When TAC asked me for a piece on military drones, I had to consider which variety of drone was most important: the drone aircraft, the drones who operate the aircraft, or the drones back in the Pentagon who think drive-by shootings can win wars.
The primacy of the moral level carries over from classical guerrilla warfare into Fourth Generation war, the type of war we are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and, thanks to those wonderful Predators, in Pakistan. The defining characteristic of Fourth Generation is that it is multi-sided and many of the parties are not states. Some nonstate entities may fight for political goals, but many do not. Instead, their goals may range from martyrdom to loot to impressing the local girls. In the Fourth Generation, war moves beyond Clausewitz’s politics carried on by other means. For many of the entities waging such wars, the moral level replaces the political. It is power on the moral level that brings recruits, money, good press, and, perhaps, victory.