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Jesusism-Paulism, Part VI: Embrace and Extend

“Nobody ever got fired for buying Big Blue.”

For years IBM’s strength rested on vendor-lock in and vendor-compatibility. A company that wished to buy electronic computer equipment had one choice, Big Blue, which offered complete systems that were entirely under the control of IBM. IBM keyboards communicated in IBM EBCDIC to IBM terminals, connected through IBM wires to IBM mainframes, IBM harddrives, IBM tape backups, and IBM power supplies. The complete solution set took the world by storm, offering One Ruleset (Buy IBM) which entailed numerous sub-products. The system worked.

The Islam of the 1970s

In the same way, the One Ruleset of the Koran swept aside the old Roman world, tearing up the Orthodox and Arian peoples it subjugated, rolling back much of the Christian 4GW revolution. Islam did this almost as an afterthought, as it also spread into formerly Zoroastrian, Hindu, Buddhist, and Animist countries. No one ever got fired for buying Big Blue, and no one ever got beheaded for embracing Islam.

The IBM of the Dark Ages

But IBM met Microsoft.

The Microsoft of the Dark Ages

And Islam met Catholocism.

A famous example of Microsoft’s embrace and extend philosophy is the Redmond corporation’s response to SUN’s Java Programming Language. Java was one of a line of programming languages, beginning with C, whose goal was to make it easy to write a program one time and run it on many different computers. Java went even farther than its predecessors, however, in that the computer would translate the written Java code into a java file that could be read the same way under all programming languages.

The Islamic / IBM solution would have been to fight this, and wipe Java off of the map. This is exactly what Islam did when the Sharia legal code completely displaced ancient Arab laws, completely displaced ancient Roman law, and completely displace dancient Persian laws, in the lands it was implemented. Sharia covered the transition from boyhood to manhood, the transiion from bachelorhood to single life, who may be drafted and who may be head-taxed. The One True Way had an answer for everything.

International Business Machines similarly displaced everything that came before with the Operating System/360. MFT, MVT, BOS/360, TOS/360, and DOS/360 were all specific prescriptions of the OS/320 system, mere details of the IBM way. The conscious goal of IBM was to turn a corporate customer “all blue,” where custom-built IBM hardware ran everything.

Micrososoft’s response to Java was smarter. Instead of condemending Java, calling it a stupid language, and ignoring it, Microsoft opted to embrace and extend. Microsoft devised Visual J++, an implementation for Java that actually provided the best interface for developing Java applications yet. Microsoft perfected the nature of Java from a good idea that was hard to work with to a good idea that was easy to work with.

Microsoft also extended J++ by adding features that were unique to Microsoft’s Windows operating system. These extensions fixed Java’s biggest weakness, lack of speed, by allowing J++ programs to operate the same as programs written in other popular languages (C, C++, etc.) and even faster than Microsoft’s own Visual Basic language.

When SUN complained that Microsoft embrace of Java, when Microsoft’s love and generosity to a potentially dangerous rival, was unfair, Microsoft refused to look away. Microsoft continues development on Java-like languages. Today, if you want to use a Microsoft Java-like language that taps in to all the power of the Microsoft .Net programming environment, you can, for free: Visual J# 2005 Express. Even more lovlingly, Microsoft’ primary programming language, C#, is famous for being frighteningly similar to java. And just as the Jesusist-Paulists adviesd one to repair evil with kindness, Microsoft responded to SUN’s increasing hostility with more love: giving C# away for free.

If “Embrace & Extend” sound like a way of penetrating a market and separating the customers from the old market-leader, it is. Embrace & Extend are the first two pages of the PISRR stages of victory.

Penetrate, Isolate : Embrace, Extend

As embrace & extend leads to a form of subversive victory, the paranoid accusation that Microsoft secretly wished to “embrace, extend, and exterminate” simply makes no sense. Microsoft wishes to embrace, extend, and own.

Down the PISRR Way

Though, more charitably, “extinguish” can be seen as being the very final step, to a world where every individual mattered. As Microsoft’s early vision went, “A PC on every desk and in every home.”

Reharmonize and Win

One can view this as a variation of the original OODA/PISRR loop of victory.


However, under the Embrace & Extend system, whether implemented by Microsoft or by the Jeusist-Paulists, the circle is broken. Once the system is embraced and extended into pre-existing systems, and rival organizing principles are abolished, there is nothing more to do. The war would have been won.

The Microsoft Way… The Christian Way

The Jesusist-Paulists of the Catholic Church behaved the same way. They embraced the old cultures of Europe, refusing to look away when revulsion would have been easier than love. And they extended the old orders, giving new life to the status quo ante sancata romana ecclesia. For instance, in southern France where the old Senatorial families still held sway, the family names of the early bishops were the same as the family names of the last Senators. In Ireland, where an indigenous Church had grown after the abduction of the slave boy Patricius, Romanization was handled primarily through institutional fusion. And in the Viking North, the Church refused to look away from the bloody tribes — instead embracing them.

It would have been easier to have, and ignore. But the Christians loved, and embraced.

And, of course extended. Even through the crippling Islamic blockade of western Europe, the practice of slavery faded away. The locus of Jesusism-Paulism, the Bishopric fo Rome, continued intellectual engagement with the Byzantine Empire to the east, continued doctrinal promulgation throughout Europe, and in general did all that a conquering power could do.

Yet even as the Church loved and embraced and extended the cultures of Western Europe to serve Jesusism-Paulism, the counterrevolutions had begun. The old Maoism of Greek civilization was not dead, and for a thousand years it rolled back the success of the 4GWarriors.

