Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Lexington Green of Chicago Boyz noticed that the British Ministry of Defense seems to have an admiral who echos John Robb and Robert Kaplan:

"Very Global Guerillas-esque vision -- From the British MOD"

"Quoting Rear Admiral Chris Parry, head of the "development, concepts and doctrine centre at the Ministry of Defence", who is "charged with identifying the greatest challenges that will frame national security policy in the future."

He identified the most dangerous flashpoints by overlaying maps showing the regions most threatened by factors such as agricultural decline, booming youth populations, water shortages, rising sea levels and radical Islam. Parry predicts that as flood or starvation strikes, the most dangerous zones will be Africa, particularly the northern half; most of the Middle East and central Asia as far as northern China; a strip from Nepal to Indonesia; and perhaps eastern China. He pinpoints 2012 to 2018 as the time when the current global power structure is likely to crumble. Rising nations such as China, India, Brazil and Iran will challenge America’s sole superpower status. This will come as "irregular activity" such as terrorism, organised crime and "white companies" of mercenaries burgeon in lawless areas.'

Hmmm. I'd like to see the map. I bet it looks a lot like the Gap.

Meanwhile, the Brits are probably going to be axing one of their planned aircraft carriers. Wise move to ditch a Cold War anachronism -- or foolish move, sacrificing a valuable 4GW power-projection platform? I suppose it depends on what the person with the checkbook wants to hear.

The Brits are speculating about (reconfiguring for?) a new Barbarian Invasion. And it sounds kinda plausible.

That concerns me."

Globalization and immigration are not incompatible with assimilation nor must they result in catastrophic security problems. However when you opt to allow in large numbers of foreigners (U.S., E.U.), lack real border controls (U.S.), discourage assimilation of immigrants by promoting crackpot multiculturalism (U.S., E.U.), encourage the dole instead of employment (E.U.) , make acquiring citizenship nigh impossible (parts of E.U.) then you have to expect to have problems in your immigrant communities, at least on the margin.

Immigration can be reduced, assimilation can be encouraged, Islamist Imams can be prohibited entry or kicked out, inane economic policies that create permanent unemployment can be reversed. Actions can be taken to prevent autocratic kleptocracies from easily exporting their spillover costs from incompetent governance. Captured terrorists can be tried and hanged instead of being given "culturally sensitive" MRE's.

We have choices. We are not doomed.



The DDC link is worth an extended examination along the lines of the National Intelligence Council's 2020 Project.

"Beware: the new goths are coming" at Times Online

The Small Wars Council

"Modern-day Goths and Vandals threaten the West via cheap flights and the net" at The Australian.
Here's the link to the UK MOD

UK fan

I posted my thoughts over at Chicago Boys, though I don't understand how this is related to GG. I think Robb agrees that GG is much more than just barbarism. Likewise, Robb believes (I think) that connectedness defines danger, and the places mentioned tend to be less connected.

I had a second of thinking some official actually defend aircraft carriers of 4GW weapons. That would be insane.

Dan tdaxp

Like Dan, I posted my thoughts over at CB. A carrier as a 4GW plaform? It would be interesting to see what the Navy thinks about that. Carriers are actually a very important platform even past the Cold War. All our services are transitioning to an expeditonary force. We in the USAF operate as an Air Expeditionary Force since Desert Storm. But we also need carrier based air power and everything that comes with it. Especially when we operate far away from places where we have basing rights. Our forces need to be able to respond to crises anywhere in the world within hours and days, not weeks and months. I remember the USS Abraham Lincoln responding to the tsunami in SE Asia in a very non-kinetic fashion. Not all immigrants (if any) are "barbarians". I come from a family of immigrants and some times we act quite civilized. Unless somebody messes with the us or the US of A. Can't speak for the rest of the immigrant/barbarian crowd though. The US can assimilate immigants far better than the UK, I'll tell you that. Unrelated note: Happy B-Day US Army!
Maybe I need to be more literal. I am not saying an aircraft carrier is a 4GW platform. I don't really even know what 4GW means, and I read Hammes' book, and I read the stuff on Lind's site. (I don't really accept the four generation breakdown of military history that this is all premised on, though it is interesting.)

