ZenPundit
Sunday, August 07, 2005
 
REVISITING 5th GENERATION WAR

"Limitations of 5GW" by Curtis Gale Weeks of Phatic Communion

"Secretwar(5GW)" by Dan of tdaxp

"On 'Fifth Generation' Warfare?" by Bryce Lane featured at Defense & The National Interest (pdf file)

My Commentary:

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 and 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.
 
Comments:
Good reminder on the political use of white noise.

At least according to Friedman's definition, Lane's version of 5th Generation Warfare isn't warfare at all.

In wondering whether al Qaeda is fighting a "war" against the United States, Friedman writes

Al Qaeda must have political goals that are in some sense practical. Punishing the infidel is not a political goal: It is not intended to achieve a political outcome, nor is it intended to create or influence regimes.

but Lane says

The same old terrorism? Not
exactly. There is a point where criminality, pathology and technology will meet in a way that makes geography and politics irrelevant. Now it has to have been shown that bigger things than a shot, a bomb, or hijackings are possible, much bigger things magnified by the attentions of the “great public eye” and an ever more frightened public mind.
The difference lies in the goals. A classic insurgent, guerrilla or fourth generation enemy has a material-political-social goal in mind. The new problems may be initiated by people who are little more than stalkers, fire starters, narcissists and misfits who wish to see themselves writ larger than life across the psycho-social landscape of the earth and now have been shown that they certainly have the means available of doing so. The difference between a traditional mass enemy and a dangerous individual has the possibility of rapidly disappearing.


So Lane seems to see "5GW" are really "post-War." This is unlikely because there never was a "pre-War."

More probable is a "post-Peace," a la Sun Tzu and possibly Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui.

There has always been "War," but "Peace" is very Modern and very Western.

-Dan tdaxp
 
Very incisive. Peace is an invention of modernity - Westphalia in Europe mostly though the Japanese accomplished a " universal peace" within the confines of their empire under the Tokugawa shogunate ( obviously not a model with transference)

Hey Dan - BTW you should read the Barnett article on Rumsfeld in the July edition of Esquire
 
I think it's interesting how white noise could play a large role in 5GW activity: for keeping a target unaware of the war, even for giving the target a sense of accomplishment (some favorable outcome on a social/cultural issue, or the resolution of divides within the culture.) For the target of 5GW, white noise might not be in the background, but in the forefront, while 5GW remains in the background. For the attacker, it would be about keeping the target and the attacker on different planes of activity.

I'm curious about your statement of "5GW, at least carried out in 'SecretWar' style" -- what would be the other styles?

In America, the majorities and minorities are always shifting, or at least the lines of demarcation are often blurred. Countercultural elements like those in the 60's have since then actually infiltrated the mainstream culture, to some extent have become the mainstream culture. Also, fringes of the mainstream, such as HUAC, Christian activists, etc., who are not exactly the mainstream but also aren't members of the disenfranchised, owe a large part of their existence and motivation to the elements they oppose.

So...I've been thinking that instead of targeting the most influential powerbrokers, a 5GW could target elements in the counterculture (including criminals, including the non-voting youth of America, including minority religious groups) in order to influence those powerbroker -- the powerbrokers often act to keep the countercultural elements down or weakened, or as Rove has done, seek to mollify the mainstream fear of countercultural and subcultural elements by giving the majority a sense of power over them. To some great extent, the majority always defines itself and chooses its activity in reaction to the elements which are not in the mainstream.
 
For instance, and an example of Lane's assessment, a leader of the Aryan nation in America has openly declared he's willing to use his group's cells to aid al-Qaeda:

August Kreis

At the time that I wrote about it, I thought that a hard response to Kreis's statements was needed (similar to hatemongering responses supported now by Blair), but I do wonder if turning America into a police state would be playing into al-Qaeda's hands -- by fomenting internal divisions.
 
Curtis wrote:

"I'm curious about your statement of "5GW, at least carried out in 'SecretWar' style" -- what would be the other styles?"

Sorry for the delay, I've been building bookcases and lugging boxes all day.

As new generations of war evolve out of a need to counter the old ( according to 4GW theory) I posited that 4GW networks might be countered by quasi-genocidal counterinsurgency campaigns that would ensure that the networks supporting the 4GW warriors disintegrate.

A morally troubling eventuality but a very logical outcome if 4GW movements make a society or an elite feel that their back is against the wall. Moreover, such campaigns have defeated 4GW forces in Algeria, Guatemala and El Salvador so there's aome evidence here that initiating " no rules" conflict will cause the other side to " ramp up" rather than lose in some instances.
 
"quasi-genocidal counterinsurgency campaigns"

If the method is conventional, such as bombings, butchering, and general pillaging, it wouldn't be very new. (Agent Orange on a larger scale?) It would be a case of 3GW or prior winning against 4GW. (Blockades?)

On the other hand, widespread viral infection might do the trick. (Smallpox re: American Indians?)

An occupying force might combat an insurgency by destroying the infrastructure or keeping the infrastructure from being rebuilt, leading to semi-genocidal outcomes (obvious analogy...Or, there is the scene in Lawrence of Arabia when the British refused to turn on the electricity & water and ignored the condition of the hospitals.) I think such a tactic would be 4GW, though...?

Simply defeating a 4GW force wouldn't necessarily mean the winner utilizes 5GW; it could mean that the 4GW was not adept. So I'm wondering what 5GW activity would include genocidal activity. Maybe assassination of a whole set of canaries would lead to civil war or rampaging militias that killed indescriminately, thus turning the attention of the 4GW force from its primary objective.
 
Regards,

Don

P.S. I have a in lead lead leads.com mlm opt responsive surveyed site. It pretty much covers in lead lead leads.com mlm opt responsive surveyed related stuff.

Check it out if you get time :-)
 
You have an outstanding blog here! I really enjoyed the topic you chose to write about. I'm definitely going to bookmark you! I have a mlm business opportunity cdr site. It pretty much covers mlm business opportunity cdr related stuff. Come and check it out if you get time :-)
 
You have nice blog here! If you are interested, go see my internet link marketing tr.com related site. It isnt anything special but you may still find something of interest.
 
Wow, I really like this one. I have a website that talks mostly about work at home business work at home idea and opportunity You should check it out sometime.
 
I really liked the info on your site about Mlm - nice work. I've just started my own Mlm Secrets blog and would really appreciate you stopping by
 
Post a Comment

<< Home
Zenpundit - a NEWSMAGAZINE and JOURNAL of scholarly opinion.

My Photo
Name:
Location: Chicago, United States

" The great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances as though they were realities" -- Machiavelli

Determined Designs Web Solutions Lijit Search
ARCHIVES
02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003 / 03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003 / 04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003 / 05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003 / 06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003 / 07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003 / 08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003 / 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 / 10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003 / 11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003 / 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 / 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 / 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 / 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 / 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 / 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 / 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 / 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 / 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004 / 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004 / 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 / 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004 / 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005 / 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 / 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 / 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005 / 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005 / 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 / 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 / 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 / 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 / 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 / 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 / 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 / 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 / 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 / 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 / 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006 / 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 / 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 / 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 / 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 / 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 / 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 / 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 / 11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006 / 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007 / 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007 / 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007 / 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007 / 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007 / 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007 / 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007 / 07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007 / 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007 / 09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007 / 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007 / 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007 /



follow zenpundit at http://twitter.com
This plugin requires Adobe Flash 9.
Get this widget!
Sphere Featured Blogs Powered by Blogger StatisfyZenpundit

Site Feed Who Links Here
Buzztracker daily image Blogroll Me!