Prehistoric warfare refers to war that occurred between societies without recorded history. The existence — and the definition — of war in humanity's hypothetical state of nature has been a controversial topic in the history of ideas at least since Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan argued a "war of all against all", a view directly challenged by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in a Discourse on Inequality and The Social Contract; the debate over human nature continues, spanning contemporary anthropology, ethnography, political science, psychology and philosophy in such divergent books as Azar Gat's War in Human Civilization and Raymond C. Kelly's Warless Societies and the Origin of War. For the purposes of this article, "prehistoric war" will be broadly defined as a state of organized lethal aggression between autonomous preliterate communities. According to cultural anthropologist and ethnographer Raymond C. Kelly, the earliest hunter-gatherer societies of Homo erectus population density was low enough to avoid armed conflict.
The development of the throwing-spear, together with ambush hunting techniques, made potential violence between hunting parties costly, dictating cooperation and maintenance of low population densities to prevent competition for resources. This behavior may have accelerated the migration out of Africa of H. erectus some 1.8 million years ago as a natural consequence of conflict avoidance. Some scholars believe that this period of "Paleolithic warlessness" persisted until well after the appearance of Homo sapiens some 315,000 years ago, ending only at the occurrence of economic and social shifts associated with sedentism, when new conditions incentivized organized raiding of settlements. Of the many cave paintings of the Upper Paleolithic, none depicts people attacking other people explicitly, but there are depictions of human beings pierced with arrows both of the Aurignacian-Périgordian and the early Magdalenian representing "spontaneous confrontations over game resources" in which hostile trespassers were killed.
Skeletal and artifactual evidence of intergroup violence between Paleolithic nomadic foragers is absent as well. The most ancient archaeological record of what could have been a prehistoric massacre is at the site of Jebel Sahaba, committed by the Natufians against a population associated with the Qadan culture of far northern Sudan; the cemetery contains a large number of skeletons that are 13,000 to 14,000 years old half of them with arrowheads embedded in their skeletons, which indicates that they may have been the casualties of warfare. It has been noted that the violence, if dated likely occurred in the wake of a local ecological crisis. At the site of Nataruk in Turkana, numerous 10,000-year-old human remains were found with possible evidence of major traumatic injuries, including obsidian bladelets embedded in the skeletons, that should have been lethal. According to the original study, published in January 2016, the region was a "fertile lakeshore landscape sustaining a substantial population of hunter-gatherers" where pottery had been found, suggesting storage of food and sedentism.
The initial report concluded that the bodies at Nataruk were not interred, but were preserved in the positions the individuals had died at the edge of a lagoon. However, evidence of blunt-force cranial trauma and lack of interment have been called into question, casting doubt upon the assertion that the site represents early intragroup violence; the oldest rock art depicting acts of violence between hunter-gatherers in Northern Australia has been tentatively dated to 10,000 years ago. The earliest, limited evidence for war in Mesolithic Europe dates to ca. 10,000 years ago, episodes of warfare appear to remain "localized and temporarily restricted" during the Late Mesolithic to Early Neolithic period in Europe. Iberian cave art of the Mesolithic shows explicit scenes of battle scenes between groups of archers. A group of three archers encircled by a group of four is found in Cova del Roure, Morella la Vella, Castellón, Valencia. A depiction of a larger battle, in which eleven archers are attacked by seventeen running archers, is found in Les Dogue, Ares del Maestrat, Castellón, Valencia.
At Val del Charco del Agua Amarga, Alcañiz, seven archers with plumes on their heads are fleeing a group of eight archers running in pursuit. Early war was influenced by the development of bows and slings; the bow seems to have been the most important weapon in early warfare, in that it enabled attacks to be launched with far less risk to the attacker when compared to the risk involved in mêlée combat. While there are no cave paintings of battles between men armed with clubs, the development of the bow is concurrent with the first known depictions of organized warfare consisting of clear illustrations of two or more groups of men attacking each other; these figures are arrayed in columns with a distinctly garbed leader at the front. Some paintings portray still-recognizable tactics like flankings and envelopments. Systemic warfare appears to have been a direct consequence of the sedentism as it developed in the wake of the Neolithic Revolution. An important example is the massacre of Talheim Death Pit, dated right on the cusp of the beginning European Neolithic, at 5500 BC.
More a similar site was discovered at Schöneck-Kilianstädten, with the remains of the victims showing "a pattern of intentional mutilation". While the presence of such massacre sites in the context
Fourth-generation warfare is conflict characterized by a blurring of the lines between war and politics and civilians. The term was first used in 1989 by a team of United States analysts, including paleoconservative William S. Lind, to describe warfare's return to a decentralized form. In terms of generational modern warfare, the fourth generation signifies the nation states' loss of their near-monopoly on combat forces, returning to modes of conflict common in pre-modern times; the simplest definition includes any war in which one of the major participants is not a state but rather a violent non-state actor. Classical examples of this type of conflict, such as the slave uprising under Spartacus, predate the modern concept of warfare. Fourth-generation warfare is defined as conflicts which involve the following elements: Complex and long term Terrorism A non-national or transnational base – decentralized A direct attack on the enemy's culture, including genocidal acts against civilians. Sophisticated psychological warfare and propaganda through media manipulation, internet trolls and lawfare All available pressures are used – political, economic and military Occurs in low intensity conflict, involving actors from all networks Non-combatants are tactical dilemmas Lack of hierarchy Small in size, spread out network of communication and financial support Use of insurgency tactics as subversion and guerrilla tactics The concept was first described by the authors William S. Lind, Colonel Keith Nightengale, Captain John F. Schmitt, Colonel Joseph W. Sutton, Lieutenant Colonel Gary I. Wilson in a 1989 Marine Corps Gazette article titled "The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation".
In 2006, the concept was expanded upon by USMC Colonel Thomas X. Hammes in his book, The Sling and The Stone; the generations of warfare described by these authors are: 1st Generation: tactics of line and column. Lind describes First Generation of warfare as beginning after the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 ending the Thirty Years' War and establishing the state's need to organize and conduct war. 1GW consisted of ordered soldiers with top-down discipline. These troops would fight in close advance slowly; this began to change. Old line and column tactics are now considered suicidal as the bow and arrow/sword morphed into the rifle and machine gun. 2nd Generation: tactics of linear fire and movement, with reliance on indirect fire. This type of warfare can be seen in the early stages of World War I where there was still strict adherence to drill and discipline of formation and uniform. However, there remained a dependence on artillery and firepower to break the stalemate and move towards a pitched battle.
3rd Generation: tactics of infiltration to bypass and collapse the enemy's combat forces rather than seeking to close with and destroy them. The 3GW military seeks to bypass the enemy, attack his rear forward, such as the tactics used by German Storm Troopers in World War I against the British and French in order to break the trench warfare stalemate; these aspects of 3GW bleed into 4GW as it is warfare of speed and initiative. However, it targets both military forces and home populations; the use of fourth-generation warfare can be traced to the Cold War period, as superpowers and major powers attempted to retain their grip on colonies and captured territories. Unable to withstand direct combat against bombers and machine guns, non-state entities used tactics of education/propaganda, movement-building, terror, and/or confusion to overcome the technological gap. Fourth-generation warfare has involved an insurgent group or other violent non-state actor trying to implement their own government or reestablish an old government over the current ruling power.
However, a non-state entity tends to be more successful when it does not attempt, at least in the short term, to impose its own rule, but tries to disorganize and delegitimize the state in which the warfare takes place. The aim is to force the state adversary to expend manpower and money in an attempt to establish order, ideally in such a highhanded way that it increases disorder, until the state surrenders or withdraws. Fourth-generation warfare is seen in conflicts involving failed states and civil wars in conflicts involving non-state actors, intractable ethnic or religious issues, or gross conventional military disparities. Many of these conflicts occur in the geographic area described by author Thomas P. M. Barnett as the Non-Integrating Gap, fought by countries from the globalised Functioning Core. Fourth-generation warfare has much in common with traditional low-intensity conflict in its classical forms of insurgency and guerrilla war; as in those small wars, the conflict is initiated by the "weaker" party through actions which can be termed "offensive".