What followed next may have been Christianity, but it was not Jesusism-Paulism.

But those are stories for other times.

Jesusism-Paulism, a tdaxp series in six parts
1. Love Your Enemy As You Would Have Him Love You
2. Caiaphas and Diocletian Did Know Better
3. Every Man a Panzer, Every Woman a Soldat
4. The Fall of Rome
5. The People of the Book
6. Embrace and Extend

4GW Christianity Around the Blogosphere

Barnett, T.P.M. (2007). Why the yin disconnects from the yang. Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog. February 3, 2007. Available online: http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/2007/02/why_the_yin_disconnects_from_t.html/

Dunbar, L. (2007). Friction. Larry Dunbar. February 7, 2007. Available online: http://connectinginconversation.org/larrydunbar/2007/02/07/friction/.

Weeks, C.G. (2007). Tying loose ends. Dreaming 5GW. February 7, 2007. Available online: http://www.fifthgeneration.phaticcommunion.com/archives/2007/02/tying_loose_ends.php.

Just as last week saw a flurry of discussion on global guerrillas theory (and its definition), this week saw a wave of posts on tdaxp and early Christianity.


Recently, Larry Dunbar offered his critique of my view of power as displayed in Jesusism-Paulism.

TDAXP has a good, as always, piece going that examines friction and nation building. Because Dan has to, somewhat, pander to his base, his examination of friction is not quite what I believe to be accurate. Overall, we will both probably get to similar conclusions, but our understanding of how forces flow is different.

Dan is correct when he says, “Generally, there are two means to use against an enemy–violence and politics–and two strategies–take-over and take-down.” The tactics are force and the strategies are displacements.

However, his reassigning Peaceful to mean political is grossly wrong. There is nothing peaceful about politics, it is only because it has mostly potential energy does it seem peaceful.

Larry’s corrected graphic

As for my conclusions to Dan’s post, I conclude that the great internal forces that Christianity was able to produce was combined with Rome’s ability to displace across a great area. This created a great momentum that was able to carry Rome, until the internal pressure was destroyed by possibly greed and hate.

My writings on early Christianity are currently divided into five sections.

1. Love Your Enemy As You Would Have Him Love You
2. Caiaphas and Diocletian Did Know Better
3. Every Man a Panzer, Every Woman a Soldat
4. The Fall of Rome
5. The People of the Book

More thoughts, by Curtis of Dreaming 5GW and Tom of Barnett :: The Weblog appear below the fold.

Curtis, a skeptic of early Christianity’s 4th Generation nature, also posted his views:

the abstract description of Christianity as a “Religion of Love” does not mesh well with the actual historical Christianity. Christians in the army did not “turn the other cheek” and love their neighbors, but killed their foes on the battlefield. The implication is that Christianity may have begun as a “religion of love” but became corrupted through interaction with the Roman system. I wrote a comment in answer to Michael, importing ideas from the anthropologist Marvin Harris, which he gave in his book Our Kind:

The Roman Empire gained citizens who cared much less about earthly rewards or avoiding suffering — suffering was indeed a test of faith, “Christly” — which made dying on the battlefield less of a concern. Christians who died defeating heathen invaders would be rewarded with heaven in the afterlife. But also Rome did not need to gain the loyalty of Christians by overseeing their welfare. Given the size of the Roman empire, managing the welfare of all its citizens proved too complex, particularly as populations grew and resources diminished. A citizenry accustomed to seeing suffering and poverty as a test of faith would not be as likely to blame the central government for these things; suffering was a private, personal matter quite related to one’s own spirituality. Also, a citizenry that was leaning toward Christianity was a citizenry less likely to revolt; they’d be “turning the other cheek” and living in “meekness”. However, Christian leaders worked with Constantine to ensure that Christians in the common classes were indeed protected, in order to preserve the meek classes benefiting Rome. As Marvin Harris wrote,

This made the Church economically independent from the state, vitally and dynamically, but more importantly, this shifted oversight of the welfare of the people to the Church from the state, i.e., shifted dependencies. The Church had an additional advantage over the state: It could use redistribution of wealth to help the needy, and thus gain their loyalty, but because it was also the highest earthly authority of God, it could also define the level of suffering required for salvation. The two metrics for determining loyalty were co-operative. The question of what happened to (1) the doctrine of turning the other cheek and (2) the prediction that the meek would inherit the Earth is a good question, given the rise of the Roman Catholic hierarchy and the eventual militarization of Christianity. It would seem that the early Christian bishops sold those doctrines to the highest bidder: The mass of Christians would not fight Rome, but fight for Rome, provided that Rome shared power; but to every non-Christian state, the meekness would not be offered. In time, the highest bidder might be England, or France, or any Christian European state that would share power. Meanwhile, the self-interest of individual Christians in Europe, their primary loyalty, required at least an overt display of loyalty to Church and Country, if not a deep loyalty to one or the other or both — for a time.

(The bit about welfare and economic independents is similar to what Tom Barnett wrote in “The Rising Tide of Religion in China.)

On the subject of Barnett, his post “Why the yin disconnects from the yang first echoes comments made in my series on 4GW Christianity, Jesusism-Paulisn, Part I: Love Your Enemy as You Would Have Him Love You:

And here’s the most amazing/infuriating part: you can’t think systematically about the future until you master this most essential rule set–love your enemies more than yourself.

Not pity them. Not get inside their heads. Not access their worldview.

That’s all child’s play–parlor games for TV talking heads.

I mean, really love them more than yourself. Connect in the worst way–humbling, humiliating, can’t-look-away.

