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Old 04-07-2017   #21
OUTLAW 09
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I am fine with that. I don't find the term "Sunni Fundamentalism" helpful. Fundamentalism offers a level of correctness to their thinking that I don't think it deserves, so they can beat me up on that too.



I like your comparison with the IRA. I believe that, in 1975 you would have found that half the population of Boston would have "morally sanctioned" the actions of the IRA. But they did not hop a plane to Belfast (although some did).

I think it is very hard to equate who morally sanctions the actions of the terrorists with who would actively engage in the fight, although it is far to equate that number with who you have to convince that the terrorists are not worthy of their support.
I will not beat anyone up....but think about this....all ideologies and or religious beliefs have a "fundamentalist side to them"...."fundamentalist" meaning "conservative".....AND that since the Romans....actually even earlier than that at least if it was ever physically and verbally recorded....

If one takes say the simple term "terrorism" and places it at the top of a drawn "violence" circle and then moves to the "right" and moves then to the "left" from the starting point....AT some point all "violence" from "left and right" meets in the circle at the 6 oclock point on the "violence circle".......AND then continues onward meeting again at the top of the violence circle so when the violence from "left and right" crosses and merges and runs parallel as both share the same dislikes and enemies what do you call it then???

Violence in some form always has and always will exist even in the 21st century....

What is new is the cyber and info war side of this equation ....using both of these key cornerstones of hybrid warfare...will there ever really be another "war" as we know the term war means?

IMHO...the answer is yes there will be some form of "war violence" accompanying the two cornerstones.....

Where humans interact..is always some form of "violence"....we all are not yet robots driven by AI.....

BTWE...if one really goes back into the history of the US from the 1600s until say VN .....how many true "wars" were there VS....truly how many "small wars" as defined by the SWC/Marine definition of a "small war".....IF we count the US Civil War....then five from 1600s onward....

How many "small wars" tens of tens.......in some ways....the 21st century will be seen as the century of the "small wars" fought using cyber...trade...economics...personal development ...information warfare....religion..........with the new political ideology being "populism"......with a tinge of nationalism....

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Old 04-07-2017   #22
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BTW..this is the most perfect example of just how info warfare is flowing these days....

The first tweets under the hashtag #SyriaHoax came from Russia. Cernovich picked up on it; now it's trending in the U.S via the US alt right sites....Infowars and Breitbart.com and Drudge Reports.....

So is this to be considered "a small war being fought via information warfare"....or is it "political warfare"....or "hybrid warfare"......or just good ole fashioned everyday politics"

In the 21st century these terms are fluid and will constantly change....but there is an underlining term that covers them all..."war short of violence".....
Hey now! Is this meta-warfare or is every thread going to be about the Syrian CW attack and US airstrike?
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Old 04-08-2017   #23
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BTW....it is not globalization that is inherently changing the face of governments and their individual politics...it is simply that we are in the early stages of the "fourth industrialization phase...IE robots" and actually while we write here the world is advancing into the "fifth industrialization phase paralleling the fourth phase...IE AI"...coupled with the 4th....robots......

We see it in the manufacturing and then the repair of say as an example farm machinery where grain harvesters now require a mechanics degree in IT and computer troubling shooting to repair a simple hydraulic leak....as they have five onboard computer systems tied to a central controller computer.

OR in the newest FORD factory that produces cars virtually worker free where the robots do everything and the human watches the control centers...AND where even this position will be replaced next year with AI..as per FORD...BMW has already moved into this new "industrialization battlespace using a combination of robots and AI in building the 3er model here in Germany....

AND BTW....prior wars were all about killing and destruction in order to force your will on your opponent....

SO is a cyber attack and or subtle manipulation of say an election via hacking and an influence ops using fake news...propaganda and disinformation actually forcing your will on an opponent?

So as industrialization changes so does future "wars" of the 21st century...

To argue that "war" has never changed ....flies in the face of 21st century reality....
Recently I was into a book by Max Boot on US small wars and then onto the industrialization/globalization driven by all things WW1.

If the thesis is correct that WW1 actually drove the initial beginnings of globalization and say the beginnings of the second industrial revolution of mass assembly lines and the firming of the US financial power going in 1913 from a debtor country to in 1917 the foremost world's banker which did not change until the early 1980's flipping the US back into a debtor country.....the flip in the 80s was the direct financial impact of VN seen long term.....

