A ‘Fifth-Generation’ War

“5GW is what happens when the world’s disaffected direct their desperation at the most obvious symbol of everything they lack, taking advantage of the tactics and battlefields pioneered by more highly organized fourth-gen warriors. The symbol is the United States, the world’s sole super-power. And the fifth-gen fighters’ weapon of choice is political “stalemate,” contends Marine Lt. Col. Stanton Coer, in a new piece inMarine Corps Gazette. “5GW fighters will win by … point[ing] out the impotence of secular military might. … These fighters win by not losing, while we lose by not winning.”

The battlefield will be something strange — cyberspace, or the Cleveland water supply, or Wall Street’s banking systems, or YouTube. The mission will be instilling fear, and it will succeed.

5GW is anchored in the global Islamic jihad espoused by Al Qaeda, Coer writes. But that doesn’t mean that fifth-gen warriors necessarily are clearly ideological, with aspirations of setting up alternative political systems. They’re opportunists, intent only on destruction. But even seemingly pointless violence can have a perverse logic, for the sudden, irrational destruction undermines the idea that nations — and especially the most powerful nation, the U.S. — are viable in the modern world.

So how do you beat a fifth-gen enemy? By not fighting, first of all. Beebe says ending the vortex of violence in Africa means alleviating “the conditions of human beings that create these insecurities across state borders.” In other words, focus on economic development, humanitarian assistance and communication, with nary an M-16 or Abrams tank in sight.

In Coer’s words, “success will vary inversely to exported violence.””

Source: Danger Room

And, because some part of this war is about cyberspace…

“According to Bloomberg — Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co., the world’s biggest defense companies, are deploying forces and resources to a new battlefield: cyberspace.”

INPUT

INPUT’s Information Security Market Forecast 2008 – 2013 illustrates that demand for vendor-furnished information security products and services by the U.S. federal government will increase from $7.4 billion in 2008 to $10.7 billion in 2013 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7%.

(Source: IntelFusion)

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2 responses

  1. […] Coer has a 5GW article. Ubiware posts related to the Quantum Theory of War. Blosint comments on it here. TDAXP has also commented with “Redefining 5GW, again” in response to that Marine Corp […]

  2. Fantastic site. hope to come back again,,

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