Thursday, September 11, 2008

What Happens Next (8) - 4GW

Fred Reed explains why the United States military is poorly equipped to deal with 4GW.

The US military is the military of World War II, but with better technology. The Navy still consists of carriers surrounded by ships intended to protect the carriers. The heart of the army is still armored and infantry divisions with artillery and close-air support. The Air Force too. All are designed to fight enemies like themselves. However, there are no enemies like themselves, and WWII forces do not well fight the enemies they do have, such as ragtag dispersed guerrillas, because they are not intended to fight them.

Why a World War II military? Because of institutional inertia, because men delight in fast, powerful things that make loud and stirring noises, because the ships and tanks and submarines are magnificent. Relinquishing them is too painful to contemplate. Instead of changing its forces to suit present needs, the Pentagon keeps them as they are and tries to use them where they do not work well.

WWII militaries are intended to destroy expensive point targets and to conquer crucial territory. For example, they try to destroy the enemy’s aircraft and conquer his cities. This America does this very well indeed. The difficulty is that dispersed guerrillas do not have any expensive point targets, crucial territory, or cities. The Pentagon is using baseball bats to fight mosquitoes. The absurdity of using a B1 intercontinental bomber for close air support is manifest. But you’ve got the plane, the pilots don’t want to miss the war, and so you find something for them to bomb.
The United States military is struggling in Afghanistan, because it is using third generation methods against a 4GW enemy.

The Lebannon War is an interesting example. Military strategists who can take off their Israel good, Iran bad glasses are studying the 30 day war very carefully. Hezbollah did not win the war against Israel, because they had support from Iran. Israel actually received far greater supply of military weapons from the United States. They won the war because they organised and fought using 4GW methods. Israel bombed Beirut and shelled southern Lebanon for two weeks, destroying roads and bridges and smashing telecommunications systems. However when the sent in their army with tanks and armoured vehicles, Hezbollah came out of their holes and caves with handheld rocket launchers and stopped the best equipped and best trained army in the Middle East.

The irony is that Israel was was using a Willowcreek-Saddlebank model, but the were defeated by some small groups of committed Moslem’s organised in a way much closer to the New Testament model.

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