Epochal Change: War Over Social and Political Organization


© 1997 Robert J. Bunker

From Parameters, Summer 1997, pp. 15-25.

The United States must remain prepared for war, but not one understood by traditional perceptions of security. The centuries-old idea of "a struggle between nation-states or their coalitions over the preservation and extension of national sovereignty" is in danger of becoming irrelevant. Long-standing assumptions about warfighting, which include definitions of victory and defeat, threat entities, and the battlefield itself, are being challenged. The adversary, furthermore, will not necessarily be an emerging peer competitor, which we seem so intent on vanquishing by mastering the so-called Revolution in Military Affairs.[1]

Our most likely adversaries will emerge from a process of human advancement, a cyclical shifting between order and chaos, which is at least a millennium old.[2] Since the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, this process has been one of increasing law and order that led to prosperity for many Western nation-states, their public institutions, and their peoples. The cycle, which is the topic of this article, now may be shifting away from stability toward chaos, suggesting that the nation-state may be entering a period in which its usefulness as a concept for organizing societies will be severely challenged.

The United States has been less affected by this process than most other Western nation-states; we seem to prosper despite such challenges. However, the breakdown of the family, increased drug use among our children, the growing specter of gang violence, and other forms of social terrorism suggest that our own institutions are not immune to a degree of chaos. Ralph Peters, in an earlier Parameters article, stated succinctly that we are witnessing "a struggle to redefine human meaning."[3] Regardless of the state of the revolution to which he referred, the struggle he describes is far from ended. If the examples of Western history are any indication, we may expect increasing chaos during the shift from what has been called the "modern" era to its successor.[4] Much like a chemical process in a crucible, the deconstruction likely to accompany change can be the process by which existing forms of social and political organization are burned away and new forms emerge to take their place. This article examines two periods of similar transition, and analyzes characteristics of contemporary values and institutions which suggest that the Western world may face a period comparable to previous epochal shifts in warfare.

Epochal Change

Eras of increasing chaos are not sporadic events. Rather, the insights provided by Fourth Epoch War theory suggest that these revolutions in political and military affairs represent great transitions in Western civilization when one energy-based epoch ends and another begins.[5] Distinct forms of social and political organization in the established social order have tended to be replaced by forms more attuned to new interests and sources of civilizational energy. One of these transitions, from the classical to the medieval epoch, occurred in varying stages starting in the last quarter of the 4th century and continuing through the first third of the 8th century. Its successor, which marked the shift from the medieval to the "modern" epoch, seems to have occurred between the middle of the 14th century and the middle of the 17th century.

The common and single most significant aspect of this process of human advancement is the emergence of distinct eras of warfare dominated by mercenaries or warriors unaffiliated with extant governing structures. During these periods, rulers and their followers lose exclusive right to warmaking.[6] The larger process of change itself suggests some insights into this dilution of sovereignty.

Advanced technology based on a new energy foundation is one of the principal sources of the change.[7] Old ideas, upon which the prevailing polity forms were based, are manifested in concepts such as economic theory and definitions of wealth, military ethics, force structure and doctrine, the legal system and sciences, and class structure and government. In previous eras of change the established ideas and forms through which these concepts were expressed proved particularly resistant to change; people failed (or refused) to adapt to the qualitatively advanced technologies used by those who were prepared to challenge the legitimacy of the established order with applications of new means of making war. The latter ultimately produced new ethical considerations and social dilemmas which the old ideas were never meant to moderate or resolve. During the two periods in question, existing social and political institutions broke down as they became irrelevant to new demands placed upon them by those who possessed "advanced" means of warmaking.[8]

As existing elites lost control of the instruments of coercion and force, their societies were marked by a gradual decline of consensus and the rise of inertia within the public sector, patterns that seem evident in some advanced Western states. The economic sector, in turn, can display a shift from traditional to more technically advanced forms of production, such as from agriculture to industrial goods to informational products.[9] The process involves all elements of the affected social group, from a decline in older concepts of morality to a legal system which becomes increasingly unable to administer justice to the displacement of existing social, political, and economic elites.

