5GW Links – 9 May 2008

You may find these 5GW-related links to be interesting…

Planning for a new conference 2008 Boyd/5GW/RC…The 5GW looks to be the John Robb defined 5GW…http://www.d-n-i.net/dni/2008/04/28/rfi-2008-boyd5gwrc/

So, the new 5GW blogger skilluminati seems to have a “unique” different PoV:

I am unlike most 5GW bloggers in that I’m not worried about the future of the US as a global superpower. I’m writing for an audience very much like myself: post-nationalism, post-racism, post-religion human beings with no respect for authority, national borders or even the laws of physics.
5GW is power.

Specifically, 5GW is dedicated individuals exercising their power to achieve their own goals at the expense of everyone who gets in their way. I think this kind of clarity is missing from the discussion because the occult dimension of power has no place in a respectable debate, from military theory to politics to history. For thousands of years, small groups of humans using ritual magick have been controlling nations, waging wars and engaging in economic and psychological warfare. One occult warfare master who does get mentioned in military circles is Hassan i Sabbah, long a muse of William S. Burroughs and Robert Anton Wilson.

I’m open to the argument that I’m only engouraging a plague of lone psychopaths declaring war on the world, but my own 5GW practice is informed and indebted to D.J. Kilcullen, author of the 28 Articles, which you should probably read right now if you haven’t already. Article 26 states: “Build your own solution — only attack the enemy when he gets in the way.”


This seems to be a conspiracy monger site that uses social networking software to connect (in wiki fashion) people, organization, and events together.

Here is 5GW being defined in a completely different way:

3GW (Third Generation Warfare) is warfare between nation-states. 4GW is warfare from non-State actors against a State ( al Qaeda vs the US), and now 5 GW is warfare by a person against a State actor. Should I assume that when robots are deployed there will be a 6GW and later a 7GW when those robots are self-directed?

Thunderpig on The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories:

I have tried to reason with some of these people, and found myself frustrated at their universal unwillingness to accept science, and even photographic evidence (even when identifying engine parts from a 757 inside the Pentagon for a 9/11 nut), and eventually, I was accused of being “on the payroll” of X (the Illuminati, Israel, ZOG, Karl Rove), or of being a complete idiot.

Phil excerpts the book On Political War:

Political war is the use of political means to compel an opponent to do one’s will, political being understood to describe purposeful intercourse between peoples and governments affecting national survival and relative advantage. Political war may be combined with violence, economic pressure, subversion, and diplomacy, but its chief aspect is the use of words, images, and ideas, commonly known, according to context, as propaganda and psychological warfare.

This book presents an overview of the elements making up political war.

A good idea for a component of the Military-Industrial-SysAdmin Complex

Unless you’re a military history aficionado you probably don’t know about the Philippine Constabulary. That would be a pretty good template for long-term expat leadership after NATO/ISAF and much of OEF declares victory and leaves. U. S. Department of Justice ought to get into the war. DOJ, not DOD, should contract with somebody like Dyncorp to provide contractor cadre for the ANP. Not PMT’s but actual Deputy District Chiefs and such, with real command authority, on four- or five-year contracts at damn good pay. They would be the men charged with extending the writ of Kabul to corners of Afghanistan where that writ has never run before. They would be the men who would reduce the corruption to an acceptable standard for that part of the world. Let the contractor hire cops and soldiers from all over the Free World, subject to screening, and give interested U. S. service members leave without pay to take these jobs.


This is kind of funny; on my own site this morning, I put down the first paragraph of a piece where I’m going after three “Peacetime Doctrine” Strategic Theories (“Soft Power”, 4GW/5GW, and RMA) that seem to think that Sun Tzu, Clausewitz, and Forrest are either fundamentally wrong or obsolete. I think that they are useful to the extent that they demonstrate areas of negligence or point to areas that require further development in Strategic Thought, but no more.

BTW, I don’t think Sun-Tzu is at odds with 4GW/5GW.


Those who fault 4GW for its short comings have a lot of ammunition to support their arguments, but one could argue that the whole generational method to describe warfare is what is at faulty. It assumes that one generation replaces another, but the reality is that 1GW through 5GW are additive, they add to the repatoire of options available. The first step to clarifying the debate is doing away with the generations of warfare, then we won’t have to waste time defending them, and instead can focus on the real issues at hand.
The nature of warfare and conflict can change as technology and political systems evolve. 5GW is supposed to describe the empowered individual, which is a possibility that can’t be denied unless you live under a rock. An intelligent deviant can to some extent now, and to a much greater extent later, will be able to wreck various degrees of havoc with information technology, bio-engineering, etc., but then we argue can one man declare war? or is it just a crime? One man spreading bio-engineered small pox is a national security threat whether it is a war or a crime, and key take away isn’t whether this is 1GW, 2GW, or 5GW, but that we have a security problem to solve.


Fourth Generation Warfare Theory (4GW), and its offspring Fifth Generation Warfare Theory (5GW), both conceive of War manifesting itself in both matter and form according to the circumstances latent at different times throughout History, with particular attention to Modern History. An interaction of Social Structures and Conditions, Ideology, Technology, and Economics etc., over the course of Time results in more or less discernable Stages, or “Generations”, in an Evolution of War. 4GW Theorists maintain that in the present Stage of Modern History, War manifests itself in a form in which War is waged mainly by Groups of Non-State Actors, usually motivated, at least in part, by Ideology. 5GW Warfare Theory goes so far as to propose that develops in and resort to, either Biotechnology or Nanotechnology on the one hand, or violence engaged in by lone Individuals with (usually) Ideological motives on the other, constitute the matter and form of the next Stage of War to come. In any case, both 4GW and 5GW Theorists propose that High-Intensity, Mechanized Conventional War between State Actors constitute the matter and form of an earlier Stage of War, known as 3GW, and moreover, that that Stage of history, and therefore that type of War, may now even be more or less past us.

This is not the way Dreaming 5WG defines it.


5GW will be conducted by individuals, armed with of-the-shelf technology, conducting lone wolf attacks on targets that present minimal risk of detection and counter-force response.

As an example, I would say a sustained string of power-plant accidents – electricity distribution failures – pipeline breaches – or sub station fires will indicate we are under a 5GW assault, without being able to identify the origin of the attacks.

A second example would be a high attrition rate among major names in Anbar or the Delta – motor vehicle accidents, heart attacks, food poisoning, snipers, chipping away at what little formal organization is there.

I think the defining characteristic of 5GW operations will be surprise declarations of victory, without any indications hostilities had commenced.

Commenter Snowden groks 5GW.

Lastly, Elmo Goes to War. Godspeed Elmo, Godspeed.

[Cross-posted to Dreaming 5GW]

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