Defenses against 4GW: What xGW Theory Says

Fabius Maximus has an interesting post on militias, the irregular forces that can be important to winning wars. Fabius’ post is well written, but I think his adherence to GMW (the Generations of Modern War perspective put out by William Lind and others) limits his analysis. From his conclusion:

Militia – the ultimate defense against 4GW « Fabius Maximus

The rise of mercenaries and militias both foreshadow, in their own ways, the dominance of 4GW. Both are dramatic evolutions in military affairs, and also represent a shift of power from the center to the periphery of our society. Both potentially valuable to America. Both potentially dangerous to America. How we adapt to these developments determine not just how militia (and mercenaries) serve America, but what American becomes in the future.

xGW is a more useful theory than GMW, and explains the generations (better called “gradients“) of war in terms of the dispersal of kinetic violence through society. Each gradient disperses kinetic violence through the society more than the gradient before it, so that 4GW is more dispersed than 3GW, and so on. This allows each “higher” Gradient of War to be won with fewer armed troops than the one below it.

Therefore, defenses against 4GW may be

  • An “asymmetrical” response, in which a large number of 3GW blitzkrieger-forces battle a smaller number of 4GW-style enemies
  • A “symmetrical” response, in which 4GW-style militias battle 4GW-style enemies
  • An “asymmetrical” response, in which a smaller number of 5GW manipulators battle a larger number of 4GW-style enemies

There is no best way, without considering what costs the society defending itself against 4GW is willing to bare. An asymmetrical 3GW response has the benefit of requiring less training and less trust, though at the cost of more manpower. The asymmetrical 5Gw response reverses these costs and benefits. And the 4GW response is the focus of Fabius’ post.

Great Quote from Fabius Maximus

Is Obama running for the office of Chief Shaman? « Fabius Maximus
Let us hope that Senator Obama is pandering to us, as the alternative might be megalomania.

I’m rooting for incompetence.

Unlike pandering (which does not explain any variance in speech by Obama, because Obama’s pandering appears to be constant) and megalomania (a psychological explanation I’m skeptical of), “incompetence” fits the Bush : Obama :: legacy hire : affirmative action hire analogy that both explains past actions by Obama and predicts future ones.

I’d rather have a wise leader than a foolish one. But if you think we’re getting a bad one anyway, just as well go for Bush III: Barack Obama.

Canada – Colombia Free Trade Agreement Signed!

Congratulations to Canada and Colombia for signing a free trade agreement. Unfortunately, Democrats in Congress have prevented our country from having free trade agreements with Colombia and Korea, and previously (and unsuccessfully) fought the DR-CAFTA trade agreement with central America, and NAFTA with Mexico.

Power Line: Canada, Colombia Conclude Free Trade Agreement
The Democrats have blocked consideration of the free trade agreement between the U.S. and Colombia, a key ally in Latin America. This is perverse, since nearly all of Colombia’s goods already enter the U.S. tariff-free, while the agreement would open Colombia’s market to American companies. Perverse, but consistent with Barack Obama’s policy of coddling our enemies while shafting our friends.

Now, Canada has announced that it has completed a trade agreement with Colombia. The agreement will be a boon to Canada’s economy

I suspect that John McCain, who supports free trade, is also happy at this news.

I suspect that Barack Obama, who is a well known critic of free trade, will be silent.

Obama as Bush III: The Reasonablenss of Hope in the Establishment

A surprisingly hopeful article on Barack Obama by Jim Hoagland (hat-tip to The Corner). Here’s my best part:

As usual, Castro’s point is overdrawn. But it does underline the widening gap between Obama’s repeated attacks on “Washington’s conventional thinking” as the root of all evil and his reliance on established consensus when he is questioned in detail on Middle East peace, Iran, the U.S. position in its own hemisphere and other key issues.

My point here is not to accuse Obama of more-than-standard political tailoring of positions or to urge him to commit hara-kiri by needlessly taking unpopular stands. The point is that he is largely right in arguing that new thinking is desperately needed in U.S. foreign policy — but he is failing to show how an Obama presidency would produce and apply such thinking to the policy disasters he decries.

Obama as Bush III – a guy of slightly more than average intelligence whose first term will be a triumph of cabinet politics over whatever Obama actually believed coming in — would be a good thing. If Obama is as incompetent as he appears, his incompetence ceases to be an issue, because he would not be able to implement his ideas.

(Obviously Obama wouldn’t quite be Bush III… it’s reasonable to expect an increase in systemic discrimination against uneducated whites, latinos, asians, and Jews. But I mean aside from the race-based support structure, and of course leftist nominations and appointments, he wouldn’t be too bad.)

I especially liked the article on Obama as it spoke to an idea close to my heart: a North American Union:

Here’s one example of new thinking he should pursue: The United States should apply to relations with hemispheric neighbors many of the lessons of the European Union and its half-century of economic and political integration. A functioning American Union that pools sovereignty is a goal worth introducing now. But that quest cannot start by tearing down the North American Free Trade Agreement and other hemispheric trade accords. A President Obama has to be willing to sit down with the prime minister of Canada and the president of Mexico without preconditions, such as demands for treaty renegotiations.

Sadly, I don’t think this is too likely. But just as “Obama the Leftist” is more likely than “Obama the Centrist,” “Obama the Incompetent” is more likely than “Obama the Wise.” Obama as Bush III: I’ll take it.