What the 5th Generational Warfare Institute calls 5GW…is actually 4GW

What the 5th Generational Warfare Institute defines as 5GW this way…

The 5GW Educational Institute® offers the following definition for debate:  5GW is an extension of Asymmetrical and Insurgent Warfare, whereby the enemy uses all means – both conventional and unconventional military tactics and weapons; includes political, religious and social causes; incorporates 21st century Global strategic information operations campaigns (internet and 24 hours news cycle); can be conducted by organized or unorganized groups; may be nation state led or non-nation state led – to disrupt and defeat superior opponents in order to achieve their will.

…is actually still 4GW.

I understand the confusion. 5GW thinking is still developing.

The core problem is that 4GW itself is not well defined – it is more then just and advanced insurgency. Along time ago I blogged this

Why cannot there be offensive and defensive forms of 4GW?

If a non-state actor 4GW force moves among a target state actor’s peoples and uses it institutions, systems and media against the target state actor, why wouldn’t a state-actor change it defensive processes and systems to reflect this as part of being 4GW-aware? Why wouldn’t a state actor decentralize certain functions, change its rule-sets to be able to fight lawfare against the 4GW non-state actor, etc?

…and this:

It is possible that those thinking about 4GW concentrate too much on 4GW as Guerrilla War X Other Stuff extrapolations. 4GW is still evolving and more variants will emerge. Looking at other proto-4GW movements, or other possible precursors will give us all a better idea of the direction 4GW and conflict in general will go.

What can 4GW theorist learn from organized crime like the Sicilian Mafia (and the godfather movies)?

How about the Right-wing/Neo-Fascists/Survivalist groups in America which seem to have peaked in the 1980s? Can anything be learned from how the KKK organized and operated in the 1900’s?

How about PETA?

How about the 100-year suffragettes movement?

Or the Prohibition movement. How the heck was that ever passed in the first place?

What can they learn from the Indian National movement (of which Ghandi’s peaceful resistance was only one part) or the American Civil Rights Movement (1900-1970)?

Can we learn from the IRA? Can we learn from the British response to the IRA?

My thinking went this way:

I have been thinking that 4GW is still being worked out the full range of possibilities is still being worked out. It is too focused on advanced/evolved guerrilla warfare. In 4GW, soft power is used to avoid the industrial might and firepower of 2GW and 3GW opponents. Also, a 4GW operation will use either hard power or soft power to fix an opponent, and the other to strike. In my draft notes, I shorthand 4GW as Full Spectrum Warfare. I know Nye breake out Hard, Economic, and soft power, but I just break it out as hardpower and softpower (including PNM Theory style sysadmin activities). [Spelling/Grammar Corrected]

It is a small step to see hard vs soft power along the lines of kinetic vs non-kinetic/dispersed-kinetics.

There are some core books IMO that can lead to understanding of 4GW (they can be read in any order – except read War Nerd last):

The Utility of Force by Rupert Smith (see also this)

Unrestricted Warfare by Qiao Liang and Wang (see also PDF version, this, this, this, this, and this)

The Sling and the Stone by Hammes (see also this, this and this)

The New Face of War by Bruce D. Berkowitz

Positioning:The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout (see also this)

The Principles of War for the Information Age by Robert Leonhard

War Nerd by Gary Brecher (see also this)

So, how is 4GW defined?

Well this post is getting longer then I attended.

Next up will be defining 4GW.

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