By William S. Lind
There is an old saying that Russia is never as strong as it appears to be, and Russia is never as weak as it appears to be. According to the lead story in the October 15 New York Times, “Russian Military Uses Syria as Proving Ground, and West Takes Notice,” the pendulum is swinging from focusing on Russia’s weakness to seeing her again as strong and threatening. Much of the latter is threat inflation, an old Pentagon practice during the Cold War. (After lecturing on military reform many years ago at the Air Force’s Squadron Officers’ School, an Air Force intel captain came up to me and asked, “Does military reform mean we can stop inflating the threat?”)
But it does seem the Russians have learned.
As I understand Lind’s views, his position is essentially Hobbesian in that he regrets that states around the world have become increasingly ineffective at fighting non-state fourth generation warfare agents. His wish is for the world’s states (i.e. the international capitalist elite that coalesces into the G20, international financial institutions and managed trade systems) to unite in order to defeat the fourth generation forces, thereby preserving “order,” i.e. the nation-state system itself. He laments that this is not being done due to the rivalries among the international power elite, i.e. the division between the Anglo-American-Zionist-Wahhabist axis and the rest of the world (see my recent presentation at the National Policy Institute for a discussion of this.)
While I greatly value Lind’s insights in these areas, I take a polar opposite view in the sense of welcoming the rise of fourth generation forces and the breakdown of the nation-state system as a prelude to the development of more intensified anti-imperialist, anti-corporatist and ant-statist struggles. In other words, fourth generation warfare is only the beginning.