What does Future Warfare look like? Does it invoke in one’s mind utilizing the latest technology to defeat our enemies, such as advanced drones, Iron Man-like protective suits, stealth submarines and bombers? Or does it instead involve countering groups like the Islamic State, who espouse a toxic ideology, conducts warfare in a style that grossly violates accepted international norms, and beheads innocent people at will?
Dr. Sebastian Gorka, who serves as Breitbart News’ National Security Editor and the Horner Chair of Military Theory at Marine Corps University, posed this question while discussing the nature of the threats to America on a distinguished panel at the National Defense University (NDU) titled, “What a World Without Order Might Look Like.”
Dr. Gorka explained that less than 20% of wars fought in recent times are waged between two sovereign countries, and that irregular warfare should more accurately be described as regular warfare because, according to his research, it proves to be a far more frequent form of conflict.
“War is not solely understood as functional by many of our adversaries,” and we need to change the way we think about military strategy if we are to defeat our adversaries, explained Dr. Gorka. “The ultimate victory will not be brought kinetically,” but instead through defeating our enemies’ core ideology. But “you cannot engage in a war of ideas without understanding the enemy’s ideas,” he added.
Dr. Gorka then turned his attention on perhaps the chief jihadist threat to the United States: The Islamic State terror group.
“ISIS is the richest non-state threat group in modern history,” he said, citing revenue statistics that show the group has the financial capacity to carry out hundreds of 9/11 attacks. The latest estimates, recorded by his Threat Knowledge Group, estimates that ISIS has recruited more than 19,000 foreign fighters. He emphasized that the importance of the Islamic State’s declaration of an Islamic caliphate could not be understated, and that many aspiring jihadists revere ISIS as the next great Islamic empire.
“The number of insurgencies that have been destroyed by air power is a resounding zero,” he said in critiquing the Obama administration’s policies in the ongoing U.S.-led air campaign against the Islamic State. Dr. Gorka recommended that in order to effectively combat our adversaries, ideological warfare must be the “first resort” we turn to.