Capturing My Thoughts: XGW, Coming Anarchy, Boyd, and Categories of Conflict

CA states:

These categories provided the basis for Lind’s later work on 4GW. The
advantage to Boyd’s categories is the ahistorical aspect — there is no
chain of causality.

Here are the categories:

  • Attrition Warfare
    — as practiced by the Emperor Napoleon, by all sides during the 19th
    century and during World War I, by the Allies during World War II, and
    by present-day nuclear planners.
  • Maneuver Conflict
    — as practiced by the Mongols, General Bonaparte, Confederate General
    Stonewall Jackson, Union General Ulysses S. Grant, Hitler’s
    Generals…and the Americans under Generals Patton and MacArthur.
  • Moral Conflict
    — as practiced by the Mongols, most Guerrilla Leaders, a very few
    Counter-Guerrillas…and certain others from Sun Tzu to the present.

My response:

Boyd is a good starting point, but it is not sufficient.

Where does genocide warfare (aka primal warfare) fit in? It doesn’t in Boyd (or in Lind’s GMW). It has a place in XGW.

Boyd’s Moral warfare is a subset of Lind’s GMS’s 4GW. There is not hint of the tools available in XGW’s 4GW in Boyd or Lind. Check out Unrestricted Warfare for an idea of the possible scope (perhaps though Unrestricted Warfare should be consider something separate from 4GW).

Also, in Boyd there is no place for 5GW aka Secret War aka Invisible Warfare.

Note: I prefer the terms “categories” or “modes” to “grades”. I prefer all three to “generations”.

It might be a good idea to not just refer to 1GW, 2GW, etc. Instead, the first time a category of XGW is mentioned in a post, it should be as: 3GW aka Maneuver Warfare or as 3GW (Maneuver Warfare), or something like that.

Link to Bill Whittle Essay on Boyd and the OODA Loop – and a little (maybe) 5GW thinking at the End of Part 2

Here is part 1 and part 2.

I will be blogging on these later.

It will still be a week or two before I start blogging again on a regular basis…

…right now I am listening to a talk by John Boyd.

I will do some blogging today though. Soon I will start up again.