4GW is a method of warfare not restricted to blatantly martial confrontations with the enemy (i.e. open conflicts with small arms, battle-ships, tanks, etc.) but instead consists of more subtle attempts to undermine a given enemy. It is colored with stratagems for waging war through economic, socio-political, and psychological means in addition to martial means.
In relation to preparedness, one would be wrong to presume 4GW has no impact on an individual’s preparedness options – in that some historical events which bear the mark of a “SHTF” scenario are direct results of such modern warfare practices. For example (grid down).