Battlefield dominance was lost in those earlier periods, not because the people and the government were incapable of continuing to function on the traditional battlefield, but because those challenging the governing structure, free of the dead hand of the past, redefined the battlefield to their advantage.[10] Instead of adopting radically new ideas of warfighting based on the means available to those who would challenge their right to rule, ruling elites tended either to modify older means of warfare or to ignore or proscribe the new ones. So the armor of knights tended to get heavier to protect against launched weapons until the unhorsed knight became an immobile and easy prey for the peasant with a stiletto. Nor could the certainty of summary execution if found in possession of a crossbow intimidate others bent on replacing the existing order. The only thing that might have preserved some semblance of the old order was an internal challenge to the values on which prevailing politico-military systems were based. Without such an impulse to modify old ways and adapt to new ones, "establishment" values were inevitably overthrown by the upstarts.

During the struggle between the old order and that which was destined to become the new, outsiders with no stake in maintaining the existing social and political order--who would benefit directly from its overthrow--were doing something altogether different with the capabilities inherent in the new means of war. Unconstrained in their thinking and behavior by established practices or by the fear of appearing "unsoldierly," these military entrepreneurs violated the accepted rules of war with impunity. They eventually developed radically new warfighting concepts that allowed them to use the technically more advanced forms of weaponry against the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the old order.

Violation of the rules of war--whether for social, economic, religious, cultural, or other motivation--was condemned by established authorities as criminal activity. There were two principal reasons for this outcome. First, if such criminal activity were to spread unchecked, it could eventually challenge the warmaking monopoly of the prevailing state form. "Private war," war waged by individuals, is outlawed in civil societies because it tends to undermine the legitimacy of the existing social and political order; to surrender warmaking powers is tantamount to a degradation of national sovereignty.

Second, such activity, be it classical, medieval, or modern, is indeed criminal as defined by any society. A raiding party of Germanic tribesmen plundering a frontier Roman province, a mercenary company extracting "fire money" from a medieval town, a drug cartel engaged in a terror campaign against the citizens of its region or the agents of a South American government, or the seizure of legitimate businesses by Russian crime syndicates--all are forms of criminal behavior. Private economic gain, blood feuds, religious motivations, or other apolitical objectives are the primary motivations for these activities. The new warriors in each epoch tend to personalize their antagonisms.

History suggests that when internal violence, which can be defined as either criminal activity or "private war," rises to a level which directly threatens the people of a state, that state form will likely dissolve unless the anarchy can be suppressed. Perhaps the most evident example of the contemporary applicability of that proposition is the decline of the nation-state as a governing form in many parts of West Africa. Robert Kaplan, for one, has argued that for all practical purposes, it may be extinct in that region.[11] Parts of South America, Asia, and those territories formerly subjected to Soviet hegemony are also experiencing explosive growths in crime and internal conflict:

Police in Russia estimate that about 3000 organized crime groups, allied into about 150 confederations, now exist and that half of the country's banks and real estate are mafia-owned. . . . These groups control not only traditional criminal activities such as drug trafficking, prostitution, extortion, loan-sharking, black marketing, etc., but also other spheres of influence. For instance, estimates show that 40,000 state-run and private companies are controlled by the crime syndicates in Russia.[12]

Martin van Creveld's prophetic statement that "in the future, war will not be waged by armies but by groups whom we today call terrorists, guerrillas, bandits and robbers, but who will undoubtedly hit upon more formal titles to describe themselves" seems to address this new reality.[13]

Comparable statements could have been made by either a Roman scholar or a medieval clergyman. Many of the successor states to the Western Roman Empire and Europe's medieval fiefdoms were founded by "military entrepreneurs" not unlike the leaders of the drug cartels, mafias in uniform, and criminal enterprise armies emerging today.[14] The overriding national security concern for the West is the possibility that developing conditions could lead to another test of the staying power of existing institutions. The challenge to legitimacy of the nation-state will come from armed non-state actors intent on legitimizing forms of behavior that current societies consider to be criminal or morally corrupt.

Such a scenario has occurred at least twice previously in Western history, first when cavalry-based raiders destroyed the foot-based legions of Rome, and later when arquebus-using mercenaries slaughtered the equine-based knighthood of feudal Europe.[15] In each instance new forms of social and political organization followed the triumph of those armed with new or different forms of military means--the feudal state during the medieval epoch and the nation-state during the modern epoch.

These earlier state forms, initially ruled by leaders little better than today's mafia bosses or drug kingpins, became respectable and legitimate political entities when the new forms of social and political organization which they represented became institutionalized as the dominant social, ethical, religious, and economic patterns. Should such a process begin in the next few decades, crime-based successors to the failing nation-state would begin to emerge from among the bands of predators presently bedeviling Western and other nations.[16] As in the past, they would be founded on mercenary and warrior groups; their successes would lead to some form of follow-on state and allow them to begin to assume the mantle of respectability. History tends to be written by the victors.

