Another view of 4/5 GW

John Goelker had an interesting look at the issue in last Saturday’s Counterpunch:

Iraq has morphed from a fourth generation war (4GW)–for which US forces began belatedly to prepare under the leadership of General David Petraeus–into a fifth generation conflict (5GW). The difference is profound, and it obviates our political strategy, our military strategy and our superior firepower.

4GW is a known entity. It’s been around at least since Mao (and many would argue before), and has been well documented in Malaysia, Algeria and Viet Nam. Its key characteristic is asymmetric force levels and capabilities, which dictates that the militarily weaker side must primarily wage guerilla warfare.

You might contrast Goelker’s take on 4/5GW to that of Fabius Maximus or for that matter to mine. The question to consider — and I don’t have the answer — is “what is different?” If it’s armed groups fighting a government for control of a state, then it’s insurgency, as are all the examples he mentions above.

Comments are welcome — please observe our comment policy.

Filed in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Another view of 4/5 GW