Face Right is a thoughtful blog. Although politically distant from people like Eric (who seems to blog mostly here these days) or Mick Hartley, like them he has an unerring eye for interesting stuff.
From this post :
"4th Generation warfare is not novel but a return, specifically a return to the way war worked before the rise of the state. Now, as then, many different entities, not just governments of states, will wage war. They will wage war for many different reasons, not just "the extension of politics by other means." And they will use many different tools to fight war, not restricting themselves to what we recognize as military forces. When I am asked to recommend a good book describing what a Fourth Generation world will be like, I usually suggest Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century."
"More broadly, the nation-state is losing its monopoly on war, and its hold on its citizens loyalty, in a growing portion of the world. The two are closely related. One of the most important roles of the state is to protect its people. When it loses the ability (or perceived ability) to do that, it will lose the loyalty of the people. People's loyalties will transfer to whatever organizations can protect them.
In much of the world, the nation-state's hold was never strong. A creation of the West, the nation-state never became the primary loyalty in much of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East; in fact, many countries in those regions, while states, were never nation states. Most of their citizens continued to see themselves as members of a clan or tribe or religious grouping, not a nation. As Western power recedes, the old loyalties are reasserting themselves."
Read the whole thing - and the links. Lots to think about, whether you agree with all of it or not.