About 4G WAR
A COUNTERTERRORISM BLOG WHERE HOMELAND SECURITY AND SPECIAL OPERATIONS INTERSECT
Why 4GWAR? We named this blog 4GWar because it needed a catchy name in a hurry. Your editor had some news and needed a blog to showcase it (see first posts in November 2009). At the time we were reading a book about the concept of Fourth Generation Warfare. Some military analysts and historians discount the idea, but we think it provides a platform to address all of the topics entwined in the conflicts facing the United States and its allies in the 21st century: terrorism, counter insurgency, homeland security, transnational organized crime, counter-IED, unconventional warfare, soft/smart power, and human geography.
Proponents of 4GW maintain that warfare has evolved along with political, social, and economic structures since the 17th Century. From the set-piece battles of the Napoleonic Wars (First Generation Warfare or 1GW) to the blitzkrieg and aerial bombing campaigns of World War II (3GW), warfare has changed tactics as well as technology. In the post-Cold War world, the focus has shifted to asymmetric warfare, also known as unconventional war and irregular warfare. Groups with no hope of going toe-to-toe with national armies are using unorthodox means such as roadside bombs, kidnapping and suicide attacks to achieve their goals. Most conflicts today are not between two conventional armies but between national governments and rebels, insurgents or guerillas. The battlefield is everywhere now: New York office towers, London subways, Bombay hotels, Moscow airports and Madrid train stations.
Responsibility for combating these new threats won’t be confined to the U.S. military. The departments of State, Homeland Security and Justice, the U.S. intelligence community, state and local law enforcement and foreign allies will all have a role to play.
The stakes are high and the challenges are many. It’s worth considering, as one 4GW proponent, Marine Corps Col. Thomas Hammes notes in his book The Sling and The Stone, that despite their status as superpowers, both the U.S. (in Vietnam) and USSR (in Afghanistan) lost 4GWarfare conflicts.
Here at 4GWAR, we concentrate on conflict and development news coming out of Africa, Latin America and the Arctic. We also pay close attention to special operations, counter terrorism, robotic technology (particularly unmanned aircraft), border and transportation security and expeditionary warfare. Since the blog started in 2012, we’ve reported from: Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia; as well as special ops, unmanned systems, military vehicles and Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps conferences in Tampa and Orlando, Florida; Detroit, Michigan; Las Vegas, Nevada; Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland; Denver, Colorado; Aspen, Colorado; Alexandria, Virginia and Washington, DC.
–John M. Doyle 4gwar.wordpress.com
CITED BY OTHERS
The Pros and Cons of drone strikes: at Drones and Moans
Norway’s Exercise Cold Response near the Arctic Circle: in BALKAN MAGAZIN (Serbian)
Raven tactical UAV gets miniaturized sensor package: in Defense Systems
Combat controller awarded Air Force Cross for valor: in Smithsonian Air & Space’s Daily Planet
Marines in Exercise African Lion: in Aviation Week‘s ARES
About the editor
John M. Doyle is a Washington, DC area-based defense and homeland security writer with nearly 30 years’ experience writing for the Associated Press, Aviation Week, Seapower, Unmanned Systems, Special Operations Technology and other publications and websites. He blogs about terrorism and where it intersects with homeland security and special operations. That area includes unconventional warfare, unmanned systems, cyber security, intelligence-gathering sensors and other technology, as well as transnational organized crime, peacekeeping, international development and disaster relief. He can be reached via twitter at @4GWARBLOG and through email at firstname.lastname@example.org
To see some samples of his work for print publications and other websites, please visit the IN PRINT page on this website.