And actually with each new "war like political engagement" the US financial abilities weakened even more.....Desert Storm....Iraq and AFG and now Syria....but the resulting modernization of the industrial base did in fact advance along with a massive leap in technology....all driven by computerization....

Which actually could be now seen in the generation one of cruise missiles...prior to Libya VS generation two post Libya cruise missiles....

Actually wagging tongues say the US Navy literally fired up all the first generation cruise missiles in order to restock with the new generation...if one compares the number of misfires..."lost missiles" and duds on impact in Libya VS this recent attack with 59 out of 59 hitting there is something to this wagging tongues rumor....

Maybe far more research on wars and how they drive globalization and industrialization is necessary before one moves into a "no war" concept....

Because actually if one takes WW1...then WW2...then the Korean War and finally VN....you will actually see not so subtle shifts in financial power and industrial power .....both keys to understanding the long term effects we are now seeing in 21st century.. where from a cost perspective...major wars are a thing of the past....

Hybrid wars regardless of how they look and feel are actually "a cost saving "war" feature"......

A laptop.....TOR and the darknet is a minor investment that can reap massive "wins" and informational warfare conducted by a group of twitter accounts driving fake news can potentially "win elections" and the costs are nothing really...costs far less than a single tank...and or a cruise missile.

BTW...one cannot discuss meta-war without understanding clearly and concisely what we are now seeing as the two cornerstones of the 21st century;......

1. cyber warfare
2. information warfare

Both are going to be the hallmarks of the 21st century as even the simple common man on the street can drive both and not be connected to any nation state....

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Old 04-08-2017   #24
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Hey now! Is this meta-warfare or is every thread going to be about the Syrian CW attack and US airstrike?
BUT in theory...when one questions just how a population supports say the IRA and Boston was a main support center both for manpower and money ......propaganda and fake news drove that narrative....

I know spent a lot of time in Boston and my MA is from Boston University....and I lived in "Southy"....and still have family there...

If you do not thoroughly understand just how information/money drives events and how that information/money can be twisted to support just about anything then you cannot move onto anything else.....

BTW....was I correct or not with Russian election involvement when you gave me grieve about my positions....was I correct on Syria and Ukraine....the current problem is that I do not believe we have in the US any capable leader that can lead the US out of a wet paper bag these days....

And that Steele dossier....largely proven to be correct especially since we are now at four dead Russians mentioned in the dossier later....

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Old 04-08-2017   #25
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Azor...here is the critical sentence that triggered this thread......

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If war is essentially a political act, then the sophistication of warfare follows the sophistication of political systems. War, in essence, reflects the political system from which it emerges.
My argument is that with the advances in 1) cyber warfare and 2) information warfare that we are literally in the midst of.....until one thoroughly research's the far reaching impacts of both of these.....on the "political system"......Then you are simply spinning empty cycles of time/space ....and going nowhere...

I might have argued that actually the sophistication of warfare ACTUALLY drives the sophistication of industrialization and finance which in turn drives "globalization" WHICH then impacts squarely the "political system"....WHICH then struggles to even try to catch up with the developments going on around it.

Why did I include the term "financial"....check all recent from say 1975 fair trade agreements including the proposed TTP and TTIP....they all have had difficulties in formulation during negotiations in this key area...."Services".......

"Services" meaning banks...hedge funds...investment flows ie money and how it flows and how it will be taxed and or not taxed....etc....

Example......check out the total amount of the current UK yearly budget and how much of that budget is earned in taxes by the financial services industry located in the "City" of London....

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Old 04-08-2017   #26
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BTW...perfect example of just how fast this world of ours is turning right now.....

Who would have thought the Iraqi Shia Mullah Sadr would be calling for the removal of an Alewife aligned with Iran....

So in the middle of the Syrian "war" suddenly a "political" voice stands up and makes a far reaching statement....so is the sophistication of war driving the sophistication of politics...OR in this case vice versa?

