One of the goals of the Liminal Order is to prepare you for today’s rapidly changing and entirely novel circumstances. As technology, communications, media, and conflict evolve at light speed, it requires proactive effort to stay abreast of the latest and most important subjects.
The Liminal Order is here to help you with this. It isn’t just a brotherhood of like-minded people. It is a place for in-depth learning on complex subjects presented by experts in their field.
To that end, the Liminal Order is proud to announce our first in an ongoing series of workshops and deep dives into today’s most pressing issues – how conflict and warfare have evolved to be more about ideas than firepower.
4th Generation Warfare
Our first workshop will focus on a book that deeply influenced the founding of the Liminal Order: the 4th Generation Warfare Handbook.
It is safe to say that without this book, there would be no Liminal Order. It’s just that important.
Written by Marine LtCol Greg Thiele and Bill Lind, the 4th Generation Warfare Handbook (Buy it here) provides a central theory of how warfare is changing as citizens world-wide are transferring their loyalties away from the Westphalian state and to tribes, religions, ethnics groups, ideologies, and causes.
Lind and Thiele describe the impact that this change is having on warfare, the fundamental restructuring that state militaries must undertake to combat 4G threats, and the consequences that will befall those states that fail to change.
Finally, the authors build on Lind’s previous work and on the theories of USAF Col John Boyd to describe how to build the light infantry forces that are best suited to operations in this new, post-Westphalian world.
Sounds cool, right? But what does that have to do with the Liminal Order?
4GW is fundamentally warfare between ideas and ideals.
Many of us have joined the Liminal Order because we needed a brotherhood who shared our ideals and a place to discuss ideas like personal sovereignty, personal accountability, and positive masculinity. We want to learn how to use these ideas to improve ourselves such that we may better serve our families, communities, and eventually our Nation.
Ultimately, what we all desire is for our ideas to win out over the others.
The 4GW Handbook is a powerful blueprint for winning this battle of ideas in today’s connected world. It contains tactics, techniques, and procedures to make us incredibly effective individually and as a group in the 4th Generation War that is being fought in the media and online.
In many ways, the Liminal Order, the brotherhood that we are building, can be the Light Infantry in today’s war of ideas.
Today’s conflicts see no distinction between military and civilian targets. We have all be conscripted whether we like it or not. And because of this, we must be prepared for the battles which are coming, battles which will occur online, in the media, and in our minds.
Building the Liminal Order, the brotherhood, and the library of resources it will contain is an essential element in preserving and enhancing our hopes and visions for the country.
The Liminal Order: community, knowledge, action.
* * *
Leading the discussion is a retired military officer with over 26 years experience in leadership and command. I met him this spring when he introduced himself after a talk I gave on John Boyd and the OODA loop. Turns out that part of his Master’s Thesis at the Naval War College was about John Boyd! He knows warfare and leadership. And he is one of the members I bounce LO strategy ideas off of. I know that he will keep the discussion stimulating, on topic, relevant, and useful.
So how do I participate?
- Buy the book! Really! Get it in paperback. You will be taking notes!
- Join the discussion room 4th Generation Warfare Handbook in the Deep Learning section of the Forum.
- Read the discussion guidelines – these will help us to keep the discussions (mostly) strategic and not get diverted by daily news cycles. We want to build understanding, experience, and eventually mastery of the strategic concepts.
- Read Appendix A, the Intro, and Chapter 1 before August 15th. Yes – read them in that order! You’ll understand why when you read it. The first section is a heavy lift, so we’ll spend some time on the discussion.
- Take good notes while reading.
- Look for a series of discussion questions that Scott will post on August 15th.
- Join in the conversation and ask great questions.
- Look forward to a new section of the book and a new discussion every week for eight weeks.
What do we get out of it?
- A deeper strategic understanding of the challenges of a world increasingly dominated by non-state actors
- A common language for reading the strategic currents underneath the tactical noise of the news cycle
- A playbook for how to engage with the highest likelihood of success
- Methods for coordinating our message and for engaging in our communities in a positive way
- The joy of playing with ideas and challenging and sharpening our thought processes
The workshop will be 8 weeks long with regular reading, writing, and discussion assignments. Be prepared for an in depth look into one of the most important concepts of our time presented by a true expert in the field.