To me, that sort of knowledge isn’t sympathy or empathy or any of the “-thies.” To me, it’s the most profound sort of understanding there is, making you capable of great intelligence and even wisdom in your strategic decision-making. You go way beyond the superficial understanding of his “loop” and how you get inside it. You really figure your opponent out in the deepest way. So this isn’t some goofy religious belief system I’m trying to enunciate here. This isn’t a form of intellectual withdrawal. I’m talking about a break-on-through-to-the-other-side type wisdom here–where the whole game slows down for you and you can see the entire playing field from a God’s eye view. I’m talking about serious control–you know, making the Matrix bend to your will.

And then extends them, implying a 5GW path to victory:

Naivete is operating under the assumption that this fight hasn’t already been decided. What we negotiate all along are the terms, and to slant that negotiation to the greatest extent possible, you have to get past the hate (especially the self-hatred), and connect.

The real 5GWer never claims victory, never recognizes a loss. All victories are claimed by others, by design. All “losses” simply set up the next iterative victory.

The most profound manipulation involves the most profound emotions, and love trumps hate every time. That’s why humanity won out over the rest. That’s how we evolve. That’s how we progress.

But if you want to achieve real objectivity, you have to leave the fears behind. As long as you drag them along, they drag you down. You see only what you know and you know only what you see..

After I mentioned the similarity, Tom extended some very kind wishes.

Christianity and the Military-Industrial Complex

Larry Dunbar, a polymath interested in genetics, psychology, and many other subjects has a new post synthesizing his thoughts on Christianity and the Military-Industrial Complex:

Take for instance the statement: the military/industrial complex will bring about world peace. Someone, a lot smarter than I, said something to that effect, and actually believes this to be true; it is his reality.

The real amazing thing is that this person pretends to be a follower of Jesus of Nazareth. Although I have never read the teachings of Jesus, I have been around the practitioners of Jesus all my life.

The military/industrial complex is what Howard Bloom calls a resource shifter. In Jesus’ time the moneychangers would represent them. I think Jesus had something harsh to say about moneychangers. I may have misunderstood, but I don’t think it had anything to do with world peace.

Larry is referring to my writings on Embracing-Defeat and Jesusism-Paulism. In the former series I argue that a military-industrial complex is necessary for victory in protracted struggles, and that are defeats in Vietnam, Lebanon, and Somalia are tied to a lack of a military-industrial-counter-insurgency complex. In the latter, I explain how early Christians used 4GW to conquer the Roman Empire and establish an order based on universal human dignity.

I’m interested in Larry’s thoughts, and I hope he expands on them. However, I don’t think the point he uses in his post is persuasive. Of course anything shifts resources, because anything costs. The question is whether the shifted resources are worth it. In the case of the Military-Industrial Complex the answer is a clear yes. Indeed, it’s hard to think of a more Christian task for a great nation than building one.

Thank God, truly, that we are half-way there.

Jesusism-Paulism, Part IV: The Fall of Rome

On October 27, 312, the world changed.

What exactly happened is disputed. A “heavenly sign,” apparently some form of crossed disc, appeared to Gaius Constantinus outside of Rome. Constantinus read into it “By this, Conquer.” Within twelve hours the world had have turned. Christianity had a shield. More importantly, the Christians had an army.

With This You Win

The Roman Legions were not the first military force fielded by the Jesusist-Paulists. The Armenian King Trdat III submitted his armies to Christ eleven years earlier, but if Christianity had stopped at Armenia the plans of Caiaphas and Diocletian (to force Christianity to morph into violent military force that could be processed as a regular insurgency) would have been victorious. When Tiridates III converted, Christianity gained a weak country. When Constantine I converted, Christianity gained the world.

This exponential increase in the size of Christianity’s 4GW militia was not entirely surprising. In spite of being under a persecution that would last until 313, the Christians were using the using the power of women to subvert masculine lines of control and communication. While the fading crypto-Maoist ideals of Greece were passed along in masculine education, Christianity focused on the conversion of women and subsequent mother-to-child indoctrination. Constantine’s mother was a Christian.

Once Christianity began what 4GW theorists call “stage 3 operations,” what traditional military men call “phase IV operations,” or what others call “Reorientation/Reharmonization,” the Christians followed a Boydian program for success. This “Constantinian Shift” was the natural and correct Christian response to winning the war. In the last slide of his epic brief, Patterns of Conflict, John Boyd wrote

Evolve and exploit insight/initiative/adaptability/harmony together with a unifying vision, via a grand ideal or an overarching theme or a noble philosophy, as basis to:
Shape or influence events so that we not only amplify our spirit and strength but also influence the uncommitted or potential adversaries so that they are drawn toward our philosophy and are empathetic toward our success…

Penetrate adversary’s moral-mental-physical being in order to isolate him from his allies, pull him apart, and collapse his will to resist.

Constantine helped unfold Christianity’s grand unifying ideal. The 325 Council of Nicea, assembled by Constantine, defined the unifying vision and noble philosopher of Christianity. The Creed of Christianity would unfold over the years, but in the 325 Declaration the nature of the Religion was promulgated

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty
Maker of all that is seen and unseen,
And in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the Son of God, begotten from the father, only-begotten, that is, from the substance of the father,
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
begotten not made, one in Being with the Father,
through whom all things came into being, things in heaven and things on earth,
Who because of us men and because of our salvation came down and became incarnate,
On the third day he rose again
he ascended to heaven
He will come again to judge the living and the dead,
And in the Holy Spirit,
But as for those who say, There was when He was not, and Before being born He was not, and that He came into existence out of nothing or who assert that the Son of God is of a different hypostasis or substance, or is subject to alteration or change – those the Catholic and apostolic Church anathematizes.

