ABSTRACT

Problem with Fourth-Generation War   [open pdf - 19KB]

"For theorists of Fourth Generation War (4GW), there's both good news and bad news. The good news is that there is only one problem with the notion of 4GW. The bad news is that the theory itself is the problem. Like the fabled emperor who had no clothes, 4GW is bereft of any intellectual garments: the concept itself is fundamentally and hopelessly flawed. It is based on poor history and only obscures what other theorists and analysts have already clarified. Although the idea of 4GW emerged in the late 1980s, it has gained considerable popularity of late, particularly as a result of recent twists in the war in Iraq. It is worth a moment, therefore, to consider the theory's basic premises."

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Army War College: http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ssi/newsletter/opeds/2005feb.pdf
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