A Crash Course in 4GW

The Fourth Estate has become the Fifth Column.

-Michael Savage

A lot has been said and written on the topic of Fourth Generation Warfare(4GW) but to the uninitiated, it’s difficult to ascertain exactly what it is. As I’ve written in past posts, warfare is three dimensional. In order to succeed, the fight goes far beyond what rifle or caliber is best, what trinkets to put in a bag, and whether or not a foreign made handheld radio is worth the $30 it costs.  What’s more important is capability, commonality, and freedom of movement. The focus towards victory is at the macro level. This is not to dismiss necessary steps at the individual level that begins with and only with you; but understand that it distinctly takes a team.


4GW is defined as ” blurring of the lines between war and politics, combatants and civilians.” It’s an effort to make order from chaos based on the changes in warfare based on the Marxist model, encompassing politics, media, the supporting underground, culture, and finally, your fighters. While many state that it defines the warfare model of the late 20th Century to present, I’ll argue it goes back much further- the American Civil War at many points had several elements of 4GW, most notably in the decade earlier with the large influx of Marx-influenced thinkers among European immigrants, John Brown’s raid, the use of flagrant overly exaggerated books as a psychological warfare tool to influence the population, GEN William T. Sherman’s principle of Total War, and finally, the entire Reconstruction era which still exists.

In short, it’s “all in fighting”, and while that 3% is the tip of the spear, another larger percentage must make up the spear. Keep in mind also, someone must throw said spear. It is very much a war of cultures.


This principle, famously demonstrated in 2003, is simply known as “rapid dominance”. What actually happened was the complete destruction of national infrastructure, military and civil, in order to remove its legitimacy to its constituents. What resulted was a completely broken national infrastructure which took the better part of a decade to restore. While it felt good and facilitated one of the fastest invasions in human history, it also caused immeasurable fallout of which we are reaping today.  The principle of Total War never went away, it simply became more high tech. The result became a growing asymmetric fight that the West barely understands, and seeks to answer in the wrong directions with ever greater emphasis on technology and detached warfare-drones and remote technology.

Believe it or not, this is a windfall.

Two Important Questions

The goal of 4GW, logically, is to resolve two questions for both the Guerilla and the Occupier(Government or replacement for government):

  1. How can I get the Population behind me?
  2. How can I discredit my enemy?

We’ll start with the governmental response to these questions. At its start governments gain legitimacy through common ideology with the core constituency. This wears off in time. Once it does, pockets of resistance form. When governmental representation fails, gradually the disaffected become more violent. Soon an insurgency forms. The Government has two options, accommodation or repression. Repression is the response in nearly every scenario, usually in a heavy handed manner. This creates more insurgents by shifting opinion towards the insurgents at the grassroots level, if and only if, the disaffected can effectively get their message out. This is the realm of the Fourth Estate, otherwise known as the media.

This now creates a delicate balance; when the government controls the media and the narrative, in the beginning at least, it’s difficult for a movement to gain steam on a macro level by anything other than word of mouth. Knowing that alternatives exist, government agents create disinformation through the alternate channels. In the Marxist model, this usually is information guised as a genuine message but with strong undertones that may not be easily discernible to the uniformed reader.

Case in point- we all know that person in the Libertarian movement on your social media page that just blasts out whatever common meme or click-bait story they can find, usually without reading or considering what it’s actually saying. I knew one such person, who constantly posted stuff about how horrible the CIA is, that Hawaii was somehow not a state, and the best one of them all, that everything in Iraq was one big hoax, including the WMD factories(one of which I entered and saw with my own two eyes…so yeah, they exist.) Come to find out, most of this crap was rooted in overseas sources…one does not need to think hard to figure out the genuine agenda. Always ask yourself who are they not criticizing and usually you’ll find your answer.

A healthy helping of disinformation sprinkled with just enough reality to be believable is a great way to discredit an enemy- they’re uniformed rubes. The conventional media works this way too, in how they frame stories and how stories are presented. Moderators and commentators are chosen and psychologically screened prior to coming on screen, and will present a certain angle based on the way the questions are framed.