  • Constantine increased the physical connectivity of Christians. While the Church issues the 325 Manifesto (“First Nicean Creed“), Constantine’s 313 Declaration, the Edict of Milan, not only protects Christians but persecution but also gives to them the physical tools needed to spread the face

    When I, Constantine Augustus, as well as I Licinius Augustus d fortunately met near Mediolanurn (Milan), and were considering everything that pertained to the public welfare and security, we thought -, among other things which we saw would be for the good of many, those regulations pertaining to the reverence of the Divinity ought certainly to be made first, so that we might grant to the Christians and others full authority to observe that religion which each preferred; whence any Divinity whatsoever in the seat of the heavens may be propitious and kindly disposed to us and all who are placed under our rule And thus by this wholesome counsel and most upright provision we thought to arrange that no one whatsoever should be denied the opportunity to give his heart to the observance of the Christian religion, of that religion which he should think best for himself, so that the Supreme Deity, to whose worship we freely yield our hearts) may show in all things His usual favor and benevolence. Therefore, your Worship should know that it has pleased us to remove all conditions whatsoever, which were in the rescripts formerly given to you officially, concerning the Christians and now any one of these who wishes to observe Christian religion may do so freely and openly, without molestation. We thought it fit to commend these things most fully to your care that you may know that we have given to those Christians free and unrestricted opportunity of religious worship. When you see that this has been granted to them by us, your Worship will know that we have also conceded to other religions the right of open and free observance of their worship for the sake of the peace of our times, that each one may have the free opportunity to worship as he pleases ; this regulation is made we that we may not seem to detract from any dignity or any religion.

    Moreover, in the case of the Christians especially we esteemed it best to order that if it happens anyone heretofore has bought from our treasury from anyone whatsoever, those places where they were previously accustomed to assemble, concerning which a certain decree had been made and a letter sent to you officially, the same shall be restored to the Christians without payment or any claim of recompense and without any kind of fraud or deception, Those, moreover, who have obtained the same by gift, are likewise to return them at once to the Christians. Besides, both those who have purchased and those who have secured them by gift, are to appeal to the vicar if they seek any recompense from our bounty, that they may be cared for through our clemency,. All this property ought to be delivered at once to the community of the Christians through your intercession, and without delay. And since these Christians are known to have possessed not only those places in which they were accustomed to assemble, but also other property, namely the churches, belonging to them as a corporation and not as individuals, all these things which we have included under the above law, you will order to be restored, without any hesitation or controversy at all, to these Christians, that is to say to the corporations and their conventicles: providing, of course, that the above arrangements be followed so that those who return the same without payment, as we have said, may hope for an indemnity from our bounty. In all these circumstances you ought to tender your most efficacious intervention to the community of the Christians, that our command may be carried into effect as quickly as possible, whereby, moreover, through our clemency, public order may be secured. Let this be done so that, as we have said above, Divine favor towards us, which, under the most important circumstances we have already experienced, may, for all time, preserve and prosper our successes together with the good of the state. Moreover, in order that the statement of this decree of our good will may come to the notice of all, this rescript, published by your decree, shall be announced everywhere and brought to the knowledge of all, so that the decree of this, our benevolence, cannot be concealed.

    Constantine decreased the physical connectivity of non-Christians. Money was diverted from pagan temple to the Christian Church, in nearly exactly the same way later Chinese Communists would divert wealth from churches to the Communist Party. Non-Christians could not own Christian slaves, a measure designed to prevent an anti-Christian reaction by the chattel-owning class.

    The “non-Christian” tag was applied, with some calculation, to those considered semi-Christians. Self-professing Christians who refused to swear the Nicean Creed were exiled, a fate the Communist Leon Trotsky would suffer after running foul of the larger Communist Party of the Soviet Union. (Unlike Communists, however, the Christians did not send assassins after the exiles.)

    Jews, who worshiped the same God as the Christians but did not claim to worship Christ, were recognized as fellow travelers. Treated better than either Pagans or schismatic Christians, their position was superior to contemporary “fellow traveler” parties, such as the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese KMT in China today. The Christians did those both to seperate Jews from their potential pagan allies, and create a broader, generally correlated force to “influence the uncommitted or potential adversaries so that they are drawn toward our philosophy and are empathetic toward Christian] success.”

    Christianity won. The hope of a victorious 4th Generation War was successful. The old Roman Civilization was dead, and with it the ancient communitarianism of the pagans. Everyone was equal in the eyes of God. The slave. The woman. All equal. Even human-rights laws, such as

    • Improvement in the condition of slaves
    • Improvement in the condition of prisoners
    • Improvement in the condition of non-farm workers
    • Abolition of Crucifiction
    • Abolition of Gladiatorial Execution

    were promulgated. But as that philosopher of underground cults, Howard Lovecraft, wrote

    That is not dead which can eternal lie,
    And with strange aeons even death may die.

    The old Maoism of Greek civilization would not lie dead dreaming for long. It spoke to men in strange dreams. It would teach the Romans new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves. All the Christian world would flame. A New Rome would be born.

