Friday, September 07, 2007

Pre-Modern Wars, and theocratic Peaces

Dehghanpishesh, B. & Kaplow, L. (2007). Baghdad's new owners: Shiites now dominate the once mixed capital, and there is little chance of reversing the process. Newsweek. September 10, 2007. Available online: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20546328/site/newsweek/page/0/ (from Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog).

Faluda, S. (2007). America's guardian myths. The New York Times. September 7, 2007. Available online: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/07/opinion/07faludi.html?ref=todayspaper.

Two good articles on pre-modern wars, which may be called "0GW." In the New York Times a reminder of genocide-scale violence against English settlers:

The assault on Lancaster came several months into King Philip’s War (or Metacom’s Rebellion, for those who prefer the actual name of the Wampanoag chief). That fearsome and formative confrontation between white settlers and the New England tribes remains, per capita, America’s deadliest war. In one year, one of every 10 white men of military age in Massachusetts Bay was killed, and one of every 16 in the Northeastern colonies. Two-thirds of New England towns were attacked and more than half the settlements were left in ruins. Settlers were forced to retreat nearly to the coast, and the Colonial economy was devastated.


And, in Newsweek, the violent ethnic cleansing of Baghdad:

Thousands of other Sunnis like Kamal have been cleared out of the western half of Baghdad, which they once dominated, in recent months. The surge of U.S. troops—meant in part to halt the sectarian cleansing of the Iraqi capital—has hardly stemmed the problem. The number of Iraqi civilians killed in July was slightly higher than in February, when the surge began. According to the Iraqi Red Crescent, the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has more than doubled to 1.1 million since the beginning of the year, nearly 200,000 of those in Baghdad governorate alone. Rafiq Tschannen, chief of the Iraq mission for the International Organization for Migration, says that the fighting that accompanied the influx of U.S. troops actually "has increased the IDPs to some extent."


Both the Massachusettes Bay Colony of Prince William's War and the contemporary Baghdad Governorate are fake states, lines on that could only be enforced by violence. Like Massachusettes Bay before her, Baghdad has one choice if she wishes to become a real political region: become a cultural region, as well.

In colonial New England, the "trigger pullers" of the colonial militia was backed up by a restrictive but pro-market ruleset, the religious puritanism of the area's new inhabitans. In the same way, contemporary Baghdad is only born by the violence of the Shia militias: a restrictive but pro-market ruleset, probably Sharia, is needed to raise her up.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Pre-Modern Wars on a Pre-Modern Continent

Jackson, P. (2007). Are Africa's Wars Part of a Fourth Generation of Warfare?, Contemporary Security Policy, 28:2, 267 - 285. DOI: 10.1080/13523260701489826 Available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13523260701489826

Steve Pampinella, a friend of this blog, sent me a link to a very solid article, which wonders of the African Wars should be considered as part of the fourth generation of modern war (4GW). First some excerpts from the conclusion, and then my thoughts:

All of these wars exhibit characteristics that would seem to fit 4GW theory, including chaotic modes of warfare, looting, atrocities against civilians, and cultural approaches to power. However, there is significant evidence that African wars follow pre-colonial patterns of warfare, not new patterns, and that conflict in Africa has taken on a number of additional, modern characteristics including the use of modern weaponry and media and communications...

In terms of policy, what an application of 4GW to Africa shows is that any approach to conflict resolution must be far broader than a military approach, and must take into account cultural and socio-political approaches...

The 4GW theoretical model of the evolution of warfare may not be applicable to Africa in the same way that it may or may not be applicable to Europe, but it does highlight the idea that African wars are exhibiting similar processes to those currently seen in different asymmetric wars.


The short answer is No, the African wars are not 4GW. The African wars tend not to be state-centered, but that is because they are before-the-state, not after-the-state.



Africa's wars are pre-modern wars, or "0GW." Simply put, the continent of Africa is too backwards when it comes to organization to indigineously host the sort of wars that the rest of the world takes for granted. Part of the reason for Africa's inability to organizer higher generational (and less bloddy) wars is clearly cultural: a destroyed cultural infrastructure in one generation hardly helps the next! Another is bioneurological: the low intelligence of African populations due to malnutrition, disease, etc. But whatever the cause, referring to the pre-modern African wars as "4GW" demonstrates a poor understanding of both Africa and 4GW.

