I am not sure if I understand John Robb’s Global Guerrillas Concept. Here is my summary of what I think it is:
- GG does not fit into the Generations of Modern Warfare framework (xGW) nicely (update: Or does it?)
- It is not 4GW
- It is not 5GW (whatever that turns out to be)
- It uses the tactics of Netwar (as does 4GW)
- Swarming tactics
- Open Source Warfare
- Bazaar of Violence as Center of Gravity (GG action not driven by ideology, religions, ethnicity…not meme driven). Update: Robb also refers to the Bazaar as the cumulative body of GG tactical innovations.
- GGs are self-financing networks which include using GG Entrepreneurs and Markets
- Tribe (or kin) based networks
- GGs are not modern anarchists
- GG prefer to operate in or out of ungoverned spaces.
- GGs concentrates on disrupting the complex systems of modern societies (Complex Systems and Infrastructure as target Center of Gravity sounds like 2GW / Attrition Warfare)
The actions of the GGs are trying to:
- distract/disrupt the state
- collapse part or all of the state
- create ungoverned spaces which can then be used by the GG patrons for some other ends
Am I understanding this all correctly?
I am looking forward to the GG book and all of the discussions that will follow.
Update: GG is likely a 3GW variant. See the discussion in the comments.
Update: GG is not 5GW as was pointed out by Curtis (though a 5GW actor could manipulate or make use a GG or its environment). That was a typo on my part that I have corrected.
Update: More discussion at TDAXP on this.
Update: John Robb has a post responding to the TDAXP post
Update: Zenpundit post responding to the TDAXP post
Update: Here is an old comment by TDAXP on a ZenPundit GG vs. PNM Theory post. TDAXP suggests GG might be a new form of 3GW and makes this point: “Global Guerrillaism’s flaw is that it is Clausewitzian: it wants to attack the strong-point of rich states — money and technology — with money and technology.”
Update: Here is a recent comment by Curtis Gale Weeks/Phatic Communion on a Coming Anarchy post entitled Leaderless resistance. Among other things, Curtis says: “What happens when these different “disconnected” groups begin warring on each other because they are quite unalike in various ways? That would show the lie that some singular “leaderless” movement has formed”
Update: Curtis Gale Weeks/Phatic Communion has a new post that is both broad and deep entitled “Lind, Robb, Dan, PurpleSlog, CGW”. It covers 3GW, 4GW, 5GW, the rethinking of the the previous, The xGW framework overall, GG, phenomenon vs emergence, stability/resilience vs. open source…well lots of stuff. I have read it and impressed. I am going to print it out and read it again later and comment on it later tonight.
Update: BlahSploitation calls me (Purpleslog) a GG skeptic. The point of my post was not express skepticism. Instead, I was try to seek clarity on what may be an important (but fuzzy) concept. I think Robb’s forthcoming book might help on that.
Update: Jeez…I used the correct spelling for Bazaar throughout.
Update: Robb’s book – Brave New War – will be out soon.
Update: Discussion begins anew at TDAXP:
Final thoughts: The systempunkt does not exist, open source warfare is suicidal for groups that practice it, and bazaars of violence are regular but unstable features of social life in unstable countries. For this reason, Robb’s theory rely on super-altruistic global guerrillas, who practice open source warfare despite its high costs in order to extend the life of violence bazaars.