This report was originally published at Ammo.com
“It is interesting to hear certain kinds of people insist that the citizen cannot fight the government. This would have been news to the men of Lexington and Concord, as well as the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan. The citizen most certainly can fight the government, and usually wins when he tries. Organized national armies are useful primarily for fighting against other organized national armies. When they try to fight against the people, they find themselves at a very serious disadvantage. If you will just look around at the state of the world today, you will see that the guerillero has the upper hand. Irregulars usually defeat regulars, providing they have the will. Such fighting is horrible to contemplate, but will continue to dominate brute strength.” – Col. Jeff Cooper
When one discusses the real reason for the Second Amendment – the right of citizens to defend themselves against a potentially tyrannical government – inevitably someone points out the stark difference in firepower between a guerilla uprising in the United States and the United States government itself.
This is not a trivial observation. The U.S. government spends more on the military than the governments of China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, France, United Kingdom, and Japan combined. Plus, the potential of a tyrannical government is arguably upon us – with the federal government spying on its own citizens, militarizing local police departments with equipment and tactics from the War on Terror, and repeatedly searching Americans, which desensitizes them to this invasive process.
There is much historical precedent, however, for guerilla uprisings defeating more powerful enemies. For instance, the Cold War saw both superpowers brought to their knees by rural farmers – for the Soviets, their adventure in Afghanistan against the Mujahideen, and for the United States, the Vietnam War against the Viet Cong.
In both cases, nuclear weapons could have been used against the guerilla uprising, but were not. Even assuming the use of nuclear weapons from the position of total desperation, it’s hard to imagine they would have made much of a difference in the final outcome of either conflict. Unlike the invading armies, the local resistance enjoyed both broad-based support as well as knowledge of the local terrain.
Now imagine such a scenario in the United States. You wouldn’t be the first person to do so. From Red Dawn to James Wesley, Rawles’ Patriots series, there is a relatively long-standing tradition of American survival literature about the hoi polloi resisting the tyranny of big government, either before or after a collapse.
For the purposes of this article, consider what a domestic American terrorist or freedom fighter (after all, the label is in the eye of the beholder) organization based on the militia movement would look like in open revolt against the United States government. In the spirit of levity, we’ll call them the “Hillbilly Viet Cong.” They would most likely find their largest numbers in Appalachia, but don’t discount their power in the American Redoubt, or the more sparsely populated areas of the American Southwest, including rural Texas.
Here we have tens of thousands of Americans armed to the teeth with combat experience, deep family ties to both the police and the military, extensive knowledge of the local geography, and, in many cases, survivalist training. Even where they are not trained, militant and active, they enjoy broad support among those who own a lot of guns and grow a lot of food.
On the other side, you have the unwieldy Baby Huey of the rump U.S. government’s military, with some snarky BuzzFeed editorials serving as propaganda.
Could the Hillbilly Viet Cong take down the USG? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s difficult to imagine that the USG could take them down.
Indeed, even with a number of nasty little toys on the side of the federal government, we live in an age of a technologically leveled playing field. This is true even when it comes to instruments of warfare. While the USG has nuclear weapons, it’s worth remembering that a pound of C4 strapped to a cheap and readily available commercial-grade drone is going to break a lot of dishes.
This sort of guerilla insurgency has a name: It’s called fourth-generational warfare (4GW), and you might be surprised to learn that you already live in this world.
What Are the First Three Generations of Warfare?
To understand how 4GW is a new and improved form of war, we first need to explain what the first three generations of warfare were:
The first generation (1GW) is basically what you would have seen in the movie 300. The hallmarks of this generation of warfare are armies from two different state actors leveraging line-and-column tactics and wearing uniforms to distinguish between themselves.
This generation is not entirely without subterfuge. For example, counterfeit currency was used to devalue the money supply during the 1GW Napoleonic Wars. Other examples of 1GW conflicts include the English Civil War and the American Revolutionary War.
The second generation (2GW) comes with the advent of rifling and breech-loaded weapons. As students of military history know, the invention of rifling was one of the reasons that the United States Civil War was so bloody. This meant that firearms that were once mostly for show after 100 feet or so, were now deadly weapons – and tactics did not immediately evolve.
But evolve they did. Many things we take for granted as being just part of warfare – such as camouflage, artillery, and reconnaissance – are defining features of 2GW. The American Civil War is probably the first 2GW conflict. Others include the First World War, the Spanish Civil War and, much more recently, the Iran-Iraq War. The United States military coined this phrase in 1989.
This phase of warfare, also known a 3GW, is the late modern version of warfare, where speed and stealth play a much bigger role. Weapons and tactics alone are less important. Instead, military units seek to find ways to outmaneuver one another before – or even instead of – meeting on the battlefield.
The era of 3GW was initiated with the Blitzkrieg, which marked the decisive end to cavalry and replaced it with tank and helicopter warfare. Junior officers were given more leeway to give orders. The Second World War was the first 3GW conflict, with the Korean, Vietnam and both Iraq Wars becoming further examples of this style of fighting.
What Is Fourth-Generation Warfare?
The most direct way of discussing 4GW is to say that it describes any war between a state actor and a non-state actor. This is also known as asymmetrical warfare, but it’s not the only difference between 4GW and other, earlier forms of conflict. Asymmetrical warfare does, to be sure, blur the lines between combatants and civilians. This is in part what made the Bush-era “war on terror” so difficult and complicated: The war was against a set of ideas rather than a nation or even an extra-national army.
There are a number of characteristics that flow from the state actor vs. non-state actor aspect of 4GW. The first is the use of terrorism as a regular tactic, almost always on the part of the non-state actor. Particularly for the state actor, non-combatants become tactical problems – you simply can’t just carpet bomb and hope everything works out.
The non-state actors tend to be highly decentralized. One faction can stop fighting as another 10 crop up in its place. Funding and source of manpower and material comes from a wide array of sources spread out over nearly the entire globe. This necessarily makes 4GW long and drawn out over years or perhaps even decades. The psychological warfare, propaganda and lawfare aspects are an integral part of the conflict.
The genesis of 4GW lies in the Cold War and the post-colonial era. Insurgent groups and counter-insurgency groups vied for power, often times with state actors operating behind the scenes and in the background. Sometimes the goal was to establish a new state or reestablish a defunct one. However, many times the only goal was to delegitimize the existing state and create a power vacuum.
Places such as Laos, Myanmar, Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, the Congo, Cuba, East Timor, Korea, Poland, and Afghanistan were all pieces in the global chessboard of the Cold War as various insurgency and counter-insurgency groups backed by the Soviets, the Americans, and/or the Chinese fought one another or fought against occupying forces.
What Is the Difference Between 4GW and Asymmetrical Warfare?
Put simply, all 4GW is asymmetrical, but not all asymmetrical warfare is 4GW. It refers to virtually any asymmetry in combat. This can be as simple as one military having more advanced technology than another – for example, the English longbow at the Battle of Crécy gave the English forces a decisive technological advantage. The Spartan forces were greatly outnumbered by their Persian adversaries and used the landscape to compensate.
In one sense, 4GW can be seen as asymmetric warfare come to full fruition. The less powerful forces must find a way to compensate for their relative lack of strength. On the other hand, the stronger forces must paradoxically find ways to compensate for their abundance of strength. This is because of the all-important propaganda war, an integral part of 4GW. State actors often seek deniability during war by proxy when engaging non-state actors.
John Boyd, Chuck Spinney, and 4GW
Colonel John Boyd may be the most remarkable unsung hero in all of American military history. Widely considered to be the greatest U.S. fighter pilot ever, Boyd developed the F-15 and F-16, revolutionized ground tactics in war, and covertly designed the coalition battle plans for the 1990-91 Gulf War. He foresaw 4GW, and he shunned wealth, fame, and power in his pursuit to get things done, despite the bureaucracy of the Pentagon.
Boyd closely studied Sun-Tzu (The Art of War) and Carl von Clausewitz (On War). This informed his push for greater adaptability and agility of United States fighting forces. Simple, cheap, effective, dependable, durable weapons were prized over flashy tricks. Decentralized command, control and communications were Boyd’s cause – looking for a way to avoid burying boots on the ground underneath layers of officers with potentially less field knowledge than they had.
Franklin C. “Chuck” Spinney became the voice of 4GW preparation after Boyd’s passing inside the Pentagon. He spent more than 20 years campaigning against rigid forms of thinking and budget bloat. Spinney believes that the 9/11 attacks should have been a wake-up call for the United States military, and sees 4GW as something beyond mere terrorism, but rather a new form of warfare. He believes the United States military is stuck in second-generation warfare thinking and is woefully unequipped for 4GW. Ultimately, Spinney believes that the United States military’s response to 9/11 in particular and 4GW in general was not enough.
Where Is 4GW Happening Today?
While many think 4GW is something in the far-off future, it’s actually happening right now. The most archetypal 4GW is perhaps the conflict with ISIS – a non-state actor with recruits all over the world in conflict with several states. Some of the conflict is classically military, but there is also the propaganda war taking place all over the Internet. In fact, ISIS was using the PlayStation network to communicate because they correctly believed it wasn’t being monitored by international intelligence services. These attacks on the West were not limited to the area controlled by ISIS, but extended all around the world.
Counter-attacking ISIS was a bit like trying to catch water in a net. Attacking ISIS proper was possible: There was territory. But attacking the support of ISIS was a whole other problem.
It’s worth noting that the international Islamist movement is not limited to ISIS. Al-Qaeda and its offshoots still exist. What’s more, they seem to multiply over time. This is another feature of 4GW. A state actor can make peace with one faction of a group while other, more militant factions simply retreat deeper into the metaphorical mountains to continue the fight – which is precisely the situation that the Republic of the Philippines has faced in its struggle against the Moros separatists of the Southern Philippines.
But the Philippines and Syria are all likely far away from where you live in terms of geography, sociology, demographics and culture. What does 4GW have to do with London, Paris or even Springfield, MO? Probably a lot more than you think.
Is 4GW Coming to the Developed World?
Is fourth-generational warfare coming to the developed world? Quite possibly, especially when you consider the spectre of failed states in the West.
Many Western states are not quite as stable as they are made out to be. Sweden and France in particular have extensive problems with No Go Zones. Other parts of Europe want to secede, such as Catalonia in Spain, and are being violently suppressed from doing so.
Elsewhere around the world, previously first-world countries like South Africa are deteriorating in the span of a generation due to government mismanagement. The United States, for its part, is in what some have described as a “Cold Civil War,” with many futurists agreeing that the potential for outward civil war is greater than you’d like to think.
How might such a 4GW scenario play out in the West? There are two potential scenarios, one for Europe and one for the United States. Each of these is worth considering.
4GW: The European Model
For our purposes, we’re going to call this the “European Model” of 4GW. This is because this model is based on the political and social realities of life in Europe today. It is by no means the only place something like this could unfold, nor is it impossible that 4GW could unfold in an entirely different way in Europe.
4GW in Europe will likely be an outgrowth of No Go Zones and resulting failed states. Geographic areas within European nations will likely increase in size. And conflict will likely develop between the de facto areas of the No Go Zones, as well as more militant elements of the civilian population. While there is not much of a militia movement to speak of in Europe, in true 4GW fashion, people will find ways to improvise weapons out of what they have available to them.
It’s impossible to talk about this phenomenon in Europe without discussing the ethnic and religious character of the areas, as ethnic and ethno-religious conflict will likely be the infrastructure for such a war – especially since many of these areas have legal and social structures based on Islamic laws and customs.
In a scenario leading to a 4GW conflict in mainland Europe, attacks on civilians will escalate while the legitimate civilian authority is increasingly incapable of dealing with it. There will be both an inability and an unwillingness to maintain legal norms within larger and larger areas in Europe.