06:49 Posted in Africa | Permalink | Comments (4) | Tags: 0gw, 4gw

Monday, May 09, 2005

Fourth Generation War Is Not Pre-Modern War

"Trolling the Blogosphere," by William Rice, Dawn's Early Light, 8 May 2005, http://dawnsearlylight.blogs.com/del/2005/05/trolling_the_bl.html.

Bill at DEL read my "Full Spectrum Struggle" post and added

Dan over at tdaxp discusses network-centric warfare (NCW) and 4th Generation Warfare (4GW) here. My question to Dan is while he believes the US does poorly with 4GW in Vietnam, Somalia and Lebanon, what about Afghanistan and Iraq?


The short answer: we lucked out.

The medium answer: It's too soon to know for sure, but it does look like we are winning. In both Afghanistan and Iraq we shifted the fight from a fourth-generation struggle to a pre-modern struggle. We win pre-modern struggles. Always.

The long answer:

As I blogged before, Fourth Generation movements use violent ideological net-struggle. They are flat peer-to-peer networks that are resilient against decapitation attacks. A 4GWnet looks like

medium_diagram_4gp.jpg



The reason that CIA Director George Tenet told President George Bush that al Qaeda would survive bin Laden's assassination is because it is true: in 4GW the movement is much more than the sum of its parts. Fourth-Generation Wars often last decades, beyond the fighting life of almost all of its members.

We have never won a fourth generation war. We lose them every time. This is why we need to focus on that sort of warfare a lot more than we are.

But guess what? There is something that is so similar to 4GW that even I confused the two. It is Pre-Modern War, and it looks like this:

medium_diagram_pmp_sm.jpg



When I described PMW's peaceful cousin, Pre-Modern Politics (PMP), I wrote

PMP is sometimes not included because it is barely politics as we recognize it. Unlike modern politics it is not organized for a belief, ideology, party, or even candidate -- there is no "point" to a PMP network other than the PMP network itself. PMP networks are familial networks, The only way to directly increase a familial network is to increase the number of children, though "permanent" alliances can be forged with other nets through marriages.


In both Afghanistan and Iraq we forced the enemy to move from 4GW to PMW tactics. We forced the enemy to lose.

In Afghanistan, this was easy. By 2001 most of the "Taliban" were just warriors and their kind. Afghanistan was well into transition to PMP anyway. America' adept use at tribal politics -- allying with Uzbek and Tajik forces while appointing a charismatic Pashtun as leader -- cemented the shift.

Iraq is harder. Abu Zarqawi understands what he is doing. By trying to create a civil war he is attempting to use PMW for his own ends. But Zarqawi misunderstands American strengths -- while the U.S. hosts a powerful Left that is willing to betray state allies for its own ends, the U.S. is made to fight Pre-Modern struggles.

We are better at PMW then Zarqawi. When we disbanded the Iraqi Army, when we stopped payments to Ba'ath loyalist tribes, when we de-Ba'athed the countries, we instinctively prepared for a Pre-Modern War on our terms.

From Tippecanoe to Wounded Knee America was baptized in Pre-Modern War. The same tactics which hurt us so much in 4GW -- Abu Gharibs and Mai Lais -- work wonders in PMW. In 4GW massacres and humiliations weakens political will and helps the insurgents. Such deeds strengthen 4GW nets. In PMW humiliating elders (network supernodes) and killing women and children (exposing the network's administrators as incompetent in protecting their own) helps. Such acts destroy PMW nets from the inside.

Today, in many ways, we are re-fighting the Indian Wars. My home state saw a bitter multi-angled contest between the Ojibwe (who were ethnically cleansed by the Sioux), white settlers (also ethnically cleansed by the Sioux), the Dakota Sioux (who, after ethnically cleansing the white settlers, reached an amicable peace by turning against their Lakota Sioux brothers), and the Lakota Sioux (exiled to hellish reservations by the U.S. Cavalry).

But we are also fighting Fourth Generation Wars against violent Islamism. The tactics which help us win the New Indian Wars against thugs help us lose the Ideological Net-Wars against the bin Ladens.

And at the same time, we may soon be fighting Fourth Generation Politics against peaceful Islamism.

We live in a complicated world.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Full Spectrum Politics (Generations of Pre-Modern and Modern Politics)

"Technology Solutions for a Full Spectrum Force: Agile Development," by Tom Stautz, Armaments for Full Spectrum Warfare Conference & Exhibition, 25 June 2003, http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2003armaments/1130.ppt.

Colonel Stauz's presentation for the Armaments for FSW define full spectrum dominance as

The ability of US forces, operating unilaterally or in combination with multinational and inter-agency partners, to defeat any adversary and control any situation across the full range of military operations.


This can be reworked to define political full spectrum dominance as

The ability of forces, operating alone or with others, to defeat any collection of adversaries and define any issue across the full range of political operations


"Spectrum" is a reference to the color spectrum. Think of the different generations of politics like a color line, with earlier phases running into later ones

Five "colors" are shown here

medium_full_spectrum_politics_sm.jpg


  • Pre-Modern Politics (PMP)
  • First Generation of Modern Politics (1GP)
  • Second Generation of Modern Politics (2GP)
  • Third Generation of Modern Politics (3GP)
  • Fourth Generation of Modern Politics (4GP)


Pre-Modern Politics

medium_diagram_pmp_sm.jpg


PMP is sometimes not included because it is barely politics as we recognize it. Unlike modern politics it is not organized for a belief, ideology, party, or even candidate -- there is no "point" to a PMP network other than the PMP network itself. PMP networks are familial networks, The only way to directly increase a familial network is to increase the number of children, though "permanent" alliances can be forged with other nets through marriages.

PMP networks are very steep, and appear to be timeless.

First Generation of Modern Politics

medium_diagram_1gp_sm.jpg


1GP is sometimes called the "mass line" or the "spoils system." 1GP nets often triumphed over PMP nets because 1GP nets scale quickly. The head of the net takes resources ("spoils") from the government to give to his subordinates, who in turn have their own spoiled subordinates, and so on.

1GP networks, sensing that the "vanquished" PMP nets may be biding their time, often attempt to destroy PGPS. This reached its most extreme form in Pol Pot's Cambodia, where an immediate and explicit program of family disintegration was instituted. China and the Catholic Church used offspring restrictions to achieve the same goals less violently.

1GP networks are slightly less steep than PMP nets. While 1GP governments are ancient (Exodus clearly describes a ruling 1GP net built by Moses), 1GP nets with "political program" were introduced to the United State by Andrew Jackson.

Second Generation of Modern Politics

medium_diagram_2gp_sm.jpg


2GP is media based. Dramatically cutting the costs associated with a spoils system, 2GP nets use relatively inexpensive voters to talk to the people directly. In 2GP, the people are convinced they will get something out of the politician directly, instead of having to go through a corrupt intermediary.

2GP is both more and less steep than 1GP. It is less steep because the people are on the same level as each other, and there are fewer intermediaries between the politician and the people. But the politician is still as vital as ever. Think of 1GP as a mountain gradually descending into a valley, and 2GP of a mountain, a sheer cliff face, and the valley below.

Franklin Roosevelt's "fireside chats" showed the power of 2GP in America.

Third Generation of Modern Politics

Because it's based on maneuver, the chart is a bit confusing. Hold on

medium_diagram_3gp_sm.jpg


2GP required new technologies (media) to cut costs. 3GP uses no new technology. 2GP won because 2GP nets scale bigger, cheaper than 1GP networks. 3GP nets are much smaller. 3GP is a bridge between organization-based earlier earlier generations of politics and the ideological-networked Fourth Generation.

Small 3GP networks can beat big 2GP nets because 3GP organizations are fast. They "get inside the enemy's decision loop," paralyzing the opponent and making the enemy's mistake compound on mistake. However, self-synchronization is vital in Third Generation Politics. Maneuver without coordination is "flip-flopping," as Senator Kerry discovered to his memory.

The greatest practitioner of 3GP in American history is President Clinton.

Fourth Generation of Modern Politics

medium_diagram_4gp.jpg


Exhaustively covered before. Much of tdaxp :: Doctrine is now dedicated to the concept.

Are any organizations now geared to politic Full Spectrum -- to "outshine" in every "color"? What happens to successful FSP movements when they vanquish their enemies? Those are posts for other times...

17:00 Posted in Doctrine | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: 0gp, 0gw, 1gp, 1gw, 2gp, 2gw, 3gp