On War #244: Major Wormwood Reports

By William S. Lind

From: Major Wormwood, III Section (Current Ops)
To: General Screwtape, Chief-of-Staff, Supreme Infernal Headquarters, Chateau de Malpense
Re: End of year net assessment


Your Lucifership asked for a short report on the state of the world before the week of December 25, when all Hell is too weak to work. Please forgive my non-use of our wonderful invention, PowerPoint, but we are short of majors to make up the slides.

I am happy to be able to report that our net assessment is favorable. Fourth Generation war, and the disorder it represents, continue to expand their reach. The formerly Christian West, crippled by two of our favorite tools, hubris and ideology, flails helplessly before it. II Section, Intelligence, shares our view that the 21st century promises to be even bloodier than the 20th.

We have suffered what we believe will prove a temporary setback in Iraq. Our Glorious Ally on the Eastern Front, Marshal Mohammed – war be upon him – screwed the goat, to use one of our troops’ expressions. Al Qaeda’s premature enforcement of Sharia led Iraqi Sunnis to rebel, even to the point of making tactical alliances with the Americans. As a result, the level of violence is down.

This is, however, just a calm before the storm. The American leadership does not understand 4GW and persists in seeing the Iraq war in binary terms. It therefore misses the developments favorable to disorder: rising Shiite-on-Shiite violence, endemic crime of every sort, sectarian hatreds that grow ever more bitter and, most important, the lack of anything recognizable as a state. We assess that the current relative quiet in portions of Iraq is illusory and will be followed by further disintegration and stateless disorder. Let me add one minor but happy assessment from Hell’s standpoint: the American invasion has virtually destroyed Iraq’s ancient Christian community.

Otherwise, the news is everywhere encouraging. Both NATO and the United States are getting bloody noses in Afghanistan and cannot adapt. Western governments’ devilish combination of ignorance and hubris prevents them from accepting the primary Afghan reality, namely that the Pashtun always win Afghan wars.

The spillover from Afghanistan, in turn, is pulling Pakistan apart. We assess that the Pakistani state will disintegrate in the near future, with strategic consequences far more Hellish than anything possible in Iraq. The potential combination of 4GW and loose nukes is one we view with delight.

Adding to the witches’ brew is the likelihood of an American attack on Iran, which we asses as unaffected by the recent American NIE. As you are aware, the American White House has fallen into one of Hell’s favorite traps, a closed system. With outside reality excluded and all decisions a product of court politics, the probability of blunders is almost 100%. The leadership’s erroneous belief that it is now winning in Iraq adds to its already towering hubris. Putting the two together, we assess a 60%-70% probability that American bombers will be hitting targets in Iran by the end of March.

Our optimism, however, is based less on what is occurring in the Islamic world, which we own anyway, than on the West’s internal folly. Here we see on a grand scale the consequences of the West’s abandonment of Our Enemy and its embrace of irreligion, which is another name for Our Father Below.

Having accepted and internalized the cultural Marxism of the Frankfurt School – please offer my most humble greetings to its distinguished members, on whom I know you dine regularly – Western elites embrace anything that promises the West’s destruction. From a military perspective, that includes invasion by millions of immigrants from other cultures, immigrants who regard the West and its traditions with loathing and contempt. Even as they spread Fourth Generation war from one Western country to another, the elites’ ideology forbids any honest discussion of what is going on. Defense is impossible, because no Western country dare acknowledge it is under attack. I beg you offer Hell’s propaganda department my deepest thanks for the wonderful goblin-words it has created to stop all discussion; my two favorites are “racism” and “fascism.”

So long as the West busies itself in sandboxes such as Iraq and Afghanistan and ignores what is happening on its own soil, we assess that Hell’s victory is certain. By the end of the 21st century, our most dangerous opponent for two millennia, the Western, Christian tradition, will be wiped off the earth and out of history. That will, we trust, be worth popping the corks in the Supreme Infernal Headquarters’ mess on more than a few bottles of warm goat urine.

We must put two qualifiers on this assessment. First, we assess a 10% probability that Western publics will rebel against their elites’ cultural Marxism and its demand for self-destruction. With cultural Marxists controlling virtually all Western institutions, including most churches, this is not something Hell need lose a day’s sleep over.