The difference lies in the manner in which 4GW opponents adapt those traditional concepts to present day conditions. These conditions are shaped by technology, religious fundamentalism, a shift in moral and ethical norms which brings legitimacy to certain issues considered restrictions on the conduct of war; this amalgamation and metamorphosis produces novel ways of war for both the entity on the offensive and that on the defensive. Fourth-generation warfare is characterized by a violent non-state actor fighting a state; this fighting can be physically done, such as by modern examples Hezbollah or the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. In this realm, the VNSA uses all three levels of fourth generation warfare; these are the physical (actu
Psychological warfare, or the basic aspects of modern psychological operations, have been known by many other names or terms, including MISO, Psy Ops, political warfare, "Hearts and Minds", propaganda. The term is used "to denote any action, practiced by psychological methods with the aim of evoking a planned psychological reaction in other people". Various techniques are used, are aimed at influencing a target audience's value system, belief system, motives, reasoning, or behavior, it is used to induce confessions or reinforce attitudes and behaviors favorable to the originator's objectives, are sometimes combined with black operations or false flag tactics. It is used to destroy the morale of enemies through tactics that aim to depress troops' psychological states. Target audiences can be governments, organizations and individuals, is not just limited to soldiers. Civilians of foreign territories can be targeted by technology and media so as to cause an effect in the government of their country.
In Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes, Jacques Ellul discusses psychological warfare as a common peace policy practice between nations as a form of indirect aggression. This type of propaganda drains the public opinion of an opposing regime by stripping away its power on public opinion; this form of aggression is hard to defend against because no international court of justice is capable of protecting against psychological aggression since it cannot be adjudicated. "Here the propagandists is dealing with a foreign adversary whose morale he seeks to destroy by psychological means so that the opponent begins to doubt the validity of his beliefs and actions." Since prehistoric times and chiefs have recognised the importance of weakening morale of opponents. In the Battle of Pelusium between the Persian Empire and ancient Egypt, the Persian forces used cats and other animals as a psychological tactic against the Egyptians, who avoided harming cats due to religious belief and spells. Currying favour with supporters was the other side of psychological warfare, an early practitioner of such this was Alexander the Great, who conquered large parts of Europe and the Middle East and held on to his territorial gains by co-opting local elites into the Greek administration and culture.
Alexander left some of his men behind in each conquered city to introduce Greek culture and oppress dissident views. His soldiers were paid dowries to marry locals in an effort to encourage assimilation. Genghis Khan, leader of the Mongolian Empire in the 13th century AD employed less subtle techniques. Defeating the will of the enemy before having to attack and reaching a consented settlement was preferable to facing his wrath; the Mongol generals demanded submission to the Khan, threatened the captured villages with complete destruction if they refused to surrender. If they had to fight to take the settlement, the Mongol generals fulfilled their threats and massacred the survivors. Tales of the encroaching horde spread to the next villages and created an aura of insecurity that undermined the possibility of future resistance; the Khan employed tactics that made his numbers seem greater than they were. During night operations he ordered each soldier to light three torches at dusk to give the illusion of an overwhelming army and deceive and intimidate enemy scouts.
He sometimes had objects tied to the tails of his horses, so that riding on open and dry fields raised a cloud of dust that gave the enemy the impression of great numbers. His soldiers used arrows specially notched to whistle as they flew through the air, creating a terrifying noise. Another tactic favoured by the Mongols was catapulting severed human heads over city walls to frighten the inhabitants and spread disease in the besieged city's closed confines; this was used by the Turko-Mongol chieftain. The Muslim caliph Omar, in his battles against the Byzantine Empire, sent small reinforcements in the form of a continuous stream, giving the impression that a large force would accumulate if not swiftly dealt with. During the early Qin dynasty and late Eastern Zhou dynasty in 1st Century AD China, the Empty Fort Strategy was used to trick the enemy into believing that an empty location is an ambush, in order to prevent them from attacking it using reverse psychology; this tactic relied on luck should the enemy believe that the location is a threat to them.
