a geo-political transition taking place, while the US is slipping into what is beginning to look like a economical-political death spiral. This shift is characterized by a global landscape of conflict where the distinction between combatant, criminal opportunist and civilian dissolving into a penumbra with no clear edges. In this emerging global conflict, the urban guerrilla/fighter and his/her rural counterpart may be a religious zealot, a child for hire with an RPG, a deranged lone shooter, or a grandmother with a suicide vest.

As technophiles, Westerners are capture by their addiction to our expensive modern weapons like drones that create a false aura of great precision. We have lost sight Napoleon’s dictum “the moral is the material as three to one” of the time proven truth that people and ideas are the essence of why wars are fought and for how long. In the traditional view, the low-tech approaches of fourth generation warfare are the “tactics of the weak.” However, they have repeatedly been successful in circumventing our military’s far stronger conventional strategy, general officer heavy force structure, acquisition-tactics, and hardware-only-thinking.

With our foes ….

Well before the 9-11 attacks al-Qaeda recognized the power of asymmetric warfare and adaptive tactics of fourth generation warfare (4GW) for their jihad struggle. Armchair strategists inside the beltway like to call this ‘asymmetric warfare,’ as if focusing local strengths against weaknesses was something new, but the technique is as old as Sun Tzu. An article entitled “Fourth-Generation Wars” by Abu ‘Ubeid Al-Qurashi, appeared in the now defunct al-Qaeda affiliated Internet magazine Al-Ansar acknowledged that 4GW forms the foundation of al-Qaeda’s combat doctrine. (see my essay on “Careerism”)

In doing so, the author, Abu ‘Ubed Al-Qurashi, reputed to be closely linked with Osama bin Laden, cites a 1989 Marine Corps Gazette article “The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation” as key to understanding contemporary global conflict. But most in DOD and intelligence missed that or just yawned and returned to the high tech/high dollar approach to war that, among other things, offers generals and colonels such lucrative-after-market opportunities with defense contractors.

Only a few military analysts both in and out of uniform have recognized the deadly nature of 4GW, and it still eludes most political and military strategic discourse. Beyond any doubt, the supposedly isolated and shadowy strategists and tacticians of 4GW networks like al-Qaeda, the Mexican drug cartels, and Hezbollah understood the power of 4GW far more than our own military or intelligence wonks realized.

The aforementioned al-Qaeda on-line magazine made a chilling declaration: “The time has come for the Islamic movements facing a general crusader offensive to internalize the rules of fourth-generation warfare.” Rather than al-Qaeda simply being just merely an indicator of changes of thinking within the operational domain, radicalized affiliates are embracing the 4GW thesis to become change leaders. Yet no one here is paying attention, when the Benghazi meltdown occurs, because the soup of the day is the inwardly-focused “fiscal cliff chowder.”

Fourth-generation warfare is not new (though many try to claim it is as criticism), but rather a creative and adaptive application of the past where the “moral” dimension of war outweighs the technological. 4GW represents warfare in transition where traditional strengths are bypassed or redefined; the focus is shifted away from high technology to ideas. Conflict shifts from the mindless attrition strategy of destroying military targets by regular conventional firepower-centric forces to the disruption of social-economic and political-cultural “centers” by tip and stroke attacks, subversion, shadow organizations, etc.

Generations of War

When nations try to apply 2GW or 3GW approaches in response to this kind of threat, they typically produce considerable “back blast” as state forces misapply conventional military means. In essence, 4GW groups attack the entire social order, and use the target society’s very organization, laws, technology and conventional forces or tactics against itself. As Robert Chase in “Battling the Hydra: Changing Operational Factors in 4th Generation War” writes, “Determinants of an operational center of gravity, grounded in the current factors of time, space, and force, and focused upon tangible assessments of combat power, force ratios, and attritional capacities, are incidental in analyzing an adversary whose power lies not in these conventional quantitative ‘means,’ but rather in its qualitative roots.” (see “Bin Laden Lieutenant Admits to September 11 and Explains Al-Qa’ida’s Combat Doctrine“, The Middle East Media Research Institute)

4GW theorists in the United States foresaw well before the 1990s and recognized the US military was still held captive to World War I attrition tactics papered over with the high technology conception of precision warfare on the all-seeing, all-knowing electronic battlefield — a fantasy that has reached its apotheosis in using drones to attack and kill so-called high-value individuals.