Next would come the formation of militias. The model here is close to what happened in Lebanon during its civil war. Militias will form around political, ethnic and religious lines. Some of these will be the No Go Zones attempting to consolidate their power. Others will be European civilians seeking to protect themselves and their neighborhoods from the growing power of the No Go Zones. This, in turn, will further fuel the breakdown in government control. Members of the government, both law enforcement and military, will increasingly pick sides in the conflict, leaving their allegiance to the rump state behind. In the end, this will make it more difficult for the state to assert its power.
The remaining government will begin taking measures against free speech and free association in an attempt to crack down and regain lost power. But at this point, the battle will mostly already be lost. Factions of the government will cease cooperating with one another, making it harder and harder to maintain order. These factions will, to varying degrees, start lining up behind the militias and parallel legal structures that have begun cropping up at the street level. This will also be the time foreign governments will step in and begin supporting local militias more. An example of this is Serbian-backed militias in Croatia and Bosnia during the Yugoslav Wars, or Israeli support of Maronite Christians and Iranian support of Shiite Muslims during the Lebanese Civil War.
Crime will increase, but not just petty street crime. Insurgent movements have a long history of using organized crime to fund their operations and the 4GW conflicts in Europe would be no exception to this. The drug trade, human trafficking and financially driven kidnapping are three examples of how militias will fund themselves using extra-legal means. This will serve as an additional cause to restrict freedom of movement through both de jure and de facto means within a nation’s borders, another case where the Yugoslav Wars and Lebanese Civil War are instructive cases. Conversely, refugee scenarios will develop, which will further complicate the situation.
4GW: The American Model
The American 4GW Model is somewhat different and is based more on ideological and political differences than ethnic and cultural ones – though the ethnic and cultural differences will play a role, as we will soon see.
In the United States, the federal system of government can play a key role. For example, while the prospect of a gun ban causing the peasants to pick up their pitchforks and torches is unlikely, a scenario where states simply refuse to enforce the law is far closer to the realm of possibility. Consider that this is already starting under the Trump Administration – cities and states are refusing to comply with the President’s directives on federal immigration law. Flipping the script, it’s worth wondering just how much state and federal compliance a federal ban on AR-15s, a high tax on ammunition, or a call for widespread registration would generate.
This could happen one of two ways: Leftist states like California and Massachusetts balk at a new federal law, or more conservative and libertarian states like Arizona and New Hampshire refuse compliance. It’s worth noting that states themselves are not monoliths. California is largely still a conservative state outside of Los Angeles and the Bay Area, while several municipalities in deep blue Massachusetts went for Trump. On the other hand, Arizona has blue enclaves like Flagstaff and New Hampshire’s cities vote almost identically to Boston.
The red state / blue state divide is very real, but it also exists within states as well as between them. In the event that a cleavage between the two political and cultural halves of America started, this divide would become increasingly unstable within the states themselves.
Unlike Europe, the United States has a homegrown militia movement that is heavily armed and, to varying degrees, ready for battle. When the AR-15 is talked about as a “weapon of war on our streets,” it is frequently mentioned in the same breath how an insurrection in the United States would never stand a chance against the modern weapons of war wielded by the federal government. This would be news to the Viet Cong. People who make such statements are unaware of the dynamics of 4GW.
While the political aspects are very real, so are the demographic ones. In particular, there is the spectre of the Scotch-Irish in Appalachia. These are a people with hundreds of years of long skepticism (and often outright hostility) toward the federal government. It’s also, geographically speaking, a very difficult place to conquer. Eric Rudolph evaded the feds for five years in the mountains of North Carolina, despite being on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitive List.
This segment of American society has a significant connection to both the police force and the military. Simple suggestions that local police, SWAT teams or even the military will be quick to crush such a rebellion are ill-informed on two counts. First, the aforementioned one: In many cases, the military and police who are being sent out are going to be friends, family and intimates of the Hillbilly Viet Cong. What’s more, due to the extensive military experience in this area, many of the foot soldiers of an anti-government rebellion centered in Appalachia would not only just be trained, but also battle-tested. Divided loyalties always play a role in 4GW, and the United States will be no exception.
The weapons of war are leveled in 4GW. There is air war by drones, but also the role of computer hacking, kidnapping and other unsavory activities. The point of 4GW, from the perspective of the underdog, is less about “winning” in some quick and dramatic fashion, and more about dragging out the conflict as long as possible, causing the dominant power to lose through blood loss and death by 1,000 cuts.
Consider the Vietnam Conflict: Between the end of the French occupation of Vietnam in 1954, through the Fall of Saigon when U.S. forces abandoned the city to the Viet Cong, the American Vietnam War lasted approximately 20 years. And that doesn’t count the seven bloody years of French occupation post-WW2, when French colonial forces lost approximately 100,000 troops attempting to put down the guerilla movement in Indochina.
Finally, there’s the U.S. government’s track record in 4GW. The United States does not have a solid track record of being able to defeat guerilla insurgencies. From the Filipino Insurrection in the late 19th century to the current Afghan insurgency – the United States military can make inroads against 4GW actors, but it’s never really able to seal the deal.
4GW in America: The Battle of Athens
There is a history of 4GW in the United States and we don’t need to go very far back to find it. In 1946, there was an uprising of the citizens of Athens, TN (in McMinn County) to reestablish the rule of law. The story illustrates how American patriots resisting domestic tyranny can succeed in their struggles.
Citizens of Athens had complained about election fraud since 1940. The town was filled with battle-hardened veterans from both the European and Pacific theaters of World War II. This filled them with a militancy that did not exist before the war. Several citizens of Athens had complained, but the administration of Franklin Roosevelt did nothing, perhaps because the town was ruled over by an entrenched Democratic Party machine.
First, the men ran one of their own, a GI named Knox Henry, for sheriff. They wanted fair elections, so they petitioned the FBI to monitor, a request which was denied. The machine, for their part, imported 200 strong arms to “protect” the polling places from voters. In one case, a deputy pointed his revolver at a GI, ejecting him from the polling station and telling him “If you sons of bitches cross this street I’ll kill you!” Poll watchers were arrested and in one case, a black poll watcher was shot. Finally, the party machine locked the ballot boxes up in the county jail.
Despite lacking in numbers, ammunition and arms, the veterans used the key to the local armories belonging to the State and National Guard. This evened the score considerably. They went to the jail house and requested the release of the ballot boxes, but were rebuffed with the sheriff’s men shooting two of the GIs. A firefight erupted and the GIs were reinforced by men from neighboring Meigs County and their IEDs. Eventually, the sheriff and his men surrendered, releasing the ballots.
After obtaining the ballots, the men cleaned and returned the weapons. The GI candidate was elected sheriff and several others were elected to key county positions.
This demonstrates 4GW in miniature in the United States. For those concerned about nuclear retaliation or other heavy guns the USG has, it’s worth noting that the underdog can always obtain some of these weapons by hook or by crook.
The Militia Movement and 4GW
No discussion of 4GW in the United States would be complete without touching on the militia movement, something specific to the U.S. While Europe has a history of factions in the military who oppose the government (the French Secret Army Organization is the most famous of these), it does not, to nearly the same extent as the United States, have men actively training in the woods getting ready for civilizational collapse or 4GW.
The militia movement began in the early 1980s, when it was known as the Posse Comitatus movement. It exploded (no pun intended) after the attack on the Oklahoma City Federal Building and the showdown at Ruby Ridge. By the mid-1990s, the militia movement had a presence in all 50 states and was comprised of approximately 60,000 people.
Note that the militia movement is no longer limited to the political right. Left-wing organizations have begun openly training with arms since the election of Donald Trump as President in 2016. In any kind of 4GW scenario in the United States, it’s likely that these two strains of the militia movement would come into conflict with each other, as well as the United States government. And don’t forget about the narcissism of small differences that tends to plague fringe political movements – the most bitter enemies in a 4GW conflict in the United States will likely be competing factions of left- and right-wing political movements.
Skills Required for 4GW
Combat isn’t the only helpful skill for 4GW. If you’re concerned with 4GW and want to get ready for everything to go down, here’s a list of skills for you to acquire in preparation for 4GW.
- Weapons Versatility: Let’s just get this out of the way. Combat training with a variety of weapons is important for 4GW. This is because in 4GW, combatants often have to use weapons commandeered from their enemies. What they capture can vary widely from what their unit ordinarily uses.
- Survivalism: Knowing how to live off the land is an indispensable skill for any SHTF scenario, and 4GW is no exception to this rule. 4GW combatants must know how to hunt, fish, trap, track, stay hidden, find potable water, and prep game.
- First Aid: Any time there’s combat, there are casualties. 4GW requires the knowledge of first aid at the very least. Knowing other medic skills is a welcome addition to the toolkit as well.
- Physical Fitness: Those involved in 4GW combat will have to walk long distances, often with a lot of weight strapped to their back. Being in top physical condition can mean the difference between life and death.
- Navigation: 4GW combatants need to know the area, but they also need to know how to find their way around unfamiliar terrain. That means without electronic equipment, and instead using items like compasses and maps.
- Demolition: This might also be filed under weapon versatility. Demolition is a big part of 4GW for depriving the enemy of a base and cutting off lines of communication and transit.
Many of the above skills are just as helpful when it comes to general survivalism, so you don’t have to be getting ready for 4GW to make them worth acquiring. And as with any kind of SHTF preparation and training, we hope you never have to use what you learn.
Guerrilla’s only succeed for any length of time if they have the support of the people they are hiding among and are extremely secretive and well hidden (usually meaning mostly ineffective and thought of as criminals) in areas where they don’t.
Every guerrilla movement from the IRA in Ireland to Castro’s communists in Cuba shows how this works.
Governments are only successful when they have the support of the population. Simply withholding the payment of taxes, cutting off electricity and resupply to government facilities, and targeting any loyalist for immediate dismissal, would break a government in a matter of weeks. he American Military is the best in the world, as long as the taxpayer funds $millions of dollars per second in logistical support. Put that soldier on the TV Show Naked and Afraid, and they fail miserably.
The US military hasn’t won any wars since WW2. Korean War was fought to a stalemate. Vietnam was a lost cause thanks to the Vietcong. Afghanistan was and is still a lost cause 17 years after 9/11. The only real thing achieved in Iraq with Saddam Hussein’s overthrow was opening the door to Iranian influence and all-out guerrilla warfare against the troops. They couldn’t control ONE CITY OR TOWN in Iraq, never mind the whole country. The Sunni and Shiite groups successfully fought against the US in Iraq. They don’t stand a chance against anyone.
Most of the wars were not intended to be won. Remember the presidents’ “Stand down” orders; their “Hearts and Minds” campaigns; their court marital of soldiers, without due process, who captured or killed an enemy while spewing something racist; remember the failure of backup to show up (Benghazi); the defective helicopters put too soon into service in Afghanistan & Iraq that feel and the soldiers captured; the the ordinance that didn’t work; the firing of the best military generals, the decimation and reduced funding of the Pentagon, etc. These presidents DID NOT WANT TO WIN these wars. We can start with Bush and Obama, but we can go farther back. Our soldiers are formidable. Our Military is not.
But President Trump is changing all that. Hoorah!
“When one discusses the real reason for the Second Amendment – the right of citizens to defend themselves against a potentially tyrannical government ….. ”
Anyone who believes that the right to “keep and bear arms” is NOT designed to protect the people from the government should consider the environment in 1776: almost EVERYONE had a weapon for hunting because almost everyone hunted for food. Guns were UBIQUITOUS !!!
In that armed society why would it be necessary to CODIFY the right to keep & bear arms ??? EVERYONE, at the very least, ALMOST EVERYONE at that time had a weapon. That the Founding Fathers recognized the need to CODIFY that obvious armed environment speaks VOLUMES about why the Founders included the RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS into the Constitution and why it is sooooo high on the list of annotated rights.
CATI !!! 🙂
“The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.” – Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Chittum wrote “Civil War II”, back in the late 90’s; his observations were somewhat off, but very astute. Recommended reading.