    Jesusism-Paulism, a tdaxp series in six parts
    1. Love Your Enemy As You Would Have Him Love You
    2. Caiaphas and Diocletian Did Know Better
    3. Every Man a Panzer, Every Woman a Soldat
    4. The Fall of Rome
    5. The People of the Book
    6. Embrace and Extend

  • A New Middle East, Part III: Israel

    The question is which is preferable… 2000

    Israel Surrounded by Arab National-Seularist Regimes

    or now

    Rollback of Arab National-Secularism

    The first map, the world as it was before George Bush and Ariel Sharon, shows an Israel surrounded by Arab National-Secularist regimes: Yasser Arafat’s Fatah-led PLO in the east, and two states controlled by the Baath party, Lebanon and Syria. The situation gets even worse down south, as another Arab National-Secularist regime, Egypt, borders Israel on the Sinai. The only half-way normal neighbor Israel had was the tribalist Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

    Arab National-Secularism was one of the worst products of the twentieth century, the intellectual offshoot of German National-Socialism and an ideology may have done less harm if it ruled for a few bloody years (as the NSDAP did in Germany) whether than perverting generations of minds.

    If Arab National-Secularism merely left lifeless, frozen states in its midst, fine. But National-Secularism has done worse than freezing the cultures of the states it takes over, but it begins destroying the culture. Arab National-Secularism, by taking away the traditional meaning of life while not replacing it with economic growth, leaves behind a murderous rage. In states like Egypt and Syria it has so-far been contained by massacres and political repression. In countries where it can break free, such as Iraq and Lebanon, the consequence is state failure and civil war.

    Israel’s greatest enemy has been the National-Secularism and, because of its wise actions, Israel is in the final phases of destroying Arab National-Secularism as a political force.

    The recent Israel War in Lebanon did not succeed in destroying Hezbollah as a fighting force — it failed as a war in the context of war — but it succeeded in further rolling back the Arab National-Secularist block that has been Israel’s main enemy. The War in Lebanon succeeded as a War in the Context of Everything Else<. In the context of war, Isarel’s failure to disarm Hezbollah makes Hizbullah stronger. In the context of everything else, Israel’s failure to disarm Hezbollah weakens Syria (which was forced to stay out of the fight due to fear of Israeli retaliation and Muslim Brother reaction).

    Lebanon is now even further away from Syria’s sphere of influence than before the Hezbollah War. All actors see yet another failure by an Arab National-Secularist government, and another success by a Shia Theocratic government.

    Lebanon will now be contested between the country’s indigenous, globally-oriented, Catholic-Sunni majority, and a smaller but well armed Shia minority. It is important that whatever country leads the SysAdmin effort in that country, be if France, Italy, or someone else, that the Catholic-Sunni majority’s interests are favored. Yet it is a mistake to believe that just because Hezbollah won the war Israel must lose the peace. On the contrary, by further weakening its primary 4GW adversary, Israel is closer to “peace” than ever.

    A New Middle East, a tdaxp series
    A New Middle East 1: Our Vanquished Enemies
    A New Middle East 2: Iran
    A New Middle East 3: Israel
    A New Middle East 4: Islam is the Answer

    Israel as 4GW Victory Machine

    The Israelis are expert at 4th Generation Wars. This style of war, which focuses on changing the mental orientation of opponents, is normally dangerous for state powers. France lost 4G Wars in Vietnam and Algeria, while the United States was previously set back in Vietnam, Lebanon, and Somalia.

    Yet the Israelis are the exception. With a patience often associated with non-state actors, the Jewish State destroyed the nationalist-secularist Palestine Liberation Organization. Exploiting internal divisions among the Palestinian population originally seen during the First Intifada in 1987, Jerusalem began increasing the moral, mental, and physical isolation of the PLO. The first major attack was the Oslo Peace Accords in 1993, a controversial move to delegitimize the PLO by removing its reason for being. Low intensity war (with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat repeatedly maneuvered into the role of the senseless aggressor) waged for more than a decade, with Israel ever working to isolate the PLO from its tools for power.

    David’s Patient Nation

    Israeli Victory came on January 25, 2006, when Hamas (a spin-off of the technocratic-fundamentalist Muslim Brothers) trounced the PLO’s main political party, Al-Fatah, in free Palestinian elections.

    It appears that Israel is using a similar strategy to build victory in Lebanon. Israel recognizes that isolation leads to defeat, so she attempts to maximize her connectivity while minimizing the connectivity of her enemy, Hezbollah. In particular, Israel is attempting to maximize Hezbollah’s physical disconnectivity. Israel’s airstrikes against roads and bridges that lead to Syria are widely recognized, but attacks on infrastructure by themselves could not do much. There is no “systempunkt” — the mythical list of physical infrastructure targets that can permanently destroy an enemy — so Israel instead focuses on changing the long-term correlation of forces.

    Behind the scene diplomacy by Israel and her lobbies forced the military expulsion of Syria from Lebanon. Indeed, Dawlat Israil is turning the security situation of Lebanon on its head, from a Hezbollah-friendly state in the Syrian orbit to a country that faces a French anti-Hezbollah invasion. That prospect was viewed by some as impossible when it was first floated last year, but momentum is building.

    In summary, Israel is destroying Hezbollah just like she destroyed the PLO: patiently. Israel is excelling at dual-use attacks, not just degrading Hezbollah’s firepower in the short-term but changing the facts on the ground that allow Hezbollah to thrive in the long-term.

    Bravo Israel!

    Defending 4GW Against MountainRunner

    Last May I defended 4GW against . Now Mark of ZenPundit blogs that Matt at Mountainrunner has joined the fray:

    Generational warfare is based on technology and tactics. The Napoleonic shift a radical change in how and why wars were fought. With his destabilizing impact on the nature of the state system at the time, how was what he did not 4GW? Generations of warfare are best described through technological and tactical changes. The Revolution in Military Affairs of Napoleon is remarkably similar to the RMA today, but with some aspects in reverse (professionalism -> amateurism -> professionalism). Fourth Generation War has ‘happened’ before and throughout time. It is how and why wars are fought. It simply does not offer anything new.

