War has evolved rapidly in the last 100 years, prompting historians and strategists to come up with new terms for new ways of fighting. They call mechanized warfare, which originated in the early 20th century, the third "generation" of war, and ideological warfare waged by guerilla groups the fourth.
But what about guerilla-style warfare waged by non-ideological groups against traditional states -- pirates, for instance, whose attacks can destabilize trade-dependent nations, but who don't have strategic goals beyond just getting rich? Free-for-all violence, with indirect global effects, represents a fifth generation of war, according to some experts. And when it comes to defeating fifth-gen enemies, "the old rules of warfare do not apply," declared Marine Lt. Col. Stanton Coerr, writing in Marine Corps Gazette, a professional journal. ...
To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review
- TWO WEEKS FREE.
- Cancel any time.
- After two weeks, just $18 monthly or $118/year.
Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.
- Sterile Politics Leaves Algeria’s Problems Unaddressed
- Pressure Mounts as Deadline for EU-Africa Trade Talks Looms
- Central African Republic a Crisis Too Far for Chad’s Regional Security Ambitions
- Attacks on Rwanda’s Exiles Reveal Deeper Troubles for Kagame
- Kagame’s Rwanda Presents South Africa With Delicate Balancing Act