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New World War: Revolutionary Methods for Political Control

Dedication & Thanks

Volume I: Current Political Situation

Volume II: The New War

Volume III: Weapons of The New War

Volume IV: The Coverup


Small-Scale Wars

This new war-form goes by several different names, including: effects-based operations (EBO), network centric warfare, military operations other than war, peace operations, low-intensity conflict, irregular warfare, unconventional warfare, asymmetric warfare, civil-military operations, and fourth generation warfare. These terms share most of the following characteristics:

Effects-Based Operations

Effects-based operations (EBO) are US military concepts that began after the 1991 Gulf War, to combat new irregular threats during 4GW and MOOTW. They use PsyOp, and NLW and tactics to defeat an enemy’s will.

The RAND Corporation defines EBO as: “Operations conceived and planned in a systems framework that considers the full range of direct, indirect, and cascading effects—effects that may, with different degrees of probability, be achieved by the application of military, diplomatic, psychological, and economic instruments.”

The Department of Defense’s definition is as follows: “Coordinated sets of actions directed at shaping the behavior of friends, neutrals, and foes in peace, crisis, and war. … The term actions … can subsume not only military actions, but also political, economic, or other actions by a government, as well as those of non-governmental and international agencies…”

They further define effect in the following way: “An effect is a result or impact created by the application of military or other power ... that may be either kinetic or non-kinetic, and may equally be either physical or psychological/cognitive in nature.”

These operations are used against asymmetric political enemies not engaged in physical combat. The attrition-based approach is used for the slow physical and psychological destruction of the enemy. The goal is to break the will of the enemy, according to the DOD.1

Network-Centric Warfare

Netwar is basically a linking of people, weapons platforms, sensors, and decision aids into a network that operates a single unit. It is an interagency, international, full-spectrum operation that is used against asymmetric enemies.

The US Department of Defense defines it as: “an information superiority-enabled concept of operations that generates increased combat power by networking sensors, decision makers, and shooters to achieve shared awareness, increased speed of command, higher tempo of operations, greater lethality, increased survivability, and a degree of self-synchronization.”

It uses a network-based approach to warfare, where dispersed nodes, (people, vehicles, aircraft, etc.), are linked to each other through a complex C4ISR system. The nodes may be irregular forces. The system uses a high-speed form of communication that allows for shared battlespace awareness, as well as the rapid synchronization of forces during an attack.

Also connected to the C4ISR, is advanced surveillance technology that is used for information gathering, deception, and interference of enemy communications. This includes a combination of distributed networked sensors which detect actionable information. These sensors may be remote and/or proximate (close-in) to targets.

Netwar also employs PsyOp and NLW. The surveillance technology, PsyOp and NLW are used to destroy the enemy’s will. This can be accomplished using a type of EBO/PsyOp that RAND calls neocortical warfare, which is used to shape the behavior of the enemy by regulating his perceptions.

Another major component of netwar is the swarm, also called the tactical swarm or the battleswarm. This is an ancient military tactic based on the behavior of certain animals, such as insects and wolves. It includes the various dispersed nodes in an area of operation congregating upon a target from all directions to form an attack. The rapid movement of nodes upon the target is called a pulse. After the pulse, the nodes disperse and wait for the next set of instructions.

The military forces involved in netwar under the NATO Networked Enabled Capability (NNEC), include: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, Belgium, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, and Turkey. Assisting these forces are PVOs, NGOs, the civilian populations, and the private sector. This war-form will be used increasingly as the state-to-state form of conflict is phased out.2

Military Operations Other Than War

Military operations other than war (MOOTW), also called operations other than war (OOTW), are conducted globally, including the US. MOOTW was developed in the US for use in a wide range of operations. Its principles include: objective, unity of effort, security, restraint, perseverance, and legitimacy. It is used to:

The nation where MOOTW takes place is referred to as the host nation (HN). Political objectives are considered at strategic, operational and tactical levels. Heavy emphasis is placed on political considerations which restrict its ROE.

Because of this, the operations must appear righteous and moral to the civilian population, which it uses as irregular forces. The appearance of legitimacy must also be projected to the international community. Therefore, legitimacy is one of its core principles. “In MOOTW,” revealed the Joint Chiefs of Staffs in their, Military Operations Other than War report, “legitimacy is a condition based on the perception by a specific audience of the legality, morality, or rightness of a set of actions.” If the operation is “perceived” as legitimate, they explained there will be a strong tendency to support it.

The joint interagency and international operation is used to identify, isolate, and neutralize threats that exist among the civilian population. These agencies rely heavily on the indigenous population and private sector as irregular forces during civil-military operations (CMO). In the United States this includes the DOJ, FEMA, and other agencies. In their Nonlethality and American Land Power article, put out by the Strategic Studies Institute, Douglas C. Lovelace, Jr., and Steven Metz explained that MOOTW is used to quickly and efficiently identify, isolate, and neutralize threats that exist among civilians.