As for America, we now have half the population wanting some form of “socialism”, which only ultimately leads to communism. The best case scenario would be an amicable split, but the left demands that they rule your mind.
Demographically, the third-worlders are more prone to insurection, they already will kill Americans once they get here illegally. They will have no problem forming their own militias. They are being imported to replace you.
White Americans are another story. Literally half of them are fat, lazy, weak, stupid, apathetic, easily distracted, willfully ignorant, back-stabbing, and cowardly. Most cannot be inconvenienced to fight for their Freedom. They exhibit a rather gross form of Stockholm Syndrome 2.0. They are largely incapable of any form of unification for any cause greater than themselves. A century of brain-washing has produced a population mental slaves.
The people who orchestrating the destruction of Western Civilization will not hesitate to use whatever weapons they have at their disposal to put a stop to any 4GW uprising…
An armed Antifa. An armed Black Panthers. An armed MS15. But I believe citizen Militias in every State would win because at such a time, the armed law-abiding citizens will rise up with them.
Well said. Whites have been mentally conditioned to accept a third grade status in the land their Forefathers secured for them. There is not one invention or act of progress that has not come from Western Europeans. Screw China, India and especially Africa. The populations and rulers there simply have never had a concept of individual Liberty as developed in Western and Southern Europe.
Christianity was never meant to be a religion of “tolerance”. The Father does not tolerate infidels and those who defy and deny His Son. Whites have abandoned their position as the carriers of the Christian cross and enforcers of Christian laws. Compromise looks good until one faces their judgement. In the end, for victory, there can be no compromise with Satan or his minions. We have Ten laws that can govern our every transaction in life. So simple and so difficult. Spoken by me, a grievous sinner.
Whites do it right let’s bring the pain!
Hey Bob! Q: Why are aspirins white?
A: Because they work!
(Old joke, but accurate none the less)
Good article. 4GW will be a long time coming to the USA. As long as the sheeple and the Normies have enough debtbucks to purchase their Nacho Cheese Doritos and Pepsi from China Mart, things will not erupt. There may be brushfires here and there: A cop blows away a member of the “protected class”, or the SNAP and EBT cards do not work in a certain Blue Hive and the great unwashed just helps themselves; but those will be isolated.
4GW was the flavor of the month in VN and the ‘stan because they were INVADED by foreigners. The closest thing to 4GW that we would experience, unless we go full Weimar, would be a massive natural disaster where the Leviathan is powerless and it’s every man/woman for himself/herself.
If you havent already go and read Matt Brakens Enemies series, THAT is exactly what we could see in this country, read it then think on the correlations to some of the stuff that is going on,
Nailbanger, I’ve got that whole series and read them 4 years ago. I feel like we’re living in one of those scenarios now.
Nailbanger: Thanks. I have read all of Mr. Bracken’s ENEMIES series. I have also passed them on to younger patriots. Yes, he is very prescient. Scary stuff. It has motivated me even as an arthritic old man to continue training and prepping to the best of my abilities.
Vietnam had shades of a conventional war with the NVA and the real battle against the VC. The NVA were severely weakened by 1972. The US initially under Westmorland’s strategy was to destroy the big units NVA and then deal with the VC. In the end the VC was the glue of the insurgency. It was everywhere and no where. It won by its ability to prevent SVN government from governing. It needed not to win battles just exist to disrupt governance. As Giap said, “I will lose 10 of my people for every one of yours but you will eventually tire and leave; I cannot leave because I have no where to go”. In the end the successive governments of SVN had little public support.
There is a huge difference in the US. The governments capability to identify both the political inclination and movement of individuals greatly aids them to very selectively weed out perceived threats. Its likely that if such capability existed in Vietnam the success of the VC would have been very difficult and possibly impossible. Third world examples of Afghanistan and Vietnam do not necessarily apply in the technical surveillance environment of the first world. We’re far closer to George Orwell’s 1984 than Sun Tzu “The Art Of War”.
Great article. This can be taken up a notch.
“A firefight erupted and the GIs were reinforced by men from neighboring Meigs County and their IEDs. Eventually, the sheriff and his men surrendered, releasing the ballots.”
Does the sheriff and his men have families, relatives, and supporters? A well place warning shot or two could send them a message. If a bullet missed one of the sheriff’s kids by a few inches that would send a message that it’s getting very real and personal. No one is safe.
Does the sheriff and his men have homes, businesses, and financial interests? Of course.They would have to expend a lot of effort, 24/7, to make sure these places of theirs don’t burn down.
One of the big reasons radical dems, Antifa and other groups get away with stuff is that they see no personal price to pay for their actions. If one or two of their leaders are made an example of then they will fear for their personal safety.
I can think of a number of things to instill fear in the bad guys but I’m uncomfortable with that. Things would have to be very bad for me to participate in an armed insurgency. Are we there yet? Not quite, but close.
Liberals protest everything they don’t like. They yell at people and feel free to vent their anger. When Humvees came out some years ago I read where people would flatten their tires and key their paint jobs in parking lots. The tree huggers lashed out.
Conservatives like us don’t act like this. We put up with things. We endured Obama for eight years with no great disruptions like laying down on freeways stopping traffic or accosting his cabinet members and supporters in public.
However, there will be a breaking point for conservatives where the threat of armed action will be taken. The federal persecution of Cliven Bundy was one case. But these are rare.
What would get me out my door, saying enough is enough, to join in an armed resistance? What would trigger off a real 4GW uprising, covert or otherwise, to where millions of American patriots say enough is enough? What will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back? I don’t know.
I do know that whatever that trigger point is it’s getting closer. That last thing I want to do is shoot to kill another person, but…
I don’t consider Democrats to be persons.
The law does, but I don’t.
Ha ha ha.
antifa are protected species at some level, or they would not get away with what they do, and/or, get lots of good msm press support.
I think that the reason the left is getting away with all their bull crap is becuz we are already in a COUP. The U.S. has already been taken over by Communists. I hope i’m wrong. Why else are the police STANDING DOWN? It does enrage me how they are getting away with domestic terrorism. And yet we on the Right cannot even fire one shot at them or they will again call us Natzies. So how do we fight this when our whole country seems to be taken over?
Once there’s nothing left to defend, and being called names means nothing, then maybe who ever still cares might stand up.
A typical deer hunter with his 30.06 scoped deer rifle and a single box of ammo, can break a lot more dishes than C4.
Th REPR is nice, but that 300wm can truly reach out and touch somebody
Imma reach out and hug my .300wm now 😀
I grew up shooting a bolt-action 30.06. Still my fav. I’ll pass on an AR type thing. Give me a good old bolt action and call it good!
Then you have never been a participant in, nor trained for a firefight. and you will die in your ignorance with your .30-06.
Note: Key concepts for , oh say the last 70 years of infantry training, used by the Blitzkrieg, and our boys with an M-1 Garand ( a 30-06 in semi auto from my grandfathers years)
Fire and manuever.
Shoot move communicate.
They are using suppressive fire, not getting you but getting damm close,keeping your head down while a part of the enemy outflanks you…. and its over.
Bolt Actions were out-classed by machine guns 100 years ago in WW1. no front line military hs handed them out since the ishapore enfield in india in 1950
Ok, sure, its a great hunting weapon against animals not shooting back, or against folks not knowing they are about to get shot at.
but try that shit against a battle trained and hardened fire team or lord forbid an infantry squad with crew served weapons amd/or a radio link to ARTY and you and your .30-06 are seriously effed.
The one thing the author left out was assassination.
A while back in Texas I think, a ambulance chaser lawyer
who had just won a rather large amount of money for his scumbag
client was shot on his front porch in front of his kids.
Shooter has not been caught and I suspect will never be
That is how to do 4GW. Attack and then blend in.
Due to my states low population, I’d bet ten determined men could completely paralyze the state in a matter of weeks. For example, blow up my county department of revenue on a workday.
A few locally kept records destroyed and more importantly people that know the systems are gone and now the county has no income for months.
Do the same to the state dept of revenue. State has no income for months.
Indian wars were guerilla wars and the indians by nature of their life style were naturals at that kind of war. It was long and bloody fought in people front yards. It was not nice. Every kid has played indian and knows something about indian life. What is a problem is resupply of war materials once used. Where do you get new ammo for instance. You need an established supply route for basics. You need organization and leadership. Traitors will abound and in the end you will get caught but others will replace you. This from the Polish underground in WWII Bury your war paint and buy all the ammo you can get now when your life does not depend on it uet and its easy to get
Surprise! This just in. Sen. Menendez beats the corruption charges and gets re-elected. Problem. He was seen celebrating his re-election with the only juror who held out for him. Is that legal? Does it matter any more? It’s right in your face. Too big to convict.
“In the United States, the federal system of government can play a key role….
a scenario where states simply refuse to enforce the law is far closer to the realm of possibility”
States have the duty to stop those that serve within our general government from overstepping the LIMITED authority that the states DELEGATED, found in writing within the document that created the general government.
John C. Calhoun’s 1831 “Fort Hill Address”: “The error is in the assumption that the General Government is a party to the constitutional compact. The States, as has been shown, formed the compact, acting as Sovereign and independent communities. The General [federal] Government is but its creature;”
James Madison, Fed 45: “The powers delegated by the proposed constitution of the federal government, ARE FEW AND DEFINED. Those which are to remain in the state governments, ARE NUMEROUS AND INDEFINITE. The former (federal government) will be exercised principally on external objects, a war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several states will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people; and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the state.”
James Madison regarding the remedy to the states for combating federal overreach. It was not only the remedy but the duty of the states to stand in defense of the Republic. “…in the case of deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers not granted…the states…have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose, …for maintaining, within their respective limits, the authorities, rights, and liberties…” Virginia Resolutions of 1798, James Madison
The Militias of the several states are constitutionally REQUIRED while those who serve within the fed and state governments are required to use them, not professional governmental law enforcement agencies. So when those who serve within our governments call the PEOPLE’S Militias *terrorist organizations they themselves are breaking the supreme Law, and their own contract that they are Oath bound to “support and defend”. George Washington felt that the people should NOT depend upon those who serve within our governments to Lawfully give military arms to the Militias, but should manufacture them ourselves.
George Washington: “A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies.”
Also, notice that the “Federal” government is REQUIRED to give military arms to the Militias of the several states.
US Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 15 and 16, plus some others deal with Militias of the several states, and they cannot Lawfully create a governmental agency that is a “militia”.
Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, Debate over the 2nd Amendment, I Annals of Congress: “What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to PREVENT THE ESTABLISMENT OF A STANDING ARMY, the bane of liberty….”
Clause 15: “To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel invasions.“
The militia of each state is entrusted with the defense of the USA and her people, not just with the defense of their state; and they are to be armed with weapons that can repel any invasions bearing modern weapons of war (Clause 16).
Clause 16: “To provide for organizing, arming and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress”.
George Washington: “A free people ought not only be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.” Plus: “It may be laid down, as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every citizen who enjoys the protection of a free government…, but even of his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency.” (“Sentiments on a Peace Establishment”, letter to Alexander Hamilton; “The Writings of George Washington”)
Bliss vs. Commonwealth, 12 Ky. (2 Litt.) 90, at 92, and 93, 13 Am. Dec. 251 (1822): “For, in principle, there is no difference between a law prohibiting the wearing of concealed arms, and a law forbidding the wearing such as are exposed; and if the former be unconstitutional, the latter must be so likewise. But it should not be forgotten, that it is not only a part of the right that is secured by the constitution; it is the right entire and complete, as it existed at the adoption of the constitution; and if any portion of that right be impaired, immaterial how small the part may be, and immaterial the order of time at which it be done, it is equally forbidden by the constitution.”