    I respond:

    “Generational warfare is based on technology and tactics. “

    Specifically, tactics. A 4GW can be fought with atom bombs or knife-cutters. A 3GW can be fought with horse cavalry or tank cavalry.

    Currently there are 12 comments, with Wiggins (who was recently linked to by Tom Barnett) and Federalist X participating as well.

    Read the rest

    5GW: Soundless + Formless + Polished + Leading

    Riding the Tiger: What You Really Do with OODA Loops,” by Chester Richards, Belisarius, October 2002, http://www.belisarius.com/modern_business_strategy/richards/riding_the_tiger/tiger.htm.

    Chrome,” by VNV Nation, Matter + Form, 12 April 2005, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007X9TTI/102-4292267-8637755?v=glance&n=5174 [buy the cd].

    I won’t say that between Sun Tzu, Musashi, and tdaxp, you shall learn everything you need to about 5GW.


    But add VNV Nation’s Matter + Form, and you probably will.



    In this article I will show how important elements of the 5th Generation of Modern Warfare were described by Sun Tzu and Miyamoto Musashi. I will tie these into my own previous writings on this blog. Additionally, just as Myke Cole reflected 5GW theory off cartoons, I shall shine it through music to emphasize the key points.

    I’ve been reading a lot of educational psychology for my studies at UNL, such as Elkind’s All Grown Up and No Place to Go and Weisberg’s Creativity: Beyond the Myth of Genius. I wanted to reading something meatier, so I turned to DNI‘s Suggested Reading List and found Dr. Chet Richard’s Riding the Tiger.

    The article goes on to describe how to use the loop in business, but to me the first part was most interesting, because it seemed to focus on 5GW. , or , is the next generation of modern war.

    In my first post on 5GW, I wrote:

    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.

    and in my second 5GW post:

    In 5GW, secrecy is vital for success. While this has always been true on some levels, secrecy has never been vital on the grand-strategic level before 5GW. In 5GW the enemy’s knowledge of your existence all but ends your plans.

    So I was delighted, while reading Richard’s Riding the Tiger, to see similar themes in Sun Tzu:

    Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness;
    Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness;
    Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.

    Soundless. Formless. Remember those.

    And Sun Tzu’s Japanese doppelganger, Miyamoto Musashi (as summarized by Richards)

    Yet, he specifically intended for his words to apply to more than just swordplay, and even there, he insisted that victory would go to the master of strategy, not to the strongest swordsman, nor to the fastest, nor even to the fighter with the most polished technique.

    The focus, however, is never on defending, but on regaining and using the initiative so that you can lead your opponents where you want them to be.

    Polished. Leading. Remember those.

    These themes are echoed in VNV Nation‘s new track, Chrome


    I’m saying nothing for the good of myself
    but I’m still talking and you’re not listening


    resort to shadows till your body expires


    for each and all a chrome disguise…
    embody promise in a sheen so pure


    prompts for action force reaction

    I’ve also discussed these elements in detail on tdaxp


    But of course if parts of the world know they are being attacked, they will try to fight back.

    So to win the SecretWarrior must walk without rhythm to avoid the worm of hurtful information.


    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 put it in OODA decision cycle terms, the guard Observes a loosely dressed woman, orients this with knowledge of previously so-dressed women, acts by watching more, observes information in the context of believing he is watching a loose woman, etc. Thus the SecretWarrior gets inside the head of the Yakuza boss’s guards. The 5GWarrior rearranges the mind of her enemy, changing his fingertip-feelings into something better for her.

    Just as the 5GWarrior must struggle with her physical appearance to be only a girl, the SecretWarrior must also struggle with her beliefs to appear to be only a girl.


    SecretWar, or 5th Generation War, relies on leveraging power while minimizing visibility. A successful 5GW operation would be able to subdue or subvert a government without being noticed. Therefore it is appropriate that Stratfor, started by the author of America’s Secret War, outlines a way for SecretWarriors to subvert corporate America: shareholder activism.

    A polished 5GW army will soundlessly and formlessly his enemy to where he wants him to be: and that will be the end of the 5GW. The loser will never know he lost. A repeated 5GW victim may sense his illness, but with 5GW attacking his Observation capacity, the victim’s response will probable make his situation worse.

    in desperation dreams any soul can set you free
    and I still hear you scream
    in every breath, in every single motion
    burning innocence the fire to set you free

    your actions turn conquest to dust
    in portents of fate you foolishly place trust

    And that is the 5th Generation of Modern Warfare.

    Beauty from Pain

    Anthem,” by Superchick, Beauty from Pain, 29 March 2005, http://www.christianrocklyrics.com/superchick/anthem.php.

    4th Generation Warfare, also called 4GW or NetWar, relies on networks of super-empowered individuals who share a common ideology.

    To its victims, one of the most disturbing parts of 4GW is how relentlessly honest the 4GWarriors are. Mao, Ho, and others explained exactly what they wanted and exactly how they would win. This is because a 4GWarrior wants to subvert every supporter of his enemy — the 4GWarrior wants converts.

    The reason of the 4GWarrior’s enemy at the start of a campaign is typically “he can’t be serious.” Mao couldn’t seriously be advocating a socialist revolution of landless farmers – that made no sense! Ho couldn’t seriously be advocating nationalist Communism — that made no sense! bin Laden couldn’t seriously be advocating a return to the early Middle Ages — he must really just be upset about police tactics in the West Bank or something.

