Well, this is an interesting post. A friend of mine once told me to read Tom Clancy if I really wanted to know what’s going on.
For those unfamiliar with the term, here's one succinct definition from the best single book on the subject:
(Fourth Generation Warfare) uses all available networks -- political, economic, social, and military -- to convince the enemy's political decision makers that their strategic goals are either unachievable or too costly for the perceived benefit. It is an evolved form of insurgency. Still rooted in the fundamental precept that superior political will, when properly employed, can defeat greater economic and military power, 4GW makes use of society's networks to carry on its fight. Unlike previous generations, it does not attempt to win by defeating the enemy's military forces. Instead, via the networks, it directly attacks the minds of enemy decision makers to destroy the enemy's political will. Fourth-generation wars are lengthy -- measured in decades rather than months or years... Strategically, 4GW attempts to directly change the minds of enemy policy makers. This change is not to be achieved through the traditional method of superiority on the battlefield. The first- through third-generation of destroying the enemy's armed forces and his capacity to regenerate them is not how 4GW enemies will attack... Both the epic, decisive Napoleonic battle and the wide-ranging, high-speed maneuver campaign is irrelevant to them. Their victories are accomplished through the superior use of all available networks to directly defeat the will of the enemy leadership, to convince them their war aims are either unachievable or too costly. These networks will be employed to carry specific messages to our policy makers and to those who can influence the policy makers. -- COL Thomas X. Hammes, USMC, The Sling and the Stone, p. 208