He who controls the Narrative controls the fight.


We won every battle in Vietnam, but lost the war, thanks very much to this commie right here.

From the Guerilla angle, the answer to question #1 is vital. The population must be at least 70% in your favor or your movement is toast. This is where the Underground comes in…and it won’t exist if they do not have solidarity with your movement. Knowing the Government response is usually repression, these folks are going to bear the burden of everything you do, or fail to do. They’ll be the ones going through the daily check points, getting groped at government service buildings, and dealing with officer friendly when he comes knocking looking for you and your merry band of miscreants.

You must be able to formulate first a plan to remove the enemy, then create a path to a better way. If not, your support will go the same way the Chechen support for the Insurgency went.

A couple of tips on building this is first to focus on commonality, not overbearingly, but somewhat covertly. Looking like the folks you represent and not like a wierdo will go a long way.


This man appeared before Congress in the 90s, dressed just like he is right here. Nobody remembers what he said, just how he’s dressed. The Government didn’t need to discredit this guy, he did a good job himself, no matter how great his points may have been. Present yourself like a human and not a caricature, and your success rate will exponentially increase.

Getting the people behind you also means answering what the next step is going to be. None of us like the current incarnation of the President. The issue is though, how do the very important questions get answered, such as security, who keeps the Lights on, who keeps the schools open, and who provides normalcy? This is defined as SWEAT: Sewer, Water, Electricity, and Telecommunications. In other words, whoever provides the infrastructure, provides the Government. Without a competent means to provide this, your movement may enjoy support for a while but eventually it’s going to fall. Understand?

Discrediting an unpopular enemy is really easy. Even with a controlled opposition media, getting a message out to discredit is pretty simple. Occupy Wall Street was an off-shore funded movement of Communists comprised of useful idiots. But with clever signs and pointing out ambiguities with the status quo everytime they appeared somewhere, their message got out. Marxists simply name movements based on end goals with the result being instant media coverage everytime they’re mentioned. It works by implanting engrams in your mind, like any other franchise logo.


Further, in order to discredit an enemy, simply habitually point out flaws to your intended audience. Point out how they’re failing to provide for their constituency. There’s an old maxim that states it’s easy to hate what you know and love what you don’t know. Become option #2 for the people. For another example, ISIS is a success among Sunnis for two reasons. It has a common set of values(Salafism), and it competently identifies an enemy for it’s people while providing a semblance of stability for the people adhering to it. As long as they control Baiji and the oil flows to Turkey, they’ll be able to provide. It’s not so much controlling territory as it is controlling the right territory, as well as the minds of the folks you represent. And that folks, is why it works.

What does this mean for you?

In short, win friends and influence people. Don’t be a wierdo. Right now in this country and in Europe, we have a historic opportunity to reverse the tide of Marxism and not resort to fascism, which in every previous case has been the response. Like I wrote before, this fight can be won rather easily. The makers in this nation want answers and stability. We want Liberty, restoration of the Republic, and personal Sovereignty. This is easily attainable through a competent, coherent, normalized message. The actual fight is not going to last long, but the residual challenges will last decades.

14 thoughts on “A Crash Course in 4GW

  1. Pingback: A Crash Course in 4GW | The Defensive Training Group

  2. Stream-of-consciousness warning:

    I’ll throw this in here, and whether folks find it appropriate or not, humor is a massively powerful agent.

    As the State self-delegitimization train rolls on, satire, memetic-engineering, subvertising/culture-jamming are, in many respects, more powerful than their kinetic counterparts.

    I still distinctly recall the Ebola buffoonery, idolized in “Clipboard Man” and “Pressure-Wash The Ebola Vomit” memes hurling around, and how they created icons of Governmental Ineptitude and Grotesque Dumbshittery. Pete, over at WRSA, is masterful in his blending of snark and seriousness.

