Part One Is Down There Somewhere

As promised, here’s the second blogger column from TCS.

Joe Katzman, the hyperbrain behind Winds of Change, writes about the lessons we’re learning in our first bout of Fourth Generation Warfare.


It’s just like your workplace: Technology can help or hinder, depending on the answers to certain questions. Why was it purchased? How were the priorities set? Most important, how will it change the way things get done? It military terms, this is called doctrine, and the real revolution will lie in the ability to quickly incorporate new solutions into doctrine.

What happens in many 4GW situations is that the setting (urban, for instance) or environment (foes transform quickly from civilian to military) often creates a kind of “shadow distance.” Each military unit can’t “see” very far in a given situation. So military units work without cohesion rather than working in concert. If you saw or read Black Hawk Down, you saw this effect in action.

The last time an enemy lined up in neat formations, with proper uniforms, and great big tanks, it took us all of 96 hours to kill, capture, or immobilize 80% of his force. Another four hours — or less — would have insured the destruction of the remaining 20%. Which means Iraq is the last enemy, period, who will fight a conventional war against us.

The glory days of a line in the sand are over. Now read Katzman and find out how we’ll win the new wars just as effectively.


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