A response to fourth generation warfare

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A response to fourth generation warfare

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dc.contributor.author Amos Khan
dc.date.accessioned 2011-01-11T02:54:44Z
dc.date.available 2011-01-11T02:54:44Z
dc.date.copyright 2010
dc.date.issued 2011-01-11T02:54:44Z
dc.identifier.citation Amos Khan. (2010). A response to fourth generation warfare. (RSIS Working Paper, No. 211). Singapore: Nanyang Technological University.
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10220/6524
dc.description.abstract Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW) claims that non-state insurgencies are the wave of the future. Furthermore, 4GW is presented as a radically new form of warfare and defeating it thus requires equally radical changes in military organization and thought. This theory is seriously flawed because it says nothing new, exaggerates the characteristics of insurgency and suffers from bad history. Proponents of 4GW such as Martin van Creveld and Thomas X. Hammes inaccurately distinguish insurgency as “political” and “non-Trinitarian”, when in fact both political will and Clausewitz’s Trinity are an integral part of all wars. Insurgency is claimed to be the latest “generation” of warfare. However, a survey of military history shows that warfare did not develop in four clear “generations”. Furthermore, insurgency is as old as warfare itself and its principles have been understood since antiquity. 4GW is thus both inaccurate and unnecessary. We would do well to simply abandon the theory as it is not the solution to dealing with insurgencies. Military thinkers should instead study insurgency within the larger context of history if they wish to understand it.
dc.format.extent 47 p.
dc.language.iso en
dc.relation.ispartofseries RSIS Working Paper ; 211/10
dc.subject DRNTU::Social sciences::Military and naval science
dc.title A response to fourth generation warfare
dc.type Working Paper
dc.contributor.school S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

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