USAWC Strategy Research Project whitepaper.
War theorists believe we have entered into a new generation of warfare where an "evolved form of insurgency uses all available networks - political economic social military - to convince the enemy's decision makers that their strategic goals are either unachievable or too costly for the perceived benefit." They have named this new era of war "fourth generation warfare." Currently the Department of Defense's intelligence strategy is designed to defeat conventional adversaries vise a fourth generation warfare opponent. To be successful against a fourth generation warfare opponent the Department of Defense must transform its intelligence efforts. It must shift collection efforts from high-technology to low-technology solutions; redefine intelligence indicators; increase processing and analysis capabilities; and develop more agile dissemination systems. In addition the Department must develop a holistic strategy to fight and win a fourth generation war. This project will discuss the theory of fourth generation warfare and highlight its distinct characteristics. The study then identifies the challenges faced by the intelligence community as a result of this new form a war. Finally recommendations will be provided to enhance intelligence support to the military in their effort to win a fourth generation war.