- Taschenbuch: 336 Seiten
- Verlag: Zenith Press; Auflage: New ed. (17. Februar 2006)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0760324077
- ISBN-13: 978-0760324073
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,9 x 1,9 x 23,2 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 25.932 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 17. Februar 2006
Wird oft zusammen gekauft
Kunden, die diesen Artikel gekauft haben, kauften auch
Es wird kein Kindle Gerät benötigt. Laden Sie eine der kostenlosen Kindle Apps herunter und beginnen Sie, Kindle-Bücher auf Ihrem Smartphone, Tablet und Computer zu lesen.
Geben Sie Ihre Mobiltelefonnummer ein, um die kostenfreie App zu beziehen.
Ongoing events in Iraq show how difficult it is for the world's only remaining superpower to impose its will upon other peoples. From Vietnam, French and US, to Afghanistan, Russian and US, to Israel and the Palestinians, to Somalia and Kosovo, recent history is replete with powerful military forces being tied up by seemingly weaker opponents. Answers to the "hows" of this along with recommendations for prescriptive actions are found in Thomas Hammes insightful book on the strengths and weaknesses of conventional military power. Hammes, a full colonel on active duty in the Marine Corps is an expert at asymmetrical warfare, perhaps better known as fourth generation warfare (4GW). This is the means by which Davids can defeat Goliaths. Colonel Hammes is well placed to write this study. As a career-Marine he has trained 4GW warriors in some places and fought against them in others. He has also made a lifelong study of military history which helps him illuminate the previous three generations of armed conflict and define and detail the newest, fourth generation of war. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)
What we are in fact seeing is "fourth generation warfare," (4GW) a term coined in a famous 1989 paper in the Marine Corps Gazette and now easily available on the Internet. Hammes argues that 4GW, far from being something academic or esoteric, represents the cumulative efforts of "practical people" trying to solve the problem of confronting superior military power. Their efforts are bearing fruit: "At the strategic level, the combination of our perceived technological superiority and our bureaucratic organization sets us up for a major failure against a more agile, intellectually prepared enemy." Amen.
The failure, in Hammes' view, will not be defeat in some Clausewitzian "decisive battle," but failure nonetheless as American politicians, tiring of the costs and despairing of victory, withdraw our forces short of achieving our objectives. He traces the evolution of 4GW through its successes--Mao, the Vietnamese, Sandinistas, Somalis, and Palestinians (in the first Intifada)--and its failures--the Al-Aqsa Intifada and perhaps al-Qa'ida, although the verdict, I fear, is still out on the latter.
It is the transnational element--we are not confronting state-based armies or even isolated insurgencies--that is driving the evolution of guerilla warfare into 4GW. So the 4GW danger in Iraq is not so much the insurgency but whether the conflict acts as a recruiting depot, training facility, and War Lab for violent transnational ideological groups, as was the case in Afghanistan.
Hammes concludes that when 4GW organizations remain true to their socially networked roots, and keep their focus on influencing their state opponents' desires to continue, they win. Such organizations only lose when they drop out of the 4GW paradigm--as when the Palestinians of the Al Aqsa Intifida shifted their focus away from influencing Israeli and Western opinion and directly towards destruction of the State of Israel, or perhaps when al-Qa'ida brought the war to the US homeland on 9/11.
In the last third of the book, Hammes raises issues that should trouble every US political and military leader. Perhaps most penetrating, given DoD's current focus, is the observation is that if information technology is the key to success in future combat, then we're probably going to lose. The reason is that dispersed, rapidly evolving networks can more quickly invent ways to exploit new information technologies than can large, bureaucratic, hierarchical structures such as the Pentagon. The parade of viruses, Trojans, and other worms that assault our (non-Mac) computers daily attest to the truth of this argument.
The solution, in Hammes' view, is to become more of a network ourselves. He is brutally realistic about the problems this entails--for starters we would need to eliminate about 50% of the field grade and general officers on active duty, which agrees with most studies of successful transformation--to "lean," for example-- which suggest reducing management ranks by 25-40%. Such thinking is a refreshing change from the gradualist school of "transformation" prevalent in DoD these days.
Many of his other recommendations will be familiar to those who have read US Army Major Don Vandergriff's The Path to Victory, which Hammes credits as the basis for his own personnel proposals: Solve the people problems and our troops will figure out ways to employ suitable technologies. Hammes' application of Vandergriff's ideas to fashioning a military capable of 4GW are among the most innovative parts of the book and potentially among the most decisive.
By the way, watch for Hammes' sly take on the phrase "coalition of the willing," which reveals a biting wit generally thought rare in Marine colonels.
