4GW WAR OF WORDS CONTINUES
"The 4GW Scrum Gets Really Ugly
" at Opposed System Design
"The Myth of Grand Strategy
" by Fabius Maximus
"Repeat after Me: grand strategy is a LONG TERM pursuit
" by Dr. Barnett"All-Mercenary service?"
- thread at the Small Wars Council
Advocates of the 4GW school of thought, for all their emphasis on the superiority of a defensive posture over an offensive one, appear to be on the warpath lately.
The latest post by Fabius Maximus
, while an intriguing writer to be sure, exemplifies a weakness of intellectual culture prevalent in 4GW , namely a fascination with the primarily destructive
aspects of Boyd's strategic theory and a general unwillingness ( Chet Richards
excepted) to deeply contemplate the constructive
aspects that are implied by Boyd's " theme for vitality and growth
". Their " dialectic engine
" seems to be missing a few cylinders these days. It was not always so:"On one hand, as shown on the previous chart, the National Goal and Grand Strategy tend to be constructive in nature. On the other hand, the Strategic Aim, Strategy, Grand Tactics, and Tactics are destructive in nature and operate over a shorter time frame. In this sense, the upper two and the latter four notions. as expressed, appear to be in disharmony with one another. Yet, application of these latter four strategic and tactical notions permit real leadership to avoid high attrition, avoid widespread destruction, and gain a quick victory"
Good grand strategies are rare, admittedly, but most of those were accomplished by design rather than by default. Bismarck planned, Hitler improvised. The Founding Fathers built, the Jacobins destroyed. Moral cohesion requires more than avoidance of conflict or effective execution of military power - it demands a comprehensible and intellectually compelling vision that can pass from one generation to the next.
It requires the constructive thinking embodied by grand strategy- as Dr. Barnett is doing - and not merely anticipating the destruction of systems.