Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Friday, February 13, 2009

Shades of 5GW in Shimon Naveh

Read this article, via ubiwar, about Israeli strategist Shimon Naveh. Naveh is a fascinating individual. Patton-esque (if that wasn't a word it is now) in his free wheeling use of vulgarities and arrogance. That he bases his systems theory on Russian strategy and the writings of two French philosophers is an impressive example of outside the box thinking.

His concepts in practice (if the following quote from the article is any indication) look, in my humblest of opinions, to be (too quote M1 in some commentary here) "Turbo 3GW:"

"This space that you look at, this room that you look at, is nothing but your interpretation of it. Now, you can stretch the boundaries of your interpretation, but not in an unlimited fashion, after all, it must be bound by physics, as it contains buildings and alleys. The question is, how do you interpret the alley? Do you interpret the alley as a place, like every architect and every town planner does, to walk through, or do you interpret the alley as a place forbidden to walk through? This depends only on interpretation. We interpreted the alley as a place forbidden to walk through, and the door as a place forbidden to pass through, and the window as a place forbidden to look through, because a weapon awaits us in the alley, and a booby trap awaits us behind the doors. This is because the enemy interprets space in a traditional, classical manner, and I do not want to obey this interpretation and fall into his traps. Not only do I not want to fall into his traps, I want to surprise him! This is the essence of war. I need to win. I need to emerge from an unexpected place ... This is why we opted for the methodology of moving through walls ... Like a worm that eats its way forward, emerging at points and then disappearing."
But the spinning gears inside Naveh's head seem to be entertaining some rather 5GW-ish principles.
First of all, this war against the Palestinians has to lead to their liberation. Take the date of the end of Operation Defensive Shield, half a year after Defensive Shield, interpret it and go to a different place, switch the disk. It is completely clear to me that it has to lead to the liberation of the Palestinians, after the price is exacted. The second liberation is to create a prison and dismantle it, create a form of thinking and dismantle it: the idea of permanent change is liberation.
The emphasis is mine. Last quote before I ramble on. A snippet of the answer to the interviewers question regarding the tactic of literally moving through buildings rather than around them.
The wonderful thing about it is that he succeeded in closing the gap between the creeping doctrine, which rolls along slowly, and the challenges posed by the subversives. If you want to call that postmodern, you may be right. In modernity the state is the ideal concept and you win by means of presence. In our case, you operate, but not by presence. The moment you deprive the adversary of the ability to give you form, you can, you can fuck him.
No doubt that this is, on it's surface, very kinetic. But the thought process that lies behind it is not to exact attrition upon or outmaneuver the adversary. It's to attack the adversary's very concept of who and what he's fighting and how and where he will fight him.

From a tactical standpoint this seems elementary. From a strategic standpoint, in which the classical concept of victory is reliant upon the state and presence (Machiavelli referred to the victorious prince living amongst the defeated populace as the best measure to seal and maintain victory; state and presence) it's abjectly foreign. That a war can be fought and won beyond the precepts of victory (see Hezbollah in 2006) is strikingly 5GW.

(Cross posted at Dreaming 5GW)


mark said...

Great catch. Most intriguing read I've seen in a while!

Jay@Soob said...

glad you liked it.