Fifth Generation Warfare: Conspiracy and Shadow Government

Dan at TDAXP describes Fourth Generation Warfare.

If older generations of war were like fluids, 4GW was like a gas. It spreads everywhere yet regular armies have a hard time even finding battles. Like 3rd Generation Wars, 4th Generation Wars focus on the picture inside the enemy’s head. But while 3GW tries to destroy the picture, 4GW builds a new one. This picture is built in that part of the OODA loop where people “wait and see,” the double-headed arrow between Observe and Orient. While 3GW tries to paralyze the enemy with doubt, 4GW tries to deny him even that much — 4GW drains the will of the enemy so he “waits and sees,” robbing him of his ability to want to do anything. In practice, this means 4GW tries to destroy an enemy’s civil society, turning his population into mindless cowards. (tdaxp)

How does a Fifth Generation War work?

In other words, a fifth generation war is a lot like a struggling software project at a cash-strapped corporation. It needs to keep its head down, or it will be found-out and terminated. The solution is to have a collection of cross-specialist high-quality workers who know each other and make every worker a stakeholder — that is, make every worker feel that at least some important decisions were his decision. The team, is able to subvert the corporate system, diverting resources for the benefits of the project under the radar of jealous management.

The team plans, analyzes, and plans together. While there should be a “leader,” consensus management is a must. Every team member is constantly reminded, in words and deeds, how important he is. Team and project loyalty are established, and by the time jealous management learns of the project — after implementation, it is too late.(tdaxp)

In other words, 5th Generation Warfare requires a conspiracy to subvert the formal government with a shadow government.

There has been speculation here and there about what 5GW would look like. Conspiracy theories being popular, there are many imaginary conflicts involving the Illuminati, Priory of Sion, the Templars, the Carbonari, and so on. But there are some widespread real conspiracies too! The Project of the Muslim Brotherhood is one such conspiracy. So to is the substance of Stalin’s attempts, coordinated by the Communist International following Gramsci’s template, to undermine American and British society, using not only Soviet spies like Alger Hiss, Kim Philby and the Rosenbergs but also numerous other informal agents who made it their project to take over the universities, Hollywood, much of popular entertainment, social work, teacher colleges, and newspapers. Even H.G. Wells’ open source conspiracy to establish a one world government, which has led us to the U.N. and E.U. and other well intentioned but fatally flawed projects, is a conspiracy against the individualist ethic at the heart of the American success story.

In the light of this, it seems that we have at least three powerful and well advanced 5GW wars against the United States right now.

How does a nation defend itself from 5GW when it awakens to its peril? Is there a defense other than massacre?

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

5 responses to “Fifth Generation Warfare: Conspiracy and Shadow Government

  1. In other words, 5th Generation Warfare requires a conspiracy to subvert the formal government with a shadow government.

    Well said. While 4GW is the generation of modern war that blends into politics, 5GW transcends it. A 5GW cannot compete with a 4GW force directly, so has to go around it, maneuvering in the structure of the political system.

    The Military-Industrial-Leviathan-Complex (MILC) that Harry Truman and his friends help build to ensure containment against the Soviet Union continued, regardless of party or administration, is a great example of this.

    The Project of the Muslim Brotherhood is one such conspiracy

    Hadn’t thought of this, but sounds interesting.

  2. [crossposted from <a href=”″Dreaming 5GW]

    Interesting feedback. However, I think this is only half the story. The most compelling adversaries in 5GW are not agents of a massive, cohesive entity like a nation-state — but rather the self-subsidized, self-motivated and super-empowered individuals who attack our core values through twisting perceptions of reality.

    This is why 5GW is of so much more concern than a popularly-embraced 4GW campaign against a monolithic power like the U.S.: 5GW by its very nature does not require any coordination or cohesion amongst its foes in order to erode the foundations of our perceptions. In fact, a lack of cohesion would make 5GW actions even more effective, since it will add to the complexity of our perceived world.

    sf/ shane

  3. Exactly, Shane. The way I see it, 5GW could encompass swarming and other uncoordinated but coherent attacks. It could also encompass open-source conspiracies, memetic engineering, and bespoke ideologies intended to transform our allies or enemies, or influential third parties. And once the switch is turned on the conspiracy can retire. Their work is done.

  4. “once the switch is turned on the conspiracy can retire”


  5. Pingback: 5GW Back to GG? | Shlok Vaidya’s Thinking