REVISITING 5th GENERATION WAR
"Limitations of 5GW
" by Curtis Gale Weeks
of Phatic Communion
"On 'Fifth Generation' Warfare?"
by Bryce Lane
featured at Defense & The National Interest
Nice to see the discussion progressing and new voices being added.
Bryce Lane has some thoughtful ideas in a short piece. Fans of PNM will recognize that Lane is actually discussing the phenomena Dr. Barnett
calls " System Perturbation" and " cascading effects" in The Pentagon's New Map
and Lane correctly, in my view, discerns a resonance occurring in the action-reaction cycle as something an instigator could be aimining at in launching that kind of attack. My thoughts on the potentialities of System Perturbation attack are here
(If you are a real glutton for Zenpundit-punishment and want Dr. Barnett's feedback as well go here
Also noteworthy is Lane's assessment of the Logospheric state of 5GW conflict:
" The personal, political and psychological is no longer mediated by the geographic. The world is composed of a psychological terrain that has less and less to do with topography and national boundaries
Indeed. Bin Laden looks at the world and sees an Ummah as an incipient Caliphate. Mullah Omar and Deobandi scholars see a greater Pushtunistan and not the Durand line. Dr. Barnett sees a Core and a Gap. Jacques Chirac sees a European superstate. Hugo Chavez dreams of a Bolivarian bloc, dominated by Venezuela and committed to statist autarky, managed trade and anti-Americanism. The list could be extended.
Turning to Curtis and Dan, they have had a thorough exchange of views but my attention was captured by this analysis by Curtis:
"The greatest weakness for a democratic society in combating 5GW — say, America — is the doctrine of “majority rule.” Those who do not participate in the system or indeed who oppose the political system also do not wield the power that has been concentrated (consecrated) at the topmost level of that majority. A 5GW force, should one of sufficient ability ever form, would only need to influence the majority and the leaders of that majority, or indeed create a majority will via stimuli such as catastrophes (“natural” or man-made), and sit back to watch the application of a force which it knows will rebound on that society.The disenfranchised (whether by self-determination or by exterior exclusion), the subcultural or countercultural elements, the criminals and hermits of a society, are likely to be the canaries in the mine: A 5GW force will use the weight of the dominant segment(s) of society against that society and not waste effort on the seemingly powerless members of that society, and the oddball elements of a society are more likely to be sensitive to changes in the majority opinion than those who hold the majority opinion. (I’m not excluding the 5GW potential for using criminal elements and homeland terrorists against a society, however.)"Dan
responded:"The problem with "subcultural or counter-cultural elements" to warn society about a SecretWar attack is that they will be ignored. Alex Jones, George Noory, and the rest of the 9/11 conspiracy theorists are warning us of a textbook SecretWar right now:
"When we say 'the government' we're oversimplifying. There are corporate interests that are bigger than most governments that basically can steer and manipulate our government -- the largest and most powerful in the world -- and their goal is to expand that control over our population, to basically use us as an engine of global domination. This has been stated in major public white papers by different sectors of the elite. So when I talk about 'the government' engaging in different criminal activities, we're talking about very small, clandestine groups within intelligence and security agencies -- but -- those small clandestine groups are up at the very top of the pyramidal power structure, and so through compartmentalization they're able to manipulate and steer our society
""Isn't it also accurate, though, to say rather than 'government,' 'a group of individuals who are doing something for their own sinister means'?"
""Absolutely.... People all the time say, 'Well, a 'grand conspiracy with the whole government?" I'm in the government! My husband's in the government! Are you saying they're evil?' Absolutely not."
and society ignores them.
Any real SecretWar attack met with warnings that are lost in the background noise is the same as a SecretWar without warning.
My thoughts are that 5GW, at least carried out in "SecretWar" style will not be about assuming and maintaining complete control of a government because that is not economical in terms of resources or time. Coups, even silent coups are soooooooooo 3GW and it forces the players out in the open, as Dan suggested. This makes the players the return address for all aggreived parties.
No, a 5GW player is only looking to be able to influence the levers of power to act in a way that may effect the changes they desire, perhaps only indirectly, appearing as a byproduct of events or to tie up attention and resources so that some things will not
happen. And when things go wrong and blowback arrives it is best for a 5GW SecretWarrior if someone else is holding the bag.
To cite an example, whenever the U.S. Congress and the chattering classes appear entranced by something that seems surreally out of context in terms of its intrinsic importance - the most recent cases were steroid use in baseball ( really, who actually is affected by multimillionaire pro athletes juicing ? Bookies ? ) and Terry Schiavo - the political class is moving through changes they do not wish the media or the public to examine closely. These distractors are " white noise
" and little else.
Go back and look what else Congress and the administration were doing at the time during those particular news cycles. This of course is not really 5GW - its American politicians who have learned that the media spotlight combined with organized interest groups and the bureaucrats of the permanent government
are an " Iron Triangle
" that, when united ,can destroy elected officials, their nominees, block important reforms and impose unwanted regulations.
But this " distractor" technique forshadows 5GW. It shapes the Logosphere and it determines the political battlespace.