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

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

  1. Dan,

    I'm intrigued by the last bit, and I have a hunch where you may be going with it. I think that the Soviet infiltration of Western academic institutions might be a nice example of building exploitable blind spots in your enemy's collective world view.


  2. Dan,

    I'd have to look for the link, but I saw an interview with an old KGB guy talking about how they worked to get American universities populated with professors who taught things like the fact that all ideologies are valid and equal, that America was the great satan and that due to Colonialism we deserve all the ire of the third world.

    And so we have a very large portion of the population, many of them now in positions of power, that don't believe we have a moral right to fight the WOT or pretty much whatever war might come our way. The Soviets may not have won the Cold War, but they won a significant campaign that made us much weaker for the next (current) conflict. If it hadn't, we wouldn't need the SysAdmin Industrial Complex you're proposing.


  3. Now -that- is a very good example of non-kinetic 5GW thinking. Makes me wonder if there is some Russian doctrine manual out there written by the Soviet military or intelligence agency that is as much a precursor to 5GW as things like Unrestricted Warfare

  4. Arherring, there is something similar to it.

    Try Ladislav Bittman's 'Deception Game', 'KGB and Soviet Disinformation' and 'The New Image Makers'.

    Also look for Anatoliy Golitsyn 'New Lies for Old' (then of course make yourself familiar with the Nosenko-Golitsyn debacle, which you may already be aware of).

    Richard Schultz 'Dezinformatsia' is also good.

  5. Arherring, I'd also check out a guy called Vladislav Surkov. I'm skeptical about 5GW as a conspiracy war, but if there ever was a current living person who'd fit the bill of a 5G warrior, it'd be Surkov.

    Surkov is considered the chief ideologist of Putin's cabinet and the deceased journalist Anna Politkovskaya described him as the “acknowledged doyen of PR in Russia”. He also influenced the creation of the Nashi youth movement which has been used against the Ukraine and most recently Estonia.

    Most interesting is a number of other things, like that he gave a speech entitled 'How Russia should fight international conspiracies'. He also did three years of theater direction at the Moscow institute of culture (which would fit in with theater aspect of 5GW). Funnily enough he also has a large collection of puppets (according to wikipedia, but doesn't cite the source).

    So he's an interesting chap. A puppeteer propagandist if you will.

  6. “Nashi youth movement which has been used against the Ukraine and most recently Estonia.”

    Whoops. That should be used against Estonia, but founded because of the events within Ukraine, which they think might happen within Russia (that is, mass youth protest backed by the west to overthrow a decision).

  7. I also revisited the wiki page and looks like i misread some of it. It's his wife who holds the puppet collection, so the wacky sinister editorialism on my behalf is wrong.

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