My War-ish Reading List

Inspired by others, here is my War-ish reading list:

Two Classics:

The Art of War by Sun-Tzu

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

General Purpose-ish

The American Threat: National Security and Foreign Policy By James L Payne

The New Face of War: How War Will Be Fought in the 21st Century by Bruce D. Berkowitz

How Wars Are Won: The 13 Rules of War – from Ancient Greece to the War on Terror by Bevin Alexander

Brave New War: The Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalization by John Robb

The Pentagon’s New Map Thomas P.M. Barnett

Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century by P. W. Singer

Maneuver Warfare / 3GW

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (A short intro to Maneuver Warfare – aka 3GW – thinking embedded in a fun to read Science Fiction novel)

4GW

War Nerd by Gary Brecher (This is a  book mostly about 4GW by an insightful asshole)

The Principles of War for the Information Age by Robert Leonhard

Utility of Force by Rupert Smith

The Sling and the Stone by  Thomas X. Hammes

Moving toward some 5GW thinking

Unrestricted Warfare by Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui ( Forget the dumb criticism that this is anti-US book. This book broadens ones mind as to what conflict can be, is leads in to a key idea of 4GW and 5GW, that is the  Weaponization of things not thought to be Weapons)

An Army of Davids by Glenn Reynolds (The emergence of Strategic Citizens)

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Brafman and Beckstrom

Strategic Denial and Deception: The Twenty-First Century Challenge edited by Roy Godson and James Wirtz

World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World by Christopher Andrew

The Grand Jihad by Andrew McCarthy

Other/Related

The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order by Samuel P. Huntington

Dirty Tricks or Trump Cards: U.S. Covert Action and Counterintelligence by Roy Godson

The Other Path: The Economic Answer to Terrorism by Hernando De Soto

The Candy Bombers by Andrei Cherny

RIH BIn Laden!

His future awaits…

…so who is up next on the list?

“The most important country to the United States is…” and a bit more (strategy and energy)

I started writing this as a comment on a post at Coming Anarchy, but it is a bit too long for that.

 

So in answer to their question…not really an answer but a steam of thoughts…

 

The USA long peaceful border with Canada makes it an important relationship. They are a no problem neighbor.

The USA should want the Mexico relationship to evolve into the same type  of thing. The relationship matters economically and because a failed Mexico impacts the security of the US. Even longer term, the US goal should be to integrate (peacefully and voluntarily) Mexico fully into the USA in the next 100 years.

The UK had been the most important USA overseas ally. The decline of the UK (and NATO), the rise of the EU, and the actions of the current US President have reduced that relationship. Our challenge with the EU is to both prop up Europe slowing/preventing it from turning in Eurabia, and to at the same time benefit from an exodus of smart/innovative/entrepreneurial/motivated Europeans (with their brains and capital) from pre-Eurabia Europe to the US.

India needs to be targeted as a future most important relationship – Economics/Security/Democracy – it all comes together for the USA with India. The US should also support India getting a permanent UN Security Council seat (good for Obama on this).

The USA relationship with China is important because of the economic interrelationship (for better or worse), China’s rise toward superpower status, and because the PRC leadership is clearly positioning China as the alternative/opponent/adversary of the US. China is essentially waging a 5GW against the US now. The US needs to step up to it or face it that US decline is coming sooner rather than later/never.

Russia matters because it has nukes, oil, and KGB/Active-Measure skills a plenty. Russia is not the USSR. Russia is in decline. The challenge here is to manage the relationship so that while declining, Russia doesn’t hatch any Black Swans. The US also wants to avoid the creation of Russia/Turkey/Iran Axis of Mischief.

Iran matters to the US because they have oil, can effect access to lots of oil, will have nukes soon, has revolutionary Islamic expansionary activities, and has leadership that seems hell-bent on future war with the US. The US goal here must be regime change – hopefully without massive Iranian population/infrastructure destruction. One way or another, this is going to get ugly since most of the non-ugly options have been disregarded/ignored by the US ostrich strategy.

Japan matters to US right now because it is distinct (not Europe, not China, not Muslim) and for its partner potential. The US should support Japan’s JDF expanding and getting expeditionary (lots of US officers and SNCO’s should be detailed to the JDF). We should support this capital rich nation getting involved with financing/engineering stuff in Eastern Russia and Africa. The US should encourage Japan and India to become better friends. and to inter-operate.

Saudi Arabia only matters because of oil, and because (along with Egypt and Pakistan) it is at the heart of the 4GW Islamofascist War by Al-Qada et all against the US/West and of the Muslim Brotherhood/Salafist et all 5GW against the US and the West.

As for the nations that matter in a big way because of Oil (e.g. Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran, Venezuela), the US should have as a major strategic goal that of breaking the world’s dependence upon oil for energy. The way to do that is:

1) Adopt something like Zubrin’s Flex-Fuel requirement for all new vehicles sold in the US (which means it would be adopted everywhere);

2) Easing/promoting/financing next-generation nuke and min-nuke power in the US and abroad (the US should want to be a world leader in this);

3) Adopting/promoting/financing Municipal Plasma Furnaces to generate electricity efficiently from trash in the US and abroad (the US should want to be a world leader in this);

4) Updating the US power grid into a network of smart grids and financing/deploying/promoting this around the world (the US should want to be a world leader in this);

5) The US should be making a major push for Orbital Solar Power systems and the related technology and processes. The US must be the world leader in this;

Note I am not calling for so-called hippy-friendly green energy (e.g earth-based solar, wind, etc, hemp/organic burning). Hippies can have an upside, just not on energy. There just isn’t potential enough of that at a reasonable costs to be the answer. Also, conservation isn’t the answer. I want more energy usage not less. I also want a future where Africans and Chinese, and Indians and everybody can have AC, bright lights in every corner of their homes and all of that. The happy future I want has more energy in total and more energy per capita, not less.