The other qualifier is that Our Enemy could intervene personally and restore “faith” in the West. As you know all too well, that is the sort of thing He has been known to do, often at great cost to Himself, just when things look brightest for us. I am happy to be able to say that assessing the likelihood of such an event requires access to black programs above my clearance level.

(Note: This will be the last On War in 2007. Hell notwithstanding, Merry Christmas! W.S. Lind)

William S. Lind, expressing his own personal opinion, is Director for the Center for Cultural Conservatism for the Free Congress Foundation.

To interview Mr. Lind, please contact:

Mr. William S. Lind

Free Congress Foundation
717 Second St., N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002

Direct line: 202-543-8796

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Filed in Uncategorized | 37 responses so far

37 Responses to “On War #244: Major Wormwood Reports”

  1. genehaon 19 Dec 2007 at 8:09 pm 1

    I’m legitimately confused about your attitude to Catholic Latin America. While it is a set of cultures distinct from the US, I would consider it part of the West. They mostly speak Spanish or Portuguese, and are more Christian than the US, Canada, or Europe.

    Are Spain and Portugal part of the West? Then why not Uruguay and Ecuador?

    Your assumptions would better prove that we need to pull US cultural imports out of Latin America, to protect their strong Christian beliefs. No more US movies, TV shows, or divisive Evangelical missionaries. Latin America seems like the last stronghold of Western Christian culture, not us.

  2. rogelio007on 19 Dec 2007 at 11:48 pm 2

    I find it hard to believe that George W. Bush would be stupid enough to attack Iran. But then, who knows? Maybe we should get ready for six-dollar-a-gallon gasoline.

  3. seydlitz89on 20 Dec 2007 at 12:02 am 3

    A quick initial assessment:

    “temporary setback in Iraq” = surge to victory bandwagen;

    “doesn’t understand 4GW” = incomprehensible, since Lind has yet to define what 4GW is;

    “binary terms” = victory and defeat; and

    “development favorable to disorder” = attrition warfare.

    It gets more interesting after that.

  4. maximilliangcon 20 Dec 2007 at 1:31 pm 4

    In reviewing Lind’s commentary, and his toung’n cheek approach which he uses occasionaly to good effect.

    What strikes me is that despite the ineptness,
    and precipitness, and impatience of Alquida’s or in otherwords grevious mis-calculations and mistakes, in thier campain, the US is also despite it’s bragged at nauseum “sole world-superpower” status struggles and can barely keep up with the Quida OODA loop. And so the ebb and flow continues,
    one could argue that the US has the upper hand currently, but ONLY in I-rack, and NOT Afganistan.

    In otherwords what should by the USAs self proclaimed image, be a cakewalk, in both “I-Rack,” and Afganistan, has the self proclaimed mightest, most invincible, best trained, equipped and motivated military in the human history, effectively tied down for years on end.

    Meanwhile public resourches, are being inexorably bled white.

    It’s kinda pathetic, when you really think about it, in those terms, kinda,,,.

    That’s the message I take that Lind is trying
    to get across.


  5. fabiusmaximus2000on 20 Dec 2007 at 3:27 pm 5

    seydlitz89 — There is no point popping in repeatedly to declare that “Lind has yet to define what 4GW is.” 4GW is not mathematical (like Gravity or Relativity), or material (an apple). It is a conceptual tool. Lind et al have defined it with what he and others consider adequate specificity, such that it can be used to generate actionable insights. That is the only criteria any concept need meet.

    You wish to use other concepts in the 21st century toolbox of geopolitical theory, which is great. The more clashing of views, the more we learn! Please avoid straw man arguements, which just waste electons and your readers’ time.

  6. seydlitz89on 20 Dec 2007 at 6:30 pm 6


    I agree that 4GW is a conceptual tool, or rather should be, but I don’t know if Lind does. In this piece he writes, “The American leadership does not understand 4GW and persists in seeing the Iraq war in binary terms.”

    So is he saying they don’t understand “the conceptual tool”, or that they don’t understand the “reality of 4GW”? That is the “apple” of his eye? In OW #225, for instance, he uses the terms “concept of 4GW” and “the reality of 4GW” interchangeably throughout, so what is it?

    My guess – Lind thinks he’s captured “objective reality” with his 4GW concept, and as his understanding of his own subjective view changes so does his concept, so what I’ve brought up is hardly a strawman, but goes to the heart of how Lind defines theory.

  7. fabiusmaximus2000on 21 Dec 2007 at 3:06 am 7

    Seydlitz89 — That’s a great reply!

    I suspect what you describe is imprecise writing, of the kind most of us are guilty of at some point or other. It’s reification, treating abstractions as though they were object aspects of reality. We move from talking about a useful concept, a productive theoretical approach, to describing it as we would an apple tree.

    It’s a venial sin when writing, sacrificing precision for readability. His meaning is, I think, clear – as in the first quote you give.

    The latter point you make seems more serious. Has Lind’s view of 4GW changed in a material and inconsistent fashion? The concept of 4GW, of course, has evolved during the past 2 decades – but I believe in a consistent way (nor is there any “pure” 4GW theory on which everyone agrees).

    Also, have you written anything about 4GW? I’d like to see it!

  8. baduinon 21 Dec 2007 at 11:48 am 8

    As a companion piece, I suggest the purported memorandum by General Barry R McCaffrey USA (Ret)

    This is the war seen from the opposite side, of course, but the final assessment is quite similar:

    The crucial points:


    There is no functional central Iraqi Government. Incompetence, corruption, factional paranoia, and political gridlock have paralyzed the state. The constitution promotes bureaucratic stagnation and factional strife. The budgetary process cannot provide responsive financial support to the military and the police—nor local government for health, education, governance, reconstruction, and transportation.

    Mr. Maliki has no political power base and commands no violent militias who have direct allegiance to him personally—making him a non-player in the Iraqi political struggle for dominance in the post-US withdrawal period which looms in front of the Iraqi people.

    However, there is growing evidence of the successful re-constitution of local and provincial government. Elections for provincial government are vitally important to creating any possible form of functioning Iraqi state. ”

    “The US must achieve our real political objectives to withdraw most US combat forces in the coming 36 months leaving in place:

    1st: A stable Iraqi government.

    2nd: A strong and responsive Iraqi security force.

    3rd: A functioning economy.

    4th: Some form of accountable, law-based government.

    5th: A government with active diplomatic and security ties to its six neighboring states. ”

    “An active counter-insurgency campaign in Iraq could probably succeed in the coming decade with twenty-five US Brigade Combat Teams. (Afghanistan probably needs two more US combat brigades for a total of four in the coming 15 year campaign to create an operational state— given more robust NATO Forces and ROE). We can probably sustain a force in Iraq indefinitely (given adequate funding) of some 10+ brigades. However, the US Army is starting to unravel. ”

    My conclusion – there is no road from “here” (non-functioning government) to “there” (a functional government in 36 months). Any idea for the central government “growing” from the tribes is a rank impossibility; no such thing happened in an Arab country since 622 AD. So the only strategy is to wait for the horse to begin to sing.

  9. rogelio007on 21 Dec 2007 at 2:28 pm 9

    The United States will leave behind in Iraq what the Soviets left behind in Afghanistan in 1989. A mess – that will become even worse after we leave.

  10. seydlitz89on 21 Dec 2007 at 2:35 pm 10


    Thanks for the kind words.

    Yes, it is reification of the concept and to me it is evident throughout Lind’s writing. The sentence I quoted in this piece requires context to understand, which is why you understand it the way you do, but OW is a series of articles meant for a general audience, so would they naturally understand it the way you assume?

    Consider also that by using such rhetoric, as in “the reality of 4GW” mixed with “the concept of 4GW” you preclude any other approach to understanding conflict in the 21st Century, since it obviously requires “4GW theory” to understand “the reality of 4GW”.

