What is a fourth generation war, the wars of the 21st century? Who fights them, and why?

Summary:  We resume our analysis of modern war with a brief description of 4th generation war. Who fights it, and why. This is the 4th chapter in a series of posts following the 25th anniversary of the Marine Corps Gazette article “The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation”. A series of writers explain our … Continue reading What is a fourth generation war, the wars of the 21st century? Who fights them, and why?

More about pirates: why we no longer “hang them high”

Summary:  This is the second in a series about pirates.  The first chapter described modern day piracy, and why our "catch and release" response makes it an attractive low-risk, high-return business.  This describes the legal basis for their capture, trial, and punishment.  Links to the other chapters appear at the end. Journalist Bret Stephens asks … Continue reading More about pirates: why we no longer “hang them high”

How to get the study of 4GW in gear

Here is an question by Jason lifted from the comments on A solution to 4GW — the introduction. Fabius, if you reference “Masters of War” by Michael Handel (which I am reading), the author makes the point that even 4GW is Trinitarian since you still have the three components - the state, the populace, and the non-state actor. … Continue reading How to get the study of 4GW in gear

A solution to 4GW – the introduction

We now have an adequate basis upon which to develop a solution for 4GW (at least, a "Mark I" version).  Three recent books provide the last missing pieces of this puzzle: If We Can Keep It by Chet Richards  (aka IWCKI) Brave New War by John Robb  (BNW) The Changing Face of War by Martin van Creveld None … Continue reading A solution to 4GW – the introduction

ABCDs for today: About Blitzkrieg, COIN, and Diplomacy

Here and here I discussed our tactical retreat in Anbar Province of Iraq.  Dan Tdaxp raises an interesting and valuable question (here) about this:  what does "retreat" mean in 4GW? The previous generations of war occured in physical space.  We plot their course on maps, using lines and arrows.  A  3GW "retreat" means movement away from geographic objectives.  Can we … Continue reading ABCDs for today: About Blitzkrieg, COIN, and Diplomacy