View Full Version : Cutting Edge Military Theory: A Primer (Part I.)

04-08-2007, 09:43 AM
Council member ZenPundit (http://www.zenpundit.blogspot.com/) at the Chicago Boyz (http://chicagoboyz.net/) blog - Cutting Edge Military Theory: A Primer (Part I.) (http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/004897.html).

This post is the first in a series that is not intended for those bloggers or readers who already follow military affairs closely; for them it contains nothing new. Nor is this intended to be an exhaustive investigation of any specific military theory. Instead, it is written for those who would like to know more about buzzwords like ” Core-Gap”, “4GW”, “Open-Source Warfare” and “COIN” that have begun seeping into the MSM and the mainstream blogosphere and who would enjoy a set of links for further investigation...

04-09-2007, 03:56 PM
Whatever transcends the usual civilian interface of flag waving , video game playing, vending, cheerleading, general service work and attending Veteran's Day and Memorial Day parades and other memorials, which of course is all good, whatever supplants traditional patriotism with some type of more direct participation/involvement on the part of civilians is bound to be positive. There is considerable correspondence of non-military experience, observation and innovation that can be tapped, redefined, tuned and deployed to benefit the general mission of our armed forces. The mechanisms and vehicles for such interfacing have been lacking in quantity and quality. 10 years ago, a forum of this nature was essentially unheard of, 20 years ago it would have been impractical, 30 years ago it would have been regarded with a degree of suspicion. That's my .02 worth on the matter.

04-19-2007, 07:50 PM
Cutting Edge Military Theory: A Primer (Part II.) (http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/004898.html)

Cutting Edge Military Theory: A Primer (Part III.) (http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/004916.html)

Of the military theories developed in the last quarter century, none have stirred the heated feelings in the defense community quite like Fourth Generation Warfare has done. In part, this is due to the unsparingly harsh criticism that leading 4GW advocates have directed at both the mainstream Pentagon establishment and the rival school of Network-centric Warfare; mostly though, it is because 4GW questions the validity of the current defense establishment itself. If 4GW theory is correct, then much of the American defense budget amounts to so much waste. As 4GW theorists would have it, money ill-spent for exquisitely high tech weaponry that will not work as promised, purchased for the kinds of wars that are never again going to be fought. The 4GW school is riding high right now; not simply because the GWOT lends fertile field for study and examples but because the outcome of the 2006 Israeli-Hezbollah War was far more accurately predicted by 4GW theorists than by the conventional military experts. This was despite the fact that Hezbollah is not quite a “true” 4GW military force, but a state sponsored hybrid whose vulnerabilities the IDF failed to exploit.

William Lind, a paleoconservative, Washington think tanker, is generally credited with being the “Father of Fourth Generation Warfare” and is the school’s most authoritative voice, having been one of the primary authors of the seminal article “The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation (http://www.d-n-i.net/fcs/4th_gen_war_gazette.htm)“, published in 1989. Lind was an associate and disciple of Colonel John Boyd and Boyd’s strategic theory is one of the major inspirations for 4GW theory. The second major influence are the ideas of the eminent Dutch-Israeli military historian, Martin van Creveld. A third influence, and here I am being entirely speculative, may be the intellectual studies on tactics and strategy of the German Reichswehr, under the leadership of General Hans von Seeckt, during the 1920’s...

04-21-2007, 03:48 AM
Thanks Dave - the series seems to be stirring interest over there, hopefully spurring folks toward further reading.

04-22-2007, 03:10 PM
I'd have also added a link to "The Maneuver Warfare Handbook" by Lind in VOL II of your writings. It was one part of the intellectual framework established by the USMC in the 1980's along with their simple yet excellent manuals such as Warfighting and Tactics.

04-22-2007, 09:53 PM
Hi Ski,

Good suggestion. I will attend to that tonight. Much obliged!

04-23-2007, 11:03 AM
No problem! I visit your blog everyday and respect your opinions a great deal.

Homer Hodge
05-08-2007, 04:26 PM
In addition to the readings cited, I would also recommend reading "Fourth Generation Warfare and Other Myths," by Antulio Echevarria at the Army War College for a critique of the theory at http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/PUB632.pdf

05-10-2007, 02:17 AM
Hi Homer,

It's a powerful article, I agree.

I had strongly considered this article as a link but ultimately decided against it not because the criticisms weren't worth hearing but because the target audience at Chicago Boyz is mostly unfamiliar with things military and I want to keep each theory piece short and clear. Letting 4GW go at NCW and Big Army swipe at 4GW will muddy the waters for these readers who might be coming across the concepts for the first time.