Nunn vs. State, 1 Ga. (1 Kel.) 243, at 251 (1846): “`The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’ The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, and not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying a well-regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free State. Our opinion is that any law, State or Federal, is repugnant to the Constitution, and void, which contravenes this right.”
Cockrum v. State, 24 Tex. 394, at 401-402 (1859): “The right of a citizen to bear arms, in lawful defense of himself or the State, is absolute. He does not derive it from the State government. It is one of the “high powers” delegated directly to the citizen, and `is excepted out of the general powers of government.’ A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the lawmaking power.”
Wilson v. State, 33 Ark. 557, at 560, 34 Am. Rep. 52, at 54 (1878): “To prohibit a citizen from wearing or carrying a war arm … is an unwarranted restriction upon the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of constitutional privilege.”
The Militia has as its constitutionally assigned duties to:
— Enforce the US Constitution and each state’s Constitution,
— Enforce and keep the “Laws of the Union” (which are constitutional laws ONLY),
— Protect the country against all enemies both domestic and foreign, and
— “to suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions”.
“… the veterans used the key to the local armories belonging to the State and National Guard.”
Richard Henry Lee: “A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves …”
George Mason, Co-author of the Second Amendment: “I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few public officials. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”
Joseph Stalin, 1933: ”The United States should get rid of its militias”.
(And they did.)
James Madison: “… large and permanent military establishments … are forbidden by the principles of free government, and against the necessity of which the militia were meant to be a constitutional bulwark.”
Joel Barlow, Revolutionary War veteran, wrote “Advice to the Privileged Orders, in the Several States of Europe”said of the US Constitution: “… not only permitting every man to arm, but obliging him to arm.”
Yes that USED to be the law. States are now corporations functioning as such. The people are now corporate entities. They have been tricked into signing up for it. With the federal bankruptcy in 1933 the creditors (bankers) assumed power. As such, no supreme court rulings prior to that date must be allowed in commercial courts. For instance Marbury vs. Madison is null and void in a corporate commercial court. All modern courts are commercial. Every (citizen) is a corporate commercial entity. Through this fraud people agree to the terms and conditions of this corporation. Have you ever sworn to be a (US) citizen? Do you agree to use their licenses? Permits? Taxation? Social security? The people have signed onto this agreement for the benefits of the US corporation. For such people, there is NO constitution.
“The people are now corporate entities. They have been tricked into signing up for it.”
It is the CONTRACT that all those who serve within our government is under, Oath bound to, and felons for breaking if found guilty of such.
We the People of the united States are NOT bound to any “hidden”, “secret” contract. If you think so, I will make up one between us.
Why do you let those domestic enemies/traitors tell you what to think? Instead how about working to have them CHARGED, PROSECUTED, and then enjoy when they pay for those crimes. It will quite likely take our involvement to get it done, but shall we all start with the traitorous H. Clinton and her “minions” (administration)?
Thank you for your post, an opus! Enjoyed it greatly.
“The first is the use of terrorism as a regular tactic, almost always on the part of the non-state actor.”
I disagree — state actors use terrorism all the time, both in false flags and by simply defining state acts of terrorism as legitimate acts of war or law enforcement. Remember, the official definition of terrorism is violence to achieve a political end, something most governments do with alarming regularity.
You want “terrorism”? See this: https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bs-md-aa-shooting-20181105-story.html
Well, that’s what the dumb people/relatives get for reporting their family member to the police – thinking that the cops were gonna “help” the man. Now they got a dead relative. Maybe next time they will think twice before calling the police for “help”.
The praetorian caste believes they have a state monopoly on the use of force, so regards the militia as domestic terrorists, not friendlies.
The pattern, which I monitored, repeatedly, is non-state actors are considered mutual combatants, against eachother.
The prime aggressor or winner (biker) is prosecuted, after cleaning up the useful idiots (pantifa).
Oftentimes, the praetorians (MP’s) have then been accused of warcrimes.
They are refusing to control the border, without some kind of legal protections, while at the same time saying that something should happen to plebeians, who get in the way. There is the possibility that vigilantism would trigger the declaration of emergency, imhblo, as WW2 era detainments were under the guise of protective custody. The angry people, posting angry signs, and doing angry things, were still technically illegal.
I have no inside line. I am just a semi-anonymous poster, on the internet. Everything is being said in an armchair or pajama boy kind of way.
Legal vs. Lawful are two different sets of so called LAW. Legal being a corporate term and Lawful being a constitutional term. Public policy, Statutory law, UCC (uniform commercial code) are all corporate law. State or local statutes are virtually all from the UCC.
So, your strategy is to discuss sovereign citizenship, under gunpoint.
Interesting, to say the least. Not addressed is the use of ‘modern weapons’, meaning IR, laser, high altitude drones, surveillance, etc. And how such could be countered.
It may be lost cause to attempt to live as a person wants. I did recently see something that said “Live Worthily”. I must ponder.
What really concerns me is the folks (mostly on tv) who say from their safe, guarded positions of gummit power “WE (we?!) must disarm yada yada”. I did note the quote above . Scary stuff for sure.
I fear that some anon somewhere may be hacking govt (every level) database and finding where the duly elected representatives just mentioned, and their guardians live, worse yet with photos. Because that could be very bad if that info were published, in a public space and disseminated, for then there would not be enough badges to protect the entire group. Then those plans designed to protect us all, everyone, would possibly fail.
I recall reading opinion somewhere that in various locales, the badges are nothing more than the armed enforcement for the local political gang. Loyalty to the hand that feed you, or some such.
Tyrants beware. 4th Generation Warfare: How the next civil war will be fought.
“Direct military operations” are precisely what the 4GW insurgent seeks to avoid. His target is the mind and the will of the political leadership of his enemy — to be specific, the few inches between their ears which are filled with brains to be influenced or, if not, popped like a grape with an unanswerable rifle shot from distance as an example to the others.
Excerpted from the non-fiction introduction to Absolved: A cautionary novel of the Three Percent and Fourth Generation Warfare by Mike Vanderboegh.
“Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience and are left to the common refuge, which God hath provided for all men, against force and violence.” ~ John Locke, 2nd Treatise on Government.
So reads the plaque on Phil Gordon’s wall in his Sipsey Street home the moment before all hell breaks loose. In ‘Absolved’, I try to explore the depths of Locke’s belief to discover where it might lead the United States in a civil war set in the near future. . .
Another civil war in this country is the last thing I want.
“The Useful Dire Warning”
Darryl Bates: What started it?
Col. Andy Tanner: I don’t know. Two toughest kids on the block, I guess. Sooner or later, they’re gonna fight.
Jed Eckert: That simple, is it?
Col. Andy Tanner: Or maybe somebody just forgot what it was like. — Red Dawn, 1984.
So why write about one? Perhaps, as David Brin, author of the magnificent book The Postman (which bears no resemblance to the Costner cinematic flop), wrote in a forward to a reprint of Pat Frank’s classic Alas, Babylon:
Two books that emerged at roughly the same time as Alas, Babylon were Eugene Burdick’s Fail Safe and Peter George’s Red Alert, which later inspired Stanley Kubrick to make the magnificently humorous and thoughtful Dr. Strangelove. As archetypes of the useful dire warning, each dissected a specific possible failure mode, bringing it to the awareness of so many that, ironically, their particular type of debacle became much less likely. Indeed, the “self-preventing prophecy” may be the highest and most useful species in all of the vast, imaginative genus of speculative fiction. In much the same way that Orwell’s 1984 girded millions against “Big Brother,” these tales may have helped to keep their own nightmares from coming true. In other words, our most vivid nightmares may have been utterly practical, helping to save our lives. — David Brin, Forward to the First Harper Perennial Modern Classics Edition of Pat Frank’s ‘Alas, Babylon’, 2005, p. X.
One wonders what might have happened prior to September 11, 2001 if someone in authority had taken Tom Clancy’s “useful dire warnings” about a pilot deliberately flying a fuel-laden jet into the Capitol building and killing the President and top leadership (Debt of Honor , 1994; Executive Orders, 1996) about enemies of this country crashing airliners into public buildings in Washington, D.C. Clancy himself reacted to the 11 September 1001 attacks by Al Qaeda:
“Four planes? That many people willing to die for the same cause at the same time? If any writer had turned in a story like this, the publisher would have just handed it back and said, ‘No way. Not believable.’ ”
I can only hope that readers will take my own “useful dire warning” more seriously. If one does ultimately break out, I will be as guilty of fomenting it as Tom Clancy was guilty of 9/11 — which is to say not at all. It is precisely what I am trying to avoid. . .
But the vignettes that will hopefully coalesce into a narrative that flows from the terrible opening to a logical conclusion (and I hope a good read in between) are also presented with such detail for a purpose. If this book is to operate as a “useful dire warning,” then both real sides in my imaginary civil war must be able to recognize the real threat to avoid the conflict.
You may ask, which sides and what kind of conflict?
On one side, just as in 1775, will be the Three Percent, on the other, Locke’s “Arbitrary Power” — and it will be a Fourth Generation War. All three concepts require explanation.
The “Arbitrary Power”
“If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban (on so-called semi-automatic ‘assault rifles”), picking up every one of them . . . Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ’em all in, I would have done it.” – Senator Dianne Feinstein, CBS-TV’s 60 Minutes, 5 February 1995.
When the Founders declared independence, they prefaced that declaration with a detailed indictment of the offenses of the King and his ministers. I will not waste time or space here by comparing the present federal government’s excesses of arbitrary power with those of King George III. Go and read the Declaration and you will marvel at how today’s advocates of central power not only track quite closely but make Lord North and Company look like kindergarten bullies in comparison.
The important thing to understand about today’s arbitrary power is that it, like its predecessor, is a corruption of – indeed, a subversion of – a constitution that should have restrained it. It was the failure of the English Constitution which led to our first Revolution. It will be the failure of our own Constitution which will lead to our next civil war.
A key reason the revolution succeeded was its strictly limited scope. The Founders sought only liberty, not equality or fraternity. They aimed to make a political revolution, not a social or an economic one. Their Lockean social-contract political philosophy taught them that the preservation of individual liberty was the goal of politics. Its basis was the surrender of a portion of man’s original, natural freedom to a government that would protect the large remainder of it better than any individual could do on his own — the freedom to make your own fate and think your own thoughts without fear of bodily harm, unjust imprisonment, or robbery. The Founders’ study of history taught them that the British constitution under which they had lived — “originally and essentially free,” as Boston preacher Jonathan Mayhew described it — was the ideal embodiment of such a contract. It was “the most perfect combination of human powers in society,” John Adams wrote in 1766, “for the preservation of liberty and the production of happiness”—until George III began to violate it. So Americans didn’t take up arms to create a new world order according to some abstract theory. They sought only to restore the political liberty they had actually experienced for 150 years, and they constructed their new government to preserve it. . .
So when, after 150 years of letting Americans run their own affairs, the British government began to meddle malignly with their liberty once 22-year-old George III became king in 1760, following the death of his grandfather, George II, the colonists unsurprisingly responded to the interference with outrage. After decreeing new colonial customs duties and stricter enforcement in 1764, London imposed its first direct levy on the colonies in 1765 in the Stamp Act, taxing every colonial newspaper, journal, legal document, almanac, playing card, and other paper product, in flagrant contravention of the “standing Maxim of English Liberty,” as Livingston had quoted it more than a decade earlier, “ ‘that no Man shall be taxed, but with his own Consent.’ ” As Washington wrote to a friend, “I think the Parliament of Great Britain hath no more Right to put their hands into my Pocket, without my consent, than I have to put my hands into your’s, for money.” Property doesn’t belong to the government, and the social contract gives government no right to tell you what to do with your own.
The American Revolution, then, was doubly limited in its aims: limited to making only a political change without altering social or economic arrangements, and determined to set strict limits to its new government, fearful that any governmental power beyond the barest minimum necessary to protect liberty too easily could become a threat to liberty itself. . . – The Americanism of the American Revolution, Myron Magnet, City Journal, Autumn 2012.