Some of these activities are conducted from a C4ISR center called a civil-military operations center (CMOC). Information on military targets is shared with all of these agencies as part of the unity of effort principle. The C2 faction uses the term “information gathering” rather than “intelligence” to describe this process. Presumably this is due to the political implications inherent when working with private and public groups during investigations on potential domestic threats.

A MOOTW campaign is planned the same way a major theater war (MTW) is planned. One goal is to achieve the objective as quickly as possible. To accomplish behavior modification, it employs combinations of NLW and tactics as well as PsyOp. Lethal tactics may also be used.

Some activities include threats and show of force operations (SOFO). SOFO is used to demonstrate US resolve by displaying increased visibility of forces to an enemy who is demonstrating behavior detrimental to US interests. These displays include persistent aircraft flights over a specific area, ship visits, or other activities.

All of these forces are used to compel compliance in an adversary to maintain peace and order. The US and its allies are using MOOTW increasingly for peace operations.3 The term MOOTW is being phased out and irregular warfare (IW) is considered by some to be the current proper term. Many MOOTW operations originate from the United Nations.

Peace Operations

Peace operations (PO), also called peacekeeping operations by the United Nations, are international, interagency missions to contain conflict, maintain the peace, and form a legitimate government. PO can originate from the US, UN, another IGO, or a coalition of nations. Most are run by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) of the UN. The UN uses PO to help countries create conditions for lasting peace. The US Army Peace Operations manual lists them as a type of MOOTW. Each PO has specific goals, but all share the common one, which is to alleviate human suffering and create conditions for peace.

PO are defined in the Joint Publication entitled, Peace Operations, in the following manner: “PO are crisis response and limited contingency operations, and normally include international efforts and military missions to contain conflict, redress the peace, and shape the environment to support reconciliation and rebuilding and to facilitate the transition to legitimate governance.” The United Nations describes them as a “unique and dynamic instrument … developed by the organizations as a way to help countries torn by conflict create the conditions for lasting peace.”

PO have been used since 1948 for stabilization and ceasefire operations, and originally consisted of lightly armed troops that would monitor and report activity after peace agreements. The UN charter does not contain the term peace operations but it is said to exist between Chapter VI, which is mediation, and Chapter VII, which includes comprehensive force. The UN Security Council authorizes these operations.

The UN Charter gives the UN Security Council the authority and responsibility to maintain international peace and security. Because of this, the international community usually relies on the UN to implement these activities.

These interagency, international operations consist of military, civilians, local police, government agencies, legal experts, humanitarian workers, NGOs, and other components of the “International Movement,” according to the UN. These groups function in unity and are in extensive communication during the operations. They include civil-military operations (CMO) that are the coordination, integration, and synchronization of the civilian population and the military to promote the peace.

To help coordinate their activities, they may create a CMOC as well as committees, and action groups. All instruments of national power can be used to achieve their objectives. This includes PsyOp and NLW.

Financial assistance for these operations originates from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and various NGOs. PO must be perceived as legitimate by the American public, HN population, and international community in order to be successful.

Over the years, UN peacekeeping has expanded its operations to include complex multidimensional enterprises which promote sustainable peace. In addition, although PO was originally intended to deal with conflicts between nations, it is now increasingly used to resolve a country’s internal conflicts and civil wars.

Forces may be deployed to monitor human rights, make security reforms, prevent the outbreak or spread of conflict, stabilize situations after a ceasefire, implement disarmaments and peace agreements, and help countries establish a stable government based on democratic principles.

The UN has a direct impact on the political process during these operations. The UN continues to expand and evolve its PO for the purpose of maintaining “international peace and security.” According to the US Army, while maintaining the peace, other adversaries may surface which require attention. They include “virtually any person, element, or hostile group … opposed to the operation.” In addition to regular military force, NLW and PsyOp are used to neutralize these enemies.

PO includes three basic areas: The first is support to diplomacy, which includes peace making (PM), peace building (PB), and conflict prevention (also called preventive diplomacy). The next two are peacekeeping (PK), and peace enforcement (PE).

All PO require perceived legitimacy in order to be successful. According to the US Army, none of these operations are done in secrecy, and the public is made aware of the activities. PK uses the least amount of force, PM the most, and PE is about midway. Support to diplomacy includes activities that take place in peace or conflict situations. They are done to prevent conflict. They include peacemaking, peace building and conflict prevention.

Peace building (PB) are post-conflict, civil-military, diplomatic actions that rebuild civil infrastructures and institutions to form a legitimate government. PB seeks to help the state effectively carry out its functions. It may include the building of physical structures such as schools and medical facilities. PB involves a number of efforts to reduce the risk of conflict and facilitate peace and development.

