“Critics: Pentagon in blinders,” by Stephen J. Hedges, Chicago Tribune, 6 June 2005, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0506060166jun06,1,7843788,print.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed&ctrack=2&cset=true (from ZenPundit).
Mark Safranski alerts us to the Chicago Tribune’s discovery of 4th Generation Warfare
Nearly 16 years ago, a group of four military officers and a civilian predicted the rise of terrorism and anti-American insurgencies with chilling accuracy.
The group said U.S. military technology was so advanced that foreign forces would be unlikely to challenge it directly, and it forecast that future foes would be non-state insurgents and terrorists whose weapons would be suicide car bombs, not precision-guided weapons.
“Today, the United States is spending $500 million apiece for stealth bombers,” the group wrote in a 1989 article that appeared in a professional military journal. “A terrorist stealth bomber is a car with a bomb in the trunk–a car that looks like every other car.”
The article correctly cites blood pork as a break on 4GW doctrine in the military
“The Pentagon, though, continued to equip for battlefield warfare, encouraged by a Congress that was more than willing to back big weapons, ships and aircraft programs and the jobs they create.
There’s no money in counterinsurgency,” said Hammes, the Marine colonel, who served in Iraq and whose recent book, “The Sling and the Stone,” has stirred more debate within the military. “It’s about language skills. It’s about people. It’s about a lot of soft money moving over to [the Departments of] State, Commerce, Treasury, and there’s no F-22 [fighter jet] in this program.”
Yet ends on a strangely defeatist note
Although they differ on the particulars of changing the military, the mavericks agree that the U.S. effort in Afghanistan and Iraq has been a lost opportunity. At best, they say, the outcome of both conflicts is uncertain. Some say they are doomed.
“There’s nothing that you can do in Iraq today that will work,” said Lind, one of the original Fourth Generation Warfare authors. “That situation is irretrievably lost.”