Subido por Carlos Navarrete

Understanding Fourth Generation War

Understanding Fourth
Generation War
Understanding Fourth Generation War
Fourth-generation warfare (4GW) is conflict characterized by
a blurring of the lines between war and politics, combatants
and civilians. The term was first used in 1980 by a team
of United States analysts,
including paleoconservative
(William S. Lind) to
describe warfare´s return to
a decentralized form.
In terms of generational modern warfare, the fourth generation
signifies the nation states' loss of their near-monopoly on
combat forces, returning to modes of conflict common in pre modern times.
The simplest definition includes any war in which one of the
major participants is not a state but rather a violent nons-state
actor. Classical examples of this type of conflict, such as
the slave uprising under Spartacus, predate the modern
concept of warfare.
Understanding Fourth Generation War
Characteristics such as decentralization
and initiative carry over from the Third
to the Fourth Generation, but in other
respects the Fourth Generation marks
the most radical change since the Peace
of Westphalia. In Fourth Generation
war, the state loses its monopoly on
war. All over the world, state militaries
find themselves fighting nonstate
opponents such as al-Qaeda, Hamas,
Hezbollah, and the Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia. Almost
everywhere, the state is losing
Understanding Fourth Generation War
In the 2006 fighting between
Hizbollah and Israel, it soon became
very clear that the two were fighting
very different wars and that the
Israelis were out of their element.
The Israeli Defence Forces are
superb at 3rd Generation Warfare and
have an impressive record of
success at it. Hizbollah wanted to
shake that record of success, make
Israel look either weak or like a bully
(preferably both), and chose its
approach very carefully.
In the July/August fighting of 2006;
Understanding Fourth Generation War
First, Hizbollah needed to continue to
threaten Israel after their provocation of
July 12th 2006, in which it killed eight
Israeli soldiers; kidnapped two others,
and destroyed a tank. These in
standards were considerable successes;
but they really needed a more
substantial threat. So Hizbollah fired
over 4,000 rockets from Lebanon into
Northern Israel; mostly 122mm Grad
rockets (of the sort developed from the
classic Soviet Katyusha), but also set off
some longer range rockets provided by
its Iranian masters to let a third of Israel
know they were within Hizbollah’s reach.
Understanding Fourth Generation War
Fourth-generation warfare is normally
characterized by a violent non-state
actor (VNSA) fighting a state. This
fighting can be physically done, such
as by modern examples Hezbollah or
the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
(LTTE). In this realm, the VNSA uses
all three levels of fourth generation
warfare. These are the physical
(actual combat; it is considered the
least important), mental (the will to
fight, belief in victory, etc.,) and moral
(the most important, this includes
cultural norms, etc.) levels.
Understanding Fourth Generation War
A 4GW enemy has the following
characteristics: lack of hierarchical
authority, lack of formal structure,
patience and flexibility, ability to keep
a low profile when needed, and small
A 4GW adversary might use the
tactics of an insurgent, terrorist, or
guerrilla in order to wage war against
a nation's infrastructure. Fourth
generation warfare takes place on all
fronts: economical, political, the
Conventional military forces often
have to adapt tactics to fight a 4GW