And, as we now know, the Founders’ system of limited government has been crushed by a century of encroaching Federal power.
“All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution, are null and void.” Chief Justice Marshall, Marbury v. Madison
The advocates of the “arbitrary power,” of course, say that they have the right to tell you what to do because they were “democratically elected,” ignoring the fact that the Founders themselves feared pure democracy as much or more as they feared any other kind of tyranny. Without the limits of a constitutional republic, “democracy” is three wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. The fact that the “arbitrarians” win elections claiming “mandates” and have rigged the court systems to prevent their diktats from being overturned means nothing to people who, like the Founders, believe that their rights to liberty and property are God-given and inalienable. The most uncompromising of these are the Three Percent.
The Three Percent – the so-called “bitter clingers.”
The Revolutionary War in the southern states has received little attention in comparison to the detailed study given the campaigns in the North. This is unfortunate since much decisive action took place there, but perhaps the nature of the struggle accounts for the historians’ neglect. The heroes of the southern fighting were not the officers of the Continental army but rather the natural leaders of the people, who had learned their skills in the continuing effort to seize the land of the Indians.
By achieving better perspective of the past, something may be accomplished in the present. For the hero of this book has fallen on evil times. He is called various unflattering names today and is the butt of comic-strip buffoonery and the ‘villain’ of serious novels. Because he remains an individualist, he is a safe target.
There’s nothing new in this attitude, of course. In the Revolutionary War period, he was sneered at by the rich merchants of the lowlands, he was held in contempt by the Continental army’s high command, and he was considered less than human by the British. Major Patrick Ferguson called him a bandit, a barbarian, a mongrel. He had little respect for law and order. He could be quite ruthless. He was also superstitious and at times naïve. Yet Theodore Roosevelt could write of him:
‘The fathers followed Boone or fought at King’s Mountain; the sons
marched south with Jackson to overcome the Creeks; the grandsons
died at the Alamo.’
And, it should be added, the great-grandsons provided Lee and Johnson with the best fighting infantry the world had yet seen. Poorly clothed, half-starved, they responded magnificently to magnificent leadership and almost won America’s second civil war as their forefathers had won the first.
Moreover, in wars since, they have always been the cutting edge. As F.N. Boney, the Georgia historian, puts it: ‘There is no shortage of rednecks in the neat, quiet American military cemeteries which now dot the globe. However rejected in normal times, the redneck has always been welcomed when the nation went to war.’
Peace is the dream today, and the redneck shares that dream. For him it was often a “rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight.” He never started a war, but he was always ready when his home and personal liberty were threatened. And because of the readiness to do his duty, this nation was founded and kept alive….
Given proper leadership, the mountain man can still be motivated. But in recent years such leadership has been largely lacking. The potential remains untapped, but it is there. As my father used to say in Happy Valley– you may turn the damper up, you may turn the damper down, but the smoke goes up the chimney just the same.” — Hank Messick, King’s Mountain, 1976.
History, for good or ill, is made by determined minorities. It is estimated that during the American Revolution, the active forces in the field against the King’s tyranny never amounted to more than 3% of the colonists. They were in turn actively supported by perhaps 10% of the population. Cheering on these dedicated revolutionaries were perhaps another 20% who favored their cause but did little or nothing to support it. Another one-third of the population sided with the King (by the end of the war there were actually more Americans fighting FOR the King than there were in the field against him) and the final third took no side, blew with the wind and took what came.
The Three Percent still exists today, described by Barack Obama a few years ago as “bitter clingers.” Put simply, these are firearm owners who will not disarm, will not compromise and will no longer back up at the passage of the next gun control act.
Today’s Three Percenters say quite explicitly that they will not obey any further circumscription of their traditional liberties and will defend themselves if attacked.
They intend, like John Locke and the Founders who studied him, to maintain their God-given natural rights to liberty and property, and that means most especially the right to keep and bear arms. Thus, they are committed to the restoration of the Founders’ Republic, and are willing to fight, die and, if forced by any would-be oppressor, to kill in the defense of themselves and the Constitution that they all took an oath to uphold against enemies foreign and domestic.
It is the sons of Three Percenters who make up the bulk of the tip-of-the-spear units in today’s military simply because they were raised by families to whom service to the Republic is as automatic as breathing. Socio-economically, today’s Three Percenters are not exclusively the descendants of the Scotch-Irish that Hank Messick describes above, but they are surely represented heavily. So, too, are descendants of the Texans, of whom S.C. Gwynne wrote in Empire of the Summer Moon:
The (vanguard of the) westward push of the Americans. . was not federal troops and federal forts but simple farmers imbued with a fierce Calvinist work ethic, steely optimism, and a cold eyed aggressiveness that made them refuse to yield even in the face of extreme danger. They were said to fear God so much that there was no fear left over for anyone or anything else . . . –Page 20.
When the Texans discovered the tactical utility of the Colt’s revolver gave them parity with the fearsome Comanche lance on horseback, it spelled the end of that tribe’s ceturies long dominance of the plains.
(T)he game had changed completely. The Texans were not the Spanish or the Mexicans. They were tougher, meaner, almost impossible to discourage, willing to take absurd risks to secure themselves a plot of dirt, and tempermentally well-suited to the remorseless destruction of native tribes. They did not rely on a cumbersome, heavily-mounted, overly bureaucratized, state-sponsored soldiery; they tended to handle things themselves, with volunteers who not only were not scared of Indians but actually LIKED hunting them down. – Page 82.
Texans certainly ranked among the Three Percenters of their day.
Three Percenters today do not claim that they represent 3% of the American people, although they might. That theory has not yet been tested. They DO claim that they represent at least 3% of American gun owners, which is still a healthy number somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 million people. Remember, history, for good or ill, is made by determined minorities. They are one such minority. So too are the current domestic enemies of the Founders’ Republic who seek to disarm them. What remains, then, is the test of will and skill to determine who shall shape the future of our nation.
That test of will and skill will be fought by warfare in the Fourth Generation.
“Cherish your enemies – they teach you the best lessons” — Ho Chi Minh.
Fourth Generation Warfare
For those unfamiliar with the term, here’s one succinct definition from the best single book on the subject:
(Fourth Generation Warfare) uses all available networks — political, economic, social, and military — to convince the enemy’s political decision makers that their strategic goals are either unachievable or too costly for the perceived benefit. It is an evolved form of insurgency. Still rooted in the fundamental precept that superior political will, when properly employed, can defeat greater economic and military power, 4GW makes use of society’s networks to carry on its fight. Unlike previous generations, it does not attempt to win by defeating the enemy’s military forces. Instead, via the networks, it directly attacks the minds of enemy decision makers to destroy the enemy’s political will. Fourth-generation wars are lengthy — measured in decades rather than months or years. . . Strategically, 4GW attempts to directly change the minds of enemy policy makers. This change is not to be achieved through the traditional method of superiority on the battlefield. The first- through third-generation of destroying the enemy’s armed forces and his capacity to regenerate them is not how 4GW enemies will attack . . . Both the epic, decisive Napoleonic battle and the wide-ranging, high-speed maneuver campaign is irrelevant to them. Their victories are accomplished through the superior use of all available networks to directly defeat the will of the enemy leadership, to convince them their war aims are either unachievable or too costly. These networks will be employed to carry specific messages to our policy makers and to those who can influence the policy makers. — COL Thomas X. Hammes, USMC, The Sling and the Stone, p. 208
And what were the previous three generations? William S. Lind offers this in his essay, the Four Generations of Modern Warfare at the Lew Rockwell blog:
The First Generation of modern war began with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, which ended the Thirty Years War. It also marked the state’s assumption of a monopoly on war; thereafter, war became something waged by states, for raison d’etat, with state armies and navies doing the fighting. The First Generation ran from 1648 to about the time of the American Civil War, and it was characterized, on the whole, by a battlefield of order. The battlefield of order created a military culture of order, which endures to this day.
And there’s the rub. For around the middle of the 19th century, the battlefield of order began to break down. Ever since, state militaries have had to grapple with a growing contradiction between their internal culture of order and the external reality of an increasingly disordered battlefield.
The Second and Third Generations represent two different approaches to that problem. Second Generation war was developed by the French Army during and after World War I, and is best summed up with the French saying, “The artillery conquers, the infantry occupies.” Also known as firepower/attrition warfare, Second Generation war maintained the First Generation culture of order. Decision-making was centralized and hierarchical; orders were detailed and controlling, to permit synchronization of all arms; time was not particularly important; and success was measured by comparative body counts. Second Generation armed forces focus inward on methods, processes and procedures, prize obedience over initiative (initiative and synchronization are not compatible) and depend on imposed discipline. The American Army and Marine Corps learned Second Generation war from the French during the First World War and still practice it today, with exceptions based on individual commanders.
Third Generation war, also known as maneuver warfare, was developed by the German Army in World War I; by 1918, Blitzkrieg was conceptually complete, lacking only the tanks necessary for operational mobility. The Prussian/German roots of Third Generation war go back earlier, to the Scharnhorst reforms that followed Prussia’s defeat by Napoleon. One of those reforms changed what was required of a Prussian officer; instead of being responsible for obeying orders, he became responsible for getting the result the situation required regardless of orders (in 19th century war games, it was common for junior Prussian officers to be given problems that could only be solved by disobeying orders). This in turn created a military culture that was focused outward, on the enemy, the situation and the result the situation demanded instead of inward on rules, orders and processes. In effect, Prussia had broken with the First Generation culture of order.
The new Third Generation tactics developed by the Germans in World War I were the first non-linear tactics. On the defense, the objective became sucking the enemy in, then cutting him off, rather than holding a line. On the offensive, the attack flowed like water through the enemy’s defenses, always seeking the weakest point to penetrate, then rolling him up from his own rear forward. Operationally as well as tactically the goal was usually encirclement. Speed replaced firepower as the most important tool, and dislocation, mental as well as physical, was more important than attrition. Culturally, not only was the German Army outward-focused, it prized initiative over obedience and it depended on self-discipline rather than imposed discipline.
Much of the American military reform movement of the 1970s, 80s and early 90s was an attempt to move the American armed forces from the Second to the Third Generation. While the Marine Corps formally adopted maneuver warfare as doctrine in the 1990s, most of what the Marine Corps does remains Second Generation. The other American services remain almost wholly Second Generation, to the frustration of many junior officers.
Fourth Generation war is the greatest change since the Peace of Westphalia, because it marks the end of the state’s monopoly on war. Once again, as before 1648, many different entities, not states, are fighting war. They use many different means, including “terrorism” and immigration, not just formal armies. Differences between cultures, not just states, become paramount, and other cultures will not fight the way we fight. All over the world, state militaries are fighting non-state opponents, and almost always, the state is losing. State militaries were designed to fight other state militaries like themselves, and against non-state enemies most of their equipment, tactics and training are useless or counterproductive.
“Sure won’t his Majesty’s Government train them for me?”
Of course there have been Fourth Generation insurgencies for thousands of years, as well as the use of 4GW tactics and strategies by state militaries against other state militaries. (See Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.) The American Revolution began as an insurgency of largely non-state actors and used militia guerrilla tactics throughout the war even after the development of the Continental Line. (See Paul Revere’s Ride and Washington’s Crossing by David Hackett Fischer.)
The most remarkable and effective field commander of the Revolutionary forces was Daniel Morgan, whose ability to integrate militia and regulars at the battle of Cowpens set up Cornwallis’ ultimate defeat at Yorktown. (See A Devil of a Whipping by Lawrence F. Babits, also Daniel Morgan: Revolutionary Rifleman by Don Higginbotham.)