Meanwhile the interconnected world was progressing beyond the industrial age of highly autonomous nation-states. That future, which is now upon us, is one where the huge serried ranks of regular armies are almost helpless against the scattered, fourth generation gangs, religions, tribes, ideologies and terrorists, wired together with cell phones, electronic banking, and the internet. In that analysis, we’d too often try to use precision munitions from attack aircraft against 4GW “phantoms” or “ghosts”-shadowy groups (e.g. gangs) blended into existing society without respect to, international borders. Our targeteers are often trying to hit an “enemy” center of gravity that is really a shared religious/ideological goal and message, with our bombs and drone missiles not only falling short in the end, but having the perverse effect of strengthening the resolve of the “bad guys”.

In this amorphous operational venue where bad guys love to use low tech to defeat high tech, common purpose and zealotry (or cohesion and moral strength) replace high-tech military equipment and command structure. The conventional 2000-pound airdropped bomb is transformed into a suicide truck bomb or other improvised explosive device that strikes unexpectedly over great distances. The new enemy “pilot” does not return to base and family but instead fully intends to die as a martyr for the mission. The target is no longer just our US conventional force, but the symbolic icons tied to our presence. And, not surprisingly, our drones are met with blue on green attacks from the guy standing next to our troops.

Today we are faced with interesting dichotomies where we are trying to impose law and order in Afghanistan and from Washington, DC, where you can’t safely walk 1,000 yards from the Capitol after dark. In Afghanistan (as in Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, etc), we are seeing fourth-generation warfare in play. Twenty years of recurring images of urban warfare in Mogadishu, Fallujah, Ramadi, Benghazi, and the Chechen capital of Grozny, and now in Damascus are sending a loud message that should give us pause regarding our high tech high cost hardware war fighting addiction.

Afghanistan still simmers/boils, and terrorists worldwide threaten US national and global security alike. A swath across central Africa, from Ethiopia to Mauritania, now threatens to implode under the specter of continual conflict.

The bottom line is that all war is about people, ideas, and hardware/technology in that order, and the military and security forces are ultimately about controlling people. It is not enough to dominate the technological domain. To be sure technologies, like precision munitions, air, space, and cyber power are elements of any solution, but they are not the entire solution. This requires rethinking our leaders in and out of uniform.

We need to exploit technology to make the job of combat “easier” and “safer”, BUT, we must implicitly recognize the value of placing people and ideas ahead of “technology” to truly win wars. Otherwise, fourth generation tactics of the “weak” will continue to trump the second-generation tactics of the strong by using tactics and techniques such as mines and booby traps (revealing called IEDs by technocrats as if they are something new) and insider blue-on-green attacks (i.e. killing attacks by members of the Afghan police and army on our own troops serving with them).

As the Accountability Review Board on Benghazi reminds us, our Titanic government is on a collision course with a national security iceberg ? (ABC News, Fox News).

Our new Army
Our new Army

For More Information

About Fourth Generation Warfare:

  1. A solution to 4GW — the introduction
  2. Arrows in the Eagle’s claw — solutions to 4GW
  3. Arrows in the Eagle’s claw — 4GW analysts
  4. Visionaries point the way to success in the age of 4GW
  5. 4GW: A solution of the first kind – Robots!
  6. 4GW: A solution of the second kind
  7. 4GW: A solution of the third kind – Vandergriff is one of the few implementing real solutions.
  8. Important: Why We Lose at 4GW — About the two kinds of insurgencies
  9. Theories about 4GW are not yet like the Laws of Thermodynamics
  10. About Fourth Generation Infections – Chet Richards explains the nature of outlaw organizations in the 21st century
  11. The War Nerd shows how simple 4GW theory can be, 22 January 2009
  12. Is 4GW magnifique?, 22 June 2012 — By Chet Richards



17 thoughts on “The ultimate 21st Century cage match: Titanic Government vs. the National Security Iceberg”

  1. Nominating Chuck Hagel for Secretaty of Defense might be a good start. He has made some reality based statements regarding Israel and the Defense Department in the past which seem to be a stumbling blocks.

  2. I wonder what would happen if we cut off ALL military funding immediately. Every penny. No, really. What would happen?

    Sure, it would be chaos initially. Soldiers would be stuck overseas. Defense contractors would go out of business, laying off thousands of workers. Some weapons might fall into the wrong hands, as happened with the collapse of the USSR. China might even take over Taiwan and turn it into a third Special Administrative Region.

    But then … nothing. Russia would not invade Alaska. Mexico would not reclaim California. No foreign powers would invade. The so-called ‘Islamic Radicals’ would probably not even care about us anymore. Fiscal cliff talks would suddenly become irrelevant, as would most other conversations about the budget deficit. Every man, woman, and child would suddenly find themselves with an extra $2,000 per year.
    Finally, the richest nation in the world would be able to spend its riches building things instead of tearing them down.

    Something to think about. Is that really all our military does? Is the only purpose of all that money and manpower, all that sweat and blood, just to keep its own weapons safe and locked up, and to provide employment to itself? That’s 5% of our GDP, solely dedicated to making sure that same 5% of our GDP is locked up and not available to constructive pursuits.

  3. Possibly the best title yet for any article on the FM website!

    GI Wilson offers a conventional military-economic analysis of America’s pathological descent into authoritarianism post-9/11, but permit me to suggest that something much larger is going on.
    The essential goal of 4GW is to provoke such an extreme dysfunctional reaction in the nation-state that the nation-state itself loses legitimacy in the eyes of its population.

    This now appears to be happening in America.

    I’ve been an American citizen all my life and I have a deep and abiding patriotic appreciation for both the American form of democratic representative government, and for American culture, with its basic values of reverence for freedom, common human decency, and essential civil society (i.e., property rights, due process, and so on).

    The country I was born in appears to have suffered from some sort of retroviral cultural infection that has turned into something alien and bizarre and psychopathic from the inside out. We see the same phenomenon with cordyceps fungal infections in crabs, or infection of snails by toxoplasma gandii parasites. The parasite takes over the organism and makes it do self-destructive things so that the snail gets eaten by a bird, which then spreads the parasite further in its droppings.

    I now place zero credibility or faith in any American official who wears a badge. As far as I can tell, the U.S. military is now a racketeering operation manned by rapists, gang members and survivalist white supremacists and commanded by incompetent careerist sociopaths. One of every three women in the U.S. army is now raped by an American soldier, the U.S. military is losing its best officers at an astounding rate because they have become so alienated by its dysfunctional culture of greed and ticket-punching careerism to the utter detriment of the enlisted men serving in uniform, and the unbelievable waste of money and counter-productive self destructiveness of American military policies seems to have been designed by a clever enemy intent on destroying the United States. It is now fair to describe (as William S. Lind did) the U.S. Air Force as the “al qaeda air force ” because USAF is eagerly and creatively furthering al qaeda’s aims. It is also fair to call the U.S. army the al qaeda army because it is also creating terrorists and alienating the population of the world at an astounding rate.

    I grew up regarding police as people who protected and served the citizens of the USA, but I now regard all police as muggers with badges and avoid them whenever possible. I consider most American politicians a foreign occupying force of bandits who serve no purpose but to lay waste to everything they touch. I grew up regarding American culture as sensible and reasonably enlightened, but I now no longer recognize an America addicted to torture porn at the local movie theaters, torture and murder simulations in countless videogames devoted to mass killing and sadistic death-sports, and a toxic American culture of “business” (so-called) that appears to have morphed into a combination of an Al Capone-style protection racket and outright thievery.

    When I was a kid, America actually built things that worked. Today, there are no legitimate businesses left in the U.S., only con games and vertically integrated monopolies that scam people out of their money while providing nothing of real value. When I was a kid, a middle class person who worked hard and got an education could expect to get a decent job and raise a family. Today, those formerly middle class people who got an education are getting beaten and sadistically pepper-sprayed by riot-armored police who get paid $100,000 a year (c.f. police Lt. James Pike) as hired enforcers for mafia-like banks and colleges and other giant corporations who leech trillions of dollars out of the consumer’s pocket while providing nothing of any actual value in return.

    At present, my expectation is that Shithole America is on a supersonic powerdive into collapse, and at this point I’m cheering on the descent. The pathologies and dysfunctions with which America has reacted to 9/11 (including criminalizing non-violent dissent, abandoning the rule of law, abolishing the first, fourth, fifth, sixth, eight and fourteenth amendments of the constitution) has turned this nation into a cesspool of totalitarian dementia devoted to endless war against its own citizenry in furtherance of a corrupt kakistokleptocracy. Ordinary citizens like me are now turning against American society and the American government and the degenerate sociopathic American economic system as it currently exists with the horrified disgust of a parent viewing a cancer that’s taken root in a beloved child.