In the 6th century BCE Greek Bias of Priene resisted the Lydian king Alyattes by fattening up a pair of mules and driving them out of the besieged city. When Alyattes' envoy was sent to Priene, Bias had piles of sand covered with corn to give the impression of plentiful resources; this ruse appears to have been well known in medieval Europe: defenders in castles or towns under siege would throw food from the walls to show besiegers that provisions were plentiful. A famous example occurs in the 8th-century legend of Lady Carcas, who persuaded the Franks to abandon a five-year siege by this means and gave her name to Carcassonne as a result; the start of modern psychological operations in war is dated to the World War I. By that point, Western societies were educated and urbanized, mass media was available in the form of large circulation newspapers and posters, it was possible to transmit propaganda to the enemy via the use of airborne leaflets or through explosive delivery systems like modified artillery or mortar rounds.
At the start of the war, the belligerents the British and Germans, began distributing propaganda, both domestically and on the Western front. The British had several advantages that allowed them to succeed in the battle for wor
Medieval warfare is the European warfare of the Middle Ages. Technological and social developments had forced a dramatic transformation in the character of warfare from antiquity, changing military tactics and the role of cavalry and artillery. In terms of fortification, the Middle Ages saw the emergence of the castle in Europe, which spread to Western Asia. Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus wrote De re militari in the late 4th century. Described by historian Walter Goffart as "the bible of warfare throughout the Middle Ages", De re militari was distributed through the Latin West. While Western Europe relied on a single text for the basis of its military knowledge, the Byzantine Empire in Southeastern Europe had a succession of military writers. Though Vegetius had no military experience and De re militari was derived from the works of Cato and Frontinus, his books were the standard for military discourse in Western Europe from their production until the 16th century. De re militari was divided into five books: who should be a soldier and the skills they needed to learn, the composition and structure of an army, field tactics, how to conduct and withstand sieges, the role of the navy.
According to Vegetius, infantry was the most important element of an army because it was cheap compared to cavalry and could be deployed on any terrain. One of the tenets he put forward was that a general should only engage in battle when he was sure of victory or had no other choice; as archaeologist Robert Liddiard explains, "Pitched battles in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, were rare."Although his work was reproduced, over 200 copies and extracts survive today, the extent to which Vegetius affected the actual practice of warfare as opposed to its concept is unclear because of his habit of stating the obvious. Historian Michael Clanchy noted "the medieval axiom that laymen are illiterate and its converse that clergy are literate", so it may be the case that few soldiers read Vegetius' work. While their Roman predecessors were well-educated and had been experienced in warfare, the European nobility of the early Medieval period were not renowned for their education, but from the 12th century, it became more common for them to read.
Some soldiers regarded the experience of warfare as more valuable than reading about it. While it is uncertain to what extent his work was read by the warrior class as opposed to the clergy, Vegetius remained prominent in the literature on warfare in the medieval period. In 1489, King Henry VII of England commissioned the translation of De re militari into English, "so every gentleman born to arms and all manner of men of war, soldiers and all others would know how they ought to behave in the feats of wars and battles". In Europe, breakdowns in centralized power led to the rise of a number of groups that turned to large-scale pillage as a source of income. Most notably the Vikings raided significantly; as these groups were small and needed to move building fortifications was a good way to provide refuge and protection for the people and the wealth in the region. These fortifications evolved over the course of the Middle Ages, the most important form being the castle, a structure which has become synonymous with the Medieval era in the popular eye.