A veteran of the French and Indian War, Morgan commanded one of Virginia’s two rifle companies sent to support the Siege of Boston in late June 1775. Morgan had served as an officer in the Virginia Colonial Militia since the French and Indian War. He recruited 96 men in 10 days and assembled them at Winchester on 14 July. He then marched them 600 miles to Boston in only 21 days, arriving on Aug. 6, 1775. Known as Morgan’s Riflemen, they soon discouraged British raids out of Boston with the accuracy of their long-range fire, something the British could not match. He also initiated tactics which first targeted the British formation’s Indian guides, then their officers, then their NCOs. The British found this to be “barbaric.”
Morgan was an impressive field commander, big in size yet poorly educated, he enjoyed drinking and gambling but the troops never forgot who was in command. Morgan had served as a civilian teamster during the French and Indian War. After returning from the advance on Fort Duquesne by General Braddock’s command, he was punished with 499 lashes (a usually fatal sentence) for punching his superior officer. Morgan, not surprisingly, hated the British army. He later served as a rifleman in the Provincial forces assigned to protect the western border settlements from French-backed Indian raids, and in 1774 he served in Dunmore’s War, taking part in raids on Shawnee villages in the Ohio Country.
During the Saratoga campaign, Morgan’s riflemen played a key role at the preliminary battles of Freeman’s Farm and later at Bemis Heights, where at his order the British General Fraser was mortally wounded at his order by rifleman Tim Murphy. This was the single most important rifle shot of the war, since the loss of Fraser caused the British attack to collapse and the subsequent surrender of the entire British force persuaded the French to enter the war.
After Cowpens, Morgan went home on sick leave, but he had certainly paid the British back for those 499 lashes. There were many Revolutionary officers and men who had acquired their military experience in the French and Indian War. And like Morgan, many of them had also acquired an acute understanding of what the British army could and could not do in the terrain of North America.
This formation of young soldiers in the crucible of war is a constant found throughout history. The primary lessons were moral ones, not military. And morale is critical in 4GW.
As Hammes describes in the beginning of The Sling and the Stone:
From 1987 to 1990, I got a small taste of the practical aspects of insurgency. I spent those years training insurgents in various locations of the world. This was the tail end of the Cold War and the United States still had vested interests in the outcome of a number of insurgencies. The most intriguing part of the tour was the opportunity to talk to these men. I was particularly impressed with two aspects of the men I met. First was their utter determination to continue the struggle despite the odds. They were not deterred by fear of death. In each case, they were engaged in a struggle with a government force that possessed many times their military power. In each case, they knew the odds and were not deterred. They believed in their cause and were sure that belief was powerful enough to defeat the government. The idea they fought for was central to their resistance. In fact, they were counting on political power generated by that idea to neutralize the overwhelming military power of the government. As I worked with these men, I realized this fact should be obvious to Americans. An idea kept our American revolution alive during seven long years of war. (Emphasis supplied, MBV. It should also be noted that for most of the key leaders of our Revolution, the struggle began a decade earlier with the Stamp Act crisis.)
The second outstanding trait was the remarkable ingenuity they displayed for overcoming problems. Whether the problems were tactical, logistical, doctrinal, or political, they often attacked them from a direction that simply would not occur to a Western-trained soldier. I found insurgents are not impressed with conventional power. They respect it but seek ways around it — and have consistently succeeded in finding those ways. They often used tactics and techniques that were outside the training and experience of the government forces. Despite years of war, they consistently surprised government forces with their ingenuity and determination. Insurgents are living proof of why man is at the top of the food chain. We are the most creative, treacherous, loyal, aggressive, and determined life form to yet evolve. Any nation that assumes it is inherently superior to another is setting itself up for disaster.
I would add to that last sentence that the same goes for political elites, only more so. This is perfectly understood by 4GW fighters.
Michael Collins, perhaps the 20th Century’s most accomplished virtuoso in 4GW, fought in the disastrous 1916 Easter Rising, and afterward was being paraded with other prisoners through the streets of Dublin on their way to prison.
As the column passed the ruins of Liberty Hall, a young woman caught up with her cousin (Collins) and called out to him. “What will you do now?” “Do?” asked Collins, “Do? Sure I’ll get ready for the next round of course. I’ve got some of the names taken down already . . . The best of men.” His cousin was flabbergasted. “But …. What? . . . How are you going to train them?” she called out. Collins replied, “Sure won’t His Majesty’s Government train them for me?” (See Michael Collins by Tim Pat Coogan. Also, Collins’ best field commander in West Cork, Tom Barry, was a British Army veteran of the Iraq theatre during World War One. See Barry’s Guerilla Days in Ireland.)
This is something that the governments who seek to fight 4GW don’t understand. The 4GW warrior thinks in terms of decades, not months or years. He or she will fight until victory or death. The long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, then, can also be seen as universities for American armed citizens in 4GW tactics and techniques.
So, who invented 4th Generation Warfare?
Says Hammes in The Sling and the Stone:
This new form of war did not arrive on the scene as a fully developed instrument but has evolved over decades and continues to evolve at widely scattered locations. We are not in the middle of a revolution in military affairs but rather an evolution.
Different authors assign different origins to 4GW. Hammes traces it to Mao Tse-Tung, yet we know that much of Mao’s theory was based upon the ancient Sun Tsu. Hammes then discusses the “Vietnamese modification” and the “Sandanista refinement.” In each of the latter cases the insurgents were fighting for control of the mindset of the United States Congress through popular opinion within our country. But of course this is precisely how the Founders of our own country defeated the British — the defeat at Yorktown caused Lord North’s government to collapse and the new government that replaced it came in with a promise to end the North American war, which it promptly did.
(For more on the Vietnamese example, see Street Without Joy by Bernard B. Fall, who suggests that the principal theorist of 4GW on the communist side was neither Ho Chi Minh nor Vo Nguyen Giap but Truong-Chinh.)
The American example also inspired Michael Collins, who added his own improvisation which proved decisive:
Collins evolved a new concept of guerrilla warfare that in time would be copied by guerrilla leaders all over the globe from Mao to Shamir. The Collins philosophy was based not on the capture of enemy bricks and mortar, but of its information. Traditionally Dublin Castle, the seat of British administration in Ireland, had used a network of spies and informers to infiltrate and then snuff out movements directed at securing Irish independence. Collins perfected a system of spying on the spies. Every important branch of the Castle system, whether it was banking, policing, the railways, shipping, the postal service — whatever — was infiltrated by his agents. These were not highly trained, CIA-style operatives, but ordinary men and women, little people whom nobody had ever taken notice of before. Collins gave them a belief in themselves, a courage they did not know they possessed, and they in return gave him a complete picture of how their masters operated. . . For the first time in their history the Irish had a team of assassins trained to eliminate informers. . .
Held back from making a full-scale use of their Army by the force of world opinion — largely Irish-American opinion — the British tried to fight a “police war’ carried on by hastily-formed forces of ex-servicemen and officers troubled by little discipline and less conscience. The Black and Tans and the Auxiliaries wrote new chapters of horror in the bloodstained story of the Anglo-Irish relationship. Reprisals for the activities Collins and his colleagues included the burning of homes and creameries, random murder and the widespread use of torture . . .
In addition to his campaign of warfare, he ran a national loan, which was banned by the British so that either its advertisement or sale became illegal. Yet the loan was fully subscribed, and every subscriber got a receipt.
(Again, see Michael Collins by Tim Pat Coogan, as well as G2 In Defence of Ireland: Irish Military Intelligence 1918-1945 by Maurice Walsh.)
As brilliant as he was, Collins would later claim that he drew much of his own inspiration from the lessons learned by the Boer commando Christiaan Rudolph de Wet.
British General Rupert Smith, in his very useful book The Utility of Force, passes over the American Revolution with a few words and then identifies the “war amongst the people” (his term for 4GW) as being invented by the Spanish and Portuguese guerrillas in their “little war” against Napoleon’s forces.
It is safe to say that 4GW has been evolving over at least the past couple of centuries, not the decades Hammes suggests, and certainly in terms of timeline, the American revolutionaries of 1775 can lay as good a claim as any to being its inventors. This is an opinion that the current American Three Percent have no problem adopting.
However, a 4GW civil war waged by men and women who are loyal to the Founders’ concepts would not fight an unrestrained Al Qaeda campaign but one specifically targeted to spare civilians and to target the war decision makers. The next American civil war will either successfully break new ground in 4GW tactics and techniques or it will descend into a welter of blood and massacre. Governments have a tendency to do that when they’re losing. The 4GW warriors who claim to represent the Founders’ Republic will have to require of themselves far more discipline and intelligence — no Fort Sumters and no Oklahoma City bombings.
The Utility of Force by a Regime to Impose its Will, or Lack Thereof.
War amongst the people is both a graphic description of modern warlike situations, and also a conceptual framework: it reflects the hard fact that there is no secluded battlefield upon which armies engage, nor are there necessarily armies, definitely not on all sides. To be clear: this is not asymmetric warfare, a phrase I dislike invented to explain a situation in which conventional states were threatened by unconventional powers but in which conventional military power in some formulation would be capable of both deterring the threat and responding to it. War amongst the people is different: it is the reality in which the people in the streets and houses and fields — all the people, anywhere — are the battlefield. Military engagements can take place anywhere : in the presence of civilians, against civilians, in defense of civilians. Civilians are the targets, objectives to be won, as much as an opposing force. . . Labeling wars as asymmetric is to me something of a euphemism to avoid acknowledging that my opponent is not playing to my strengths and I am not winning. — General Rupert Smith, The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World, pp. 5-6
The advocates of the disarmament of the American populace such as the aforementioned CSGV always begin by saying that no group of citizenry can oppose the might of the federal government because of the vast array of weaponry including aircraft, artillery and even nuclear weapons that the federals could bring to bear if they are opposed trumps any number of armed “insurrectionists” with rifles. This ludicrous argument is not only contradicted by many examples throughout history but begs the moral question of resistance to a predatory government itself. If a government is so depraved as to use nuclear weapons against its own people on its own soil, it will not long survive the condemnation of even the people who otherwise support it. The same goes for artillery and air strikes, even so called “surgical, decapitation operations.” (More about that in a minute.) Such weapons are, in 4GW, merely expensive but useless, appendages, especially in an uncontrolled media environment.
The fact that CSGV and its collectivist familiars even suggest the nuclear boogeyman as a real threat by the federal government merely marks them as moral pariahs — inciters of holocaust — and tells you everything you need to know about such people. THEY are apparently the ones who are willing to see millions of their own citizens dead in pursuit of gun control and a government monopoly on violence. They are bloodthirsty people indeed.
The utility — practical or moral — of using even precision-guided munitions from artillery or aircraft in a civil war upon your own people, in your own territory and athwart your own logistics tail is also militarily problematic, especially in a media environment that includes the Internet, even more especially in a country such as the U.S. which depends upon it for so much of its own economic activity that it cannot be totally shut down.
First, such strikes are not entirely “precision-guided” as we have seen in Iraq and Afghanistan, leading to “collateral damage” (a sanitary military euphemism for dead civilians) and moral discredit. Remember such a civil war would be “amongst the people” in General Smith’s term and for their loyalty. Thus any smart 4GW operator is going to eliminate the possibility of his side creating “collateral damage.” Notice I said “eliminate the possibility.” Only a fool or a government agent would try to advance his or her cause by committing an Oklahoma City bombing with a day-care full of innocent kids in it. Remember, too, that 4GW warfare is designed to change the minds of the war making elite in their opponent’s capitol. OKC bombings merely strengthen their hand, not discredit it. (Recall that after he was re-elected in 1996, Bill Clinton told reporters on Air Force One while traveling back to DC from Arkansas that “Oklahoma City broke the spell.”)