    So, my advice for 4GW’ers; don’t discount humor.

    It’s difficult to maintain legitimacy when you are easy pickin’s for mockery. It goes both ways.

    Kernel Corndog of the Carolina Lightfoot Regiment looks like a complete Shitbag showing up for public discussions rocking BDUs. Throw a polo shirt on, and conduct yourself like a reasonable figure. If the Bunkerville could be used as an example, the post event takeaway:

    Cowboys: Good guys
    Dudes wearing MOLLE and/or camouflage: Domestic Terrorists/Gun Nut Whack-A-Doodles

    Humor. It’s not just offensive, it’s defensive.

    Good Spirits, friendly ribbing, and satire will get you friends.

    1. BINGO!

      And I’m very, very glad you brought up Bundy. I avoided the topic out of wanting to cover other areas without the still-charged responses it may get(it overrides the message for the pedantic) but it served as a huge missed opportunity. The way BLM treated his cattle should have been filmed and distributed. That shoulda happened as soon as the roundup began- in addition to having a specific, intelligent well-spoken and dressed(who looked like they belong among the people) Public Affairs Officer to speak for him. Had they done this, they’d have won a permanent victory. Instead, he lost cattle, lost the public opinion(that was largely behind him) with erroneous comments, and caused a firestorm of other spin-off issues; all of which that could have been avoided. Make no mistake- everyone should be ready for a fight when the time comes- but take every incident and turn it on the occupier, and know how to appeal to each audience which may aid your message- whether they knowingly agree or not. PETA would’ve spread pictures of the abusive BLM running his cattle to death had it been framed in the proper way…and you’d have had an army of lefties out there who have at least on the surface a mutual cause. And the media is always on their side.

      Maybe not the folks you always want, but hey, it’d get the job done. Use the Left against themselves. Can’t do that looking like a rodeo clown.

      1. Absolutely. The PETA/Abuse is the exact angle of approach. At some point, a non-compliant cow would have been put down by the authorities. Happens all the time; however, what doesn’t happen all the time is turning that lemon into lemonaide

        You just jogged my memory on an AAR/MMQ of an event I observed but did not attend.

        Long and short:

        You *need* PIOs/PAOs.

        There are these things called GoPros.

        Get one.

        Stay above board.

        If you don’t direct the narrative; OPFOR will direct it for you. You could be Mother Teresa, and the media will have you looking like Stalin BinHitler by bedtime.

      2. A camera is an absolute part of EVERY Scout’s kit. Bar none.

        Matt Bracken’s example in “Foreign Enemies and Traitors” is excellent and a perfect illustration of how effective pictures to the right audience can be. Everyone should have a copy by now.

      3. I think you brought up a really salient point about culture ncscout. Andrew Brietbart was a pretty sharp guy, he said “Culture is upstream of politics”. If war is the extension of politics, than culture is definitely the extension those who wage 4th Gen war against tyranny. That kind of makes war to save culture. It comes around to that holistic reality of hearts and minds, and and at its essence individualism. So the question is how effectively these elements are combined in a winning strategy.
        If I understand Mike Bishop’s gist, it is taking a play from Alynski’s rule of ridicule, and using that cultural strategy to turn tables on the enemy of our culture.
        It is potent stuff it seems to me, as successful 4th Gen war is fought at every level, it is nebulous warfare, just as grass roots uprising is nebulous.
        4th Gen war waged well and effectively is the action of deeds at every level of our culture.