    As to the changes 4GW has gone through, consider that I still have my copy of the 1989 Marine Corps Gazette where the original article was published, along with my usual pencil scrallings in the margins. At the time it came across to me as a list of possibilities, potential futures presented in terms of a historical analysis using a clear conceptual framework. The four generations acting as ideal types to describe an evolution of the interaction between tactics and technology in modern military history, or at least that is the way I took it. It didn’t come across to me at all as a theory, let alone as a prophecy. There was no mention of the “decline of the state” or “legitimacy” which are now described as “essential elements”. Martin van Creveld’s book, “The Transformation of War” seems to have been one of the catalysts for this evolution, but that book came out two years after the original article. Lind describes Creveld’s book as being about “4GW”, but that is a term that Creveld purposely avoids.

    That is not to say that his general concept of “dialectically qualitative shifts” has no applications, rather I wonder if the applications that Lind uses are in fact too limited . . .

  11. maximilliangcon 21 Dec 2007 at 4:27 pm 11

    “The United States will leave behind in Iraq what the Soviets
    left behind in Afghanistan in 1989. A mess” SNIP


    It’s not like the USA wasn’t warned.


  12. rogelio007on 21 Dec 2007 at 6:03 pm 12

    Max – Thanks for the link to the Sackville Tribune Post. An excellent column. George W. and company should have known ahead of time that by overthrowing Saddam they would be taking the lid off a Sunni-Shia pressure cooker. I wonder if their surprise now is genuine – which would make them incompetent fools – or an act – which would make them dishonest con artists.

  13. fabiusmaximus2000on 21 Dec 2007 at 10:59 pm 13

    A bit off-topic, but … The report by General McCaffrey is on his website.

    Like so many experts on the Iraq/Afghanistan war, he gets great press despite a poor record of forecasting. Note his optimistic June 2005 rpt. His wikipedia bio is worth a glance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_McCaffrey

    From a quick look, this rpt seems very odd. If we’ve struck deals (aka paying) with the Kurds, Sunni Arabs, and Shiite Arabs — and al Q is tactically defeated — and Shia JAM still on cease-fire — against whom are we conducting these wonderful COIN ops? Also I’m unclear why today we need spend *much* more than everybody else combined because China might grow to equal our economy in 15 – 20 years? (No, it’s not certain to do so. Remember the big forecasts for Japan made in the late 1980’s?)

  14. rogelio007on 22 Dec 2007 at 12:17 am 14

    General McCaffrey does bring up an interesting point concerning military recruiting. He states that we need an army of 800,000 to “guarantee US national security.” Yet we are having tremendous difficulty recruiting to maintain an army of just half that size – only 400,000.

  15. stevenmaximusdecaturon 22 Dec 2007 at 12:40 pm 15

    Your point is well taken, but Scott Ritter? Surely you can post some sources that had a shed of remaining credibility and a few less Saudi Riyals/Iraqi Dinars falling from their pockets.
    From your same source:

    “Ritter received $400,000 from Iraqi American businessman Shaker Al-Khafaji for the financing of his 2000 documentary In Shifting Sands: The Truth About UNSCOM and the Disarming of Iraq.[22]”
    “In 2001, Ritter was arrested near Albany, NY.[26] News reports state that Ritter had brushes with police on two occasions, both involving allegations of intent to meet underage girls after chatting on the Internet.[27]”


  16. maximilliangcon 22 Dec 2007 at 2:20 pm 16

    “George W. and company should have known ahead of time SNIP – which would make them incompetent fools SNIP
    rogelio007 —

    I would agree wholeheartedly, until recently, when I’ve started to wonder.

    Consider that in the invasion, and subsiquent occupation, and wether
    by bombing and shelling by the USA, or combined with Quida (mostly suiside
    anti-personel & civilian action) the electrical grid in and around Bagdad was
    largely destroyed, along with many other scocial and public infrastructure.

    This had an effect of depriving perhaps millions of Iraquis of their livlyhoods
    and for years on end. And so anarchy prevails, every man for himself,
    gang against gang, subtley differing religious factions that would otherwize get along fine, buffered by general prosperity, began to fight and slaughter
    each other.

    The US stands by, taking as few casualties as possible, and emerges as
    the dominant force.