    The 4GWarriors are serious. Their serious, plainly-spoken message, demands, and tactics are ignored in a wider world used to sarcasm, ridicule, and conformity. NetWar is an “irony free zone,” where the NetWarrior’s statements may appear ludicrous to his enemy. The enemy laughs at his peril.

    Christianity started as a 4GW, and over the past centuries it has recovered its status as a NetFaith. Super-empowering individuals at all levels of society, the Christian movement speaks its message, its demands, and its tactics over and over again.

    An extremely clear example of this is from the first track Christian rock band Superchick‘s latest album.

    The album’s non-ironic name: Beauty from Pain
    The album’s non-ironic first track: Anthem

    Beauty from Pain: A Megaphone and a Message


    Here’s to the ones who don’t give up
    Here’s to the ones who don’t give up
    Here’s to the ones who don’t give up
    This is your anthem
    Get your hands up


    Self-descriptive. A 4th Generation attack can last many lifetimes, or even many centuries. The warrior should never experience strategic despair, because as long as Christianity can keep moving it can still win.

    This song is an anthem for that conflict.


    We are fire inside


    “Fire,” like “flame,” is a common metaphor for creative destruction. Spreading fire is acting recklessly, and as Mao Zedong wrote to his guerrillas, “Just as recklessly and everything will be all right.” Mao’s message was that when one is weak and attacking, one must act as recklessly as able because the Establishment’s greatest strengths are order and predictability.

    (Often in a war both sides will be “insurgents” against an established political order, like the United States v. al Qaeda struggle in the Middle East. In such cases both will be “spreading a flame.”)


    We are lipstick and cleats


    Shades of Christian 5GW, but such is a post for another time…


    We are not going home and We are playing for keeps


    What do the Christian 4GWarriors want?

    The world.

    In Christian Theology the universe composes part of the Mystical Body of Christ, so worship has a natural political component.

    (The idea of “church” and “state” were ideas pushed by the Roman-Greek-Jewish establishment of first century Palestine — an establishment that the Christians were trying to subvert. To a Christian who sees all existence as part of the Mystical Body, state and church are separate organs connected to the same neurological, blood, and other pathways.)


    We are girls with skinned knees


    This is the first reference to pain in the album Beauty from Pain. Throughout the album physical pain is used as a symbol for the mental pain of isolation and loneliness. As Mother Teresa said


    We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.


    Christianity, like an 4GW movement, grows through isolation and mental pain. 4G movements provides meaning to its followers, with every individual super-empowered to fight as they think best to help achieve the greater goal. This fetishism of pain prevents Christians from bolting to other ideologies the next time it strikes. The individual is “reprogrammed” — his mind is rearranged — to embrace that pain as part of a larger mission.

    In other words, Christianity redefines alienation as a meaningful activity, preventing discussion of true “alienation” as NewSpeak’s redefinition of “free as “without cost” prevented discussion of liberty in George Orwell’s 1984.


    We are concrete and grace
    We are not what you think


    More 5GW.


    Can’t keep us in our place


    Similar to Jesus’s feelings on families. See his words in Matthew

    Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;

    and Luke

    They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

    While Christianity might be called “conservative,” it is a radical. It is a belief that is “playing for keeps.” A fighting faith.

    Christianity sees to subvert the family structure, but the ideology is not afraid to smash it when necessary.


    Here’s to the girls on their boards with bruises and scars
    Here’s to the girls whose fingers bleed from playing guitar


    More fetishism of pain. Helps to immunize followers from true alienation.


    Here’s to anyone who never quit when things got hard
    You’ll never let them say you’ll never get that far


    This is interesting — self-inflicted mental isolation as a key to victory. The 4GWarrior must disconnect himself from some inputs — from some parts of reality — in order to fight better.


    You’ll never get that far

    Never get that far


    Triumphalism. This is an “anthem,” after all!


    We are a fire inside
    We are an army asleep
    We are a people awaking to follow their dreams


    Talking about “People’s War,” Mao couldn’t have said it better.

    The “dreams” in this case is the Christian future worth creating — the happy ending of Dominion.


    We don’t have time for your games


    Jesus said his followers didn’t even have time for burials

    Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

    But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

    A 4GW super-empowers its followers, but it super-employs them as well. Every warrior is critical, and so each is worked to his maximum ability.


    We have our own goals to score
    There are trophies to win


    Paul would have understood the sports analogies

    “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

    And the idea of The Prize

    “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”


    Instead of being one of yours


    More imposition of alienation, giving more meaning to the ideology by taking away meaning from human relationships.


    Here’s to the ones who don’t give up
    Here’s to the ones who don’t give up
    Here’s to the ones who don’t give up
    This is your anthem


    Orientation and Action, Part I: The OODA Loop

    Our OODA loop helps us know where warfare is headed. Modern warfare is usually divided into the four generations of 1st Generation Warfare (1GW), 2nd Generation Warfare (2GW), 3rd Generation Warfare (3GW), and 4th Generation Warfare (4GW).