  3. Doug

    Comie sonofabitchez, got that right. I reckon I had enough of those fuckers. An illegitimate species. The human extinction movement. It is time to rid our homeland of them.
    Speaking of illegitimate, that is Alynki’s intent using ridicule as a tool. To delegitimize the legitimate. But those doing the delegitimizing, are faced with an existential threat to their appearance of legitimacy, a crucial aspect of that illusion they are very vulnerable to ridicule themselves just because they are illegitimate to begin with. They hold no moral high ground themselves.
    What I’m trying to get at here involves really consent, and withdrawal of it. The bastards need consent, it is vital, and by consent they obtain the illusion of legitimacy and moral superiority. But the moment people withdraw consent in any kind of plurality, the illusions goes away like a fart in a hurricane. And to me, that is a profound aspect of waging full spectrum 4th gen war, it is withdrawal of consent on orders of magnitude. Consent is hearts and minds. It is definitely culture. Consent is something that can not be taken, it can only be given, tacit or otherwise. When you say I Won’t!, well that is the crux of 4th Gen warfare. From I Won’t! everything about 4th Gen sprouts. Like a seed, it grows.
    Without consent, all the fuckers are left with is threat of and application of violence to obtain power over others. And even then, if people still refuse to consent, the bastards loose. We see this rearing its ugly head from every quadrant of the state, from the top down inside out. A crisis and consequences of legitimacy. It is almost like those running things are getting close to the stage where their existence is to survive their illegitimacy. That makes them and their tyranny very vulnerable.
    So ridicule directed at the centers of power discrediting its legitimacy is destabilizing, it is also getting inside their OODA loop so to speak.
    Without legitimacy, all they got is guns, and then its on.

  4. The fourth estate has always been a part of the 5th column hasn’t it? One wasn’t possible without the other I would think. Certainly the fourth estate is the greatest threat to our culture by dent of its insidious nature. It intrudes in every facet of the spheres of our business. Meddles in every aspect of our culture.

    1. In some ways it has. If you look back at history, it’s just the ebb and flow of power. One exampe:

      “In addition, anti-royalists libellists printed stories and articles that attacked the royal family and their courtiers with exaggerations, fictitious events, and outright lies. Therefore, with such strong sentiments of dissatisfaction and anger towards the King and Queen, it is quite possible that a discontented individual fabricated the scenario and put the words into the mouth of Marie Antoinette.”


      I will agree that in the current political paradigm, consent is paramount. It is not simply enough for certain segments of contemporary society to have the political pet issues legitimized through law; it’s essential that consent is attained.

      Here’s the consent I’ll go to my grave with:


      1. “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” — Frederick Douglass
        The opposite is true also. Freedom concedes everything without demand. It always has, and always will. Discover just what people are willing to put it all on the line for, and you can nurture the extent people will go to to defend and fight for it. The limits of tolerance for tyrants is defined by what matters most to people. Water, food, energy to keep the lights on, their house warm, their loved ones safe. To be secure in their daily affairs without fear of violence and death suddenly appearing around any corner at every minute.
        Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. ~ Galatians 6:7

        May come a time where even if your not interested in 4th gen war, 4th gen war be interested in you. And waging 4th gen war is a penultimate form of consent, or withdrawal of consent. All you have to do is look towards and secession movement. Those with their meathooks on the levers of financial and political power become very alarmed over that kind of blatant withdrawal of consent. The war of Southern secession provides ample truth on that. It is bad policy to fear the resentment of, harass those who only want to be left alone, people you presume to rule over.
        There in lies the seeds of resistance and rebellion. When the free shit and free money begins to run out, it will be a pivotal moment, a moment ripe with hearts and minds that ignored the truth and reality, before they become destitute and corpses, when there still is an infrastructure to be saved and rebuilt into a way of life based on sovereignty of self determination. Reasons for winning that are worth fighting for. It is going to be a brief window of time. That is hearts and minds time with a vengeance, a purpose.

        Like ncscout said above how does the whole package of 4th gen war become attractive. That Is The Question Of The Day, because without answers of positive results, the whole idea of wresting personal sovereignty and economic freedom back from those in political power is a foregone conclusion.
        In some fashion, in some way, there must be found the means to instill in ourselves, our neighbor, our friends the truth freedom and liberty is something that dies unless it’s used. That it is worth fighting for. That it does exist, that because it exists, it is the reason why they have a choice to begin with.
        Non Sibi Sed Patriae
        Without that how can you even begin to fight the sonofabitches?