    The latest atrocity, in which the amendment to the NDAA bill making it illegal to hurl American citizens into secret prisons without trial or charges, was stripped from the bill in congress, is exactly what I now expect for Shithole America. I grew up in the United States of America: I now live in the United Snakes of Amnesia. If the purpose of 4GW is to destroy the legitimacy of a nation until it becomes so hollowed out that it collapses, then America is well on the way.

    We now see that the USSR (and, more generally, the forces of repression and lawlessness and totalitarianism) won the Cold War decisively. Victory defeated us: America has turned into what it despised, a torturing murderous garrison state devoted to endless war, run by thieving thugs that murders and brutalizes its own citizens the instant they dare stand up and protest the ever-worsening atrocities perpetrated both against foreign peoples an their own countrymen.

    In short, observing post-9/11 America is alike watching a strapping heavily-muscled prize fighter in the ring alone, beating himself with a baseball bat and screaming with outrage, which only makes him beat himself harder, howling with fury as he breaks his own legs and smashes his hands into pulp and splinters his own kneecaps. This makes the prize fighter so enraged and so hysterical that he hurls away the baseball bat and picks up a heavy sledgehammer, redoubling his efforts to beat himself into crippled insensibility. The destruction wrought against himself and against bystanders is now so severe that a reasonable person can only applaud, hoping for a quick end to the insanity.

    1. The comments from Thomas More are insightful. Really liked: “The essential goal of 4GW is to provoke such an extreme dysfunctional reaction in the nation-state that the nation-state itself loses legitimacy in the eyes of its population.”

  4. Ever notice that the strengths and weaknesses of the the US Military-industrial complex match up with the WW2 German ones?

    • Good at winning battles, bad at strategy.
    • Making enemies for no good reason, overextending due to hubris.
    • Allies that need to be propped up, yet provide little of value
    • Spies especially bad at human intelligence, have to rely on gizmos
    • Propaganda is effective domestically, but counterproductive internationally.
    • Equipment is overpriced, over-engineered, overly complex, and relatively delicate. Counting on “secret weapons” to save the day.
    • Uncritical public support, motivated by guilt, thanks to a stab-in-the-back myth
    • Even a tendency to promote fighter pilots beyond their capability (McCain and the Bushes, Herman Goering)
    1. You make a mistake, you equal Prussia with pre-WWI Germany. It would be correct that the current US situation emulates that of pre WWI Germany.

      If you check Prussia then you find that the performance on the strategic level in 1866 and 1870/71 was excellent, there was a very good alignment of national strategy and military capabilities or from a other point of view good cooperation between general staff and foreign office. This got lost after 1890 and to put entirely the blame on the military is a little bit simplistic.

      Prussia may have had in comparison to the USA a more rigid civilian society but to assume that this was also tru for the officer corps is a typical mistake by Americans :-), the intellectual freedom of a Prussian officer -this started already at the cadet level – was much higher than that of his US peer. Or to come to the point, you need in your army more Prussia not less.

    2. You can also say we need more WWII America in our America. Perhaps this is another feature/bug of western civ. Early military success (Franco Prussian wars / WWII) leads to overconfidence in the military + humiliating defeat (WWI / Vietnam – Iraq – Afghanistan) leads to utter insanity (Germans in WWII / ??), finally leading to utter destruction.

  5. Snailsnot makes an excellent point about the U.S. military’s similarity with WW II Germany. There might be a reason, too: by nation of origin, U.S. immigrant descendents from Germany are by far the largest immigrant-descended group in America, circa 15% of the U.S. population. In fact, prior to WW I, the German language was the second most-spoken language in America (and it still is in the Dakotas). Also, the American university system and our social security system are explicitly based on their earlier German models… As it should be, since prior to WW II Germany qualified as the world’s most liberal (in terms of social policy) and most scientifically and educationally advanced society in the world.

    Perhaps German society’s descent into totalitarianism and subsequent climb back to civilized society gives us some hope for American society.

  6. I read with great interest GI’s take on this and would agree with his position. What I find as disappointing is the lack of back bone in our flag officer community. Politically correct and careerism is the apparent course to take. Where are our true leaders? You know, the ones that are capable of thinking, are risk takers and not afraid to tell the leaders (?) in the Administration and Congress that they are wrong and don’t have a clue. It is time to find more Al Gray’s!

  7. The “how DoD sees 4GW” illustration is interpreted as follows:
    Different generations of warfare, make for tighter OODA loops (see size of circles at the top by the compass points labelled Observe/Orient/Decide/Act) As the “generation” of the war gets higher and the intensity of the resulting conflicts is lower, it’s easier to react faster.

