Tag Archives: 4gws3

PISRR and the Three Stages, Try 1

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.”


4GPS3: The Waterfall of Compounding Victories

Time To Pull The Plug on PBS,” by Chris Bowers , MyDD, 3 May 2005, http://www.mydd.com/story/2005/5/3/17570/07385.

Remember this?

Key: Blue, rejectionists; Red, reformers; Orange, rejectionists ready to deal; Dark Blue, extreme rejectionists; solid lines, mutual support; arrow lines, mutual opposition

or even this

Key: Blue, rejectionists; Red, reformers; Orange, “weak-kneed” rejectionists; solid lines, mutual support; arrow lines, mutual opposition

They’re example of successful network disintegration attacks. However, they focused exclusively on 4GPS2 — the second or “network contest” stage of fourth generation politics. I’ve yet to blog how a success in the third stage — government control — effects this.

In fourth generation struggles not all areas will be at the same stage at the same time. Some parts of the government may be past 4GPS3 — the ideological movement may control parts of the government — while others are in the early stages of 4GPS2 — the ideological network is still trying to destroy other, rival nets.

A successful fourth generation politician will use a victory in one area to demoralize and destroy the networks of his enemies in another. Such a thing is happening now.

To backup a little, in November 2004 George Bush won reelection. This was a vertical scenario — it happened fast and had a lot of downstream effects. These included asbestos reform, bankruptcy reform, and PBS reform. These horizontal scenarios takes time to play themselves out, and can generate their own vertical scenarios.

One of these vertical consequences was the the news that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s new President was going to attack liberal bias at the PBS network. And in turn, this vertical shock creates its own horizontal waves, including

Cascading Waterfall of Victories
4GPS3 Victories at CPB Lead to 4GPS2 Network Disintegration
  • less state-sponsored liberal propaganda
  • a netroots boycott of PBS
  • liberal network disintegration

Am I just dreaming about liberals falling apart over Bush’s move? Nope.

The way I figure it, however, if liberals can’t have PBS, no one can. Just bag the whole damn thing. Like Republicans really deserve to control public airwaves anyway, when they would rather everything public (at least everything public that works) be sold off to uber-wealthy private interests anyway. Considering the impending changes, I say let it die.

Just as I predicted, liberal radicals turn on “neutrals” and former allies as new enemies.

But it gets better! This horizontal weakening of liberal networks increases the possibility of more favorable vertical shocks: more conservative electoral victories. Which will lead to more horizontal victories, leading to more vertical victories…

Such is one network destroyed, as the other assumes more.

Update: Austin Bay Blog looks at cascades in fourth generation war