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Curtis supplied a subject-rich list of xGWish future post ideas…

here in “A Test for xGW Theorists“:

A test for xGW theorists who do not believe in a linear emergence, or a dialectical relationship for the G’s:

A more detailed, in-depth, account of 1GW-4GW, each, with descriptions of tactics, strategies, societies behind them or required for them, mind-sets/paradigms, etc., more fully developed for those.

There has been a great rush to 5GW theory, with only 4GW somewhat as developed (but alas taken for granted as an exact “type” as described by pre-xGW theorists; namely, as described by GMW theorists and uninformed pundits citing GMW theorists), and hardly as much thought given to 1-3GW, or even to 4GW.

There is contradiction also.

For instance, the belief held by most xGW theorists that the development of 5GW as something “our side” (whatever that might be) should develop in response to 4GW, in order to defeat 4GW forces, itself suggests a linearity and dialectical relationship.

The belief that each x+1 should easily be able to defeat x — assuming a fully developed x+1 — also suggests a dialectical and linear development to the xGW structure.  (Whereas also, too little attention is ever given to the ability of an x to defeat a poorly executed x+1 strategy.  Or, for that matter, the ability of an x-1 to defeat a poorly executed x+1….)

Also:  if 1-5GW are currently co-existing potential strategies, and always have been — or co-existing sets of tactics, as some have described the xGW framework — no explanation is developed for why certain strategies or tactical decisions are given preferential treatment, either a) by xGW theorists focusing almost entirely on only 4GW-5GW and relegating pre-4GW modes to the past in their examples and future scenarios, or b) by actual practitioners now engaged in conflict, or indeed c) by past practitioners now long dead.

I hope he doesn’t mind me quote the entire thing (if so, let me know). The bolding is mine, for future posts.

I have been working on a 4GW post. Maybe I will work backwards from there. Also, I have a collection of “hard” questions (generally against the 5GW concept), that I am going to attempt to work through.

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8 Responses

  1. I don’t mind! I actually set the privacy rating for that note on Facebook to be open to the public, so anyone can view it.

    I think I would find a more detailed account of 1-4GW within xGW to be thrilling and quite useful. Thus far, though GMW has been superseded by xGW, still the descriptions and conceptualizations of 1-4GW come directly from GMW, which lends the impression that “xGW” is only necessary for the creation 5GW or else may be an excuse for the conceptualization of 5GW.

    This reliance on the GMW framework for an understanding of 1-4GW leads to that contradiction I have briefly noted above.

    At present (today in fact) I am working a little more on my “4GW and Performativity” post. I am contemplating adding another section to it, at the end, which would give a different framework for understanding 1-3GW through the same lens (the role of performativity in conflict), and perhaps for understanding xGW on the whole. However, beyond the imitation from GMW for those gradients, the conceptualization of 1-3GW for an xGW framework is a little murky. (At least, it is murkier if the non-linearity and historical omnipresence of the gradients is assumed to be a requirement for xGW. If not, the murkiness is not quite as bad although still present.)

  2. “. . .no explanation is developed for why certain strategies or tactical decisions are given preferential treatment, either a) by xGW theorists focusing almost entirely on only 4GW-5GW and relegating pre-4GW modes to the past in their examples and future scenarios, or b) by actual practitioners now engaged in conflict, or indeed c) by past practitioners now long dead.”

    Making a few wild-ass guesses?
    a) 4 and 5-GW are considered ‘cleverer’ than 1 thru 3, and more fun to contemplate. Who’d you rather be: Palpatine masterminding a 5GW campaign to destroy the Jedi and take over the Republic, the Rebels fighting a 4GW campaign against the Empire that resulted or the assorted individual races fighting (and usually losing) 1-3GW wars against the main players for one reason or another?

    Ironically, this isn’t always the case. Who’s cleverer, the guy who puts a woopie cushion on your chair (attack, if only on your dignity, that you never see until everyone’s heard the consequences, thus 5GW)? Or the guy who sweet talks you into doing something undignified (you can perceive the attack happening, so it’s 4GW or lower)?

    b and c) The lower the level of GW, the more of certain kinds of resources needed to have any chance of being successful in warfare. The less you have, the more you rely on high-GW strategy and the more famous you become if you win (that cleverness thing, again).

  3. >a) 4 and 5-GW are considered ‘cleverer’ than 1 thru 3, and more fun to contemplate.

    That is partially true. For me, I got into 5GW because I decided the America’s successful enemies were using 4GW to oppose us. I was looking for something other then more 4GW to oppose them. There the attraction of the new thing or next next.

    Joseph Fouche at CPS has written some interesting posts on strategies and on attrition thinking vs silver bullet thinking that break originally interesting ground on 2GW/3GW/4GW/stuff.

    >The less you have, the more you rely on high-GW strategy
    The above is absolutely true. I believe TDAXP has that insight (and others) and from there he and others (and eventually myself) started make stabs at what a 5GW could look like.

  4. Michael,

    The general thrust behind my initial comments on this subject (quoted by PurpleSlog in the post above) was simply that there does seem to be a linearity, of one sort or another, behind the xGW model. So for

    a) we look around and see that 4GW opponents are now defeating our 2GW/3GW forces, and this causes us to focus mostly on 4GW and the type of 5GW we would need to defeat them. Thus:

    b) “b” is the NOW, i.e., we have a fairly good structure in place for 2GW/3GW action, perhaps requiring less focus on those methods and more on understanding our 4GW foes and what we need to do to defeat those foes (5GW?), although practitioners of 2GW/3GW nowadays are often locked into 2GW/3GW methods: the reason they continue to choose to operate in 2GW/3GW mode is an inability and/or unwillingness to alter that mode; they choose 2GW/3GW simply because it’s what they know.

    c) Although there may be some lessons from the far past for us, less attention is given to the past scenarios because we are principally trapped in the present requiring a future plan, so no focus is given that would explore the past practitioners’ reasons for choosing the xGW they chose. The past is a “given” — whatever xGW was chosen, it has already been chosen and is a “done deal.”

    In other words, there is already some acknowledgment of historically-based xGW’s, in which it is a given that whatever xGW was chosen was chosen.

  5. — Oh mama, I’m in fear for my life / From the long arm of the laaaaaaaw!

    Been working on a post today that was intended to address other concerns but now, near the end of it, I’m starting to think it might provide some kind of breakthrough on some issues raised above. I might be hunted down by the xGW police though. Maybe I’m overreacting; I’ll let you know…!

  6. I chickened out — partly. I introduced the drift at the end but left it to be continued: http://curtisgaleweeks.typepad.com/blog/2010/11/on-performativity-4gw-5gw-this-and-that.html

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