Indeed, if you are looking for a weapon that is in fact “precision-guided” you need look no further than a bolt-action rifle aimed at an identified target and wielded by someone who knows what to do with it. This, in fact, defines the Three Percenters, who, being limited to rifles, know them very well and compete with each other to win competition matches somewhere in this country every weekend. Can this be why Senator Dianne Feinstein — a long-time advocate of “turn ‘em in, Mr. and Mrs. America” — is so obsessed with “sniper” rifles that can “puncture a limousine” or “take down an aircraft”? (See “A Short History of Long Range Shooting in the United States” by Hap Rocketto in The Rifleman’s Journal, September 2009.)
Second, such bad publicity might be endured if the civil war was quickly put to an end by such tactics, but in 4GW this is not only uncertain, it is fantasy.
The final critical characteristic of 4GW is that its timelines, organizations, and objectives are different from those of earlier generations. Of particular importance is understanding that the timelines are much longer. . .
The United States wants to fight short, well-defined wars. We went into Vietnam, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq convinced we could “clean it up” quickly. In each conflict, our leaders told the people we would be out in a year or so. . . For the United States, a long war is five years . . .
Unfortunately, 4GW wars are long. The Chinese Communists fought for twenty-eight years (1921-1949). The Vietnamese Communists fought for thirty years (1945-1975). The Sandinistas fought for eighteen years (1961-1979). The Palestinians have been resisting Israeli occupation for twenty-nine years so far (1975-2004). The Chechens have been fighting for more than ten years — this time. Al-Qaeda has been fighting for their vision of the world for twenty years, since the founding of MAK in 1984. Numerous other insurgencies have lasted decades. Accordingly, when getting involved in a 4GW fight, we should be planning for a decades-long commitment. From an American point of view, this may well be the single most important characteristic of 4GW.
Next, we need to understand that 4GW organizations are different. Since Mao, 4GW organizations have focused on the movement’s long-term political viability rather than its short-term tactical effectiveness. They do see themselves as military organizations but as webs that generate the political power central to 4GW. Thus, these organizations are unified by ideas. The leadership and the organizations are networked to provide for survivability and continuity when attacked. And the leadership recognizes that their most important function is to sustain the idea and the organizations — not simply to win on the battlefield. — COL Thomas X. Hammes, USMC, The Sling and the Stone, p. 221-2.
Much is made in Third-Generation Warfare of “getting inside the enemy’s OODA Loop” (for observe, orient, decide, and act) in order to disrupt their operations. Hammes points out that 4GW warriors don’t even try.
Finally, because of the long timelines, even the objectives are different. Fourth-generation-warfare opponents do not seek to service more targets faster to disrupt an enemy’s OODA loop. They do not seek to destroy an opponent’s industrial base using the U.S. Air Force’s concept of targeting key segments of an opponent’s society. Nor do they seek to dislocate the enemy’s armed forces so that their decision cycle fails and the enemy collapses. In fact, it is essential to 4GW strategists that the opponent complete his strategic OODA loop — with the resulting decision that the war is too costly to continue. — Hammes, Ibid.
For the government monopoly of force advocates of CSGV, I would like to point out that it is impossible to nuke an idea to extinction, especially on your own soil.
Hammes concludes the chapter:
Fourth-generation-warfare opponents focus on the political aspects of the conflict. Because the ultimate objective is changing minds of of the enemy’s political leadership, the intermediate objectives are all milestones in shifting the opinion of the various target audience audiences. They know that time is on their side, Westerners in general, and Americans in particular, are not known for their patience. We are not a people who think in terms of struggles lasting decades. Fourth-generation-warfare enemies will not seek immediate objectives but a long term shift in the political will of their enemies. They will accept numerous tactical and operational setbacks in pursuit of the goal.
Colonel Harry Summers noted in his book On Strategy: A Critical Analysis of the Vietnam War that after the war he told a North Vietnamese colonel that the United States had never been beaten on the battlefield. The North Vietnamese replied, “That is true. It is also irrelevant.” It is essential to understand that 4GW opponents do not focus on swift battlefield victories. They focus on long term strategic approach. They focus on winning wars, not battles. — Hammes, Ibid.
In an American civil war between an ideas-based Three Percent and a disarmament-bent federal government, who then would lose interest first? You cannot destroy an idea, not even an obviously bad and evil one — witness collectivism in all its forms. And Hammes further points out “At the operational level, all an opponent has to move is ideas. (Emphasis supplied, MBV.) He can do so through a wide variety of methods, from email to snail mail to personal courier to messages embedded in classified advertisements. He will try to submerge his communications in the noise of the everyday activity that is an essential part of modern society. It will be extraordinarily difficult to detect the operational level activities of a 4GW opponent.” (Page 218.)
Yes, it will. Especially in a civil war set in your own highly-developed country.
Potential 4GW Civil War Targeting: The Federal Government’s and the Three Percent’s
Military Target (ordnance)
Any industrial plant, city, or other object, or any person, group of persons, or force marked as a target for destruction, damage, injury, or capture because of its direct or indirect use in the conduct or support of an enemy’s military endeavor.
In restricted usage, a military person, force, installation, or area marked as a target because of its use, or potential use, in direct military operations.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003
This definition is made obsolete by 4GW because “direct military operations” are precisely what the 4GW insurgent seeks to avoid. His target is the mind and the will of the political leadership of his enemy — to be specific, the few inches between their ears which are filled with brains to be influenced or, if not, popped like a grape with an unanswerable rifle shot from distance as an example to the others.
Let us make an example of the difference by briefly war-gaming the American Revolution using present-day 4GW tactics.
David Bushnell’s Turtle
Early in the war, the following incidents occur:
Benjamin Franklin arranges a coordinated attack by David Bushnell in his submersible and John Paul Jones in the Ranger on English commercial shipping in the Thames estuary — right at the King‘s doorstep in full view of horrified Englishmen who never thought the war would come there. Bushnell has greater success against the commercial shipping because their wooden hulls are not copper-sheathed as are British military hulls. This “infernal device” which strikes without warning or even apparent effective countermeasure frightens British shippers. Bushnell, John Paul Jones and his surviving crew are taken prisoner, but the very destructive raid, which also sets a large portion of the London docks ablaze, is just as stunning, if not more so, than the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo in 1942.
Meanwhile, Franklin dispatches a trio of riflemen by way of a neutral port into London. One fine day, when Lord North emerges from his country estate, he is killed by an aimed shot from 300 yards away. His wife, standing next to him, is unharmed. (NOTE: Lord North is targeted, but not the King. Under 4GW rules the King would be sacrosanct, just as an American President in the 21st Century would be. Anyone around them, however, would be fair 4GW targets if involved in the decisions or operations which oppress their own people. Remember, the point of 4GW is to destroy the will of the enemy elite to proceed with the war, not give them motivation to win, or provide them a propaganda coup to use with the people.) After North is replaced, the replacement King‘s minister is shot as well in identical circumstances.
Simultaneously, Franklin activates a third group already living quietly in England to attack by arson the buildings of the British East India Company, Lloyds of London and the Company of the Bank of England. They do this at night so there are no civilian casualties, although several adjoining structures are inevitably destroyed as well.
The attacks by John Paul Jones & Bushnell are (barely) within the rules of war and Franklin takes credit for them. The others are plausibly deniable. British merchants and politicians get the point, however. This war against the American revolutionaries is going to cost them far more than they ever dreamed. How long would they have supported the King’s North American obsession when they were cumulatively losing hundreds of thousands of English pounds daily?
In addition, any federal government of the United States which wishes to make war on its own people must overcome a few statistics unrelated to the Three Percent or 4GW. The United States is made up of 3.79 MILLION square miles with somewhere around 315 million people living there. This makes it the third largest nation in the world by both land area and population. There are, not unimportantly, something on the order of 100 million firearm owners scattered across our vast country and about 200 to 300 million firearms.
By comparison, Iraq is only 168,754 square miles in area (about the size of the state of California) with only 31 million in population. Afghanistan is a bit bigger with 250,000 square miles in area and a population also of around 30 million. What kind of bloody-minded fool would deliberately ignite an insurgency in a country — especially his own — 9 times larger than both of those combined and containing 5 times the population, many of them armed and skilled at the use of those arms?
“Don’t you ever stand for that sort of thing. Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill ’em right back. — Captain Malcolm Reynolds, Firefly, 2002.
After more than a decade in Afghanistan and Iraq, the American policy elite believes it has a pretty good bead on counterinsurgency in 4th Generation Warfare which rests principally on one tactic: decapitation.
Leadership decapitation is a high-profile tactic that involves the capture or killing of top insurgent leaders. It is frequently used against guerrilla insurgencies: in the past two centuries, top insurgent leaders have been killed or captured in just under 50 percent of counterinsurgency campaigns. Yet we know little about the nature of the relationship between leadership decapitation and counterinsurgency effectiveness. Is capturing or killing insurgencies’ leader(s) an effective tactic? Or is it counterproductive, radicalizing insurgent movements, strengthening their resolve, and making them more difficult to defeat? Or does it have no effect at all? The general consensus is that leadership decapitation of guerrilla groups is ineffective. These conclusions should give scholars pause: they are based on unsystematic research designs, minimal empirical data, and incomparable units–usually terrorist organizations or foreign leaders. Patrick Johnston, “The Effectiveness of Leadership Decapitation in Counterinsurgency”
Johnston himself believes decapitation is effective and though he criticizes the critics of decapitation, his work shows an almost entire ignorance of 4GW which presumably decapitation is supposed to defeat. How does a drone strike, for example, kill an idea? A broader consideration with a little history is found at Michael Zenko’s Politics, Power, and Preventative action blog at the Council on Foreign Relations:
The United States did not always carry out targeted killings (or assassinations) of perceived national security threats. To the contrary, the norm against targeted killings outside of battlefield settings was established by President Gerald Ford in 1976, when he issued Executive Order 11905: “No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination.” Until the late 1990s, U.S. targeted killings were officially proscribed and rarely seriously considered or authorized by senior officials.
When President Ronald Reagan was asked about the failed assassination attempt of Sheik Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah in Beirut in March 1985, for instance, he replied: “Never would I sign anything that would authorize an assassination. I never have, and I never will, and I didn’t.” Actually, Reagan signed a directive on November 13, 1984, that was interpreted as “truly a ‘license to kill’ provision.” Sixteen years later, U.S. ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk stated: “The United States government is very clearly on the record as against targeted assassinations. They are extrajudicial killings, and we do not support that.” However, after the U.S. embassy bombings in Africa in August 1998, President Clinton issued three top-secret Memoranda of Understanding authorizing the CIA to kill Osama bin Laden and several key lieutenants—if they resisted capture.
Despite these exceptions, U.S. targeted killings were extremely rare. Since 9/11, however, targeted killings in nonbattlefield settings steadily grew under President George W. Bush—roughly 50 between November 2002 and the end of his second term—and exploded under President Barack Obama—almost 350 and counting.
As some operations are covert—when the lead executive authority is the CIA—while others are obliquely acknowledged with few specifics—when it is the Department of Defense—there are ethical, moral, and legal questions that have gone unaddressed, due partly to lack of public debate and congressional hearings. Just as there remains intense disagreement among former officials about whether enhanced interrogation techniques (i.e., torture) against suspected terrorists “worked” to produce useful and/or actionable intelligence, it is difficult to know whether U.S. targeted killings are a successful and sustainable means of achieving U.S. short- or long-term strategic objectives.
Zenko’s column consulted several experts, including Johnston. Among them, Daniel Byman, a professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University and the research director of the Saban Center at Brookings, the author of A High Price: The Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism, wrote:
Targeted killings work—just not in all places and at all times. They can steadily attrite a terrorist group’s leadership and, over time, leaving it with fewer impressive leaders and fewer skilled personnel. Their biggest impact, however, is often in what the terrorist organization does not do. Leaders must spend their time hiding and changing locations in order to survive. They must curtail phone communications and avoid interacting with large groups of followers, all of which make them far less able to guide the organization, inspire followers, and enforce their will. Leaders often instigate witch-hunts in order to go after supposed traitors who provided the lethal intelligence, further reducing the group’s effectiveness.