Sadr issues a statement calling on Assad to resign.
via @alsumariatv
http://www.alsumaria.tv/news/200223/alsumaria-news/ar#

Moqtada al-Sadr calls on all military forces (Russia and the armed factions) to withdraw from #syria

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Old 04-17-2017   #27
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I'm not really sure where this train of thought is going yet. I am approaching the dissertation phase of my education, and the closer I get, the less sure I am about which idea/research to pursue. I wonder about the paradigm shift in military-political theory recognized by Clausewitz, and if we are still trapped within that frame of thinking when thinking about warfare. And if we are in the intellectual trap, how do we recognize it and prevent surprise when the paradigm shifts again?
AP, just letting you know I am going to write something on this. I think our thought patterns are far enough apart for me not to be plagiarizing your idea. I will post an outline when I have one to let you see it.

Good luck on your research.
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Old 04-18-2017   #28
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AP, just letting you know I am going to write something on this. I think our thought patterns are far enough apart for me not to be plagiarizing your idea. I will post an outline when I have one to let you see it.

Good luck on your research.
Sounds good. Looking forward to seeing what you write.
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Old 04-18-2017   #29
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Azor...here is the critical sentence that triggered this thread......



My argument is that with the advances in 1) cyber warfare and 2) information warfare that we are literally in the midst of.....until one thoroughly research's the far reaching impacts of both of these.....on the "political system"......Then you are simply spinning empty cycles of time/space ....and going nowhere...

I might have argued that actually the sophistication of warfare ACTUALLY drives the sophistication of industrialization and finance which in turn drives "globalization" WHICH then impacts squarely the "political system"....WHICH then struggles to even try to catch up with the developments going on around it.

Why did I include the term "financial"....check all recent from say 1975 fair trade agreements including the proposed TTP and TTIP....they all have had difficulties in formulation during negotiations in this key area...."Services".......

"Services" meaning banks...hedge funds...investment flows ie money and how it flows and how it will be taxed and or not taxed....etc....

Example......check out the total amount of the current UK yearly budget and how much of that budget is earned in taxes by the financial services industry located in the "City" of London....
So to sum up our differences, we see the direction of the relationship as different. I think this is a chicken vs egg question: what emerged first, war or the state? Most material historical explanations generally start with the creation of economic relations which in turn produce a political system to sustain it, and a security apparatus to protect it. In the 20th century, many of the military technological advances were produced by states intent on maximizing their chances of victory in an environment of total war. The great powers entered World War I with the old world sense of horse trading territories before recognizing that revolutionary nature of the war that imperialism had created. In this sense, the political system pushed states to the logical extremes of total state destruction, to be repeated again in WW2.

But I also recognize that this process is a negotiation between political sophistication and military sophistication. Many things today, such as cyber warfare, would not be possible without technological advancement.
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Old 04-22-2017   #30
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Sounds good. Looking forward to seeing what you write.
Here is the introduction. It lays out the paper

Intro

The purpose of this paper is to explore how defining an enemy’s political center of gravity can help build a strategy to defeat the enemy. The point it to identify primary and supporting elements of our enemy’s political power in order to allow us to better target those power centers. If war is truly an extension of politics by other means, then the source of our enemy’s political power is a valid, if not critical, target. Therefore, accurately identifying that target, and understanding how to eliminate, preempt, or co-opt its power, is a critical part of any strategy.

The paper is laid out in four sections. The first is assumptions and definitions. Terms like “political warfare” and “hybrid warfare” may not have the same meaning to everyone, and it is always useful to explain any assumptions. Second is the idea of a political center of gravity. I explore three primary centers as well as several supporting elements that can reinforce the political center. Next is a short section on the strengths and weaknesses of each political center of gravity. Finally, I will conclude with some thoughts on the offensive and defensive applications of the ideas presented here.
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Old 04-22-2017   #31
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C,

I'm confident you realize this isn't new ground, political warfare is quite old, but like war itself it's character changes based on changes in political, economic, social systems, and technology. It needs to be explored more as a topic, but the CIA, State, USIS, and to a lesser extent special operations have experience in this realm. Victories in this area were generally short lived when applied offensively, but I think it offers a lot of promise employed defensively.
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Old 04-23-2017   #32
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Open for criticism - my draft list of definitions

Definitions
1. Political War. The employment of all the means at a Political Entity’s command, short of organized lethal force, to compel an enemy to do its will.

2. Kinetic War. The employment of organized, legally recognized lethal force by a Political Entity to compel an enemy to do its will.