In line with this historical process, a number of scholars point out that war is currently undergoing a transformation. Instances of declared armed conflict, traditionally defined as a struggle between opposing nation-states, seem increasingly unlikely. We are witnessing the emergence of a new form of war, repeatedly mistaken as criminal activity; the new form of warfare can be defined as "a struggle between competing forms of social and political organization over which the eventual successor to the nation-state will be built."[17]

Lessons Learned

The emergence of new warmaking entities suggests that traditional warfighting assumptions held by our senior political and military policymakers are no longer necessarily valid. We arguably are witnessing a fundamental shift in politico-military affairs that could see war increasingly fought over competing social and cultural values rather than as the continuation or expansion of a nation-state's interests or policies.[18]

The individual who is alienated from the rule of law will provide the basis of the new threat we are facing. The half-starved and uneducated semi-barbarians--Ralph Peters calls them "the new warrior class"--represent one image of our future enemy. Others will join the ranks of these warriors for ideological or economic reasons; indeed, there will be many reasons for the emergence of large groups of such outlaws in the years ahead.[19] This warrior is now experimenting with warfighting concepts that run counter to US ideas of dominance on the full-dimensional battlefield, one of which rests on low-tech principles of information warfare that we have mislabeled as terrorism.[20] When these warfighting concepts merge, as they will eventually, with advanced technologies now emerging from laboratories and clandestine arms factories, members of the groups will find few obstacles to seizing the initiative from conventionally recruited, trained, and equipped forces of a given state.[21]

These warriors will organize into new warmaking entities, the smallest of which will be subnational groups such as armed bands, private armies, and local crime organizations. Others, however, will grow in size to become transnational mercenary companies or free corporations similar to the drug cartels.[22] The largest of these new warmaking entities will, if not suppressed, begin someday to fill the political void wherever nation-states have failed or are in danger of losing their legitimacy.

America remains essentially unchallenged by the rise of the non-state groups; indigenous US terrorists of the 1960s and '70s pale by comparison to Bader-Meinhof, the Japanese Red Army Faction, or Russia's criminal syndicates. Our contacts with them have occurred primarily in non-Western regions, and are characterized by peripheral campaigns in Lebanon, Somalia, Haiti, Rwanda, Liberia, and Bosnia. Failed operations in both Lebanon and Somalia resulted in the deaths of 241 Marines and the massacre of 18 Rangers. Operations undertaken in other former nation-states have not truly tested US ground forces against these groups: our troops have been severely constrained to avoid incurring casualties. Conditions necessary for stability in failing states or in other regions, most recently in the Balkans, continue to elude us whenever we face determined non-state actors, whatever their motives or forms of resistance to the established state.

Until recently we in the United States had been spared intra-state warfare, but this, too, may be changing. The bombings of the World Trade Center in New York, the federal building in Oklahoma City, and in Centennial Park in Atlanta--three domestic incidents--are incomprehensible to many US citizens. The incidents do not seem to fit our perceptions of politically-based terrorism because our traditional definition of terrorism is obsolete. Instead of viewing terrorist activity as inherently political, it should be considered from the perspective of what it inflicts upon a nation's social fabric: warfare directed toward the physical and mental well-being of our people.[23] It is comparable in its effects to endemic disorganized crime, to which millions of our inner-city citizens are subjected daily by warring street gangs.[24] Rather than its classification as an unacceptable form of warfare between nation-states, terrorism can be said to represent war waged by those who--regardless of state affiliation or the lack of it--adhere to emerging forms of social and political organization that are by definition outside the law and hence are in competition with the nation-state.[25]

In some parts of the United States, those who can afford it create walled communities, not unlike those of Renaissance Europe, where they can live safely under the protection of private security forces. There are at present more than 30,000 walled or gated communities in the United States, with 60,000 projected by 2005.[26] Other citizens go through each day looking over their shoulders and wondering why it is that basic police protection is becoming less a public good and more a private commodity available only to the highest bidder.[27]

Another image of the non-state warrior may well be that of outlaws within our own society: the street gangster, common thug, extremist militiaman, computer hacker, or rent-a-cop with a criminal record. The extent to which societal conflict could stem from the growing number of gang members alone is staggering. One estimate suggests that gangs with an aggregate membership of about one million active adherents currently operate within the United States, primarily, but no longer exclusively, within large urban areas.[28]


This analysis suggests that as states shift from the Westphalian model to some derivative and perhaps largely imitative form of organization and governance, we will encounter increasingly chaotic forms of opposition.[29] The overriding national security concern facing us as a result of this shift will be the requirement to wage war effectively against the emerging non-state warrior and the new warmaking entities within which he or she will operate.