The castle served as a protected place for the local elites. Inside a castle they were protected from bands of raiders and could send mounted warriors to drive the enemy from the area, or to disrupt the efforts of larger armies to supply themselves in the region by gaining local superiority over foraging parties that would be impossible against the whole enemy host. Fortifications were a important part of warfare because they provided safety to the lord, his family, his servants, they provided refuge from armies too large to face in open battle. The ability of the heavy cavalry to dominate a battle on an open field was useless against fortifications. Building siege engines was a time-consuming process, could be done without preparations before the campaign. Many sieges could take months, if not years, to demoralize the defenders sufficiently. Fortifications were an excellent means of ensuring that the elite could not be dislodged from their lands – as Count Baldwin of Hainaut commented in 1184 on seeing enemy troops ravage his lands from the safety of his castle, "they can't take the land with them".
In the Medieval period besieging armies used a wide variety of siege engines including: scaling ladders. Siege techniques included mining in which tunnels were dug under a section of the wall and rapidly collapsed to destabilize the wall's foundation. Another technique was to bore into the enemy walls, however this was not nearly as effective as other methods due to the thickness of castle walls. Advances in the prosecution of sieges encouraged the development of a variety of defensive counter-measures. In particular, Medieval fortifications became progressively stronger – for example, the advent of the concentric castle from the period of the Crusades – and more dangerous to attackers – witness the increasing use of machicolations, as well the preparation of hot or incendiary substances. Arrow slits, concealed doors for sallies, deep water wells were integral to resisting siege at this time. Designers of castles paid particular attention to defending entrances, protec
In desert warfare, the elements can sometimes be more dangerous than the actual enemy. The desert terrain is the second most inhospitable to troops following a cold environment; the low humidity, extremes of heat/cold, lack of obstacles and wild-life allows the increased use of electronic devices and unmanned aircraft for surveillance and attacks. The barrenness of the desert makes the capture of key cities essential to ensure the ability to maintain control over important resources and being able to keep a military well supplied; as such in conventional warfare this makes sieges a more frequent occurrence as the defender prepares entrenched positions to protect the cities that they are supplied from. Many deserts have limited amounts of noticeable landmarks and as such maneuvering through a desert can turn into a logistical nightmare. Militaries make use of cavalry to traverse the large expanses of a harsh desert without increasing the exertion of the warriors or soldier who are at a higher risk of dehydration because of the high temperatures during the day.
Mobility is essential to a successful desert war. This explains the heavy use of armour in battles such as El Alamein in the Second World War, it has been noted that mobility is so important in desert warfare, that battles can sometimes begin to resemble naval engagements, where the actual possession of territory is less important than the positions of one's tanks. There are many enemies to the desert fighter; these include aircraft, tanks, which can be menacing to desert guerrillas because there is little way to equal such force. Additionally, there are few places to hide from such weapons in the desert environment where there is little obstruction. Another problem is the sand dunes, mobility is reduced by 60%. With no firm and stable ground footing it is easy to slide down or get buried. Lack of water and extreme heat can cause complications when engaging in desert warfare. Another lethal enemy is the landmine. Though not limited to desert use, it is a deadly device and underrated in its importance, as it is difficult to detect and can deny mobility.
The scarcity of water may lead to change in bases, moving from one position to another looking for a water source. In desert warfare an individual's body temperature can reach unusual highs causing fever-like weakness and dehydration. Battle of Gazala First Battle of El Alamein Second Battle of El Alamein Battle of Asal Uttar Battle of Longewala Crimean War War of the Pacific in the Atacama Desert Middle Eastern theatre of World War I Middle Eastern and North African theatres of World War II Sand War Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 Six-Day War Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 Yom Kippur War Western Sahara War Iran–Iraq War Gulf War Second Gulf War 2011 Libyan civil war Somali Civil War Syrian Civil War 2012 Northern Mali conflict Information site on Desert warfare, Iraq war Desert warfare: German experiences in WWII - Combined arms Research library
Cyberwarfare is the use or targeting in a battlespace or warfare context of computers, online control systems and networks. It involves both offensive and defensive operations pertaining to the threat of cyberattacks and sabotage. There has been controversy over whether such operations can be called "war". Powers have been developing cyber capabilities and engaged in cyberwarfare, both offensively and defensively, including the United States, Russia and the United Kingdom. Two other notable players are North Korea. A number of definitions of cyberwarfare have been proposed, with no single definition being adopted internationally. Richard A. Clarke defines it as "actions by a nation-state to penetrate another nation's computers or networks for the purposes of causing damage or disruption." Martin Libicki defines two types of cyberwarfare: Strategic and operational, with strategic being "a campaign of cyberattacks one entity carries out on another", whilst operational cyberwarfare "involves the use of cyberattacks on the other side’s military in the context of a physical war."Other definitions include non-state actors, such as terrorist groups, political or ideological extremist groups, terrorist hacktivists, transnational criminal organizations.