It is a complex, long-term process that creates conditions for lasting peace. It begins while PE or PK are taking place, and continues for years. It works by targeting the underlying causes of violence in a comprehensive manner. The military may support PB by providing PK or other activities to facilitate the post-conflict political process.

PM is a diplomatic process designed to establish a ceasefire. It includes mediation, negotiation, inquiry, arbitration, judicial settlement, and other peaceful means to end disputes. It may use military force to bring conflicting entities to negotiations.

PM includes meetings with leaders of nations at war. Military activities to support PM include security assistance, peacetime deployments, or other activities that influence the disputing parties by demonstrating US resolve in the operation. Although the military is involved in these activities, it is not leading them.

Conflict prevention, also called preventative diplomacy, includes diplomatic and other actions taken before a predictable crisis to prevent or limit violence, deter aggression, and reach agreements. Its methods are military activities such as early warning, surveillance, security reform, preventative deployment actions, SOFO, sanctions, and embargoes.

Peacekeeping (PK) are military or paramilitary operations that occur with the consent of all major conflicting parties, and are designed to monitor and facilitate an existing ceasefire to reach a long-term political settlement.

PK occurs after a truce or ceasefire has been implemented and all major conflicting parties have agreed to the operation. The UN defines peacekeeping as: “A technique designed to preserve the peace, however fragile, where fighting has been halted, and to assist in implementing agreements achieved by the peacemakers.”

Most PK operations originate from the UN. Peacekeepers monitor peace processes in post-conflict areas and help ex-combatants implement the peace agreements that they signed. Its components are confidence building, power sharing, electoral support, strengthening the rule of law, and economic and social development. Peacekeepers can include soldiers, local police, and civilian personnel working in unison.

The UN Security Council may also authorize regional organizations such as NATO, the Economic Community of West African States, or a coalition of countries to participate in peacekeeping activities.

In some cases, the peacekeepers remain members of their original armed force and may exhibit no feature which indicates that they are under the UN’s control. Force during PK is usually limited to self-defense. If the conflicting parties withdraw their consent, the PK forces may be withdrawn and PE forces may be used.

Peace enforcement (PE) is the practice of ensuring peace in an area or region. It involves the use or threat of use of force to compel compliance with resolutions and sanctions designed to maintain peace and order. It’s part of a three component operation which exists between peacekeeping and peacemaking, and is considered to be the midpoint regarding the use of force.

PE is defined by the UN as: “The application, with the authorization of the Security Council, of a range of coercive measures, including the use of military force. Such actions are authorized to restore international peace and security in situations where the Security Council has determined the existence of a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression.”

The US Army describes it as, “the application of military force or the threat of its use, normally pursuant to international authorization, to compel compliance with generally accepted resolutions or sanctions.”v

It is an approach used to maintain an existing ceasefire or truce. And according to the UN’s definition, it seems that it can also be used more generally to address other threats to international peace. The purpose of PE is to restore peace and order so that PB can succeed.

It may include combat actions such as the enforcement of sanctions and exclusion zones, protection of personnel conducting foreign humanitarian assistance (FHA), restoration of order, and the forcible separation of belligerents.v

PE is authorized by the UN Security Council to apply a range of coercive measures, including military force to restore international peace and security in situations where the council has determined that a threat to peace or a breach of an existing ceasefire exists.

The council can use regional organizations and agencies under its authority for PE operations, such as NATO, the Economic Community of West African States, or a coalition of countries. PE also relies on the working relationship with the local civilian population.4

Low-Intensity Conflict

Low-intensity conflict (LIC) is a political-military confrontation that takes place between states or groups below what is considered to be conventional warfare. LIC is a protracted struggle of competing principles and ideologies, and often occurs during revolutions and counterrevolutions.

Its methods of attack include combinations of PsyOp and directed-energy weapons. The term LIC is being phased out and irregular warfare (IW) is considered by some to be the current proper term. Low-intensity conflict (LIC) is similar to unconventional warfare (UW).5

Irregular Warfare

Irregular warfare (IW) consists of violent, low visibility, clandestine struggles between a country and its internal enemies. The Air Force Doctrine Document, Irregular Warfare defines it as: “a violent struggle among state and non-state actors for legitimacy and influence over the relevant populations.”

IW favors indirect approaches, though it may employ the full range of military and other capabilities to seek asymmetric approaches in order to erode an adversary’s power, influence, and will. Some of these clandestine conflicts originate from the United Nations. The nation where they take place is called the host nation (HN).

These are global, inter-agency, political struggles that take place among the civilian population, where the rulers of a HN use its civilian population as irregular forces against internal enemies. These conflicts may last years or decades, and reach down to the lowest tactical level.