3. Terrorism. The employment of illegal lethal force by a political actor or Political Entity to compel an enemy to do its will.

4. Hybrid War. The employment of a combination of Political War, Kinetic War, and/or Terrorism by a Political Entity to compel an enemy to do its will. Hybrid War usually involves low-intensity conflict and the true antagonist pressing the conflict may be obscured.

5. Political. The “political” is a principal around which a people identify, organize, and bind themselves separate from other peoples. As used here, it is an abstract, values based ideal separate from politics, which are the day-to-day operations of a political entity. The easiest way to think of it is as the term “political legitimacy” shortened to leave out the term “legitimacy.”

6. Political Entity. A group of people organized around a political ideal. They could be anything from a State to a terrorist organization. They are distinguished from other groups, like criminal or religious organizations, by their intent to control the traditional aspects of political power, like the creation, operation and application of civil and criminal laws; collection of revenue and the distribution of goods and services for the general welfare; the uncontested application of legitimate force; and provisions for the common defense.

7. Political Center of Gravity (PCoG). The PCoG is the source of the Political System’s power. It is what binds the people together as a group and gives them their motivation to act in concert towards a specific political or military goal.

8. Political System. Political systems are typologies of the various ideals people use to bind themselves into a political element with the purpose of controlling the traditional aspects of political power.

9. Autocratic System. A political system where political power emanates from a central authority. The governing authority has absolute, or near absolute power and is not answerable to the general population.

10. Democratic System. A political system where political power emanates from the general population. The governing authority is answerable to the general population, who are the true source of political power.

11. Ideological System. A political system where political power emanates from a guiding Ideology. The governing authority draws it power from the population’s belief in the ideology.

In a footnote I will probably add that Political War may involve the application of covert lethal force on a targeted basis (assassinations, elimination of spies, etc.)
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Old 04-23-2017   #33
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Responses will come in bits and pieces starting with this.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat...istory-CIA.pdf

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The US Government had to learn how to conduct secret operations in the Cold War. Few precedents existed. The primary mission was relatively straightforward: predict if/how/when the Cold War could become a hot war—to prevent another Pearl Harbor. Paramilitary initiatives also followed from World War II experience.

But what about political warfare, that is, influencing political outcomes without
showing the hand of the US Government? The threat was relatively easy to
grasp, but the possible American responses took some time to develop. As the
eminent diplomat George Kennan put it, “We were alarmed at the inroads of…
Russian influence in Western Europe…particularly over the situation in France
and Italy. We felt that the communists were using…very extensive funds…to gain control of key elements of [political] life in France and Italy, particularly the…press, the labor unions, [and] student organizations.” To counter the threat, in 1948 the Truman Administration decided to use the CIA to provide secret campaign funds to Italy’s pro-western Christian Democratic Party. The Christian Democrats won the election, averting a possible communist takeover and establishing a precedent. The CIA proceeded with operations in Iran—in concert with the British—and in Guatemala to install pro-Western governments.
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Old 04-23-2017   #34
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C,

I'm confident you realize this isn't new ground, political warfare is quite old, but like war itself it's character changes based on changes in political, economic, social systems, and technology. It needs to be explored more as a topic, but the CIA, State, USIS, and to a lesser extent special operations have experience in this realm. Victories in this area were generally short lived when applied offensively, but I think it offers a lot of promise employed defensively.
I do, but I think that distinguishing the nature of the target makes a difference.
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Old 04-23-2017   #35
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http://www.iwar.org.uk/psyops/resources/ndu/pwpor.pdf

On page 77

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Politics is the marshaling of human beings to support or oppose causes. Political warfare is the marshaling of human support, or opposition, in order to achieve victory in war or in unbloody conflicts as serious as war.
We have new terms now, and we don't agree on the boundaries of what war is, but I think you tweak this one to your view. Foremost I think it is important to concisely describe what politics are as the above definition does, and then apply that to what you mean by political warfare.

In the next piece Max Boot uses Kenan's definition of political warfare. Personally, I find this too broad of description and not overly useful. Statecraft yes, but not all Statecraft is political warfare.

http://www.cfr.org/wars-and-warfare/...warfare/p30894

Quote:
This concept was defined in a May 4, 1948, memorandum produced by the State Department's policy planning staff under George Kennan:
The bold highlights are mine, because I don't believe political warfare necessarily comes to an end in times of armed conflict, in fact it should intensify.

