Dreaming 5GW, Part II: The Uncaring War


Frozen Kadath (from okoun.cz)

I don’t care if you don’t
I don’t care if you don’t
I don’t care if you don’t care

Jesus of Suburbia, Green Day

Every other form of modern-warfare requires people to care. The aggressor needs to be able to morally and physically support his military forces for over a period of time — often a long time. The defender, once he realizes he is being attacked, will care about his own survival and fight back. “Caring” requires explicit thoughts, it requires decisions. The nature of wars where people gave a damn — of Caring Wars — was summed up by John Adams centuries ago

What do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations…This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.

Hearts / minds. Duties / sentiments. All based on explicit action. All based on Decisions.

In contrast to “hearts and minds,” 5GW focuses on the enemy’s “fingertips and gut.” “Fingertip feeling,” what the Germans called fingerspitzengefuhl, is the ability to know without thinking. This is what Americans call “gut feeling.” To a certain extent, it means a commander trusting his intuition. It is critical in 5GW because fingertip feelings, or “hunches,” will be the only way for the enemy to sense the fighter.

To rephrase these points, in 5GW:

  • The people do not have to want to be on the fighter’s side
  • Forces the fighter is using do not have to want to be on the fighter’s side
  • Your enemy must not feel that he is not on your side

In 4th Generation War, the sort of moral wars the world saw with Mao, Ho, and the Sandinistas, political mobilization is critical. In 5th Generation War, if it “tips” off your enemy, political mobilization is worse than useless.


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

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