September 16, 2009

Seminar “Fourth Generation Warfare and Beyond: Learning from the War in Afghanistan”

On September 2nd, the ICDS hosted a seminar with a prominent military theorist and one of the main proponents of the Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW) concept Dr Thomas X. Hammes, who is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies of the National Defence University (Washington D.C.) and a retired colonel of the U.S. Marine Corps. Dr Hammes was an early critic of the Rumsfeld’s war strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his views helped to inform and shape the new U.S. counterinsurgency doctrine.

On September 2nd, the ICDS hosted a seminar with a prominent military theorist and one of the main proponents of the Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW) concept Dr Thomas X. Hammes, who is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies of the National Defence University (Washington D.C.) and a retired colonel of the U.S. Marine Corps. Dr Hammes was an early critic of the Rumsfeld’s war strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his views helped to inform and shape the new U.S. counterinsurgency doctrine.

2.09.2009
On September 2nd, the ICDS hosted a seminar with a prominent military theorist and one of the main proponents of the Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW) concept Dr Thomas X. Hammes, who is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies of the National Defence University (Washington D.C.) and a retired colonel of the U.S. Marine Corps. Dr Hammes was an early critic of the Rumsfeld’s war strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his views helped to inform and shape the new U.S. counterinsurgency doctrine.
His seminal book “The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century” (2006) has been highly influential among policymakers and military practitioners worldwide. Dr. Hammes presented to the audience the driving forces transforming the character of warfare and outlined characteristics of four distinct generations, from massed manpower to massed mechanisation and, finally, to information-driven current generation of evolved insurgency.
The speaker also demonstrated how various political, social, economic and technological trends will lead to the fifth generation of warfare, where the creative uses of technological innovations will further empower individuals vis-à-vis states and may lead to catastrophic or highly disruptive violence by disaffected individuals and groups. Ensuing discussions focused on the war in Afghanistan and the new U.S. Af-Pak strategy as a case for better utilizing the tenets of 4GW against the asymmetric opponents who have already been successfully deploying this form of warfare against Western powers.

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