“IW is about winning a war of ideas and perception,” says the US Marine Corps in its Multi-Service Concept for Irregular Warfare article. “Its battles are fought amongst the people and its outcomes are determined by the perceptions and support of the people.” “Ultimately,” adds the US Army, “IW is a political struggle with violent and nonviolent components ... for control or influence over and the support of a relevant population.”

IW is used across the full spectrum of warfare. Its uses include but are not limited to: foreign internal defense, counterterrorism, terrorism, unconventional warfare, and stability and security operations. One of IW’s primary uses is for counterinsurgency (COIN), which attempts to “maintain the current system against an internal threat,” according to the US Air Force.

Low visibility, covert operations are used to destroy forces threatening the security of the population. The foundation of IW is for the political influence of the HN’s civilian population. Therefore, it is essential that the conflict is perceived as legitimate in the eyes of the population.

Although IW is a violent struggle, this doesn’t necessarily include weapons or the use of physical force. And although it will use full military capabilities, it favors indirect approaches such as subversion, coercion, attrition, and exhaustion to erode an adversary’s will. This is achieved by, “undermining an enemy’s popular support and compelling him to quit, collapse, or sink into irrelevance,” explained the US Marine Corps. To help accomplish this, the military uses the civilian population and US government agencies.

Potential enemies are those who use the internet and IO campaigns to undermine the legitimacy of a government for cultural, political, economic, or religious motives. The enemies are state and nonstate actors, as well as those labeled political, religious, or ethnic extremists. Others are irregular adversaries who use local grievances to portray the US as the source of local and global problems.

According to the Department of Defense’s Irregular Warfare document, if you are trying to influence the population in a manner which does not support the interests of the US or its allies, you are an adversary. Presumably, this is because the appearance of legitimacy is a necessity for this type of conflict. IW, says the US Army, requires that the government is perceived to be legitimate in the eyes of the population.

These global operations are composed of the police, military, intelligence agencies, and civilian security forces of the HN, as well as the private sector, which includes stores, businesses, and restaurants. It also includes NGOs and PVOs.

It uses a C4ISR, with an “all source” fusion process, including space-based surveillance and satellite communication (SATCOM), which allows forces to communicate and move quickly. According to the US Air Force, success depends on building relationships and partnerships at the local level. To recruit a HN’s indigenous population, social scientists and anthropologist are used.

The MNF has established intelligence networks consisting of civilian security forces in HNs all over the planet. This has been called a civilian defense network, informant network, civilian security network, and a variety of other names.

In their Irregular Warfare document, the Department of Defense revealed, “the intelligence community will establish persistent, long-duration intelligence networks that focus on the populations, governments, traditional political authorities, and security forces at the national and sub-national levels in all priority countries.”

These operations are being used increasingly to defend US interests around the planet. They will be waged in any country, even without its approval, including denied, ungoverned, or under-governed areas, which provide a potential sanctuary for nonstate actors, according to the Department of Defense.

“Waging protracted IW depends on building global capability and capacity,” described the US Army, and added, “Combined IW will require the joint force to establish a long-term sustained presence in numerous countries.”

IW is also used to conceal US involvement in a conflict. This means that while the military and law enforcement agencies of the HN are directing these civilian security forces to destroy internal political threats, they can maintain plausible deniability.

Specific attrition-based tactics which are used to erode the will of the enemy include: diplomatic, military, and law enforcement actions, economic/financial, informational, political and civic actions (civil-military operations), methods to discredit, PsyOp, NLW, and physical and psychological isolation.

Threats and intimidation are also used against an adversary and their supporters. The attrition-based approach uses these tactics in combination by a rotation of forces which apply pressure and ensure continuity of effort.

Terrorism will be used by the MNF force if necessary. Terrorism is an act of violence against a civilian population to achieve a political objective. This means a HN government, including the US, will carry out large-scale acts of violence against its own population to achieve political objectives.6

Unconventional Warfare

The US Army’s Unconventional Warfare manual defines unconventional warfare (UW) as: “Operations conducted by, with, or through irregular forces in support of a resistance movement, an insurgency, or conventional military operations.”

It further describes: “UW must be conducted by, with, or through surrogates; and such surrogates must be irregular forces.” These irregular forces include a significant portion of the HN’s civilian population, which is arranged against internal adversaries.

UW includes a wide spectrum of military operations of a protracted nature, including but not limited to, guerrilla warfare, subversion, sabotage, intelligence activities, unconventional assisted recovery, evasion and escape, and stability operations. These operations may take place in diplomatically sensitive areas. They may be low-visibility, covert, and clandestine in nature.