    Shorter form: 4GW better because 4 is bigger than 2!

    What fatuity. But I’m fascinated by visual methods and this one just screamed to be figured out. :) I could now confidently give a 20 minute content-free briefing based on that slide – and you can, too!

  8. I’m not sure I understand your concern. Do you wish for a more efficient army so the US could more efficiently assure its invasions of these countries? Or are you concerned over the size of the military for various reasons, including economic waste, militarization of the country and the like? After all, if the military is failing in its essentially criminal attacks abroad that should be cause of rejoicing, despite the ongoing criminality of drone attacks and the like. And after all as well, you surely don’t expect the Pentagon to voluntarily reduce its size and power do you? There is a fatality in all this, and let’s face it, it is unstoppable. The snowball of the avalanche just gets bigger with every day. We are witnessing dissolution and rot.

  9. Thomas, that is the very best summary of how things have fallen in the US I have ever read. But the rot spreads on. The UK being the prime example.

    Even here in Australia, there is a large political contingent (with lots of elite money behind it of course) that look admiringly at the US and wants to achieve exactly the same things here. These are good outcomes in their mind.

    Take the whole Greece thing. To bail out a bunch of French, German and UK banks the country is so impoverished that if you go to hospital (if you can get there) you are advised to bring your own toilet paper. Even basic drugs are becoming unavailable.

    This is like the Versailles Treaty writ large .. and we all now how that one turned out.

    A small section of the society basically waging war on the majority, because they don’t want to personally suffer the consequences of their own incompetence.

    But in the end they are, as a group, making a bet that the national security forces will protect them and force that majority to take it (power, in the end, coming out of a barrel of a gun).

    The growth of the ‘National Security State’ have to been seen in context with the massive looting and wealth transfer within most western states these days. These, whatever this weeks propaganda reason is, march in lockstep. As the wealth transfer and the collapse of law into systemic oppression (no law for elites, the HSBC case being the perfect example, while proles live in constant terror) continues then you have a downward spiral. You want an example of how this could go? Zimbabwe comes to mind.

    Interesting bet they are making, the odds based on history are not good. Personally if I was a billionaire I’d be happy to give up a fair amount of it as an insurance policy to avoid ‘doing a Mussolini’.

    Push comes to shove, what way will (in the US) the US Army go, or the Marines or the State forces jump when they are told to mow down hundreds, or even thousands of (say) rioters? Or round up thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of ‘non loyal citizens’? Because that day can’t be too far off now on current trends.

    Actually my guess is that they will do it quite happily. Nothing in my reading of US military history has shown the slightest reluctance to take out their own population. MacArthur leading the troops against the ex-soldiers demonstrating in Washington being the perfect example.

    The FM team may rail against the whole US military and ‘National Security’ forces ‘attrition’ mindset (and they are right to do so), but as a force to smash down on a population they are pretty good (lots of experience helps). So they can (and have done many times) smash down the peaceful protestors very well. Round up the easy to detect malcontents. Smash up civil society real well. Atrocities are easy (some would argue it is in their organisational DNA), terror simple. And it works … for a while .. what is left after the ‘easy targets’ are taken out is another thing.

    But on the bright side that gives some relief to the rest of the World, while (the inevitable) drone strikes within US cities will be horrific to you US people, a lot of the rest of the World will cheer it on.

    My reading of the trends, with the caveat that no trend continues forever, shows no signs of changing this trajectory. It looks like the US has to go down the USSR route, right to the very bitter end of collapse, possibly far worse than that since the US elites show no signs of folding, which in the end, though it was the end, the USSR ones did relatively peacefully.

    I suspect that in the end the US (or whatever it ends up being called in the end) military forces will become experts in 4GW, because they are going to have a lot of experience in it.

    In the end, what emerges from the US rubble, will depend on the prison/concentration camps. If they are relatively humane, then the ‘best and brightest’ will actually end up being protected from a lot of this. So when they finally emerge from them there will be a core of talented and idealistic people that rebuilding can cluster around and some hope that they can build something better.

    That was one the self destructions of the USSR and Nazi Germany. They killed them all. So when it was over there were no Mandelas’ or Ghandis’. Taking Germany as an example, it is a but pale shadow of its former self culturally nowadays … proven, if but by no other reason, (and there are many) by its current policy of deportation of its elders (that’s such a modern German way of solving aging of the population).

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