This will be an extremely difficult task. Rather than one or two well-defined threats against which to prepare, we will initially be facing dozens, if not hundreds, of such organizations. The links among these groups and their own internal command structures will more likely resemble a web-like nodal pattern than a hierarchy. The logic of the Clausewitzian "center of gravity"--useful in conflict against "symmetrical " adversaries--may prove difficult, if not impossible, to apply effectively against them.[30] Instead, responses tailored to the often unique vulnerabilities of each group may be required.[31] And while these entities presently may be most visible and active in the less-developed regions of the globe, their emergence within our own borders is already underway. Should they become significant threats to national security through the cumulative effects of their activities, many aspects of civil-military relations, such as Posse Comitatus, could be reevaluated.[32]

The armed forces, particularly the Army and the Marine Corps, will find their value systems increasingly challenged by the shift toward chaos.[33] Tensions between received values and derived principles and policies on the one hand, and on the other pragmatic approaches to countering threats of the kinds described above, can create ethical conflicts. New missions and many of the advanced warfighting concepts which are emerging from new technologies may challenge the soldier merely to stay alive in the new conflict environment, to say nothing of completing the mission.[34] At the same time, their opponents on the more technically advanced battlefield may have the means and the will to use more advanced technology, unburdened by constraints about employing it in ways that violate our Western rules of war.[35] The US armed forces reflect the values of society; changes of the sort suggested will inevitably follow rising citizen indignation and apprehension as outlaw groups discover their capacity for mayhem.

The ethical dilemma we will face is clear. Someday new warfighting concepts, which include cybermaneuver, terrorism, virtual (computer-based) attacks, and the purposeful use of nonlethal weaponry to inflict long-term disabling casualties, will give this enemy a clear battlefield advantage:

If the World Trade Center bombers had packed their van with radiological material along with the explosives, the radioactive debris and ash scattered by the explosion might well have rendered New York City's financial district uninhabitable for decades to come.[36]

Such an asymmetrical battlefield advantage would be no different from similar ones achieved by the cavalry-based raider over the Roman legionnaire and the common mercenary over the medieval knight. Each historical "criminal" group was able to take qualitatively advanced means, encompass them with new warfighting principles, and fight its way to the mantle of legitimacy. That accepted rules of war were ignored en route to their success mattered, if at all, only to historians.[37]


This essay suggests that a form of epochal societal change may be under way, a cycle of human behavior analogous to--and as difficult to discern and describe against the background clutter of everyday activities--as the Kondratieff long wave in economics. The dilemma described above obviously embodies considerable potential for a dangerous trend in US national security strategy and national military policy. Rather than face the prospect of reengineering significant elements of US social and political institutions to prevent their increasing obsolescence in the face of challenges from non-state actors, the United States could do as other states have in the past: hire mercenaries to contend with some of the emerging domestic and foreign threats from non-state actors.

This concept is based on emerging private security firms that conceivably could combat certain of the developing forms of war.[38] Such firms would be valued for the economic, operational, and political advantages they possess over traditional military forces. They would serve under competitive contracts, their members free of strict rules of engagement (ROE) that could inhibit their operational effectiveness. And there would be little public outcry when some of their "employees" inevitably became casualties. That the intra-state operations in which they would be involved are not recognized as war only helps to dampen prospective objections to such a policy. Hence, conceivably there could be scant opposition to contractors carrying out military operations in distant regions of the world. Our armed forces then would be committed only to conflicts between nation-states where vital national interests were seen to be at stake.

Private contractors might indeed improve in the short term the US ability to engage in military activities which it currently has trouble conducting. Their employment could, however, pose a long-term threat to national security. Their engagement within the United States to deal with gangs, narcotics smugglers, and other threats to domestic tranquillity is an entirely different matter than chasing outlaws across the African veldt. At the end of the day, the ultimate form of government outsourcing--relying on mercenary forces to combat non-state warriors--carries constitutional implications.