    That all sounds lake a plan to me, premeditated, calculated, and “murder one.”
    And so, perhaps the top echeleon of the US leadership knew exactly what they were doing all along.

    Yet many try to pass this off as the US being instead the inept, bumbling
    but well meaning benevolent giant.

    Is it monsterously evil ? Yes !
    With countless hundereds of thousdands of Iraquis dead, (perhaps a million) it probably puts this current US leaderhip in the same neighborhood, if not quite perhaps not on the same street or address, as the parade of infamous butchers of the previous sorrid 20th century.

    And the other problem is this, we ALL Americans (& other westerners), by in large get painted with the same brush.


  17. rogelio007on 22 Dec 2007 at 3:31 pm 17

    The fact that the man likes underage girls, while disgusting, is irrelevant to his function as a weapons inspector. That is the kind of non-sequitur connection Sean Hannity or Ann Coulter would try to make.

  18. fabiusmaximus2000on 22 Dec 2007 at 4:47 pm 18

    I know little of Scott Ritter, but many people — from technical experts to world-historic figures — have shady moral characters. Bad boys or girls, but that does not void their professional work. Also, are you saying that Ritter was wrong and Iraq had nukes?

  19. seydlitz89on 22 Dec 2007 at 10:52 pm 19

    Getting back to Lind, I could quote some of the lines in this piece, which I find particularly bizarre, but would rather go back to one of his basic points. . .

    In OW #99, Lind wrote, “As Martin van Creveld points out in his key book on Fourth Generation war, The Rise and Decline of the State, up until World War I the West believed in something too. Its god was the state. But that god died in the mud of Flanders.”

    I don’t know what van Creveld wrote, but Lind is fundamentally wrong here, and he has repeated this, in fact it is a necessary part of his whole 4GW argument, that is “the state is in terminal decline”. . .

    Not only is the state not in decline, but it wasn’t the “state that was seen as god”, but rather the phenomenon of “Nationalism”, not the state, which was behind so much of the bloodletting in the 20th Century, which continues into the 21st. . .

    As a good authority on Nationalism, William Pfaff writes,

    “. . . But what is this strategy meant to do? To eradicate all the fundamentalisms, if not all the fundamentalist Moslems? If the U.S. is going to wage a worldwide war against “insurgencies and terrorist networks” everywhere, then it has a big job ahead of it, and it is going to lose. That is a dead certainty. Be serious. Just count.

    Nationalism – the defense of national and religious identity and national particularity, even in its extreme versions — is the most important force in the world. Anyone who goes uninvited into other countries to stamp out other people’s extremisms puts itself into the business of creating even more extremism, and this eventually will have profoundly destructive effect upon the United States itself, as well as on allies unwise enough to follow the U.S. into this Maelstrom.”


  20. fabiusmaximus2000on 23 Dec 2007 at 4:08 am 20

    seydlitz89– you are shifting to analysis of van Creveld. I suggest you read at least some of his brief works before attempting rebuttal. Better yet, I strongly recommending reading Rise and Decline.

    This has a listing of MvC’s works: http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2007/11/12/the-essential-4gw-reading-list-chapter-one-martin-van-creveld/

    Here is a typology of 4GW writings (or a first cut at such), putting MvC and Lind in a broader context: http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2007/11/18/arrows-in-the-eagles-claw-the-solutions-to-4gw-chapter-i/

  21. seydlitz89on 23 Dec 2007 at 3:35 pm 21


    I’ve read van Creveld, but more from his Clausewitzian phase. Does that count? Also familiar with his articles, but did not know that “Fate of the State” was the summary of “The Rise and Decline. . .” which puts much in context.

    I have a rather extensive argument against “The Fate of the State”, but would rather focus on Lind’s comments as to “love of the state” which I find absurd, we could always go on to van Creveld, but I would like to hear your comments as to the distinction between the state (as associated with the non-Clausewitzian concept of “trinitarian war”) and Nationalism. Once again I see the same old mistake of mistaking the physical for the moral, as in the trinities, so in nationalism. . .

