5GW Operation Notes: Who What Where When Why How

Here some notes to help me clarify my own thinking. The notes may be useful to others as well.

As always, I appreciate any comments, questions, corrections, additions…feedback of any sort.


5GW is the secret deliberative manipulation of actors, networks, institutions, states or any 0GW/1GW/2GW/3GW/4GW forces to achieve a goal or set of goals across a combination of socio, economic, and political domains while attempting to avoid or minimize the retaliatory offensive or defensive actions/reactions of 0GW/1GW/2GW/3GW/4GW powered actors, networks, institutions, and/or states.

I also like these succint definitions:

5GW as “War of hidden movements” [TDAXP]

5GW as “a school of strategic thought focused on the indirect and surreptitious application of influence” [Joseph Fouche]

5GW is merely the preemption of war and politics by whatever means [CGW]

Fifth gradient doctrines are based upon the principle of manipulation of the context of the observations of an opponent in order to achieve a specific effect. [Arherring]






  • To achieve or increase the probability of achieving a goal against (or for) an otherwise unwilling target [Example Link]
  • To wage war with inferior power or resources compared to the target
  • To avoid counter-activity by the target (aka increased 5GWer survivability)
  • “…an outcome which is lasting, i.e. a strong and resilient system, and this would also require that those living within any newly created or newly modified system consciously or unconsciously continue to maintain that system — rather than consciously or unconsciously form groups to bring it down.” [Source: CGW]
  • Love?


4GW and 5GW move beyond traditional weapons. It is about the importance of the non-kinetic (aka dispersed kinetics)

5GW is dispersed kinetics to a greater degree and manipulation of things (e.g. SBNs, KBNs, SEIs, PDNs, MBNs) to achieve result desired by the 5GW actors. The weaponization of things not thought to be weapons leaves the opponent who is fixed on attacking/defending what are obvious weapons distracted/confused/unprepared and even unaware about the action taking place against them. [Source]


  • SecretWar
  • HiddenWar
  • StealthWar
  • OtherWar


  • It comes out of the cold slowly (The future Team Soros Model?)
  • It morphs into a larger open (possible 4GW) movement or movements (The Muslim Brotherhood Model)
  • It Quietly ends with Mission Accomplished (Heh…is this the Red EU Model?)
  • It is exposed and is broken up or destroyed (the Cambridge Five Model and aspects of the Comintern)


  • TBD


  • TBD


  • TBD

Note: The unofficial 5GW Theory Song

Update: Corrected some typos. Added an idea from here by CGW.

Additional minor updates on and after 8/1/2010

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/The Handbook of 5GW

The Kindle version of the Dr. TDAXP edited Handbook of 5GW has been released!

The Dreaming 5GW website might be defunct, but the 5GW Theory Timeline (extracted from the group the blog) is available here. Dreaming 5GW is alive again.

Banner for http://dreaming5gw.comRIP It Lives?

5GW Wordle

5GW Means...(1)


29 Responses

  1. “The unofficial 5GW Theory Song” as opposed to the unofficial GG song: here

  2. oops that link shoulda been

  3. Oh my! That was fun.

  4. […] Posted on September 1, 2010 by purpleslog What the 5th Generational Warfare Institute defines as 5GW this way… The 5GW Educational Institute® offers the following definition for debate:  […]

  5. http://larrydunbar.com/2011/12/02/4gw/#comment-269

    CGW wrote: “Whereas I’ve held in my back pocket the secret that I believe 5GW to be, in its final fulfillment or ultimate expression, an extremely positive approach to conflict.”

  6. Memetic Engineering – “Overton Window”


  7. Cyber as its own conflict dimension


    Think Boyd’s Mental, Moral and Physical dimensions, but add Institutional and Cyber

  8. http://www.stoptheaclu.com/2013/07/31/obamas-new-nudge-squad-to-secretly-push-you-to-do-his-bidding/

    “On Tuesday Fox News released a report that revealed Obama’s plan to use psychology and “behavioral insights” to cajole America into accepting his way of thinking.”

  9. “In the the Western hemisphere the transmission of hatred against America and traditional values shifted. Pacepa explains how liberation theology — the faith of the church Barack Obama chose to attend for 20 years and where he baptized his children — is a KGB invention created specifically for the purpose of getting poor Christians to embrace socialism.”


  10. This blog is starting to test out the 5GW theory waters:


  11. “…, its dirty little war of pinprick savagery…”


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