There is, as yet, scant empirical evidence to sustain the idea of an epochal shift in the objectives, means, and methods of warfare such as described here. What we do seem to have in abundance is increasing numbers of actual or incipient outlaws for whom existing social, political, and economic institutions are an impediment to the advancement of their private agendas, emerging technology that can provide them great advantages over conventional forces, and an almost total lack of scruples as to how the technology could be used. There also seem to be indications that law enforcement agencies and those whose duty it is to defend the nation "from all enemies, foreign and domestic" are increasingly unable to deal successfully with the rising potential for nontraditional forms of violence. Should they fail in their duty, the onus will not be on them. It will, as in centuries past, rest on those who are so heavily invested in the status quo--protecting profit and privilege--that it prevents them from shaping the new strategic policies that will enable soldiers and policemen to carry out their sworn duties.


An earlier version of this essay was prepared for the Commandant's Warfighting Laboratory (CWL), Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC), Quantico, VA., as NSSP Report 96-1. National Security Studies program, California State University, San Bernardino, February 1996. It was presented in a briefing to I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), I Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Augmentation Command Element (MACE), Camp Pendleton, Calif., 13 April 1996. The author wishes to thank Dr. T. Lindsay Moore; CWO5 Sid Heal, USMCR; Sergeant Wes McBride, LA County Sheriff's Department; and Major Larry Richards, USMCR, for their suggestions and help in the preparation of this article.

1. The revolution in military affairs (RMA) is modeled on a level of technical and operational change equivalent to that of the development of armored, amphibious, carrier, and strategic bombing operations which took place in the 1920s and 1930s. It represents a limited conceptual framework which can not account for greater magnitudes of change. For background information see Dr. Robert J. Bunker, "RPMA Update," Airpower Journal, "Ricochets," 10 (Summer 1996), 3, 117.

2. This process of human advancement is in direct variance with the proposed "Age of Chaos" based upon shifts in geopolitical climate. Chris Morris, Janet Morris, and Thomas Baines, "Weapons of Mass Protection: Nonlethality, Information Warfare, and Airpower in the Age of Chaos," Airpower Journal, 9 (Spring 1995), 15-29.

3. Ralph Peters, "After the Revolution," Parameters, 26 (Summer 1995), 7.

4. Past epochal shifts have ranged from 300 to 350 years. It is unknown if the present shift will be truncated by the effects of historical compression resulting from the increasing pace of technological change or if the earlier historical pattern will hold true. The beginning of an epochal shift is delineated by the military demonstration of a new energy source. At Crecy in 1346, for example, gunpowder-based weapons were first employed upon the battlefield. While no recorded battlefield demonstration of post-mechanical energy sources has occurred, such a demonstration probably will be based upon existing weapons, such as low-energy-level lasers relying upon fuel cells. Whether the use of such lasers by British warships during the 1982 Falklands War or their employment in 1987 by Soviet warships against American reconnaissance aircraft constitutes such a demonstration is an open issue.

5. Fourth Epoch War theory was developed in 1987 by Dr. T. Lindsay Moore and this author in a research seminar on classical warfare at The Claremont Graduate School. For more information see Robert J. Bunker, "The Transition to Fourth Epoch War," Marine Corps Gazette, 78 (September 1994), 20-32, and "Generations, Waves, and Epochs: Modes of Warfare and the RPMA," Airpower Journal, 10 (Spring 1996), 18-28.

6. Also termed "non-trinitarian war." While Dr. Martin Van Creveld is accurate concerning the current transformation taking place, his work does not link it to the two earlier epochal shifts also witnessing mercenary dominated war. Martin van Creveld, The Transformation of War (New York: The Free Press, 1991).

7. Army After Next (AAN) planners are now hypothesizing that new sources of battlefield energy will represent the next leap ahead for military forces as a follow-on to the information revolution which is currently taking place. Colonel Robert Killebrew, USA, "The Army After Next: TRADOC's Crystal Ball Eyes The Service's Shape Beyond Force XXI," Armed Forces Journal, 134 (October 1996), 44-45.

8. Examples of such new demands would be determining property rights on the internet, awarding genetic engineering patents, or adjudicating right to privacy claims against companies selling information about individuals amassed from public records.

9. The military significance of which has already been recognized by the Army. See TRADOC Pamphlet 525-69, "Concept for Information Operations," Fort Monroe, Va., 1 August 1995.