    I will take a look at your second link and respond, time permitting this holiday season. Looks like we got the thread away from talking about Scott Ritter’s sex life in any case. . . ;-)>

  22. fabiusmaximus2000on 23 Dec 2007 at 7:37 pm 22

    The State is an expression of Nationalism (not *the* expression). I do not see how anyone can disagree with MvC’s analysis of the State’s rise (i.e., history). “Peaking” and “decline” are, of course, forecasts. The decreased loyalty of citizens to the State seems to me both well-documented by MvC and visible in our lives. But this involves analysis of large-scale mostly subjective factors, and so disputable.

  23. seydlitz89on 24 Dec 2007 at 1:43 pm 23

    Looks like I have my first topic for an article. . .

    “A social reality in which war and the use of force are seen as the ultimate instruments of social cohesion is an anti-social social reality.”
    Philip Allott, The Health of Nations, p 95

    Merry Christmas all!

  24. Cheton 24 Dec 2007 at 2:38 pm 24

    And to all a Good Night!

    Go for it.

  25. maximilliangcon 24 Dec 2007 at 4:53 pm 25

    What every slurs you can come up with about Ritter,
    he was absolutely correct, from the get go,
    in every assertion, and prediction.


  26. fabiusmaximus2000on 24 Dec 2007 at 7:21 pm 26

    I too look forward to reading your article, seydlitz89! That’s a great topic, and very topical.

  27. oldskepticon 25 Dec 2007 at 11:44 am 27

    Rogelio007. Re “I wonder if their surprise now is genuine ….. or an act – which would make them dishonest con artists.” Go for the con artists.

    Odd things struck me during and after the invasion, such as:

    (1) Destroying every Govt dept, except the oil ministry and the state security offices.
    (2) Firing every Bathist member (bureaucrats, teachers, police, et al) knowing full well that was the necessary ticket for a job.
    (3) Locking up huge numbers of people in Abu Ghraib (and many other places), well before the insurgency started.
    (4) Bremner’s famous interim ‘Govt’ and all the laws and regulations passed, making US forces and mercenaries as ‘uber’, above the law, persons.
    (5) Bringing in foreign workers in droves to do all the work for the US forces and their administration (and building their ‘enduring’ bases).
    (6) Privatising the health system, smashing to pieces the entire police and justice systems, eliminating the Armed forces.
    (7) Not letting in experienced State Dept people, instead using young, ‘politically loyal’ people.
    (8) And of course giving away the oil to foreign (ie US) companies, naturally manned by foreigners.

    Working backwards from what they actually did, you could arguably come to the conclusion that the plan for Iraq was that is was going to be a colony, with the population reduced to peasanthood, scrabbling amongst the rubbish tips around the Green Zone ‘Kapital’ and the military bases. Anyone that stepped out of line was going to be (a) killed, (b) tortured or (c) both, plus their families would be rounded up as well.

    A clear plan, sure. A brutal plan, sure.

    Successful? Well there’s the rub.

  28. baduinon 25 Dec 2007 at 9:21 pm 28

    I’ve read Rise and Decline of the State. I must say that van Creveld should stick to military matters and leave the philosophy and theory of history to professionals: Spengler, Toynbee, Voegelin, Koneczny etc.

    The state, in short, is not a modern phenomenon. There were states in the Middle Ages, in antiquity and all way back to Sumer. They were different from the modern state, of course, and there is no reason to think that the future form of the state will be similar to the modern one (in fact, there is a lot of reason to think that it will be rather different, and that we live in the transition era).

    His description of the present problems of the state is very much correct, but I think he mistakes the MEANING of the phenomena he describes. It is not the decline of the state as such, but of the particular states, and most importantly, of the European states (post-colonial creations were never either important or stable), and the transition to the new state system – which is yet to appear.

    The national, ethnic state is becoming obsolete even as it finally managed to become the dominant form of state. The ubiquitous tendency to unification is obvious; historically it tended to create empires, but of a type fundamentally different from colonial empires of the past. Such states as Roman Empire or Han China could be called ecumenical states, since they tend to cover the entire civilisation, or in other words areas with a common way of organizing society.