Some governments have made it an integral part of their overall military strategy, with some having invested in cyberwarfare capability. One kind of cyberwarfare involves the kind of hacking, the concern of penetration testing; this capability uses the same set of penetration testing methodologies but applies them, in the case of United States doctrine, in a strategic way to: Prevent cyber attacks against critical infrastructure. Reduce national vulnerability to cyber attacks. Minimize damage and recovery time from cyber attacks. Offensive operations are part of these national level strategies for declared wars as well as undeclared secretive operations. Cyber warfare can present a multitude of threats towards a nation. At the most basic level, cyber attacks can be used to support traditional warfare. For example, tampering with the operation of air defences via cyber means in order to facilitate an air attack. Aside from these "hard" threats, cyber warfare can contribute towards "soft" threats such as espionage and propaganda.
Traditional espionage is not an act of war, nor is cyber-espionage, both are assumed to be ongoing between major powers. Despite this assumption, some incidents can cause serious tensions between nations, are described as "attacks". For example: Massive spying by the US on many countries, revealed by Edward Snowden. After the NSA's spying on Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel was revealed, the Chancellor compared the NSA with the Stasi; the NSA recording nearly every cell phone conversation in the Bahamas, without the Bahamian government's permission, similar programs in Kenya, the Philippines and Afghanistan. The "Titan Rain" probes of American defense contractors computer systems since 2003; the Office of Personnel Management data breach, in the US attributed to China. Computers and satellites that coordinate other activities are vulnerable components of a system and could lead to the disruption of equipment. Compromise of military systems, such as C4ISTAR components that are responsible for orders and communications could lead to their interception or malicious replacement.
Power, fuel and transportation infrastructure all may be vulnerable to disruption. According to Clarke, the civilian realm is at risk, noting that the security breaches have gone beyond stolen credit card numbers, that potential targets can include the electric power grid, trains, or the stock market. In mid-July 2010, security experts discovered a malicious software program called Stuxnet that had infiltrated factory computers and had spread to plants around the world, it is considered "the first attack on critical industrial infrastructure that sits at the foundation of modern economies," notes The New York Times. Stuxnet, while effective in delaying Iran's nuclear program for the development of nuclear weaponry, came at a high cost. For the first time, it became clear that not only could cyber weapons be defensive but they could be offensive; the large decentralization and scale of cyberspace makes it difficult to direct from a policy perspective. Non-state actors can play as large a part in the cyberwar space as state actors, which leads to dangerous, sometimes disastrous, consequences.
Small groups of skilled malware developers are able to as impact global politics and cyber warfare as large governmental agencies. A major aspect of this ability lies in the willingness of these groups to share their exploits and developments on the web as a form of arms proliferation; this allows lesser hackers to become more proficient in creating the large scale attacks that once only a small handful were skillful enough to manage. In addition, thriving black markets for these kinds of cyber weapons are buying and selling these cyber capabilities to the highest bidder without regard for consequences. In computing, a denial-of-service attack or distributed denial-of-service attack is an attempt to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users. Perpetrators of DoS attacks target sites or services hosted on high-profile web servers such as banks, credit card payment gateways, root nameservers. DoS attacks may not be limited to computer-based methods, as strategic physical attacks against infrast