Thursday, February 12, 2009

Praxis: More from The Trainer on 4GW.

After I posted "Fourth Generation Warfare (NOT for Dummies)" below, The Trainer sent me this:

Along those lines, to help our group get more in line with 4GW & MW concepts & principles, I've excerpted some highlights from the Marine's FMFM-1 (Draft) 9/2008 on Light Infantry Training & Ops. These guide us as we develop and conduct our training.

Highlights from USMC FMFM-1 (Draft) 9 Sep 08

As applied to __________ Training


• The light infantryman characterizes himself by his mental resourcefulness and physical toughness.

• Hard physical training convinces members that they are able to overcome the most difficult situations that combat could present.

• LI do not feel defeated when surrounded, isolated or confronted by superior forces. They are able to perform their duties for long periods of time without any type of comfort or logistical support, obtaining what they need from the land or the enemy.

• LI are neither physically nor psychologically tied to the rear (supply trains or ‘secure areas’) by the necessity to maintain open lines of communication. This attitude of self-confidence provides LI a great psychological advantage over its enemies.

• LI employs a decentralized command philosophy and at a high tempo. An unpredictable ambush mentality and reluctance to follow a specified method is the essence of LI. This ambush mentality generates other secondary, but distinctive, characteristics. Among them are the ability and speed with which LI adapts to the terrain in which it operates.

• LI exploits adverse environmental conditions by turning terrain roughness to its advantage, using the terrain as a shield, a weapon and a source of supplies at the same time. As a result, LI has an incomparable superiority in those terrains that restrict Regular or Line Infantry operations (especially mechanized and armored forces), usually allowing it to face and defeat larger and better equipped enemy forces.

• This gives LI a distinctive operational versatility, being able to operate alone in restricted terrain or in a symbiotic relationship with line units. Light infantry easily adapts itself to all types of operations, and faces the natural evolution of war with no need to modify substantially the way it operates. This characteristic determines that LI is the only type of force able successfully to counter the challenge imposed by the current transition toward the Fourth Generation of War.

Command & Control (C2):

• LI operations require both commanders and subordinates to perform their duties in a highly decentralized environment.

• Command requires the wide use of mission-type orders, in which the commander’s intent provides guidance that enables subordinates to exercise initiative and make decisions in the absence of detailed orders.

• LI Command & Control relies on top-down vision, low-level planning, and decentralized decision-making allowing timely and effective response to the changing and chaotic situations that are usually faced in combat, enabling them to maintain a faster tempo than the enemy and get inside his OODA loop.

• Light infantry’s decentralized C2 is not feasible without quality leaders at all levels, especially at the lower levels.

• Leaders share the same shortages and hardships with their men and lead their teams from the front.


• Goal: Build teams able to operate in small, often separated, groups in a decentralized environment and under unfavorable conditions of terrain, weather and friendly and/or enemy situations for long periods of time.

• To achieve the goal, all personnel, regardless of age, rank, or time in service, must undergo the same training.

• Top Priority: Develop a LI mindset. To do this, training must be heavily oriented toward free-play field exercises, performed in the most austere conditions possible; with the balance set between a good learning environment and strict absence of any kind of comfort for the troops.

• Training must also include a rigorous professional reading program to develop the intellectual side of the LI. A good program will focus on enhancing critical and integrative thinking capabilities, encouraging initiative, and developing the required professional judgment to support LI leaders’ decentralized decision-making.

• The ability to conduct long, fast, demanding foot marches between engagements is a trademark of LI. If mindset is LI’s main weapon, its legs are real combat multipliers. However, also integrate other skills that light infantrymen must show in the field, such as land navigation, combat first aid, close combat, etc.

• Development in mastery in arms throughout all members. All LI must be able to employ and maintain all of their units’ weapons effectively; training should also ensure proficiency in enemy weapons’ handling and the ability to drive all kind of vehicles.

• Training will include the development of superb fieldcraft and camouflage, the ability to construct and breach simple obstacles, and survive in all type of restrictive terrain.


Anonymous said...

Thanks again to The Trainer. Excellent work.

But 4GW also has a very important moral (and morale) element as well, no?

And much needs to be said about the need for support among the population, and the history of our own Revolution has much, much to teach there.

By the time the shooting war of the Revolution started, the "war" for the hearts and minds of the people had already been largely won, thanks to men such as Sam Adams, James Otis, Joseph Warren, John Hancock, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere, Thomas Paine and Jefferson, among others.

Each of those remarkable men used his God given talents of persuasion and inspiration, whether he was a lawyer, a doctor, a smith, a smuggler par excellent (Hancock) or a fiery street organizer (Sam Adams), to reach and wake up their fellow colonists, and to radicalize them.

