The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century

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Voyageur Press, Feb 17, 2006 - History - 321 pages
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4GW (Fourth Generation Warfare) is the only kind of war America has ever lost. And we have done so three times - in Vietnam, Lebanon, and Somalia. This form of warfare has also defeated the French in Vietnam and Algeria, and the USSR in Afghanistan.As the only Goliath left in the world, we should be worried that the world's Davids have found a sling and stone that work." - Chapter 1, The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century. The War in Iraq. The War on Terror. These types of "asymmetrical" warfare are the conflicts of the 21st century - and show how difficult it is for the world's remaining superpower to battle insurgents and terrorists who will fight unconventionally in the face of superior military power. This change in military conflict may seem sudden.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - madcatnip72 - LibraryThing

Author (and Marine Corps Col.) Thomas Xavier Hammes didn’t invent the concept of “Fourth Generation Warfare” (4GW) but popularized it and made it a subject of cocktail party conversation a couple ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - idiotgirl - LibraryThing

Insurgents are patient. I don't see how one "wins." We aren't patient. The writing in this book is very clunky. But the information and argument have stayed with me. Read full review


Four Generations of Warfare
The First Two Generations of Modern War
Transition to ThirdGeneration Warfare
Changes in Society
Mao and the Birth of FourthGeneration War
The Vietnamese Modification
The Sandinista Refinement
The Intifada Civilians versus an Army
Iraq HighTech versus FourthGeneration
Technology Not a Panacea
Characteristics of FourthGeneration War
Where to from Here?
Evaluating the Threat
The Future Is Flexibility
End Notes

The alAqsa Intifada
AlQaeda A Transnational Enemy
Afghanistan A Tribal Network

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About the author (2006)

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a career Marine, Thomas Hammes has spent most of his twenty-eight years serving in infantry and intelligence assignments. Colonel Hammes is considered by many in the defense community as the foremost expert in insurgent warfare. He has written numerous articles on defense issues and has appeared on PBS News Hour and other cable and network broadcasts. He is a senior military fellow at the National Defense University. He lives with his family in northern Virginia.

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