A case could be easily made that we are at this point in a civil war. This case is augmented by the reality of 4th generation warfare (4GW) as the means by which the present civil war is being fought.
4GW is non-traditional military conflict that is characterized by making indecipherable and permeable boundaries between the heretofore distinct categories of war vs. politics, combatants vs. civilians and massed armies vs. decentralized and highly mobile mobs as armies.
4GW is to war and combat what farmers markets are to a Wal-Marx super food mart. 4GW is warfare as highly decentralized and as mobile as the breeze. 4GW prevails in the context of either the nation-state’s loss of ability to bring force to bear or the nation-state’s loss of monopoly on combat forces. The current context speaks to the nation-state’s loss of ability (lack of will) to bring force to bear on the current rioters.
4GW also can be identified as sporadic in intensity and as such it tends to be sustained over a longer course of time. When we note 4GW’s sporadic characteristic this means, in part, that it is punctuated in intensity by terrorist incidents aimed at advancing its cause. When we note 4GW’s drawn out character this is due to the fact that it is a warfare that can only succeed as it attacks the Institutional structures (political, religious, social, military, economic, judicial, etc.) of the culture that it is at war with. This takes a prolonged amount of time. It is warfare as by Chinese water torture.
Like 3rd Generation warfare 4GW looks to leverage the weight of its opponent against it. This means that its attack points will be rapid and brief, not allowing its enemy to coalesce their force to respond. In brief insurgent and guerrilla tactics are used wherever the attack occurs. (The insurgent and guerrilla tactics can be non-violent as in applying propaganda moves or as in seeking to win the culture war by quick striking Alinsky type tactics.)
The consequence is combat is waged with a comparative dumbed-down military arsenal. Warfare becomes low tech and personal as opposed to the high tech impersonal warfare of the type we saw in Desert-shield and Desert-storm.
Consequences in 4GW also includes command and control by social media as well as a Lugenpresse major communications to provide air cover for what is occurring. The Lugenpresse’s role in 4GW is disinformation and propaganda spin.
Getting to the nub of 4GW, 4GW requires one of the participants in the conflict to be a non-state participant. In the current 4GW civil war in America the non-state participant is the coalition of the forces of Black Lives Matter, Antifa, Occupy Wall Street and other Marxist organizations which occupy serial false front positions.
If 4GW is indeed a identifiable reality there can be little doubt that we are currently fighting a civil war along terrain that is new as far as civil wars go.