I’ve been trying to define the relationship between PISRR (Penetrate-Isolate-Subvert-Reorient-Reharmonize) and the Three Stages of Fourth Generation Struggle. Making it more difficult is that while the Three Stages are a path to power, PISRR can either be a path to power or a method of fighting insurgency. That is, an established government can run through the steps of PISRR to “fold up” an insurgency.
So in this post I only look at the Stages/PISRR from the perspective of a growing insurgency. First, I created a chart to see how PISRR correlated to the Stages
Penetration is clearly a net-building S1 activity, while Reharmonization is achievable only by an establishment and so is S3. Likewise, Subversion is a net-on-net attack and is S2. I then assumed that either individuals or nets can Isolate others (either by selected terrorism or Distributed Denial of Service attacks) while Reorienting a society is done either with an effective network (like the Viet Cong dismembering children vaccinated by Americans) or a government — so Reorientation is S2/S3 and Isolation is S1/S2.
Another way to look at Stages/PISRR from the perspective of an insurgency is
The further down the chart, the closer to the goal — victory. All lines are two directional except the lines extending from “Initiate Struggle” and the lines that enter “Victory.”