Urbin Report

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Hey, Lefties! The Terrorists Think You're Stupid, Too!

Those who criticize the Bush administration's plan with respect to Iraq and the war on terrorism fail to understand that we're dealing with a new kind of warfare, heretofore unseen by the West. American military historian, William S. Lind, calls it "Fourth Generation Warfare". Lind developed the concept of generations of modern war in a series of lectures he gave to Marines in the mid-1980s. The First Generation is war of line-and-column tactics. Second Generation warfare, developed by the French Army during and after World War I, is based on the methodical application of firepower to cause attrition. It maintained the military culture and illusion of order. Third Generation warfare accepted the chaotic and disorderly nature of warfare. The German Army during and after World War I used this chaotic and messy "maneuver warfare" to its own advantage. Fourth Generation warfare has now emerged--with battles no longer taking place within the confines of nation-states, but rather anywhere and everywhere, with allegiances being formed on the basis of cultural and/or religious ties--not because of mutual loyalties to a particular state. These are exactly the phenomena we're witnessing right now with the odd couplings of secular Iraqis and Islamic extremists; and with the do-it-yourself suicide bombers who figure that they, too, can create their very own homemade cruise missile--by strapping a bomb to their chest and blowing themselves to Kingdom Come (or wherever Allah and his virgins happen to be hanging out nowadays).