5GW, or Fifth Generation Warfare, is the emerging threat to global stability. It's a tactic already employed by US adversaries that has placed us into a 3rd World War. Let's discuss prior types of warfare first.
1st Generation: Relies on the line and column as the primary formation and the smoothbore musket and bayonet as its primary weapon.
2nd Generation: Still relies on linear fire, but with the genesis of maneuver emerging and the single-shot bolt-action rifle as the primary weapon.
3rd Generation: Uses basic infiltration techniques to bypass enemy defences as well as defense in-depth, with magazine-fed bolt-action rifles and machine-guns as the primary weapons.
4th Generation: Modern insurgency and counterinsurgency, which features states facing off against evolved, technologically sophisticated insurgents who use terrorist attacks to strike directly at the vulnerable points of modern nations. The use of advanced ballistic computer driven assaults are common.
Analysis of 5GW
In recent years, military thinkers have been focused on "fourth-generation" warfare – that is, conflicts over ideas, waged by what ad-hoc warriors. Compare that to industrialized "third-generation" war fought by traditional armies over land and resources. The U.S. and its allies are already advanced at 3GW and have growing capabilities in 4GW. 5GW is new and is already in full force after Russia is credited with the first organized implementation on a large scale.
What is 5GW? According to Marine Lt. Col. Stanton Coerr, "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". Fifth generation warfare is an attempt to accomplish strategic objectives through the use of propaganda and information attack vectors. It's carried out by unknown actors for unknown reasons. Even if the core enemy is identified, the victim nation will not be able to understand the purpose or end goal. The space in which 5GW is carried out is still evolving and due to the victim organization or nation being unaware of the where, why, and how; it's not possible to counter until harm has already been inflicted.
Decision Dominance is the ability to create and use intelligence in order to command the cognitive mission space. The difficulty is determining that mission space. The opponent will be much more ambiguous and warfare will become an insidious creep designed to degrade from within. This could be from within an infiltrate political party, a major news corp, social media sphere, or activist driven agenda.
The US is in possession of the most advanced and powerful military in human history. There isn’t a country or collection of countries on the planet that could stand against the might of the US armed forces. Civilians, even armed and organized ones, stand even less of a chance. One way to successfully engage with overwhelming military might is to adopt the asymmetric guerilla in non-tangible spaces such as the internet and media. 5GW is decentralised, non-hierarchal structures using political, economic, social and military power to attack the enemy through whatever vector they are able.
Historically, wars are ended with treaties, signings, and declarations, but where wars begin is often much more ambiguous. It's become evident that war has already begun. We're slowly realizing we're under attack.
The key to success in such a period
of change and persistent conflict is an agile strategic approach that relies on a wide array of capabilities. Accordingly, the U.S.
must review and adjust its national strategies, warfighting concepts, and force structures. The nation must be able to
adaptively and effectively combine these new capabilities to prevail in the hybrid conflicts that will dominate the near to mid-
The polarization of the political and social landscape exists on purpose. The discord among various opinionated groups is an intent of then enemy. Life, freedom, resources, acceptance of all races, law enforcement, economy, etc; are overall far more advanced and and progressive than other nations. This country will not fall from the outside, but can only collapse from within. Our adversaries know this. 5GW is the only attack means capable of effecting longterm damage on the US.
Consider isolated incidents that occur every year; such as mass shootings, police incidents, race involved events, etc. Nothing new is happening but these events are becoming a target of severe scrutiny used to sow discord. There has never been a time in our nation where minorities have been treated more equally, or police have been more trained or held more accountable, organized control has been more strict; yet the media would imply the opposite.
We are currently being attacked by a multi-prong Fifth Generational War.