    A website devoted to discussion of the theory of civilisation:


  29. arminius1963on 26 Dec 2007 at 6:10 pm 29

    “The national, ethnic state is becoming obsolete even as it finally managed to become the dominant form of state.”

    I ask if this is necessarily so. This is the consensus among those whose ideology worships what Lind would refer to as cultural marxism – multiculturalism, political correctness.

    Yet, the world we live in does not necessarily show this to be the case. People seperate along ethnic/religious lines more often than they chose (as opposed to being forced to accept something from above) to voluntarily make themselves minorities in their own political entities.

    Isn’t that what we see in Iraq where Kurds are separating from Arabs even as Sunni Arabs are separating from Shi’ite Arabs. We saw the same thing in the Balkans. We saw a peaceful separation when Czechs and Slovaks split a country along roughly ethnic lines.

    Where people are not allowed to chose the fate of their own state (U.S., Europe), we see the other side of the coin as it were that Mr. Lind has written about in the past – the transfer of allegiance of elites away from the nation-state to larger entities, international or continental such as the U.N., the E.U., NAFTA, etc.

    His larger point is that there are exposures involved in this where 4GW entities will make war for different causes than states do. On behalf of ethnicity, religion, tribal affiliation. On the other hand, there may be wars fought by states to create multi-ethnic states like the one that NATO fought in the Balkans for purely ideological reasons.

  30. seydlitz89on 26 Dec 2007 at 7:20 pm 30


    Creveld’s is a weak argument. And yes he is a great military historian, and until this was a pretty good theorist, but with this one got lost in the woods imo.

    Agree as to your characterization of states existing throughout history, but then did the “modern state” that vC is referring to, exist in the US prior to the First World War and the civil service reform of the Progressive Era?

    Not if one of the requirements of our “modern state” is “public welfare” requiring a professional government bureaucracy.

    Actually I have a question if you would like to address it:

    vC’s first line of the essay reads, “The State, which since the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) has been the most important and most characteristic of all modern institutions, is dying.”

    How exactly would a global social institution “die”?

  31. seydlitz89on 26 Dec 2007 at 7:24 pm 31


    “Working backwards from what they actually did, you could arguably come to the conclusion that the plan for Iraq was that is was going to be a colony, with the population reduced to peasanthood, scrabbling amongst the rubbish tips around the Green Zone ‘Kapital’ and the military bases. Anyone that stepped out of line was going to be (a) killed, (b) tortured or (c) both, plus their families would be rounded up as well.”

    Yes, agree, that is the conclusion that you have to come to based on their actions. Monsterous. Which is also why the whole swindle required such an extensive US/UK domestic information operations element. . .

  32. baduinon 26 Dec 2007 at 9:06 pm 32

    “How exactly would a global social institution “die”?”

    Presumably, he thinks that Europe and USA will change into Somalia and Congo. I don’t think so.

    “I ask if this is necessarily so.”

    Few things in history are absolutely necessary – but there are some things which will happen, eventually. The tendency to increasing integration is ubiquitous in all civilisations (except for Egypt, which was unitary when the earliest records began).

    There is economic integration – I think this one is obvious- which requires global regulations (WTO etc). There is also political integration, when people grow tired of wars between states and want collective security. Of course, voluntary alliances can do this – but they are imperfect, and the tendency to increase integration doesn’t stop operating.

    In case of the Classical civilisation, Roman empire united it by force. But for it to be possible, most people would have to think the integration, in whatever form, was necessary. And they thought so. There were other attempts at integration – eg EU-like leagues in Greece.


    As for multiculturalism – si parva magnis comparare licet – in Greece similar thing happened around Alexander. Philosophers up to Aristotle could imagine a civilised man only as a citizen of polis. Starting from Stoics, we see them considering cosmopolitic solitary individuals. But multiculturalism would require much more extensive discussion.

  33. arminius1963on 27 Dec 2007 at 1:04 am 33

    “Presumably, he thinks that Europe and USA will change into Somalia and Congo. I don’t think so.”

    Some parts of the USA are already like Somalia and Congo, Gentle Reader. In some places, Los Reyes and ViceLords exert more control than the…ahem, “legitimate” government. Obviously, Paris suburbs are degenerating to that type of status also.