Quote:
Political warfare is the logical application of Clausewitz's doctrine in time of peace. In broadest definition, political warfare is the employment of all the means at a nation's command, short of war, to achieve its national objectives. Such operations are both overt and covert. They range from such overt actions as political alliances, economic measures (as ERP—the Marshall Plan), and "white" propaganda to such covert operations as clandestine support of "friendly" foreign elements, "black" psychological warfare and even encouragement of underground resistance in hostile states.
During WWII the British principally defined political warfare as propaganda, but were careful not to limit it to propaganda.

https://www.psywar.org/psywar/reprod...TechMethod.pdf

Quote:
Political Warfare employs both publicity and propaganda. That is to say, it can and must be as objective as possible in its projection of the British or Allied case. It, too, has to seek the good will of those in enemy and enemy-occupied countries who are already sympathetic to that case. It has to demonstrate and not merely claim the certainty of victory. It has to show by force of example that we have something better to offer than the Nazis. It has to establish the veracity of the news in order to win confidence for its propaganda and to build an audience through which it can achieve its eventual purpose.

(xi) There is, however, no intrinsic virtue in news; news is a device of Political Warfare; it is a necessity which we can make a virtue, since, as stated above, news is the most potent means of attracting and building up an audience.
Fake news has a long history, but the scale and sophistication of it in the 21st Century is a perfect example of political warfare. Our election results, our political bedrock is the legitimacy of our democracy, remain questionable by some. Fake News and exaggerations of actual events have pushed Europe further to the right, and the EU is a risk of fracturing further, clearly a Russian objective.

Finally the following piece, while focused on domestic U.S. politics and be applied to the larger picture.

http://libertypoint.org/?page_id=156

The Six Principles of Political Warfare

Three of the principles follow:

Quote:
In political wars, the aggressor usually prevails.

Aggression is advantageous because politics is a war of position. In attacking your opponent, take care to do it right. Going negative … can be counterproductive. Ruling out the negative … can incur an even greater risk
.

Quote:
Position is defined by fear and hope.

The twin emotions of politics are fear and hope… hope is the better choice
.

Quote:
The weapons of politics are symbols that evoke fear and hope.


I found these interesting, because I attended an interagency working group discussing political warfare, and a government member present partly responsible for countering the use of adversary propaganda, said he or she didn't feel compelled to counter Russia's maligned propaganda because no one believes it. He or she may feel differently now, but we tend to view the world through our own eyes naturally. People in some government agencies are well educated (not the same as street smart), so they assume everyone is aware of what is propaganda and what isn't. As the principle clearly states, the aggressor usually wins.
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Old 04-23-2017   #36
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Bill,

Thanks. I have the Kennan Memo as well as some other documents. My definition is a mix of Kennan and Clausewitz. I am trying to stick with a "bright line" distinction of 1) Political - Less than organized Lethal Violence, 2) Kinetic - Organized Legal Lethal Violence, and 3) Terrorism - Organized Illegal Lethal Violence. Hybrid is a mix, usually on a Low Intensity level.

I don't expect to spend a lot of time on them. I just want it clear (as it can be) what I am talking about so that definitional arguments do not get in the way.

I do agree with the second part, about who wins (although I disagree in general with the Liberty Point article, which seems to be designed for domestic, not international conflicts). I think this is because we rarely recognize we are at war, or we misinterpret what is war for simple propaganda or terrorism. I also believe that Democracies are particularly vulnerable to this kind of attack, particularly at election time. Part of the reason for my taking up the subject.
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Old 04-23-2017   #37
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More grist for the mill ...

"II. The Political Center of Gravity
The idea of an enemy’s center of gravity (CoG) originates with Clausewitz. He did not use the term consistently, and whether is it truly useful to military commanders is a matter of some dispute. As used here, it is the source of a Political Entity’s power. It that respect, it represents the prime target for Influence Campaigns. If our aim is to bend the enemy’s political will, then the PCoG represents the metaphorical point that we want to concentrate our major efforts.