Targeted killings, however, are a tactic, not a strategy. The inevitable civilian deaths that occur can at times, but do not always, create significant numbers of additional enemies as well as carrying a moral burden. And politically it is tempting to ignore the broader dimensions of counterterrorism and counterinsurgency as long as bad guys are dying on a regular basis. These faults and limits, while serious, should not lead to the rejection of targeted killings but rather a recognition of its costs and why alone they will not suffice.
Again, this shows an imperfect understanding, even by Al Qaeda and the Taliban, of 4GW. 4GW does not require organizations to be successful, merely the transmission of ideas to independent actors of like beliefs who organize locally and attack locally, even if the targets are of national or even international, significance.
Sarah Holewinski, executive director of Center for Civilians in Conflict, a human rights advocate and critic of U.S. drone policy, comes closest to understanding the limited use of decapitation in a 4GW world.
They may kill some of the people they’re intended to kill some of the time. But as a stand-in for long-term counterterrorism policy, covert drone strikes in particular may be doing more harm than good to national security. They’re supposed to rid the United States of enemies without the cost of troop lives or the muck of a traditional invasion.
But on the other side of the balance sheet, drone strikes are creating anger—not only among locals in Pakistan and Yemen, but among people elsewhere who want an excuse to hate America. Even for America’s fans, strikes call into question U.S. commitment to responsible use of force, thanks to the information vacuum around who can be targeted, why, under what legal framework, and how CIA and Special Forces protocols protect civilians.
A fight worth fighting comes with sacrifice. Drones have relieved much of the sacrifice born by the soldier but not the civilian, who lives in constant fear of sudden death. Regardless of civilian casualties, which are highly disputed, the psychological trauma, displacement, and suspicion among neighbors of colluding with one side or the other has turned communities into war zones, even with no visible boots on the ground. No wonder ordinary people are chanting “Death to America” after strikes.
There are no numbers on how many formerly agnostic civilians are now skeptical about U.S. power nor how many terrorists may arise as a result of the current drone policy. That X factor is reason enough to pause before claiming a counterterrorism panacea.
The American people are largely supportive of decapitation as applied in Afghanistan and elsewhere, but what happens when the targets are in Marion, Ohio or Salt Lake City, Utah? What happens when the killings of their friends and neighbors go on and on because the federal government can think of no better way to compel obedience to unjust, unconstitutional diktats contrary to the Founders’ Republic?
Back on 17 September 2009, in a column on my blog Sipsey Street Irregulars, I noted Patrick Johnston’s embrace of decapitation strategies — “Dark Thoughts — Misadventure, Spasm & Decapitation. How I spent Constitution Day” — and commented on how, hypothetically, that might play out.
The thing is, once started, the regime will find it almost impossible to stop on any terms besides their own unconditional surrender as they would be fighting an enraged but dispersed network insurgency. It is likely that after a few weeks of such blood-letting, the administration will be unable to find anybody left alive with sufficient influence among the insurgents with whom they can negotiate an end to the horror. The fact of the matter is that they would have done their best to kill the folks they would need to stop what they started.
And they will want to stop it, oh, yes, out of concern for their own miserable hides if nothing else.
For they will have provoked a conflict that will not be directed at the war-fighters, the grunts, even those in the outnumbered federal police, but rather at the war-makers, i.e. themselves.
In this they have only Bill Clinton to blame. When the Philanderer in Chief, frustrated with Serbian intransigence in 1999, changed the rules of engagement to include the political leadership, news media and the intellectual underpinning of his enemy’s war effort, he accidentally filed suit under the Law of Unintended Consequences. The Serbians knuckled under, yes. But the rest of the world took note, including (the Three Percent). I assure you, the appeal to the higher court of history in that case has yet to be decided.
Decapitation, I have tried to explain to people, works both ways in 4GW. I continued:
Johnston is as wrong as he can be when comparing past history to 4th Generation warfare, distributed networks and leaderless resistance, especially as will be practiced in the United States if it ever goes to war with itself.
He is wrong, but the powerful men and women he is writing for think he’s right.
Unfortunately for them, in the situation the administration would find itself after Waco Two, the “decapitation” strategy would for them more resemble Russian Roulette played with an automatic pistol.
Hypothetical: They kill some of (the Three Percent), at first accidentally perhaps, but almost immediately thereafter intentionally. The spasm of defensive killing begins, targeted at their leadership. They spasm in return. They would not be able to scuttle into their “green zones” fast enough. For each clumsy attack on (the Three Percent), they receive a lesson in the 500 meter war, one bullet (or many bullets) at a time. They commit “collateral damage” of our innocents, (the Three Percent) stay(s) within the rules of engagement and kill only war-planners and war-wagers.
I have asked this question before. They will fight to the last ATF agent or to the last oath-breaking soldier. Will they fight to the first senior bureaucrat, the second Congressman, the third newspaper editor, the fourth Senator, the fifth White House aide? Can they stand Bill Clinton’s rules of engagement?
This is what 4GW means in an American civil war in the 21st Century. Can you understand now why I am trying to get that “useful dire warning” out to as many people as possible? Only if both sides understand the possibility of bloody civil war can it be avoided.
“Political power comes out of the barrel of a gun.” — Mao Tse-Tung, from Problems of War and Strategy (6 November 1938), Selected Works, Vol. II, p. 224.
Which brings us to today.
Once again we hear demands for bans on semi-automatic rifles and for federal control of all private transfers of all firearms (the so-called “gun show loophole). This time, it is said, there will be no “grandfather clause” of existing weapons and that confiscation of all military-pattern semi-auto rifles is intended.
Yet the Three Percent will not obey such laws and they will defy the federal government to do anything about it.
I was once told by a “gun safety” advocate back in the Nineties that he favored total civilian firearms confiscation. Only the military and police should have weapons he averred and what did I think about that? I began to give him a reasoned answer and he cut me off with an abrupt, “Give me the short answer.”
I thought for a moment and said, “If you try to take our firearms we will kill you.”
It was true then, it is true now.
The “arbitrarians” believe that they can continue to encroach upon the liberty and property of their fellow Americans without consequence to them. They cannot.
When democracy turns to tyranny, the armed citizen still gets to vote — with his rifle. Any grasping would-be tyrant who ignores that truth does so at his or her own peril.
I pray, then, that Absolved is viewed as a useful dire warning in time to prevent the Fourth Generation Civil War it describes.
Welp someone just pinged your IP and put you on a list!
Yep. That is my attitude as well!
One should read the book…. “The Phoenix Program” which took place during the VN war….
You really should practice a little mouth control. blowhard
This was from Sipsey street Irregulars,
May Mike rest in peace
War against the people of America and the world has been slow and incremental; slowly bringing us to a boiling point.
The black race has been used and abused by first bringing them here as slaves with the intent of mongrelizing and weakening the strongest and most able race on earth, the white Europeans wherever they are living. Currently, black women in the armed services are being given promotions, and white women serving under black men are frequently sexually assaulted by them without consequences. All to weaken both races toward the goals of the clan who control banking, media movies and news, the educational system from two through college and beyond.
The highways are monitored and freedom to travel is slowly being taken away.
You can do what you want to do! (as long as you have a permit to).
Sigh oh you think small.
Look this is war, not TV war.
I’m not going to say the US, as it’s yet to be proven someone could be this big of a flaming asshole in this country. But for the sake of argument let’s say Iraq under Saddam.
So the insurgents start their little shit show and he just takes the town they’re operating out of, poisons the water supply, kills a metric ass ton of civilians, blames it on the insurgents.
Now your insurgents are not only fighting the official military, they’re fighting a non-trivial number of civilians that believed this crap.
Oh forgot to mention how China and Russia are giving the weakened country the old hairy eyeball just waiting to pull a Normandy themselves.
Look this ain’t cowboys and indians. Real fighting is fucking ugly with a capital ug. Anything totally fucked up you can think of is completely on the table, so use your imagination.
Good article. Author left out two other skills: intelligence (humint and sigint) come to mind along with communications (set up, repair, training, maintenance). Lots of ways to communicate, either in the open or discreetly.
I have been part of an online MMORPG for nearly 10 years and am not suprised that the author mentioned ISIS using PlayStation chat as a way to communicate. The game I play has Russians along with a Middle East contingent, including a number of Turkish players. Their kin names indicate their allegience. Discord is a free download that can be installed on a PC and used for both voice and text chat that remains private (not observable inside the game). Gamers have used Ventrilo and then Teamspeak, for years. Discord is the latest version and groups can easily communicate over long distances using these programs.
Other than these two points, excellent information. Too bad he didn’t mention Matt Bracken’s “Enemies Foreign and Domestic” series (graphic, but worth reading) and the Going Home series, again, excellent read with good information.
As always, my favorite prepper book which is often ignored (good for those new to the idea, friends, family) is “Locusts on the Horizon” by the Plan B Writers Group.
What ever you do to resist will be considered illegal. Get over that folks. Consider that not everybody can be an infantryman. However, you old guys with a 22 caliber revolver in your pocket can be “hit men”. Think about it.
Good article over on Zerohedge, about how veterans are being abused by the VA system.
Someone needs to investigate the Chillicothe VA in Ohio. Bad, bad, bad place.
There is little evidence that ECT is therapeutic. But every VA hospital in the US is set up to administer this, so called “treatment.” ECT: Electroconvulsive therapy.
But there are two (at least) advantages the Feds would have: 1) the use of the satellite system to spot any guerilla troops, along with the weapons to take out the targets from afar and without warning, and 2) the central government’s vast electronic spying network that would make any communications between and within units very risky. Any resistance would have to have some very well-placed support early on to neutralize or at least compromise those assets.
The Second Amendment
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Arms include far more than handguns and rifles and shotguns. You should equally be able of carrying edged weapons and other long ranged weapons like bows and arrows and crossbows and bolts.
The text is intentionally vague because the militia was NOT the professional army but the People who had various “arms”.
History proves the value of not only militia, but partisans who rise up in times of occupation, as well as irregulars who rose up to defend largely within state regions and territories most notably during the Civil War.
Arms are historically multiuse tools, nothing more and no different than axes.
My children never had toy guns because they are not toys. But we always had firearms and thus they were respected and we had zero incidents of carelessness. Frankly there is anthropology evidence that children raised around edged tools have far LESS accidents even if they daily use them because they develop a healthy respect for what they can do.
Moronic liberals fear “arms” yet when they acquire extreme wealth, they want rules for them which allow them for security but not for the plebs. It’s snobbery.
PERNICIOUS: adverse, bad, baleful, baneful, damaging, dangerous, deleterious, detrimental, evil, harmful, hurtful, ill, injurious, mischievous, nocuous, noxious, prejudicial, wicked.
SINISTER: : of, relating to, or situated to the left or on the left side of something especially : being or relating to the side of a heraldic shield at the left of the person bearing it
Know your enemy and know yourself and in a thousand battles you will not be defeated……..SUN TZU (paraphrased)
Americans know their enemy but do not recognize it. An evil cabal masquerading for thousands of years as a religion. Known for usury, pernicious and sinister proceedings against established infrastructure. The cabal banned from hundreds of cities, nations and regions throughout it’s sordid history. Political Correctness and a massive propaganda and ”brain-washing” campaign has made Europe and America the footstool for these Satanics.
Through masterful infiltration of every facet of “every day” life of Americans they have completely gained control of every thought of the majority of Western society.
WW2 was not a “good war”. It was a war fought on behalf of this cabal so that it might establish itself as a tumor in a land it never possessed nor even inhabited before.
It is a perversion of all that is Holy and the exact opposite of what Christians are supposed to believe and do and yet through the auspices of the Evangelical Movement even the knowledge of the Holy Christ has been perverted and led millions astray.
This coming battle is not just of flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and wickedness in high places of Biblical proportions.
Know your enemy and know yourself.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32