Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on November 19, 2015
Over the last decade, there's been a lot of discussion of 4th Generation warfare. Two schools of thought have formed - one touting 4GW as the latest in modern warfare, the other regarding 4GW as an adaption of classical low-intensity warfare methods to modern communications and propaganda methods. I'm personally an adherent of the latter position, but it doesn't matter.

This book presents useful information on modern low-intensity conflict techniques, but the nuggets are buried in parable-like stories and require sifting to find. But the nuggets are real gold, not fake. The comments about the need to afford an enemy an honorable surrender are particularly true - in retrospect, one of the greatest mistakes of the Iraq campaign in 2003 was the decision to demobilize the Iraqi Army and throw many thousands of trained fighting men onto the street. The observation about the desirability of using bribes is also spot-on.

I think this book has several shortcomings. First, it was written assuming that the reader is thoroughly conversant with 4GW terminology and arguments. A review of basic concepts would have been welcome. Second, there was very little presented on employment of the assets available to a high-end military in low-intensity conflict. And the intelligence and logistic capabilities that can be brought to bear can be very useful. Finally, I think the material would have been much more useful had it been integrated more fully into something like the classic Small Wars Manual that the U.S. Marine Corps developed prior to the Second World War.

This is a good start, but not the definitive work on the subject.
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