10. Robert J. Bunker, "Advanced Battlespace and Cybermaneuver Concepts: Implications for Force XXI," Parameters, 26 (Autumn 1996), 108-20.

11. Albeit a state form which was forcibly transplanted to the continent as a product of European colonialism. Robert Kaplan, "The Coming Anarchy," The Atlantic Monthly, February 1994, pp. 44-76.

12. Quoted from Tim Sanz, "Organized Crime in the Russian Federation and Eastern Europe: Research Sources," Low Intensity Conflict & Law Enforcement, 3 (Autumn 1994), 368. Based on information provided by Richard L. Holman, "Gangs Control Russian Firms," The Wall Street Journal, 5 January 1994, p. A7; and Paul Klebnikov, "Joe Stalin's Heirs," Forbes, 27 September 1995, pp. 124-34.

13. Van Creveld, The Transformation of War, p. 197.

14. Peters, "After the Revolution," pp. 7-14.

15. During the medieval epochal shift horse-based raiders fighting in two-dimensional battlespace (depth and width) defeated foot-based legionnaires fighting in one-dimensional battlespace (depth). During the modern epochal shift firearm-using mercenaries fighting in three-dimensional battlespace (depth, width, and height) defeated a horse-based knighthood fighting in two-dimensional battlespace (depth and width). In both of these scenarios the non-state soldier which arose represented a light force which employed qualitatively superior technology from an advanced form of battlespace which allowed him to remain "off of the battlefield" of the heavier force fielded by the then dominant state-form.

16. They have, in the form of "ghost states, parastates, and CEAs [criminal enterprise armies]." Peters, "After the Revolution," p. 11.

17. This form of war has been defined by Dr. T. Lindsay Moore as "Wars of Destiny" in contrast to "Wars of Efficiency." The latter represent "traditional" struggles between similar polity forms which evolve from the chaos of change.

18. Also addressed by William S. Lind, "Defending Western Culture," Foreign Policy, 84 (Fall 1991), 40-50; and Samuel P. Huntington, "The Clash of Civilizations?" Foreign Affairs, 72 (Summer 1993), 22-49. The concept includes war for economic gain as a subset of competing social values.

19. Ralph Peters, "The New Warrior Class," Parameters, 24 (Summer 1994), 16-26.

20. This is the traditional three-dimensional battlefield (depth, width, and height) which Joint Vision 2010 and William Owens' "system-of-systems" is conceptually based. Upon this battlefield the United States is said to have achieved dominant battlespace knowledge, advanced C4I, and precision force capabilities. Colonel Tony Moreno, US Army, The Joint Staff, "Joint Vision 2010-JCS Battleplan" presentation given at US Army TECOM Test Technology Symposium 1996 "Visions of Future Conflict," Johns Hopkins University, Laurel, Md., 4 June 1996; and Joseph S. Nye, Jr., and William A. Owens, "America's Information Edge," Foreign Affairs, 75 (March-April 1996), 20-36.

21. Nonlethal weapons represent one such technology. See Robert J. Bunker and T. Lindsay Moore, Nonlethal Technology and Fourth Epoch War: A New Paradigm of Politico-Military Force, Land Warfare Paper No. 23 (Arlington, Va.: Association United States Army, Institute of Land Warfare, February 1996).

22. The emergence of South African based "Executive Outcomes" suggests one form that new mercenary free corporations might assume. See Al J. Venter, "Sierra Leone's Mercenary War: Battle for the Diamond Fields," International Defense Review, 28 (November 1995), 65-68; Jeremy Harding, "The Mercenary Business," London Review of Books, 1 August 1996, pp. 3, 6-8; and Elizabeth Rubin, "An Army of One's Own," Harpers, February 1997, pp. 44-55.

23. Michael D. Wyly, "Fourth Generation Warfare: What Does It Mean to Every Marine?" Marine Corps Gazette, March 1995, pp. 55-58; and Stephen Sloan, "Technology and Terrorism: Privatizing Public Violence," IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, 10 (Summer 1991), 8-14.

24. Robert J. Bunker, "Street Gangs: Future Paramilitary Groups?" The Police Chief, 63 (June 1996), 54-59.

25. Within a cyberwar context this form of conflict is known as netwar. See J. Arquilla and D. F. Ronfeldt, The Advent of Netwar, MR-789-OSD, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND, (1996).