 

I want the Science Fiction Future of my youth.

 

What the 5th Generational Warfare Institute calls 5GW…is actually 4GW

What the 5th Generational Warfare Institute defines as 5GW this way…

The 5GW Educational Institute® offers the following definition for debate:  5GW is an extension of Asymmetrical and Insurgent Warfare, whereby the enemy uses all means – both conventional and unconventional military tactics and weapons; includes political, religious and social causes; incorporates 21st century Global strategic information operations campaigns (internet and 24 hours news cycle); can be conducted by organized or unorganized groups; may be nation state led or non-nation state led – to disrupt and defeat superior opponents in order to achieve their will.

…is actually still 4GW.

I understand the confusion. 5GW thinking is still developing.

The core problem is that 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 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?

…and this:

It is possible that those thinking about 4GW concentrate too much on 4GW as Guerrilla War X Other Stuff extrapolations. 4GW is still evolving and more variants will emerge. Looking at other proto-4GW movements, or other possible precursors will give us all a better idea of the direction 4GW and conflict in general will go.

What can 4GW theorist learn from organized crime like the Sicilian Mafia (and the godfather movies)?

How about the Right-wing/Neo-Fascists/Survivalist groups in America which seem to have peaked in the 1980s? Can anything be learned from how the KKK organized and operated in the 1900’s?

How about PETA?

How about the 100-year suffragettes movement?

Or the Prohibition movement. How the heck was that ever passed in the first place?

What can they learn from the Indian National movement (of which Ghandi’s peaceful resistance was only one part) or the American Civil Rights Movement (1900-1970)?

Can we learn from the IRA? Can we learn from the British response to the IRA?

My thinking went this way:

I have been thinking that 4GW is still being worked out the full range of possibilities is still being worked out. It is too focused on advanced/evolved guerrilla warfare. In 4GW, soft power is used to avoid the industrial might and firepower of 2GW and 3GW opponents. Also, a 4GW operation will use either hard power or soft power to fix an opponent, and the other to strike. In my draft notes, I shorthand 4GW as Full Spectrum Warfare. I know Nye breake out Hard, Economic, and soft power, but I just break it out as hardpower and softpower (including PNM Theory style sysadmin activities). [Spelling/Grammar Corrected]

It is a small step to see hard vs soft power along the lines of kinetic vs non-kinetic/dispersed-kinetics.

There are some core books IMO that can lead to understanding of 4GW (they can be read in any order – except read War Nerd last):

The Utility of Force by Rupert Smith (see also this)

Unrestricted Warfare by Qiao Liang and Wang (see also PDF version, this, this, this, this, and this)

The Sling and the Stone by Hammes (see also this, this and this)

The New Face of War by Bruce D. Berkowitz

Positioning:The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout (see also this)

The Principles of War for the Information Age by Robert Leonhard

War Nerd by Gary Brecher (see also this)

So, how is 4GW defined?

Well this post is getting longer then I attended.

Next up will be defining 4GW.

Capturing My Thoughts: Influence Warfare and Afganistan – Have we lost?

Here was my comment at Zenpundit (spelling corrected):

This is a mess thought. I suspect the USGOV is now looking at how to declare a “mission complete” and just get out. I don’t think the political leadership class of the US has the will to see this through or to have done what need to be done to win this. They want no errors, no causalities no upset press folks. I suspect deep down, most of Obama’s National Security team does really want the US to have a victory (the US is the bad guy and needs to lose).

Re-reading the RS article…have the Taliban really convinced the Afghanis that the 9/11 attacks were really an attempt to counter an upcoming US invasion? If so…then the Afghanis will see the US as the invader and the Taliban/al-Qaeda types as the scrappy underdogs fighting back against the superpower like the ant-Soviet forces. That means the Afghani people want the US to lose (along of course with the anti-west leftist elements in the West). The US has lost the influence war once again. I don’t see how that loss can reversed. We had the moral high ground. We blew it. They beat us at it.

If the influence war has been lost, then the 4GW/COIN has been lost (there is no chance that US will bring over whelming firepower/3gw/hama-style-4GW to bear to achieve victory for the US political class doesn’t have the will for that for the most part

It is the Taliban/Al-Qada who are now just waiting for the US to realize it and leave. Victory is in their  grasp. They just need to strategically wait us out and keep up some pressure while avoiding any major destruction events.

This sucks for the US. This is a good day for the bad guys.

Iranian People – Freedom Step by Step


Found via Twitter – http://twitter.com/NYkrinDC/status/2327590329

The people will have to get freedom for themselves by themselves. They must wear out the tyrants. They must endure tragedy and atrocity. They can bring over the fence-sitters by morally defeating the fascists, showing grace and persistence with cleverness, shaming-and-embracing the fence sitters This won’t be easy but they can do it. Freedom lovers around the world are with them, but the hard work is on these future free Iranians. They have started to free their minds and a free future can follow.

Free Iran?

Good luck to them. I wish them success.