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The Prevailing 4GW Concept Is Too Narrow

For instance, Thomas Barnet writes:

And John, that’s why the COIN won’t push 4GW. The celebration of gore implied far too often in its enunciation makes it inappropriate for a Field Manual. Full-throated 4GW (is there any other kind?) is too Israeli and too Old Testament in tone.

4GW is much more then Advanced/Evolved Guerrila warfare.

What Petraeus and Nagl and Crane and others are reaching for here is counter-4GW that recognizes, sensibly, the limits of military power. 4GW adherents want too often to militarize our responses or make our military too much of the lead. Don’t assume that countering 4GW looks like 4GW. Assume we meet their asymmetry with a better version of our own asymmetry.

I think, what is being described as not-4GW, actually is 4GW – just a broader view of it.

Defeating 4GW doesn’t mean you become adept at 4GW. It means you become supremely resilient, as in, anything you can do I can counter faster.

Again, this does seem to be 4GW to me. Why cannot there be offensive and defensive forms of 4GW?

If a non-state actor 4GW force moves among a target state actor’s peoples and uses it institutions, systems and media against the target state actor, why wouldn’t a state-actor change it defensive processes and systems to reflect this as part of being 4GW-aware? Why wouldn’t a state actor decentralize certain functions, change its rule-sets to be able to fight lawfare against the 4GW non-state actor, etc?

A Global actor (state or non-state) will want to have both offensive and defensive 4GW capabilities. I think the xGW framework is bit fuzzy – there are hi-tech/kinetic possibilities and soft-power/historical possibilities still emerging.

I have a nugget of a future post here, but am still working it out.

4 Responses

  1. […] The Prevailing 4GW Concept Is Too Narrow […]

  2. […] The Prevailing 4GW Concept Is Too Narrow […]

  3. […] The Clash of Civilizations has already begun. The Enemy is among us and active. Mostly people don’t recognize it as a war because it is 4GW (itself still being understood) and maybe 5GW (early thinkings are just emerging) and because the global actors are state-based networks, kin-based networks, purpose-driven-networks, and most importantly meme-based networks. […]

  4. […] 4GW itself is not well defined – it is more then just and advanced insurgency. Along time ago I blogged this… Why cannot there be offensive and defensive forms of […]

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