Fourth generation warfare

Other Names:
Assymetrical war
Manoeuver warfare

Fourth-generation warfare (4GW) is conflict characterized by a blurring of the distinction between war and politics, and of the distinction between combatants and civilians.

The term was first used in 1980 by a team of United States analysts, including William S. Lind, to describe warfare's return to a decentralized form. In terms of generational modern warfare, the fourth generation signifies the nation states' loss of their near-monopoly on combat forces, returning to modes of conflict common in pre-modern times.

The simplest definition includes any war in which one of the major participants is not a state but rather a violent non-state actor. Classical examples of this type of conflict, such as the slave uprising under Spartacus, predate the modern concept of warfare.

Broader Problems:
Unconventional war
Related Problems:
Information warfare
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST