How the Pentagon’s promise of a quick war ran into the desert sand

The UK Guardian reports on the internal struggles the Defense Department is having between 3rd Generational Warfare and the newer, more modern 4th Generational Warfare.

For a little bit of background, 3rd Gen warfare is a concept built on having the most guys with the biggest guns and relentless firepower. General Grant could probably be outlined as one of the first field commanders to fully use 3rd Gen warfare to its fullest extent.

In today’s military where information is key and guerilla warfare is prevalent, speed and finesse are seen as the essential keys to victory, following in the footsteps of Forrest and Patton. American victory in Afghanistan seemed to vindicate the theories of 4th Gen warfare where “shock and awe” and disorientation were seen as key.

What is happening in Iraq now is a contrast between the older theories that were employed during the First Persian Gulf War and the newer theories being applied today. Our lines are overextended to the point where guerrilla tactics are having an effect, and in a political situation where American or civilian casualities are unacceptable, 4th Gen warfare is being exposed to its first true firefight.

The fear now is that supporters of 4th Gen warfare such as Rumsfeld will push forward to Baghdad and overextend the lines even further.

If the risk of wearing out the US 3rd Infantry becomes tangible, and an Iraqi counteroffensive near Baghdad materializes without the US 4th Mech Inf to mop up what we left behind during this first week, there are fears that it could get bloody. American forces would turn to heavier weaponry from the air, and in a choice between Iraqi civilians and American soldiers, guess who gets the MOAB?

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