The problem is that the PCoG is not a piece of armament or a physical location on the battlefield. It is a value laden ideal. It is, in a manner of speaking, an idea about how and why a people bind them together into a Political Entity. But more importantly, it is the source of political decision-making. Any attack on an enemy is designed to affect the enemy’s political will. Even in Kinetic War, it is so. You attack and destroy the enemy’s armies to cause the enemy to lose their will to fight. The destruction of the enemy is the act, but the goal is to cause the enemy to lose their will. The ultimate aim of the physical attack is to affect in the ethereal world of the PCoG.

I identify three types of PCoG: Autocratic, Democratic, and Ideological. These are pure types in the Weberian sense. No real Political Entity exists in these pure forms. But by using pure forms it makes them easier to recognize in the real world. It also makes their advantages and disadvantages clearer.

Autocratic Systems are the easiest to define. Except for some forays into Democratic governance in Ancient Greece and Rome, this this has been the dominant system of governance throughout the world’s history. These are the Monarchies, Empires, Principalities, and other political entities where political power vests in the central leader and their vassals. Historically power transferred down family lines. In the modern age the transition to power is rarely a matter of birthright. Power is seized by the dictator, with or without force, and legitimized by an election where there is only one viable candidate. This is often done with the backing of the majority of the population. As used here, the true autocratic system is not one where the population is enslaved. The majority of the population supports the dictator and is willing to fight and die for them. Think of Hitler or Kim Jong Un. The main point is that, in the eyes of the majority of the population, political power rightly vests in the person of the central leader, making the central leader the appropriate target of any Influence Campaign.

Democratic Systems are relatively new on the world stage. Once seen as the end of history, democracies have been in the decline in the last few years. Democracies are built on the ideal that political power vests in the individual and is granted to the government by the individual. The government acts on behalf of the people to advance the general welfare. Unlike an Autocratic System, the government is answerable to the general population, usually through elections. This means that the true source of political power is the general population and the appropriate target of an Influence Campaign is the general population.

Ideological Systems see a deeply held belief system as the source of political authority. These systems are rare. In most cases an ideology plays a supporting role in either a Democratic or an Autocratic system. For example, the ideal of human rights is a foundational belief in a Democracy, but political power still resides in the people. Three examples are Communism, Fascism, and Political Islam. In each the tenants of the ideology subsume the traditional aspects of political authority listed above. People follow these systems because they believe the core tenants of the Ideology represent revealed truth. Following the Ideology is not just the right path for the adherents, but the true path for all mankind. In that sense Ideological Systems are the most dangerous. All Ideological Systems require human actors to administer the system. There will be a Party Chair or a Caliph, but they are only worldly vessels. The real power lies in the Ideology. Which means the primary target of an Influence Campaign designed against an Ideological System is the Ideology itself."

I also had to add a definition:

12. Influence Campaign. A suite of operations that may include activities that fall into any, or all, of the forms of War (including Terrorism), designed to bend the will of, or destroy, the PCoG.
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Old 04-23-2017   #38
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A PCOG can be control over a nation's security forces. If there is chaos in the street, and the government in power loses control of its ability to impose control, then it will likely fall. We saw this play out during the Arab Spring, and the different outcomes between those who did and didn't. Kilcullen describes how terrorists wage political warfare through competitive control. They create chaos and a great deal of uncertainty, and then establish a new form of governance that reduces uncertainty. The communists did a form of this. Not all forms of political warfare are non-violent. What makes it political warfare is the objective.
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Old 04-23-2017   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
A PCOG can be control over a nation's security forces. If there is chaos in the street, and the government in power loses control of its ability to impose control, then it will likely fall. We saw this play out during the Arab Spring, and the different outcomes between those who did and didn't. Kilcullen describes how terrorists wage political warfare through competitive control. They create chaos and a great deal of uncertainty, and then establish a new form of governance that reduces uncertainty. The communists did a form of this. Not all forms of political warfare are non-violent. What makes it political warfare is the objective.
But if there is chaos in the streets, something else has failed. That failure could be the result of strictly internal factors, or it could be the result of external Influence Operations. Destruction of the existing PCoG may be acceptable, but not if it creates a worse situation than the one that existed before.
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Old 04-23-2017   #40
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I'm looking at political warfare as practiced by other actors, not just the U.S. If part of PW is defense, perhaps counter UW in this case, then we need to understand the different strategies that may be employed against us. Sounds like you are focused on how the U.S. can employ it?
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