These are interagency, international operations using the police, military, civilian population, and NGOs of a HN. The US Army refers to this force as the interagency. Compartmentalization is often used in this structure for security reasons, and only certain personnel are aware of all activities during the planning and execution stages.

The interagency uses multiple interrelated intelligence operations. Information gathered on an adversary includes: dispositions, strategies, tactics, intents, objectives, strengths, weaknesses, values, capabilities, and critical vulnerabilities.

This information is derived from many sources, and is shared across the interagency with autonomous synchronization tools. The continuous nature of this process allows for profile-specific attacks. The US Army explained it this way: “The intelligence process is comprised of a wide variety of interrelated intelligence operations. … Evaluation of intelligence operations, activities, and products is continuous.”

“Based on these evaluations and the resulting feedback,” it continued, “remedial actions should be initiated, as required, to improve the performance of intelligence operations and the overall functioning of the intelligence process.”

Although these are military operations, the military itself does not participate in this warfare on the tactical level. Instead it uses a HN’s civilian population as surrogate (stand-in) forces, and directs them from behind the scenes. The US Army says that in order to accomplish the recruitment of a HN’s population, the culture, taboos, beliefs, customs, history, goals, ethnic composition, and expectations of the civilian population must be studied and exploited. It refers to these unarmed civilian forces as the mass base, the general population, and society at large.

This includes not only a large portion of the civilian population, but the private sector such as stores, businesses, and restaurants. What they’ve basically described is the recruitment of all significant components of a society. Additionally, the US Army is obviously not talking about arming a major portion of a HN, but using them to carry out acts which support the cause.

As we’ve learned, PsyOp is a type of communication (often violent), transmitted using themes which contain a series of products designed to get the attention of the TA. Civilians are playing an active role in PsyOp. Because a large portion of the population is to be recruited, this means that a considerable number of people can be used as actors to conduct PsyActs at the direction of the DOD. “The primary value of the mass base to UW operations,” says the US Army, is a matter of “marshalling population groups to act in specific ways that support the overall UW campaign.”

However, due to the compartmentalization inherent in this type of warfare, the individuals and groups within the mass base may be unaware of the meaning of the acts which they are asked to carry out. “These groups may be witting or unwitting of the UW nature of the operations or activities in which they are utilized.”

One example of this compartmentalization was revealed in an Air Force Doctrine document entitled, Military Operations Other Than War, released on October 5, 1996, where they explained that routine flights over the location of a military target are used to establish physical presence and demonstrate resolve during show of force operations (SOFO). They also mentioned that the pilots of these planes would be told that they were conducting training missions, indicating that they would not be aware of the SOFO which they were engaged in.

The interagency force will seek out law-abiding adversaries in all countries that may be harboring them. This includes ungoverned and undergoverned areas in both friendly and belligerent states. In order to do this, it must appear to be legitimate. “Without recognized legitimacy,” explained the US Army, “military operations do not receive the support of the indigenous population, the U.S. population, or the international community.” They continued, “US law enforcement entities must cooperate with each other, international partners, and the DOD to maximize intelligence and legitimacy.”

Therefore, anyone attempting to raise awareness regarding an issue that is detrimental to US interests may be labeled an adversary. “In both the foreign and domestic arenas … UW planners should continuously monitor adversary attempts to deliberately mislead foreign and domestic audiences.”

A combination of offensive and defensive cooperative activities and coercive actions are used against adversaries and their supporters. They include NLW and PsyOp. All instruments of US national power is used against “elusive opponents” and their supporters. Also, financial incentives (bribes) will be given to interagency allies for their cooperation in a campaign against an adversary.7

Asymmetric Warfare

The Defining Asymmetric Warfare report of September 2006, which appeared in the Land Warfare Papers, defines asymmetric warfare (AW) in the following way: “Asymmetric approaches are attempts to circumvent or undermine U.S. strengths while exploiting U.S. weaknesses using methods that differ significantly from the United States’ expected method of operations.”

AW is an interagency, international operation, which takes place among the civilian population. It includes the military, federal agencies, local law enforcement, and NGOs, who form an alliance with a HN’s civilian population.

The US Army refers to this as population-centric war because the people are used as surrogate forces. AW relies heavily on the civilian population which is recruited by the military planners who exploit their values and beliefs. Potential enemies include terrorists, insurgents, nonstate actors, “disruptive threats,” and those conducting information operations (IO). “An insurgent’s greatest asset is an idea,” announced the US Army.

They then explained how information outlets, including the internet, are used by the enemy to spread lies. “The enemy wages information warfare by issuing propaganda, creating lies and developing conspiracies,” they warned. On April 09, 2002, in their Information Operations and Asymmetric Warfare article, the US Army War College described that in an asymmetric environment current and future threats must be identified. One solution to these threats is electronic warfare.

