Two articles in the April 25 New York Times well illustrated the degree to which states just don’t get Fourth Generation war. The first was the lead story that day, titled “Despite Errors, Drones Decimate Weakened Qaeda”:
Revelations of new high-level losses among Al Qaeda’s top leadership in Pakistan’s tribal belt have underscored how years of American drone strikes have diminished and dispersed the militant group’s upper ranks and forced them to cede prominence and influence to more aggressive offshoots in Yemen and Somalia.
This “success story” is part of a broad PR offensive now underway to justify and ensure continuance of the drone strike program. But looked at through the lens of 4GW, there is no success, and the wisdom of the drone strike program is very much open to question.
Congratulating ourselves that al Qaeda’s leadership in Pakistan has been “decimated” is like cheering because, in an effort to pick up mercury, we have turned one big blob into lots of littles ones. More, it shows a focus on al Qaeda that is wholly unjustified. As we see with the rise of ISIS, if all the leadership of al Qaeda in Pakistan dropped dead tomorrow, nothing would change but some nomenclature.
Al Qaeda in Pakistan has largely been rendered irrelevant by the continued march of the Brinton Thesis, a chain of coups d’etat ever more to the extreme until all is brougt back to the center by the coup of Thermidor. (It is no coincidence that my picture on traditionalRIGHT shows me digging into a plate of lobster Thermidor.) In effect, the Jacobins are now in power in Islamic 4GW and al Qaeda is the Montagne, yesterdays’s news. Washington, it seems, reads only the news of the day before yesterday.
As to the drone program as a whole, it, along with airstrikes from manned aircraft, are one of our enemies’ top recruiting devices. When you circle endlessly over your opponent, now and then letting loose a missile or a bomb, you hurt him physically, you may scare him mentally, but morally you enrage him to the point where he will do anything to get back at you. The drone brings forth its low-tech equivalent, the suicide bomber. Which is more effective?
Here we see one of the most important aspects of 4GW that states apparently cannot get, namely that, as John Boyd argued, the physical level of war is the weakest, the mental level (the key to 3GW) is in the middle, and the moral level of war is the most powerful. Drones and airstrikes win at the physical level at the expense of losing at the moral level. Which means, in the end, states usually lose Fourth Generation wars.
The other piece in the April 25 Times says it all in the headlines: “Migration Crisis Facing Europe Cannot be Solved at Sea, Analysts Say”. As usual, the analysts are wrong. The problem of illegal migration across the Mediterranean, which is a 4GW invasion of the Western heartland, can easily be solved at sea. When the migrants arrive, usually in Italy, you corral them, hold them until you’ve got enough, then sail them back to what was Libya. If one of the pretend governments of Libya objects, the Italian Navy has a good amphibious capability. The San Marco land and make a beachhead, the would-be migrants are deposited on it, and the Italian forces withdraw. Militarily, it’s a piece of cake, though Italy would need the EU to foot the bill. The cost to Europe would be trivial compared to the bill for accepting hundreds of thousands of people who will never acculturate.
Here we see the state failing at both the physical and the moral levels of war. It refuses the easy physical solution, shipping them back, because cultural Marxism has emasculated Europe’s leadership morally. All you have to do is show some pictures of poor, weeping “victims” and Europe’s elites melt into a pool of blubber. No matter that some of those same “victims” will be supporting jihad on European soil once they move in (Restricting refugees admitted to Europe to Christians would help, but political correctness outlaws that too.)