  34. […] in which a junior devil reports to a senior devil on the mischief inflicted on humans, Lind notes: Both NATO and the United States are getting bloody noses in Afghanistan and cannot adapt. Western […]

  35. jrbehrmanon 28 Dec 2007 at 4:35 pm 35

    [Editor’s note: This is ordinarily too long for a comment, but it also seems too short for an article. It would make life a lot easier for me if comments would conform to our policy in the”pages” section on the right. It’s the holiday season, so I went ahead and posted it.]

    From Aesthetics to Praxis

    Oops, that sounds like something Herbert MARCUSE would write!

    I suppose that Wm. LIND has to pay his dues to Paul Weyrich’s outfit with quarterly denunciations of the all-powerful Frankfurt School and, now, all of Islam.

    It is true that the Frankfurt School had a vogue back in the day and was deeply hostile to all things not utopian socialist. And, it is certainly obvious that a variety of utopian reactionaries are operating within Islamic societies, as did a few utopian socialists previously. But, these both seem more like a transient aesthetic — Leitmotif as a Frankfurter might say — than a core element of 4GW.

    I am not sure we actually know what the core elements of 4GW are. LIND and VAN CREVELT seem tentative on that, which is why I respect their scholarship and honesty. But, some, like my son (1LT, USAR, CA attached to the 101 Air Assault in Baghdad) have to deal with 4GW with whatever provisional understanding and tools are at hand. Only a small fraction of the verbiage at DNI qualifies.

    And, I am not sure LIND’s essentially literary and seemingly ritual critiques get to either what is necessary for the success of 4GW actors or sufficient to the legitimacy and sustainability of reasonably peaceful and prosperous states. I say that sincerely. Who said these challenges would be easy or yield to mere glibness?

    Here are some matters for more constructive and forward-looking analysis:

    Hanseatic Economies and the Armed Merchantman

    The confederation of city-states may be more conducive to both military legitimacy and economic security today than the nation-state with or without colonial or imperial entanglements. If so, there may be an actual role for a Merchant Marine — a sort of naval reserve — and dual-purpose vessels. But, that seeming throw-back may be more important when realized logically — as the saying goes — by a protocal stack (geeky admiralty law) combining IPv6 TCP/IP with WS* authentication and cryptography.

    Doleshevik Microeconomics

    If the Frankfurt Marxists are, indeed, a pain in the ass, the Bolognese Communists may be the best antagonist. They seem to get along with the Holy Father in Rome no worse than with anybody else in Rome, but with the Milanese Capitalitists pretty well, especially when it comes to competing in world export markets for light-industrial and fashion goods. Indeed, the Northern League from Genoa to Venice seems to be evolving into a sort of Greater Switzerland rather than Lesser Austria or even Lesser France or Germany.

    Republican Democracy and Militia Institutions

    So, if the political economy of successful city-states, is the best foundation for hardening cultures against 4GW actors, what is the best sort of military institutions to support and pervade it? Perhaps, it would be a combination of something like the universal franchise and military obligation that unites the linguistically and religiously divided Swiss or, for that matter, the fractious Jews (and Druse) in Israel. Clearly, the term “militia” can be applied to everything from criminal gangs, through tribal armies, to armed guards associated with violent political parties or factions from right to left. But, militia institutions, done right, seem to be a viable alternative to both the short-term levee en masse, long-term hire, and combined, ultimately 3GW, institutions of military formation.

    All that said, I do enjoy the “Major Wormword” persona almost as much as the “Kaisertreu” meme.


  36. arminius1963on 30 Dec 2007 at 7:34 pm 36

    4GW in America. Here we see a paramilitary entity engaged in criminal enterprises. It is also an ethnocentric organization that is ethnically cleansing the areas where it exerts effective control.


    Darn. How do I make that a clickable link here at WordPress? Anyway…this is the kind of witch’s brew that is 4GW – entities other than the state making war for a variety of causes.

  37. drhffmnnon 05 Jan 2008 at 8:23 am 37

    We were warned not only by Ritter and Blix, but by Bill:


    Very prescient, wouldn’t you say? Notice the date.