Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW) dealing with the Civilian Sector of the State
The Egyptian Council for foreign Affairs hosted a lecture, delivered by Air Force Major General of Staff/ Hesham Al-Halaby, on “Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW)”, on Monday 8th of April 2019. The symposium was opened by Ambassador Mounir Zahran, Chairman of the Council, and was attended by an elite group of diplomats and academics concerned with the topic of the lecture; among them were Their Excellencies Ambassadors/ No’aman Galal, Mohamed Al-Ashmawy, Farouq Mabrouk, and Osama Tawfiq; Professor Dr. Ahmad Al-Darsh, Dr. Eng. Afaf Ameen, and Mr. Ahmad Abu Shady.
Dr. Hesham Al-Halaby indicated that, in military sciences, there are a large group of divisions linked to the generations of warfare. One of the most important of such divisions was what has been presented, by an American group headed by the Strategic Thinker William Leen in 1989, in which Fourth Generation Warfare has been mentioned. In accordance with the State’s strategic view, it is divided into Two sectors, a civilian sector and a military sector. What mostly characterizes the Three previous generations of warfare was that their aim was to mainly destroy the armed forces of the enemy state and then deal with its civilian sector. But Fourth Generation Warfare (4Gw) is an asymmetric warfare that mainly aims at firstly dealing with the civilian sector of the enemy state in preparation for taking control over it without the minimal involvement in military confrontation with the army of that state whether over its territories, the territories of other states, or even through the use of war proxies.
Targeting the civilian sector of the state, waging psychological warfare with all its tools, depending on terrorism, encouraging demonstrations under the pretext of peacefulness then committing assault against individuals, penetrating civil society organizations, and diversifying the use of all possible means of pressure on all economic, political, social, and military fields of the targeted state, with the taking into account of the various regional and international pressure sources, are among the means and methods used in Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW). As means of protection against this warfare, efforts must be made to spread vigilance and awareness and to conduct scientific analysis of domestic, regional, and international events through strong and specialized institutions. And that would be the safety valve for any state wishing to maintain its national security. On the other hand, disagreements and differences among individuals within the same state must be respected and that is to be achieved through programs and training given to various age groups.