The attrition-based approach focuses on the erosion of the enemies will, with an emphasis on PsyOp. It uses NLW tactics and technologies at all levels of warfare (strategic, operational, tactical), and across the full spectrum of military operations. The NLW and PsyOp attacks against such enemies will be to shock or confuse them, limit their freedom, and erode their will. Methods to wear them down financially are also used.8

Civil-Military Operations

The Peace Operations publication by the Joint Chiefs, describes civil-military operations (CMO) in this manner: “Those military operations conducted by civil affairs forces that enhance the relationship between military forces and civil authorities in localities where military forces are present; require coordination with other interagency organizations, intergovernmental organizations, nongovernmental organizations, indigenous population and institutions, and the private sector.”

The purpose of CMO is to consolidate the efforts of the military and civilian population to achieve military objectives. On the strategic level one of its goals is global development and stability. Tactical level challenges include promoting the legitimacy of the cause among the civilian population.

It is used across the full spectrum of warfare and takes place in friendly, neutral, or hostile areas. Potential uses include: ethnic, religious, cultural, and socioeconomic differences, as well as COIN, security assistance, stability operations, peace operations, and other uses.

CMO are interagency and global in nature. In the US it is used as part of homeland security. CMO consist of a combined effort between a HN’s government agencies, NGOs, and civilian population, who join forces to address the HN’s domestic threats. Domestically, this force has been called the interagency; internationally it’s called the multinational force (MNF).

The HN provides civil and military assistance to the force in the form of materials, facilities, services, administrative support, and civil logistic resources. A specially trained group of military personnel within a civil affairs (CA) unit interacts with the public during CMO. The unit participates in planning at the operational and tactical levels.

Liaison officers establish close, continuous, and physical communications between private sector organizations, NGOs, the interagency/MNF. This is accomplished using commercial telecommunications networks, military communications systems, satellites and radars. Ideas are shared and activities are directed using these systems.

CMO is coordinated with the United Nations. A relationship is established between a representative of the HN and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UNDPKO). The representative is complicit in matters relevant to the UN and its activities, including the support of Action with Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression, which are listed in chapter VII of the UN charter.

A CMOC is established in the civilian sector for exchanging ideas. It may be a physical meeting place or virtual one through online networks. Daily meetings are attended by representatives of the military, NGOs, the private sector, and local officials. Discussions at these meetings may include any ongoing campaigns against domestic threats in the area of operation. NATO refers to this as a civil-military cooperation center (CIMIC).

The interagency uses military and nonmilitary instruments of power, including a HN’s civilian population to address its domestic threats. “At the strategic, operational and tactical levels and across the full range of military operations,” explained the Joint Publication, “civil-military operations (CMO) are a primary military instrument to synchronize military and nonmilitary instruments of national power, particularly in support of … operations dealing with asymmetrical and irregular threats.”

In addition to using the civilian population and private sector, the military will temporarily take over the functions of the local government to address these threats. This takeover has been described as the “comprehensive use” of intergovernmental, regional, national, local governmental, nongovernmental, and private sector organizations.

These takeovers may be performed in the absence of any other military activity. In other words, this can be done during times of peace, and may not necessarily include a visible military presence. The operations may be performed by designated civil affairs units, military forces, or a combination.

After dealing with irregular threats, the military hands control of the organization back over to its civilian managers. The military takeover of operations, which are normally the responsibility of civilian authorities and organizations, says the NATO Civil-Military Co-operation document, is conducted for as short a period as possible.

During the occupation, the tactics used against irregular threats may include civic actions (use of civilian forces) and/or PsyOp, which is a “vital” part of CMO. CMO in general seeks to remove the influence that an adversary has on a population.9

Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW)

Fourth generation warfare (4GW) is a type of political war which includes civilians and the military. The term was first described in a 1989 Marine Corps Gazette article called, The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation. The article was written by Lieutenant Colonel Gary I. Wilson (USMCR), William S. Lind, Colonel Keith Nightengale (USA), Captain John F. Schmitt (USMC), and Colonel Joseph W. Sutton (USA).

The theory suggests that states no longer have the exclusive right to conduct conflict. Nonstate actors (including individuals and groups) will be increasingly at war with states. 4GW includes protracted struggles fought among the civilian population using military, economic, social, and political instruments of power. 4GW occurs globally. According to 4GW proponents, warfare has evolved through four generations since 1648.

The first generation began in 1648 with the Treaty of Westphalia which ended the 30 Years War. It lasted until about 1860, and peaked during the Napoleonic Wars in the early 1800s. It grew out of the invention of gunpowder, as well as Europe’s political, social, and economic developments due to the emergence from feudalism.

It consisted of mass armies armed with smoothbore muskets, using line and column tactics, adjusted for the available technology of the time. The battles were formal. The battlefield was orderly. The approach was linear. It emphasized a military culture of order, including practices which reinforced this order, such as uniforms, saluting, drills, ceremonies, graduation ranks, etc. Examples of it include the American Civil War and the Napoleonic Wars. It was the beginning of the state’s monopoly on organized violence.

Second Generation Warfare emerged out of technological improvements from the Industrial Revolution. It was developed by France as a solution to destroying a larger force. It was based on fire and movement, with an emphasis on indirect artillery fire. It still used an attrition-style, linear approach, with heavy firepower. It preserved the military culture of order, such as rules, processes, procedures, discipline, and obedience. It peaked during WWI, and was used by America, Britain and France during this time. America used it in Vietnam, and still uses it as the primary method for conducting warfare, as seen in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Third Generation Warfare was developed in Germany in 1918. It was first used when Germany invaded Poland in 1939, and peaked during the Cold War. It was Germany’s response to the mass firepower of the larger industrialized nations. Although there were technological improvements, this generation of warfare was developed primarily by new ideas.

It was nonlinear and did not rely on attrition. Instead, it was based on maneuver, speed, surprise, and the mental and physical dislocation of enemy forces. The method consisted of infiltrating the enemy front line, moving into the rear, and collapsing them from the rear forward. This maneuver-based warfare has been called the blitzkrieg.

Fourth generation warfare (4GW) is the most radical change in warfare since the beginning of 1GW in 1648. It ends the state’s dominance over the right to wage war. It is a type of information war waged by a state or other entity. When used by an independent entity, it often involves an insurgent group or nonstate actor (NSA) trying to implement their own government or reestablish an old one over a current ruling system.

It consists of violent and nonviolent methods used across the political, economic, social, and military spectrum. Violent examples include the slave uprising under Spartacus, Hezbollah, or the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Nonviolent examples include methods used by Mohandis K. Gandhi against the British crown in South Africa and India, and Martin Luther King Jr. in the American south. William S. Lind described 4GW as, “a contest for legitimacy between the state and a wide variety of non-state primary loyalties.”

4GW has also been portrayed as an evolved form of insurgency. The Fourth Generation War manual published by the Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Marine Corps, says it is, “a political, social and moral revolution.” One of its goals is to influence the enemy’s decisionmaking process. Another objective is the psychological collapse of the enemy, which is accomplished using PsyOp.

Forces on the battlefield become more dispersed with each new generation. 4GW includes all of society. It is an interagency, international operation, that, when used by a government consists of small, dispersed, agile forces, with little or no reliance on centralized logistics. These forces have been referred to as small independent action forces (SIAF), as well as 4GW Forces. They essentially, hunt down and neutralize a nation’s irregular threats using PsyOp and directed-energy weapons.

According to the theory, 4GW Forces would act on mission orders when neutralizing threats that exist among the civilian population. These targets are mostly civilian rather than military. The forces are allegedly equipped with advanced surveillance technology which has artificial intelligence.

Because 4GW uses the indigenous population as forces it must be perceived as legitimate. Like other forms of warfare, it seeks to create an alliance between a HN’s civilian population and its military in order to destroy the nation’s internal enemies. In his Modern War Symposium articles, William S. Lind, an expert on military affairs, and an author of the original article on 4GW that appeared in the Marine Corps Gazette, advocated the creation of a global volunteer citizen militia.

According to Lind and his symposium associates, the militia would not be under the control of federal governments. This global militia would function in each neighborhood. However, he uses terms which are already associated with federally-run informant programs, such as Neighborhood Watch, Community Policing, and Police Corps. This appears to be an attempt to identify the federal programs with militias.

“Of course,” says Lind, “they would perform their most important 4GW function, Neighborhood Watch, all the time.” Basically he’s suggesting that the informant networks, which already exist, should be used in 4GW. According to Lind, it would be used globally to maintain domestic order.

4GW will have no definable battlefields or fronts, and military and civilian forces will be combined. These combined forces will have the ability to concentrate suddenly from very wide dispersion. RAND refers to this as the battleswarm.

PsyOp and directed-energy weapons will be the dominant methods used for “collapsing the enemy internally,” according to the Gazette. Isolation of the enemy is another important tactic. Political, social, and military actions will also be used to erode an enemy’s will.

“Directed energy may permit small elements to destroy targets they could not attack with conventional energy weapons,” suggested the Gazette. Psychological operations are to become the dominant operational and strategic weapon. 4GW is not the same as terrorism, but terrorists may use these methods. Other enemies of 4GW include those labeled insurgents, adversaries, nonstate actors, “cells of fanatics,” and others.

Because legitimacy must be perceived by the indigenous population whose support and participation is required by a state conducing 4GW, anyone disseminating information contrary to a state’s interests may become an enemy.