        A lot of people have made a deal with the devil for the soul of our freedom, they demand cradle to grave security and overwatch from the state, they take it for granted, the state in turn has obliged with cradle to grave administrative tyranny consisting of hubris for itself and cradle to grave subservience by the people. It’s mutual supporting Pavlov’s dog writ large. A Gordian knot. How you defeat weapons grade stupid like that?
        I think Tom Baugh had a great epiphany when he wrote “We not only have to teach people how to fish, we have to teach them that such a thing is even possible…”

        That above exemplifies how John Mosbey put it in his succinct straight forward style: “Make no mistake about it. As important as the guerrilla force is, without the auxiliary, they won’t last six weeks.
        As your saying here very well I might add ncscout.
        Where is that perch from which to make the all encompassing leap of faith into winning liberty?

        “Our Revolution commenced on more favorable ground. It presented us an album on which we were free to write what we pleased. We had no occasion to search into musty records, to hunt up royal parchments, or to investigate the laws and institutions of a semi-barbarous ancestry. We appealed to those of nature, and found them engraved on our hearts. Yet we did not avail ourselves of all the advantages of our position. We had never been permitted to exercise self-government. When forced to assume it, we were novices in its science. Its principles and forms had entered little into our former education. We established however some, although not all its important principles. The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, in all cases to which they think themselves competent, (as in electing their functionaries executive and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves, in all judiciary cases in which any fact is involved,) or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of the press.” – Thomas Jefferson

        The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” ― William Arthur Ward

        “The future belongs to those who prepare for it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

        In the winter of 1781–82, Thomas Jefferson wrote,
        “Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God …,in whose breasts he has made his peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue.”

        “Many of life’s circumstances are created by three basic choices: the disciplines you choose to keep, the people you choose to be with, and the laws you choose to obey. ” – Charles Millhuff

        We’ve got a fundamental difference in this country between “Americans In Name Only” (AINOs) and patriots. AINOs are the totalitarians among us. They come in all flavors and sizes. Some are incorrigible. They will sacrifice themselves on the alter of statism come what may. The corporate slave class. They are adherents and constitute the body of the human extinction movement no less. Acolytes and sycophants, the amerikan nomenklaturer.

        The question is, what of all the others?
        How do you win enough of their hearts and minds.
        And really, just how many of us who will fight for their freedom and liberty are there?
        Seriously, how many are there of us?
        It is not a rhetorical question.
        And how do we discover who we are, that we are not alone, that such a body of people are a plurality, a movement in heart and mind. I think there in lies the key to something profound and undeniable.

  5. Great read and much food for thought.

    Something that really caught my eye was what you wrote in…”In short, win friends and influence people. Don’t be a weirdo.”

    My brother and I bought our BOL property in 2005 in a very rural part of upstate Pennsylvania. A place where everybody turns and looks at you whether you are walking into a bank, grocery store, restaurant or tavern. My brother and I are professional’s with the appropriate titles affixed to our names so not your normal resident of these beautiful mountains.

    It didn’t take us long to realize that Sperry Top-Siders, Izod shirts and pink plaid shorts was not the uniform du-jour for our AO. To make a long story short, we adopted much of the local uniform which was work cloths. Clean work cloths was what people wore to church or a night out on the town. Dirty work cloths meant that you had a job!

    Over the next twelve months as we prepared the BOL with a cabin, running water and other amenities, it was paramount that we included local artisans when ever possible. We made an effort to go to the local watering hole at least once a week to meet locals and to determine who the “movers and shakers” were within the community.

    After a year of our commitment to integrate within the community we found ourselves being asked for advise on certain matters. We found ourselves being invited to picnics, deer drives, wedding’s, christening’s, funerals, etc.

    Bottom-line, we had become respected members of this community. This relationship will prove to be invaluable when (not if) the SHTF.

    Although this seems so obvious to all that vsit this blog, it will be overlooked by folks who want you and your family to conform to “their way” in the not so near future.

    Good stuff…Keep it coming.

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