26. Jacob R. Clark, "LEN Salutes Its 1995 Man of the Year, Architect & Urban Planner Oscar Newman," Law Enforcement News, 31 December 1995 - 15 January 1996, p. 6.

27. In 1990 statistics compiled by the Justice Department conclude that rent-a-cops outnumber state and local police officers by at least 2.5 to 1. Nina Munk, "Rent-a-cops," Forbes, 10 October 1994, pp. 104, 106. See also Milo Geyelin, "Hired Guards Assume More Police Duties as Privatization of Public Safety Spreads," The Wall Street Journal, Eastern Edition, 1 June 1993, p. B1.

28. This estimate was derived in consultation with Sergeant Wes McBride, LA County Sheriff's Department, a nationally recognized expert on the Los Angeles based Crips and Bloods street gangs. Official governmental sources estimate 650,000 gang members; a new study estimates 1.5 million gang members. George W. Knox, et al., "The 1996 National Law Enforcement Gang Analysis Survey: A Research Report from the National Gang Crime Research Center," Journal of Gang Research, 3 (Summer 1996), 41.

29. For more on this shift from the Westphalian model, see Martin van Creveld, "The Fate of the State," Parameters, 26 (Spring 1996), 4-18.

30. National Narcotics Intelligence Consumers Committee, "The NNICC Report 1995: The Supply of Illicit Drugs to the United States," DEA-96024 (Washington: Drug Enforcement Administration, August 1996), p. 6; and Bunker, "Street Gangs: Future Paramilitary Groups?" p. 55.

31. Robert J. Bunker and John P. Sullivan, "Tailorized Policy Options (TPO) and Contingency Operation Center (COC) Concepts," prepared for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, "Improving Policy Options in Contingency Operations: A Workshop," as NSSP Report 96-3, National Security Studies program, California State University, San Bernardino, May 1996, pp. 1-12.

32. The Marine Corps' newly formed Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF), which was deployed to the 1996 Summer Olympics at Atlanta, signifies the increasing breakdown of this prohibition. "CBIRF Stands Up For the 1996 Centennial Olympics," Marine Corps Gazette, September 1996, p. 10.

33. See Robert D. Kaplan, "Fort Leavenworth and the Eclipse of Nationhood," The Atlantic Monthly, September 1996, pp. 74-90.

34. For instance, the Army's M-16 mounted AN/PLQ-5 Laser Countermeasures system used to blind opposing optical systems will not be fielded because of the recent Department of Defense prohibition on blinding lasers. "DOD Announces Policy on Blinding Lasers," News Release, Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs), Washington, D.C., 1 September 1995, p. 1.

35. Concerning our lagging "acquisition loop" see Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., "How We Lost the High-Tech War of 2007: A Warning from the Future," The Weekly Standard, 29 January 1996, pp. 22-28.

36. Gaining access to radiological material suitable for this example is not difficult. Peter S. Probst, "How Can We Tackle Tomorrow's Terrorists?" Security Management, 40 (January 1996), pp. 101-02.

37. The common mercenary, as an example, violated the Western ban on distance killing which had existed since the time of the Iliad. This violation was based on the use of the firearm, a weapon, which allowed this mercenary to specifically fight from three-dimensional battlespace (depth, width, height).

38. The nucleus of this trend may have already begun with the State Department-sanctioned multimillion-dollar contract under which a US firm, Military Professional Resources, Inc., was hired to train Bosnian Muslim-Croat Federation military forces. See Mark Thompson, "Generals for Hire," Time, 15 January 1996, pp. 34-36; Daniel Nelson, "Arms Flow Threatens Balkan Peace," Defense News, 25-31 March 1996, pp. 27-28; Theresa Hitchens, "Bosnian Troop Training Faces Political, Fiscal Hurdles," Defense News, 17-23 June 1996, p. 12; and John Pomfret, "1st American Arms Shipment Arrives in Bosnia," The Washington Post, 30 August 1996, p. 28.

Dr. Robert J. Bunker is an adjunct professor with the National Security Studies program, California State University, San Bernardino, and a professor of unconventional warfare, American Military University, Manassas Park, Virginia. He was a speaker on the Institute of Land Warfare Professional Education Program at the Association of the United States Army annual meeting, Washington, D.C., 14-16 October 1996.

Reviewed 12 May 1997. Please send comments or corrections to usarmy.carlisle.awc.mbx.parameters@mail.mil