Dreaming 5GW, Part I: The Dream-Quest of Unknown 5th Generation War


A Vision of Unknown Kadath (from okoun.cz)

Three times Randolph Carter dreamed of the marvelous city, and three times was he snatched away while still he paused on the high terrace above it. All golden and lovely it blazed in the sunset, with walls, temples, colonnades and arched bridges of veined marble, silver-basined fountains of prismatic spray in broad squares and perfumed gardens, and wide streets marching between delicate trees and blossom-laden urns and ivory statues in gleaming rows; while on steep northward slopes climbed tiers of red roofs and old peaked gables harbouring little lanes of grassy cobbles. It was a fever…”The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, Howard Philips Lovecraft.

Earlier I argued that war is evolving “deeper into the Observe-Orient-Decide-Act loop

I also argued

If traditional war centered on an enemy’s physical strength, and 4GW on his moral strength, the 5th Generation of War would focus on his intellectual strength. A 5th Generation War might be fought with one side not knowing who it is fighting. Or even, a brilliantly executed 5GW might involve one side being completely ignorant that there ever was a war. It’s like the old question of what was the perfect robbery: we will never know, because in a perfect robbery the bank would not know that it was robbed.

I kept trying to imagine what this would look like. Besides a vague inkling that it would be fought by some combination of George Friedman and Peter Wiggin, no picture came to me. Like Randolph Carter looking for Unknown Kadath,

Fortunately, I got in communication with a genius who helped me understand that the Observe-Orient-Decide-Act look might be better pictured as

The original analysis is still valid. The “arrows of attack” I used still fall earlier and earlier in the Observe-Orient-Decide-Act power-line. Just now it is clear that not most actions are not decided upon. They are implicitly guided and controlled by orientation, based on our observations.

Then a comment by Mark Safranski hit me like a hammer

We all have a tendency to some degree to run on a mental ” autopilot” – whether you want to call this phenomena ” framing”, worldview, paradigms, schemas, ideological constructs, etc. – the precise meaning vary but the effect is to shape our perceptions of the world ( highlighting or omitting data) and to an extent predetermine our responses in a large picture sense. Ideological blinders concentrates our vision but they distort our view of reality.

A critical skill is to be able to periodically attempt to step outside one’s worldview and look at an event from multiple perspectives other than one’s own. You have become a strategic thinker when you know *when* to do this as well as *how*.

Now it’s clear exactly what

If traditional war centered on an enemy’s physical strength, and 4GW on his moral strength, the 5th Generation of War would focus on his intellectual strength.

means. The beautiful sunset city has been found.


Dreaming 5GW, a tdaxp series
1. The Dream-Quest of Unknown 5GW
2. The Uncaring War
3. Lessons from Software Development
4. 5th Generation Networks
5. A Boydian Approach to 5GW
6. A Dream of 5GW

Clean Cut Kid Embezzles $100,000

Clean Cut Kid was one of the first blogs I read. For the first few months of tdaxp‘s existence, CCK himself, Chad Schuldt, was kind enough to comment here on several occasions. As recently as April he linked to my analysis of Congress’s low approval ratings.

Not every blogger was so well treated. CCK tried to get Sibby, a local paleocon blogger, fired from his job as Toshiba.

Chad has now been fired for embezzling a hundred thousand dollars from Hildebrand Tewes, a consultancy that has worked for Senator Tom Daschle and Senator Barack Obama. Dakota War College is right to say this is a sad day for all concerned. Both the left-leaning S.D. Watch and the right-leaning South Dakota Politics share their thoughts.