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Subject: Types of Warfare
Roman    10/2/2004 7:52:55 AM
Apart from those I list below, are there any other distinct types of warfare? If so, what are their distinguishing features? (NOTE: I am well aware that in practice various forms of warfare almost always intertwine.) 1) Insurgency Operations/Counter-Insurgency Operations (Terrain based or Population based) 2) Conventional Warfare (Maneuver Warfare or Attrition Warfare and if you want to go way back than also Line Warfare) Apart from these two basic types and their sub-types, are there any other basic forms or sub-forms of warfare? Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, Radiological and other potential WMD based forms of warfare do not count.
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Roman    RE:Types of Warfare    10/2/2004 8:58:19 AM
Hmm, now that I think about it there is also 'commando raid warfare' or 'special operations warfare', though I am not really sure what to call it properly and indeed how to define it + what the main features and internal sub-divisions of this type of warfare are.
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Roman    RE:Types of Warfare    10/6/2004 5:30:56 PM
Tree of non-WMD warfare classification so far according to my lay perceptions (feel free to correct it and/or add to it): Warfare 1) Conventional a) Maneuver b) Attrition c) Line (ok, this is now defunct) 2) Insurgency a) Terrain based b) Population based 3) Raid & Covert Operations (possibly should be separate)
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Roman    RE:Types of Warfare    10/7/2004 9:31:52 PM
Actually, this makes me wonder - would the U.S. AirLand doctrine fit into conventional maneuver warfare or convetnional attrition warfare or a differet category entirely?
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terrain21u    RE:Types of Warfare    10/8/2004 12:25:22 PM
There are a lot of ways to break warfare down. One way is by the tactics used. One prevalent one right now is: First Generation- Linear warfare. (i.e. Napoleonic wars, etc.) Second Generation- Attrition based, conventional warfare (i.e. WWI and WWII). Third Generation- Basically, maneuvear warfare (i.e. German Stormtroop Tactics) Fourth Generation- Guerilla warfare. I think US doctrine claims to be conventional maneuver but it still has a big emphasis on attrition style. A lot of that I think has to do with control. First generation has a lot of control at the top with little room for subordinates to make decisions. Second allows more room for junior leaders to make decisions but the emphasis is still with the guy at the top. Third and fourth are more decentralized and have more allowances for junior leaders to make decisions. The U.S. doctrine I think oscilates between the two because leaders at the top are reluctant to give up a lot of their control to subordinate, junior commanders.
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terrain21u    RE:Types of Warfare    10/8/2004 6:06:28 PM
I forgot about the reliance on firepower. First Generation was a way to maximize the firepower of slower single-shot weapons. Second Generation relies very heavily on firepower. The more firepower you can pour down on a piece of ground the better. Third and fourth are a way to circumvent firepower. You maximize it at the local level when you have it but you don't pull back and call down an airstrike with these last two. You try to overcome the situation with what you have on hand. This affects the US since the US focuses much more on bringing the most firepower to bear from all sources. Not necassarily a bad thing but it can have draw backs.
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Roman    RE:Types of Warfare    10/10/2004 11:36:36 PM
You are right that there are a lot of ways to look at warfare. I am not sure I like the 'generational' breakdown, however, since talking about generations carries a lot of baggage and it is generally implied that you should try to move your warfare to the 'highest generation', even though what type of warfare is appropriate depends on the circumstances.
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terrain21u    RE:Types of Warfare    10/11/2004 12:03:47 PM
Good point. Generation does give a bit of a misleading title. I'm not sure who developed the concept of generations of warfare. I read the breakdown in a book called Path to Victory. I'll have to look and see what his source was sometime. I find it useful as a broad breakdown and I try not to attach the baggage the word generation implies. I like your breakdown of the conventional and insurgency styles.
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Roman    RE:Types of Warfare    10/13/2004 2:38:32 AM
Hmm, this reminds me... nowhere did I include sectoral warfare where both 'groups' live in mutually interspersed communities and fight with irregulars. The best name for it could be ethnically organized chaos, he, he, well in all seriousness I do not know what to call it or how to classify such form of fighting - the closest of the existing categories would be an insurgency, but it is not really an insurgency...
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Worcester    RE:Types of Warfare    10/13/2004 5:34:49 PM
1. Total War 2. Limited War (big but, no nukes - theoretically WW2 was "Limited") 3. Conflicts other than War including:- (a)Peace making/ counter insurgency (b)Peace keeping (c)Aid to the police (civil authorities) - civil law applies.
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Roman    RE:Types of Warfare    10/14/2004 8:04:23 AM
Hmm, that pretty much gives us the classification on a scale level, generational level and type level. How about the doctrines for prosecuting these wars, though? So far, I have not noticed major differences. All armies seem to stress maneuver - surely somebody must use some doctrines different on a fundamental level rather than in mere details.
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