4GW adversaries will be adept at manipulating the media to alter domestic and world opinion, the Gazette informs us. “Insurgents,” agreed Colonel T. X. Hammes, USMC, “build their plans around a strategic communications campaign designed to shift their enemy’s view of the world.” And, he added, “The only medium that can change a person’s mind is information.”

Likewise, Defense and National Interest mentioned that drastic measures must be taken by all of the word’s democracies to find and destroy “fanatics” who are believed to be conducting 4GW, in its Fourth-Generation Warfare is Here article, that appeared in October of 2001. A state’s 4GW targets will be primarily in the civilian sector. They will be selected and attacked to achieve not just military, but political and cultural objectives.

Other state enemies are those who value national sovereignty, which, according to some 4GW proponents, will no longer be used as a “facade” to allow individuals and groups to be sheltered in any country. Any entity that is perceived to be causing agitation will be identified and dealt with.

“New and in some instances very unpleasant scenarios must be put in place, announced Defense and National Interest. “The world’s democracies must pool their resources to ferret out the cells of fanatics who supply the brains and the resources to conduct 4GW.” According to Defense and National Interest, these small units will be led be incorruptible officers who are carefully selected for their imagination, moral character, courage, and dedication to democratic ideals.10


1. The EBO sources I've been able to observe make no specific reference to isolation or synchronization. Because it is used with netwar, it is global, it takes place among the civilian population, and uses civilians as forces.

2. The netwar sources that I've been able to observe make no specific reference to isolation, protracted struggle, or perceived legitimacy.

3. Although the MOOTW sources I've been able to locate make no specific reference to the destruction of the enemy's will, MOOTW is used to compel compliance. In addition, the US Marine Corps Combat Development Command and US Special Operations Command Center's August 2006 Multi-Service Concept for Irregular Warfare article, says that MOOTW is the same as IW. So MOOTW has all of the shared characteristics.

4. Although there are no specific references to political war, isolation, or the destruction of the enemy's will in the PO sources that I've been able to locate, the Department of the Army's Peace Operations manual of December 30, 1994, says that PO is the same as MOOTW, which means it is a political war which uses isolation as a tactic. Furthermore, because MOOTW is the same as IW which includes the destruction of the enemy's will, according to the August 2006 Multi-Service Concept for Irregular Warfare article, by the US Marine Corps Combat Development Command and US Special Operations Command Center, this characteristic is present. So PO has all of the shared characteristics.

5. The August 2006 Multi-Service Concept for Irregular Warfare article, by the US Marine Corps Combat Development Command and US Special Operations Command Center, says that the following are alike: low-intensity conflict (LIC), irregular warfare (IW), military operations other than war (MOOTW), unconventional warfare (UW), and asymmetric warfare (AW). Therefore, by association, LIC has all of the shared characteristics.

6. Although the IW sources provided make no specific reference to the use of the private sector, because it uses CMO the private sector is included. Also the August 2006 Multi-Service Concept for Irregular Warfare article by the US Marine Corps Combat Development Command and US Special Operations Command Center, says that it is similar to MOOTW and LIC. So it has all of the shared characteristics.

7. Although the UW sources provided make no specific reference to the use of the private sector, because it uses CMO the private sector is included. So it has all of the shared characteristics.

8. Because AW uses the attrition-based approach it can be considered a protracted struggle. There are no specific references in the AW documentation that I've been able to observe regarding, synchronization, isolation, perceived legitimacy, or political war. However, according to the US Marine Corps Combat Development Command and US Special Operations Command Center article, Multi-Service Concept for Irregular Warfare, of August 2006, it is the same as IW and MOOTW. Therefore, it has all of the shared characteristics.

9. There are no specific references to the use of NLW, protracted struggle, or isolation in the CMO sources provided. However, the US Army's Field Manual Operations of February 27, 2008 mentions the use of "nonlethal" actions by soldiers working among the civilian population. Also there are multiple references to "nonlethal activities" used during CMO in the Army's Civil Affairs Operations manual of September 2006. So the only missing shared characteristics would be isolation, protracted struggle, and possibly NLW.

10. Unlike other types of warfare which have been described here, 4GW is a theory of warfare and not an actual DOD term. However, because of its underlying similarities and wide acceptance, it is treated as such. The September 2006 Land Warfare Papers, report, Defining Asymmetric Warfare, by David L. Buffaloe, suggests that 4GW is the same MOOTW, IW, and AW, so it can be considered to exhibit all of the shared characteristics. I've noticed no exact date for the beginning of 4GW. It appears to have started sometime after WWII. Also, the historical examples sited in Wikipedia, which precede 4GW's emergence, leads me to conclude that it has always existed alongside more prominent forms of warfare.