Lebowski Enlightenment #4

4th Generation Warfare is the idea that there are many ways to cause organized groups like military and government problems besides standing up and shooting at them.  4th Generation Warfare has been a big topic in military circles since Vietnam.  Our military has been reorganized to deal with it several time since.

IED has been a favorite in our recent ME adventures, cheap, local components and infinite variety of triggering mechanisms, each costing $1B to develop and deploy counter-measures for the ever-more-unwieldly equipment running through the streets and along the roads, targets for the next clever idea on how to evade detection, build the perfect trap.

This insight, that distributed local attacks with information sharing will win over centrally-directed defense, now reliably does not lose wars, and military aggressors with conventional armies eventually decide that they can’t justify the continuing costs.

Why do you suppose we haven’t heard that discussed?  

We hear about our military creating enemies, we see the war spreading for 14 years, and our side never wins, but the synthesis of these facts and the trends is never done, the obvious conclusion is avoided because the ideas aren’t allowed.  Exactly the opposite, we are presented with plans for world domination using the military as a major instrument.

At the same time as we know, from all recent experience in our supporting various mujahadeen, e.g. Russians in Afghanistan, that externally-supported 4th Generation fighers cannot be beaten without massive manpower and scorched earth, kill-the-sons-at-14 tactics as used by Russia in small and small-population Chechnya, our Israeli-lead Project for the New American Century planned for world domination via military occupation of large countries with large populations.  The Progressives of the Right, neocons who planned these debacles claimed at the time that the locals would love our liberating troops and shower them with roses.  Subsequently, the disruptions have spread through the Middle East and flooded Europe with migrants.

I believe our government would have started the 4th doubling down by invading Syria without the principled opposition (self-interested, also, but our self-interest rarely is principled) of Vladimir Putin.

No victories, huge costs and intentionally widening the war would definitely have qualified as Hubris to the Power of Dunning-Kruger, a long series of doubling down in the face of massive contrary evidence, the power of propaganda in government policy.

Professionally-lead armies are just as bad as our FFs thought they were.  Professional armies inevitably mean you will have war, whereas none of the countries that have beaten us lately have had professional armies at all (not after we abolished Iraq’s army), they were all militias.  Local militia have proven more than adequate defense : no army would want to advance through territory that has been controlled by a modern militia : the network of sensors and devices would be impossible to entirely remove and would plague any occupying group for years.  For example. This added later.

War could not be made economic, given reasonable preparation and weapons, against any locality*.  For the same reason, police will be less needed.  Private security/surveillance will ensure detection of most criminal actions within a home or business.  That will deter crime, and crimes of passion or invasion will leave much evidence, justice will be surer.

That line of thought says it is ever-more feasible for city- and county-sized groups of people to control their own fate.  Our current size is due to the fact that communications and military weapons scaled the coercive power of governments faster than the ability of local citizens to resist, so pirates could steal enough to survive.  The Internet and modern technology has changed that.

I believe those changes will continue and intensify*.  We are within a few years of a nationwide WiFi network.  TV and radio are going to be distributed by fiber and cable, that spectrum is too important for general communications.  All of those will go to small cells with backhaul to backbones via fiber and other radio nets.  Universal, cheap, communications and we could have additionally have fiber optic cables festooned everywhere.  Bandwidth is cheap and getting much much cheaper.  Communications individual to individual enhances local power relative to outside groups.

But a world of universal surveillance will demand honest people, as it cannot be allowed for a centralized entity.  Genghis Khan bragged a naked virgin with a bag of gold could walk alone from one end of the empire to the other and never be touched, perhaps proof it was an honest place but more likely a measure of fear.   Modern worlds cannot run on fear, they are too complex and fear inhibits every mental facility needed to deal with complexity.

Honesty is the required personal attribute, I believe.  When very private, entirely personal moments of a notorious and disliked man are stolen and posted to a public web site, and everyone averts their gaze and refuses to look, we will have privacy.  You own your own data and would not presume to receive stolen goods.

I think that private security arrangements will defeat armed bands from the first breakdowns of government***.  Very quickly, no criminal will have more than a few minutes before neighbors converge, shooting.  In the country-side, there will be fewer ways to leave and those will be blocked, drones will follow you wherever you go.

Crime cannot produce gain where people can watch out for each other, defend each other.  Government is not needed if there is no crime nor credible invader.

Do you think this a possible reason for the many stories in crime and enemies?  Have you personally ever seen a crime?  An enemy?

*Except for the land itself.  If they don’t want the buildings or the people, there can be no defense except MAD.  Robots mean people have less economic value except as minds capable of things AIs are not.

**Within a few more years, most people’s work will be done by robots, and nobody can know what is past that point, it is beyond our imagination.

***Many of those will be recently-government, our police have already begun official highway robbery campaigns.

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