Blogs Tdaxp and ZenPundit have linked to an interesting post on Amendment X regarding PNM Theory, 4GW, and war/conflict in general. There are some real gems in the comments (pay no attention to any nastiness or sniping to get to the good stuff).
I especially found the following comments interesting by "J Smith" interesting.
From what I can tell, 4GW has been used since about the beginning of time. Analyze any historic period where native populations are being subdued or where they are becoming restless again. You'll see right there almost every single tactic which these so called military theorists insist amount to 4GW being used by the natives.
But that just makes it all the more plain don't it? The only way to when a "4GW" war or a 5GW war or whatever the fuck they are calling it these days, the only way to win a war against an insurgent native population is, here's the punch line, to colonize them!
And this country just doesn't have the stomach for the grueling and vicious nature of colonization. We aren't an empire because our people don't want to be one. So let's stop it with the warfare evolution mumbo jumbo and just be honest and acknowledge that fact. Certainly would make my life a lot easier. What we are witnessing is not 4GW. It is a failed "soft" colonization policy which over and over again throughout history has been shown to be completely worthless.
I am leaning toward the idea of 1GW thru 5GW have always existed (and dropping the Pre-Modern war idea, or re-characterizing it as 0GW). The way to think about them is not historical time periods or types of technologies, but general methods and the part of the OODA they center on.
Is nation-building Soft Colonization? I had never thought of it that way. Machiavelli in The Prince would suggest that Soft Colonization would be more likely prone to failure. He suggests the Prince should make the tough decisions and get any harsh measures that need to be taken over with a soon as possible. For Iraq, the idea would be to have the US rule-top down harshly from the beginning, while building up Democratic practices from the bottom up (and then slowly turning over responsibilities to democratic local units – federalism from the ground up).
Later "J SMith" writes:
Let it look like this then. The first world has been in a war with the third world since the industrial revolution. All "wars" fought since that time which include parties in the first and third world respectively are merely battles in this war.
The issue of when a war/conflict begins and end has always frustrated me as I try to study. Where WW1 and WW2 different wars? Or at a higher level where they the same conflict? Many examples of the can be given. TDAXP has explained the rise of Christianity as a non-violent 4GW of the small christian social network against Roman Empire.
Movements (e.g. Christianity, Rome-as-Civilization, Mexica-as-Reconquista) are meme/people based and ebb and flow over generations (over time). These Meme-Based networks (MBN) compete and therefore might grow, shrink, mutate, or die over-time. Perhaps is is best to think of the wars/conflicts in the context of the greater movements. Maybe abstract MBN vs MBN is 6GW? Do MBN make use of states and non-state actors over big units of time to fight for advantages in the MBN vs. MBN conflict? This is abstract war/conflict or perhaps unconscious war/conflict, and maybe leaderless war/conflict (over long units of time). More to come on this…