If you are curious about where armed conflict is heading over the next 20-30 years, you must read The Sling and The Stone. You may not agree with all of Colonel Hammes' recommendations, but you'll find it hard to argue that he hasn't made a correct diagnosis of the problem. And just in time.
In the context of the thousands of book on strategy, force structure, emerging threats, and so on, this is a solid primer and excellent work for both those who know nothing of the many other books, and a good place to start for conventional military minds ready to think more deeply about transformation.
This is an excellent book over-all. His two key points are clear: 4th Generation Wars take decades, not months as the Pentagon likes to fight; and only 4th Generation Wars have defeated super-powers--the US losing three times, Russia in Afghanistan, France in Viet-Nam, etc.
The author offers solid critiques of the Pentagon's mediocre strategy (Joint Vision 20XX) and its preference for technology over people, an excellent short list of key players in world affairs, interesting lists and a discussion of insurgent versus coalition force strengths and weaknesses in Iraq, and a brutal--positively brutal--comparison of the pathetic performance of "secret" imagery taking days or weeks to order up, versus, "good enough" commercial imagery that can be gotten in hours.
There are flashes of brilliance that suggest that the author's next book will be just as good if not better. He understands the war of ideas and talks about insurgent handbills as a form of ammunition that the US is not seeing, reading, or understanding; he points out that Al Qaeda is like a venture capitalist, franchising and subsidizing or inspiring distributed terrorism; and he is superbly on target, on page 39, when he points out that when Al Qaeda attacks in the US, the only thing that is "moving" is information or knowledge. Everything else they pick up locally--hence, US homeland security comes down to intercepting the information, not the players or the things they use to attack us.
The author is among those who feel that we must nail Egypt, Syria, and Iran, among others (I would include Pakistan), for exporting support to terrorism.
I have a number of underlinings and margin comments throughout this book, so it is by no means a light read. It is a very fine place to start understanding war in the 21st Century, and an excellent foundation for reading the more nuanced and broader works of GI Wilson, Max Manwaring, Steve Metz, Ralph Peters, and others.
Other seminal works in this area, with reviews:
Uncomfortable Wars Revisited (International and Security Affairs Series)
The Search for Security: A U.S. Grand Strategy for the Twenty-First Century
Tactics of the Crescent Moon: Militant Muslim Combat Methods
The Tiger's Way: A U.S. Private's Best Chance for Survival
War of the Flea: The Classic Study of Guerrilla Warfare
Wars of Blood and Faith: The Conflicts That Will Shape the 21st Century
Published in 2004, before the Iraqui conflict had become as complex as it is today, Hammes' book is not a political manifesto on current policy. Rather, it takes aim at the higher-level question of how the evolution of military conflict has allowed rag-tag, largely civillian armies, to defeat vastly superior (in terms of training, equippage and technology) conventional forces. Furthermore, Hammes offers a convincing argument that such defeats have not been random events, but rather the outcome of careful planning by guerilla strategists and field tacticians who studied their own and others' successes and failures, not to mention their politically and militarily evolving opponents, and have relentlessly adapted accordingly.
The book's primary weakness is its uneven writing. Hammes first drafted sections of the book for academic courses at various military colleges over the prior 10 years. And certain sections feel exactly like Master's thesis prose. Despite a hostile reception from a handful of traditionalist military theorists, however, the strength of Hammes' concepts and his dogged determination to create clarity overcome those slightly clunky stretches.
Finally - in addition to the obvious contribution this book can make to any current debate about the right or wrong next steps for US military and foreign policy - there is an implication here that Hammes does not explore (as it's not part of his objective), but which fascinated me from early on in the book. The parallels of 4GW for business seem to me to be stark. Whereas traditional business- and market-planning assumed fairly concrete and repeatable forms during the 20th century, on that front, too, the world faces a shifting target. Small companies using unconventional strategies have emerged to strike fear into traditionalist giants (think of Google putting fear into Microsoft, or the worries that Skype raised for AT&T, for instance).
Additionally, and perhaps more immediately, the way that companies employ, train and engage workforces today largely follows an early- to mid-20th century script that 50 years ago applied specifically because there was little alternative to the traditional model: employment for life. Today, on the other hand, employees operate largely with a guerilla or free agency mentality, while most business still recruit, hire and train employees using extremely conventional tactics. For them, while they often acknowledge the frailty of their current approach, there is no 'next generation' model yet. That strikes me as an unsustainable situation.
While the military issues that Hammes raises have a life-and-death immediacy for the world today, the underlying parallels for the marketplace will be far reaching and significant, though they will unfold more slowly. Thus, in its layout of its basic concepts, The Sling and the Stone offers fodder for thought that should extend beyond its overt military topic.