    Modern War in the Context of the OODA Loop
    • 1GW
      • example: Napoleonic War
      • characteristic: mass armies
      • method of fighting: man-to-man
    • 2GW
      • example: First World War
      • characteristic: mass armies
      • method of fighting: fixed-artillery-to-men
    • 3GW
      • example: Second World War
      • characteristic: blitzkrieg, fast transitions from one maneuver to the next
      • method of fighting: tanks/bombers-to-cities/armies
    • 4GW
      • example: Vietnam War
      • characteristic: dispiriting the enemy
      • method of fighting: propagandists-to-populations

    In a recent post where he tries to look ahead to what the 5th Generation of Warfare (5GW) would be, Mark Safranski writes

    A strong possibility exists that given successive generations of warfare tend to drive ” deeper” into enemy territory, that 5GW will mean systemic liquidation of enemy networks and their sympathizers, essentially a total war on a society or subsection of a society. There is no where ” deeper” for 5GW to go but here. At the high tech end 5GW would be precisely targeted to winnow out ” the bad guys” in a souped-up version of Operation Phoenix but at the low-tech end we could see campaigns that would be indiscriminate, democidally-oriented death squad campaigns that shred 4GW networks by the same actuarially merciless logic that led the Allies to firebomb German and Japanese cities in WWII.

    War is going deeper, but by that I do not mean “farther into enemy territory.” Certainly you can’t get any deeper than obliteration of Dresden or Hiroshima! For that matter, centuries ago Catholic terrorists tried to destroy the British Parliament, which was the deepest heart of the British government!

    War is going deeper into enemy minds. Every generation of warfare aims for deeper in the enemy’s OODA loop

    1GWs, like the Napoleon Wars, were extremely fluid. Armies could march whenever men’s feet could carry them. Information was relatively symmetrical — precise locations of either army were unavailable to any commander, while general knowledge of the land was known to all commanders. (Napoleonic “disinformation” was trivial compared to what was later devised.) Another feature of the Napoleon Wars was the army’s need to live off the land. 1GW was defined by conflict centered around an enemy’s ability to decide and act.

    Aim Destroy enemy army


    2GWs, like the First World War, were sticky. Armies took marched, drove, or took trains to the front line — where they stopped. In 2nd Generation War, action is easy: charge. You know exactly where you are, exactly where the enemy is, and exactly where you are going to die (in the razorwire and minefield, hit by enemy crossfire). Thanks to telegraphs and modern communications, commanders are flooded with a tsunami of almost meaningless facts. Thinking now centers around where and when it makes sense to try to break through, as well as the how to move to advance evenly. This means that the heart of conflict “moves deeper” into the OODA loop. Another way to think of it is like a rainbow or spectrum, where the heart of conflict is “redshifting” away from acting. 2GW was defined by conflict centered around an enemy’s ability to orient and decide.

    Offensives conducted on wide frontages—emphasizing few, rather than many, harmonious yet independent thrusts.

    Evenness of advance maintained to protect flanks and provide artillery support as advance makes headway.


    3GWs, like the trenches for most of the Second World War or the Lawrence of Arabia campaign in the First World War, were fluid again. But conflict kept burrowing deeper into the OODA loop and redshifting further away from action. Victory in 3rd Generation Wars required the ability to instill madness — to mess with the enemy’s minds. The purpose of 3rd Generation Warfare is to paralyze the enemy with doubt. We move even deeper into the OODA loop, to the red end of the rainbow. 3GW is defined by conflict centered around an enemy’s ability to orient.

    Taken together, the captured attention, the obscured view, and the indistinct character of moving dispersed/irregular swarms deny adversary the opportunity to pictures what is taking place.


    Gain support of population. Must “arrange the minds” of friend, foe and neutral alike. Must “get inside their minds”.


    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. To achieve this, 4GW is defined by conflict centered around Observe and Orient.

    John Boyd’s words on the tactics of “moral warfare,” an important part of 4GW:

    Create, exploit, and magnify … uncertainty

    Impressions, or atmosphere, generated by events that appear ambiguous, erratic, contradictory, unfamiliar, chaotic, etc.


    Surface, fear, anxiety, and alienation in order to generate many non-cooperative centers of gravity, as well as subvert those that adversary depends upon, thereby magnify internal friction.


    So if these patterns hold, what will 5GW look like?

    Visually, like this

    The 4th Generation of War redshifts deeper into the OODA loop. It slides into the “Observation” realm. 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.

    In his post, Mark Safranski noted that 4GW was around for decades its nature was recognized.

    William Lind, one of the fathers of 4GW theory has welcomed yet cautioned against attempts to ascertain with too much precision any outlines of a 5th Generation Warfare that might be evolving within the dynamic of 4GW conflicts we see in Iraq, Afghanistan and in transnational terrorism. Yet according to theorists and practitioners of 4GW like Colonel Hammes, that form of warfare, although just now coming in to its own has already been present for some seventy years ! Undoubtedly then 5GW is also here with us, waiting for the next Mao or Rommel to fit the disparate puzzle pieces into a coherent pattern.

    This means that, in their pragmatic attempts to solve problems, both al Qaeda and the United States might be using aspects of 5GW right now. Where will historians of the future look to see aspects of a secret war? Of a war centered on ignorance?

    The 9/11 Commission

    Al Qaeda’s new brand of terrorism presented challenges to U. S. governmental institutions that they were not well-designed to meet. Though top officials all told us that they understood the danger, we believe there was uncertainty among them as to whether this was just a new and especially venomous version of the ordinary terrorist threat the United States had lived with for decades, or it was indeed radically new, posing a threat beyond any yet experienced. As late as September 4, 2001, Richard Clarke, the White House staffer long responsible for counterterrorism policy coordination, asserted that the govern-ment had not yet made up its mind how to answer the question: “Is al Qida a big deal?”

    A week later came the answer. Policy Terrorism was not the overriding national security concern for the U. S. government under either the Clinton or the pre-9/ 11 Bush administration.

    The policy challenges were linked to this failure of imagination

    President Bush:

    Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.

    Orientation and Action, a tdaxp series
    1. The OODA Loop
    2. The OODA-PISRR Loop