Anyway, there was supposed to be this mild humor in there, where I said, "depends whose writing the check". So, to explain that, I am saying, these ships can be and have been dismissed as irrelevant, so how do the British Admirals explain what they want these aircraft carriers for, anwyay? If the future is "4GW", or even "5GW", whatever those things may be, then the RN's sales job will be explaining to someone unsmiling person from the Treasury how these ships are, by Jove, just what you need for it.

I agree with Sonny that the USA handles immigrants much better than does the UK, which in turn is much better than continental Europe. His suggestion that (1) this British admiral is saying that "all" immigrants are barbarians, or (2) that I am saying that, is not correct.

I agree with Mark also that there is nothing inevitable about any of these predictions. I just found it interesting that fairly serious sounding British military people are suddenly sounding like Robert Kaplan.
Lexington,Mark, et al,

Maybe I misinterpreted Lexington's comments. I get really defensive when I see the words immigrant and barbarian in the same sentence, (or in the same paragraph for that matter) without proper clarification. That was my bad and (my excuse) probably the product of commenting after a long day at work. I am 100% percent against illegal immigration. But being Hispanic I probably have an emotional attachment towards immigrants that come here to work hard. I've also served with many sons of immigrants in some very bad parts of the world. I remember seeing many of these kids jump in a Humvee and exit the gates of Camp Blue Diamond and Camp Fallujah never to come back alive. So yes, I have a visceral reaction to the association of "barbarians" and "immigrants".

I sometimes want to dismiss the whole 4GW construct as bolony, but the intellectual part of me tells me there's a vocabulary and some tools included in the generational model of warfare that we can access and used to our benefit. Not coming from an academic background, I tend to dismiss some things for which I find no immediate practical application. That's changing, but old habits die hard. I am not sure the Brits really need more carriers. That's up to them to decide, based on what they think their forces will do in the future. I can tell you that we, the US, still have a need for carriers...and heavy bombers...and stealth fighters. Not all wars will be a replay of OIF and OEF. Even in the current Iraq war, high tech weapons have a time and place. The key is how we use and combine those capabilities with the "low-tech" capabilities. Witness how we killed AMZ using a combination of low-tech means and jet fighters armed with advanced targeting pods, laser- and GPS-guided munitions operating under a very sophisticated and networked command and control system. If we model our forces based solely on our Iraq War (what some will call 4GW) experience, we'll end up with a COIN force. We need to do more than COIN to deter and possibly face our future threats. Thank you all for the stimulating discussion.
For clarification's sake -immigration is generally positive, including Arab and/or Muslim immigration.

We have however a problem on the margins with illegal immigration in general and in terms of Islam, an acute security crisis, that requires a re-thinking of how we handle migrational " flows".

Subjecting Muslim flows to stricter scrutiny is little different than subjecting refugees from Communist countries to screening and debriefings during the Cold War. Most were poor souls but some few were sleepers, spies or common criminals that the Communist regimes wished to expel.

There is no requirement that we be self-destructively blind or, alternatively, hysterical.
"There is no requirement that we be self-destructively blind or, alternatively, hysterical."

Mark, being a voice of reason in the blogosphere is a lonely task, but I am glad to see you doing it.

Sonny, I agree absolutely that the USA needs a range of capabilities, and not just COIN. I think the 4GW framework has some value, but I think that there are other ways of thinking about todays challenges that are probably equally or more valuable, particularly focusing on each country's historical competencies (and weaknesses). But I tend to be an inductive and historically-minded thinker not a system-builder or generalizer. Both approaches can have their utility.
Gracias, Lex. I try.
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