On War #287: Rundschau

By William S. Lind

January 6, 2009

If we look around the world at the prospects for Fourth Generation entities, what does the new year reveal? Regrettably, they seem to face a rosy future.

The Israeli assault on Hamas in Gaza will succeed physically, prove a mixed bag mentally and fail on the moral level of war. Hamas is militarily a pushover compared to Hezbollah, which makes the David vs. Goliath nature of the conflict all the more evident. The stronger the contrast, the worse the outcome for Goliath. The fact that the timing if not the event is driven by Israeli electoral politics makes the moral picture even grimmer. Add in that absent a deal Hamas’s rocket fire will continue and we see the makings of a debacle for Israel.

Some may see the assault as Israel selecting the “Hama option” van Creveld discusses, but I do not agree. Choosing the Hama option would mean subjecting Gaza to a World War I – style bombardment, with tens of thousands of Palestinians killed and the rest fleeing into Egypt for their lives. Gaza would largely be flattened, as was the Syrian city of Hama. As usual, the reality here is that the state has fallen between the two stools of the Hama option and de-escalation, which guarantees failure.

When the dust settles, I expect Hamas to emerge bloodied but stronger. It will continue to control Gaza, its support on the West Bank will soar (right before elections there) and the Palestinian Authority will look more like a stooge than ever. Strategically, the most important result will be further weakening of the legitimacy of the Egyptian government, which is bad news for America’s interests in the region.

On another front, the seeming quiet between India and Pakistan is deceptive. I expect an out-of-the-blue strike by India on 4GW training camps in Pakistan, a Pakistani defeat and possibly a collapse of the Pakistani government in consequence. How many collapses of governments Pakistan can endure before the state itself crumbles is a key strategic question. The answer, I suspect, is not many more. Pakistan could offer Islamic 4GW forces an earth-shaking victory in 2009.

In Afghanistan, the war continues to go badly for NATO and the U.S. More American troops doing what they are doing now will make the situation worse. The U.S. Army seems incapable of transferring what it learned in Iraq to Afghanistan. It is attacking the population rather than protecting it, which guarantees failure. The one bit of good news is that the Taliban and al Qaeda are replicating the latter’s mistakes in Iraq.

The advent of the new American President changes nothing, because in Washington nothing really changes. One wing of the Establishment leaves government and goes into the think tanks and lobbying firms, another returns from those same places to government. The Obama crowd will not face up to the problem of America’s over-extension. It is just as Globalist, interventionist and imprudent as Bush’s herd of Gadarine swine. Gates may prove the one exception, but in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is hated. Plan on more mad foreign military adventures, despite the fact that we now have to print the money to pay for them. 4GW opponents will end up winning most.

Perhaps the brightest sign on the horizon for 4GW entities of all types, not just those that represent Islamic jihad, is the world economy. If the world recession becomes a world depression, which looks more and more likely, states everywhere will be weakened. For reasons Martin van Creveld lays out in The Rise and Decline of the State, citizens now expect their state to take care of them economically. If they have no jobs and face penury, they will be ready if not eager to transfer their primary allegiance from the state to something else. A big winner here will be gangs of every sort.

This bleak Rundschau should not surprise us. We live in a time toward the end of the world of states. A growing number of states will vanish. Still more will become hollow shells, within which 4GW entities thrive while protected by “state sovereignty.” As Globalism collapses economically and the global elites are revealed as emperors without clothes, the motto of every state will become “sauve qui peut.”

If you’re lucky enough to have a time machine, set it to “Back” and get aboard.

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 (no e-mail available):

Mr. William S. Lind
Free Congress Foundation
1423 Powhatan Street, # 2
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

Direct line: 703 837-0483

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Filed in Uncategorized | 9 responses so far

9 Responses to “On War #287: Rundschau”

  1. Duncan C Kinderon 06 Jan 2009 at 9:59 pm 1

    One aspect of the Arab-Israeli conflict typically overlooked is that Israel itself has certain 4GW potentialities.

    According to the LA Times

    An over-the-top gang war between Israeli crime families, complete with daylight bombings, bystander deaths and the occasional rocket attack, has laid bare the shortcomings of the country’s formidable security apparatus.

    “In many respects we are losing the battle,” said Menachem Amir, a criminology professor at Hebrew University.

    Organized crime blossomed here in the 1980s and ’90s while security forces were focused on Palestinian terrorist threats. By the time Israeli authorities truly began to grapple with the problem a few years ago, they faced a sophisticated global network of gambling, prostitution and drug trafficking, with Los Angeles as one of its hubs.

    Actually, for reasons that should not be as mysterious to readers of this blog as to most people generally, I view this Israeli organized crime development as a fundamentally positive development because, for once, things within Israel, according to its own dynamic, are moving on the right side of history. Yes, these organized crime gangs in and of themselves are bad, but they evidence an ability of Israeli society itself to evolve beyond the nation-state.