And they did not just talk about pending gun confiscation. Nor was it just about "taxation without representation" as dumbed down students are now taught. It was about so much more - denial of jury trial (the use of admiralty courts instead), and men being absconded to England for trial (the extraordinary rendition of their day), warrantless searches (the writs of assistance), confiscation and forfeiture of property, and of course the Boston Massacre, and other outrages.

And it was also about the Declaratory Act where Parliament claimed the power to legislate over the colonists in all cases whatsoever. Thomas Paine, in particular, pointed to that as an indication that they were now to be slaves to the Empire, used for its benefit.

For fifteen years prior to Lexington and Concord, they had built up support among the population and radicalized their fellow colonists, while they fought court cases, remonstrated, petitioned, and wrote articles.

While on the surface those efforts "failed" (in the sense that they failed to convince Crown and Parliament to respect their rights) those efforts were a smashing success in winning the moral war and growing tremendous support among the people, which later led to military success.

As John Adams later said:

But what do we mean be the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; . . . This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.
John Adams to Hezekiah Niles, 13 February 1818

Mike V.'s 1999 article which he recently reposted says much the same thing:

Yhey did not wait to feel the effects, but rebelled against the principles of asserted power of the Crown.

And thus, THE REVOLUTION WAS EFFECTED BEFORE THE WAR COMMENCED - And that meant that by the time of Lexington and Concord, the Crown had already lost the real fight - for the hearts and minds.

By April 19, 1775, New England had been so radicalized that the Regulars marched into truly Patriot dominated territory, where any loyalists kept their traps shut and stayed out of the fight, such that the Crown's troops had zero effective support among the people, and may as well have been in a foreign, occupied land, not a part of the empire. Every eye upon them was hostile, and at any moment a Samuel Whittemore might jump out, musket and dueling pistols in hand, to wage war with reckless abandon.

John Adams also said this, in 1776:

I agree with you, that in Politicks the Middle Way is none at all. If We finally fail in this great and glorious Contest, it will be by bewildering ourselves in groping after this middle Way.
John Adams to Horatio Gates, 23 March 1776

Each one of the men above used their particular God given talents to inspire their fellows, but the one thing they all shared was deep courage and resolve to tell it like it is, and to stand on principle.

As in their day, we are now past the point of being able to actually secure our rights by working within the system of "normal politics" and we need to look at any political involvement more as a way to reach and radicalize our fellow "colonists" against the Mordor on the Potomac and the army of orcs it is building against us all.

And thus, the time for political "compromise" is past - if it ever had any utility - and it is time to stand only on principle in ALL THINGS, so that we take and hold the moral high ground.

No doubt you can look at the current political environment and see at least one shining example of a man who stands on principle, no matter which way the political winds blow. We need more like him. And we each need to be such men ourselves.

High Plains Lawyer

Anonymous said...

I just read the article Mike posted recently called Praxis: Armed Jesus, Strategy of People's War in Uganda:

And I just realized that article covered much of what I was trying to say in my comment above.

I think it safe to say the American Revolution was successful because it met all the criteria (being a struggle for broad liberation in particular) and moved well through the stages.

These parts in particular highlight the importance of the moral high ground and broad support:

"First: There must be extreme and widespread oppression -- enough to generate desperation and resentment by a wide cross-section of the population. ...

Second condition: It must be clear to many people in the oppressed community that there is no other peaceful option to get them out of their oppression, that armed struggle is the only option.

Three: The other crucial factor is the terrain, the terrain of the country. If you are fighting in the urban areas, (that is) the political environment, which somehow is linked with number one -- meaning that you should have either favorable terrain or you should have overwhelming (political) support if it is an urban area.

Number five: There must be a revolutionary leadership able to do two things: articulate how much better the future will be when the revolutionary forces win, and convince the people by advocacy and actions that it is possible to triumph.

....A revolutionary is like a holy man, but using guns. If you can imaging Jesus wielding a gun, that is a revolutionary.

You must never do anything wrong. Therefore, when you select targets, you must select them very carefully. First of all, you must never attack noncombatants. Never, never, never, never!

Don't kill civilians! Civilians should not be killed if they are not armed -- even if they are for the government -- you scare them away, (tell them) "Don't come back here. If we find you here again, you'll see." The fellow will just run away. You don't have to kill. And that, by the way, is also part of building the prestige of the revolutionary movement. Because the word goes around, "These people are not killers! They could have killed me. They captured me. I was in their control but they told me to go away." Very big, very big -- you are now like Jesus, but armed -- armed Jesus. Just scare them away."

Excellent points, and I'll bet Sam Adams would agree.