News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: 4th Generation Warfare Redefining Politics?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

4th Generation Warfare Redefining Politics?

Two quotes that highlight the military progress of Israel in Lebanon and its effectiveness against the Hizbullah extremists indicate that the latter has fought Israel to something of a stalemate. It appears that Israel hoped to bulldoze its way through Lebanon, destroy all 10,000 or so Hizbullah rockets, and kill all the more militant Hizbullans.

Since this has not happened, several bloggers are identifying why and the implications of that. ...

For example, there's this from Global Guerillas:

Hezbollah's performance in a set-piece battle with the Israeli military (arguably once, a top notch conventional military) is an excellent example of how non-state groups have radically improved their ability to conduct tactical and strategic operations. To wit, the continued success of its efforts has put the Israelis on the horns of a dilemma: either request a ceasefire that locks in military defeat - or - push for a full invasion of southern Lebanon (each are fraught with disastrous consequences).
If thst's true, then what are the consequences in terms of the larger geopolitical context? According to the SFGate:
Even the conventional definition of war -- a legal state declared between two nation-states -- may need an overhaul. At the least it needs a widening, said Lind.

"State militaries more or less define war as what they train, prepare and equip themselves to do," Lind said. In the American military, and many modern state militaries, that means war is limited to the Cold War model, with clear rules and controlled outcomes.

The lesson of Lebanon is that the field is now crowded with new players and new rules, the theorists said.

"State militaries in effect say, 'We're the knights on horseback, we fight other knights on horseback. We don't get down and trade potshots with lowly musketeers,' " Lind said. "What it symbolizes is a previous military type ... passing into history. Because, in effect, they only become useful for tournaments."

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