    And I think readers of this blog can at least grasp my point when I state that any real solution to the Arab Israeli solution must be neither a one state nor a two state but rather a no state solution. Yes, we will continue to have lots of Jews and Arabs who do not like each other running around the geographic Palestine region; but the westernizing nation-state of Israel won’t be there with all of its neoimperialist connotations, while new dynamics with new potentialities will emerge.

  2. HiYouAllitsMeon 07 Jan 2009 at 1:15 am 2

    When the Gaza dust settles one should then count the losers. Egyptian’s containment of the “want to be refuges” is worth a minus point. Hezbollah’s supporting no-action and Hamas’ well planned suicide should be more minus points. Israeli has annoyed their problems again for a -1 point. But if -3 x -1 = 4 then, no winners might be better than zero — for a short time.

  3. senor tomason 07 Jan 2009 at 2:37 pm 3

    “One aspect of the Arab-Israeli conflict typically overlooked is that Israel itself has certain 4GW potentialities.”

    The Israeli criminal gangs have potential as an effective paramilitary force to turn loose on the Palestinians. They would not have their hands tied by restrictive rules of engagement like the IDF does. They could funtion in a manner similar to right-wing death squads in Colombia and other parts of Latin America.

  4. Newjarheaddeanon 08 Jan 2009 at 11:33 am 4

    AHOY, Washington never changing; yep close Getmo, and open new torture chamber at Baghram AB. I wont to see Obama at least inform everyone that we well not use the term Enemy combatants any more.

    All the mob talk reminded me of Bush’s speech after 9-11 where he said something to the effect of (unlike the mafia, Al queda kill indiscriminately) IMO the deal with the devil. i was reading the other day about the rise of organized crime in eastern Europe; Abainia, Bulgaria and Slovakia, seems like every where US goes crime is sure to fallow.

    Read a post about Lockheed owning majority shares now in UK nuclear company. IMO the MIC is going, going, gone, global.

    G-day!

  5. Duncan C Kinderon 08 Jan 2009 at 3:52 pm 5

    The Israeli criminal gangs have potential as an effective paramilitary force to turn loose on the Palestinians. They would not have their hands tied by restrictive rules of engagement like the IDF does. They could funtion in a manner similar to right-wing death squads in Colombia and other parts of Latin America.

    Well, the Palestinians also have a mafia of their own and – believe it or not – there are actually reports that the Israeli and the Palestinian mafias get along quite well. Eg:

    “There is a mafia in Nablus and it couldn’t exist without help from the mafia in Israel. You have a war between the Israelis and Palestinians, but you have collaboration between the criminals on both sides.”.

  6. Maxon 08 Jan 2009 at 8:08 pm 6

    “Gates may prove the one exception, but in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is hated.”

    Brilliant characterisation by Bill (I’d buy him one dry martini just for that one) and one that pretty much sums up the whole sorry mess.
    M

  7. JJon 08 Jan 2009 at 8:59 pm 7

    “If you’re lucky enough to have a time machine, set it to “Back” and get aboard.”

    If ONLY, if ONLY.

    “They would not have their hands tied by restrictive rules of engagement like the IDF does.”

    They are just humanitarian softies is the problem.

    Just like Uncle Joe.

  8. Maxon 09 Jan 2009 at 9:26 pm 8

    Precipitious timing, with all the doom and gloom, from someone
    who can lay claim to have at at one time talked to the man.

    Our man !

    In the finest comedic tradition and standards of the Marx
    Brothers, Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Zucker Brothers, Monty Pithons flying circus, Jackie Gleason, Carlin, Steven Wright, etc, etc, etc.

    Enjoy !

    M

    http://tinyurl.com/8lgvqa

    Cheney, in last days in office, still hopes to catch bin Laden

    WASHINGTON (AFP) – Outgoing US Vice President Dick Cheney Friday did not give up hope of capturing or killing Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, with only 11 days left before Barack Obama moves into the White House.

  9. Newjarheaddeanon 10 Jan 2009 at 11:36 am 9

    AHOY, Let’s say resurgence in Mafia wars brought about by (generational shifts/odd leaders dying) defines 4th GW. IMO its ultimately those in London vs. the Chinese triads.
    Israeli mafia (I would add Musad etc) getting along with Pals mafia. IMO reports like that support my opinion that it’s all a family affair. Israel’s MIC excuse. Don’t forget all the elbow rubbing between the diamond traders in Africa. The big hide-a-way in Birobidzan (the little Jewish autonomous Oblast).

    And remember IMO WWIII well be Russia, Israel, China and India, against US and the tyrants of the middle east. IMO Gen. Marshal was right (stay out of it). So IMO the foot ball/basket ball fan types who for the most part (IMO do not believe the Jews or any other people are gods chosen people) well win out over the Baseball/hockey (Cast a great shadow 1966 movie) fan types. Even in light of the diminishing oil factor, you dance with who brung ya.

    That’s all after a long 4th GW cycle which (IMO has already seen many states give way to city states, Africa’s full of examples) however ultimately IMO 4th GW can only end with book’em dan’o. G-day!