Author Topic: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?  (Read 520478 times)

SBCU

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #210 on: June 12, 2007, 11:07:16 am »
Finished Youth and Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Begun reading The end of the Tether by... Joseph Conrad
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Cain

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #211 on: June 12, 2007, 11:31:52 am »
:argh!: Read War and Peace by Tolstoy and you will also get a description of 4GW.

Oh yeah, sorry, doesn't fit in the US time line.

Sorry, I'd rather kill myself than read War and Peace.

Oh, and I'm an Australian, jackass.  Sorry that doesn't fit into your petty insult slinging.

SBCU

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #212 on: June 12, 2007, 05:00:31 pm »
Oh, and I'm an Australian, jackass.  Sorry that doesn't fit into your petty insult slinging.

It's not you who thought up the 4GW:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4GW
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Cain

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #213 on: June 12, 2007, 05:08:53 pm »
Actually, I've pretty much talked about 4GW on this board for the last couple of years, to inform my thinking on certain aspects of Discordian ideas.

And while its not Americans who came up with it, the Pentagon are the only people putting money into researching it thoroughly (and letting people look at the results without kidnapping them or slitting their throats) and I'd rather read an academic/military text than a piece of fiction on this subject, any day of the week.

SBCU

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #214 on: June 12, 2007, 05:26:03 pm »
Actually, I've pretty much talked about 4GW on this board for the last couple of years, to inform my thinking on certain aspects of Discordian ideas.

And while its not Americans who came up with it, the Pentagon are the only people putting money into researching it thoroughly (and letting people look at the results without kidnapping them or slitting their throats) and I'd rather read an academic/military text than a piece of fiction on this subject, any day of the week.

I fully understand the interest in 4GW and of course it benefits the Pentagon to have people research this way of waging war. And it can also benefit us that they are doing research on this subject, so we can learn something about a certain type of warfare. Though I think that the idea that 4GW is a new tactic within modern warfare can and ought to be challenged. I mentioned War and Peace, because Tolstoy describes within this book a 'new' type of warfare, that can be described as 4GW. Of course War and Peace is mostly fiction, but there is a lot of tactical and historical philosophy within the book (in the end the history rules the tactical, but that's up to Tolstoy).

I disagree with the strict 4 steps that are the basis of the 4GW thesis. Even though they show a certain development of tactics (mostly because of technical developments), they focus on how to fight against tactics that bother the US army at that given time. Right now it is against terrorism, because the US army is mostly fighting against... terrorism. While I believe that during 1, 2 and 3 GW, there was also 4GW at work, but it didn't have such a priority in the US army agenda. I could agree with different types of warfare, but not with strict generations like the 4GW thesis gives us.
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Cain

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #215 on: June 12, 2007, 05:38:36 pm »
Oh certainly, its not a totally accurate representation.  You could easily say 4GW is the same as the third stage in Martin van Creveld's method of dividing the history of modern warfare, as well as a bunch of other comparisons.  But its a conceptually helpful way of thinking about it, just like Information Warfare is another useful divide.

And I'm not sure anyone has actually posited that 4GW is a new method of fighting.  There is plenty of historical precedent, its just as firepower for the individual soldier increases, war becomes non-existential for western states, the arms trade, communications and globalization give advantages to non-state actors, its going to become much more popular - as guerrilla warfare become in the last century.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #216 on: June 12, 2007, 05:50:52 pm »
4GW is a model or map... the Map is not the Territory.

Sure people have always engaged in some aspects of insurgency when at War, however 4GW usually references the more modern concept of:

A) Insurgency as the major piece of warfare, versus insurgency as a subset of a larger war.
2) The Insurgency is not managed by any State.
III) The insurgency has an active PR arm to manage recruitment of local civilians and to win international support.

Before Mao, insurgency was a much different concept, and really, before the Sandinista the concept of local PR wasn't well understood. During the First Intifada, the use of PR for International support was proven to be very effective.

Just like any other product of evolution, I don't think 4GW is brand new and unique, but we can model it as having evolved from earlier similar methods of war and it seems to have become refined enough to garner its own label for the purpose of discussion.
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SBCU

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #217 on: June 13, 2007, 01:12:46 pm »
Nice book on the 'modernity' of terrorism: Al Qaeda and what it means to be Modern. by John Gray.
Nice book on the defense of the US: Surprise, Security and the American Experience. by John Lewis Gaddis.

An example of 4GW: The third phase of the Second Boer War.
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SBCU

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #218 on: June 14, 2007, 11:49:35 am »
Finished The end of the Tether. by Joseph Conrad.
Begun The Writer and the World. by V.S. Naipaul.
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #219 on: June 20, 2007, 08:20:08 pm »
Just picked up on lunch break:

Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture by Ariel Levy. I've actually already read this, but it was a borrowed copy. It's really, really good, so I wanted to pick up my own copy to mark up/loan out to people.

Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen. I've read snippets of it and I really like her narrative voice. So we'll see how the whole thing goes.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #220 on: June 21, 2007, 11:25:16 am »
Finished The Consolations of Travel by Alain de Botton, The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and Brave New War by John Robb.  A review on the last one will go up on the blog, once I get my laptop back.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #221 on: June 21, 2007, 05:18:52 pm »
Just finished Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk, getting started on Diary.
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #222 on: June 21, 2007, 05:19:33 pm »
Chuck's starting to get a little formulaic, if you ask me.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #223 on: June 21, 2007, 05:29:32 pm »
Chuck's starting to get a little formulaic, if you ask me.

I've been noticing that a little bit myself, but they're still good books.
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #224 on: June 21, 2007, 05:52:07 pm »
how many of you need to resist the urge to reply "this forum" every time they see it marked with a new message in it?

every time.

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