Saturday, August 06, 2005
"U.S. Military Wanted to Provoke War With Cuba," by David Ruppe, ABC News, 1 May 2001.
"Fifth Generation Warfare?," by William Lind, On War #53, 3 February 2004, http://www.d-n-i.net/lind/lind_2_03_04.htm (from ZenPundit).
"Limitations of 5GW," by Curtis Gale Weeks, Phatic Communion, 2 August 2005, http://www.phaticcommunion.com/archives/2005/08/limitations_of.php.
"Conspiracies & the London Bombings," interview of Alex Jones by George Noory, Coast to Coast AM, 2 August 2005, http://www.coasttocoastam.com/shows/2005/08/02.html.
Over the past few weeks, I have been talking about 5th Generation Warfare (5GW). 5GW, or SecretWar, is the next generation of warfare from the 4GW, which was created by Mao and Ho. SecretWar relies on conspiracy to shape what an enemy observes.
On August 2nd, Curtis of Phatic Communion wrote an essay on the nature of 5GW. On the same day, Arab-American radio host and veteran George Noory interviewed Alex Jones on the possibility that America is under attack from a blinding conspiracy right now. Curtis' speculations on the nature of a possible SecretWar work nicely with Noory's and Jones' claims of an ongoing secret war, so as I respond to Curtis I will quote from the Noory-Jones interview.
I have been delinquent in my blogging, for the last however many days, because recent discussions concerning “fifth-generation warfare” have left me unsatisfied to the point that other considerations, on other topics, have seemed pointless. Often when I’m in a muddle, I withdraw to Emerson and others, in an effort to reacquaint myself with all the old arguments that have thus far shaped my outlook (pro- or con-); and certain irregularities in the discussion of 5GW seem to have been clarified in my reading of those works.
First and foremost, the consideration that 5GW entities would likely be small but determined forces seemed too fanciful: Small 5GW forces would defeat whole societies; but, whole societies are composed of many small forces.
Later on in the article Curtis explains how a small force can defeat a large culture, but it is also important to see why a 5GW or SecretWar army will be small.
I won't go into the generations of conflict right now, but I will quite from William Lind, the genius who invented the concept of "generations of warfare" in the first place
"One simple test for whether or not something constitutes a generational shift is that, absent a vast disparity in size, an army from a previous generation cannot beat a force from the new generation. The Second Generation French Army of 1940 could not defeat the Third Generation Wehrmacht, even thought the French had more tanks and better tanks than the Germans. The reason I do not think the wars of the French Revolution and Napoleon mark a generational shift is that Wellington consistently beat the French, and the British Army he led remained very much an 18th century army."
So a 5GW will be small because a every generation has a greater economy of force than the one before it. If a SecretWar army couldn't be substantially smaller than a 4GW army, then SecretWar wouldn't be 5GW at all.
Back to Curtis:
Secondly, if attacking the intelligence is the primary modus operandi of the 5GW force, that force would need to be, er, quite intelligent indeed in order to have any hope of success. Intelligence can take many forms, but whatever form is operative would need to be highly developed. Moreover, that intelligence would need an extraordinary understanding — a fundamental comprehension — of the targeted society or force.
Yes and no. Winners aren't stupid, but that does not mean that a winner needs to intellectually understand either his opponent or his strategy. Victory often comes from fingertip feeling or "fingerspitzengefuhl". A winning warrior needs good implicit knowledge than explicit knowledge, because intuition is used more often than decision making.
Thirdly, as mentioned in my last entry on 5GW, no society is homogenous. Any 5GW entity would need to target the most influential members of a society (thereby spreading the 5GWarrior’s influence, as with a megaphone or a ripple effect) in an effort to influence that society’s dominant decision makers, or would need to create situations most likely to influence those who vote for or otherwise support the decision makers — but in an open society such as America’s, or indeed almost certainly in any society, individuals or groups of individuals will exist who are not so easily fooled: the disenfranchised, the sub- and counter-cultural groups — in short: those who do not subscribe to the worldviews shared by most members of that society.
Compare with Alex Jones:
"The establishment lied about the new world order, they lied about their plants to build a one world government, they lied about their plants to tax the internet, they lied about their plans for cloning, they lied about Prozac and Ritalin, they lied about sodium chloride, they lied about mercury in the vaccines, they lied about depleted uranium, they lied about 9/11, they lied about Oklahoma City, they lied about the first world trade center, so now, just automatically, people are being skeptical and not believing the official line. And I say that's very healthy. "
Some 5GW discussion has addressed the types of defense required to protect a society from fifth-generation warfare. >The greatest defense is the overwhelming unlikelihood that all the people will be fooled all the time, and it is a natural defense.
I disagree. As Curtis previously said, "Any 5GW entity would need to target the most influential members of a society." Universal buy-in has never been a prerequisite for power.
To see how an open society would fight a SecretWar, consider a core competency chart
Core Competencies of Open Society and Secret Warriors
Compare to Tight and Loose Networks
The point of greatest resistance for an Open Society attacking SecretWarriors is in the realm of Secret Networks.
A good Open Society warrior might overcome this difference, training to use secret networks to his advantage...
But a great Open Society warrior will force his enemy to fight in the way that gives Open Society forces an unfair advantage, and SecretWarriors an unfair disadvantage.
SecretWarriors fight best in the shadows and worst in the light, so the defending Open Society warrior must make the SecretWarriors fight in the light. The best defense against SecretWar is open government. The more the public can know about the government, the quickly any "conspiracies" or would-be conspiracies will be exposed. This will degenerate the SecretWarrior army into a political faction or party -- something open society routinely deals with on the terms of the society.
Back to Curtis:
The chance that some small but highly organized force will have the intelligence and knowledge required to fool most of the people of a much larger society most of the time is similarly small. Larger 5GW forces (say, nations), though they may have a larger supply of highly intelligent operatives or masterminds, will draw more attention because they have more fingers and more fingerprints: another strike against 5GW activity.
True, but int he same way the chance that some small but effectively organized force will have the intelligence and knowledge required to fight a decades-long guerrilla war is small. That's why America only had lost three 4GWs, not four-hundred.
The greatest weakness for a democratic society in combating 5GW — say, America — is the doctrine of “majority rule.” Those who do not participate in the system or indeed who oppose the political system also do not wield the power that has been concentrated (consecrated) at the topmost level of that majority. A 5GW force, should one of sufficient ability ever form, would only need to influence the majority and the leaders of that majority...
To quote Alex Jones
"I'm not saying George Bush is behind 9/11. I'm saying interests that control George Bush, interest that control Bill Clinton, interests that basically own our politicians like pieces of real estate, they did."
That's how a SecretWar would happen - the President wouldn't be a SecretWarrior, but he would be a tool of the SecretWarrior.
or indeed create a majority will via stimuli such as catastrophes (“natural” or man-made), and sit back to watch the application of a force which it knows will rebound on that society.
Alex Jones believed this happened with the 7/7 and 7/21 London transit attacks
"We know the government was funding it. We know the government had had warnings. We know the government was running drills. We got them!"
The close to a SecretWar that we know of was the proposed Operation Northwoods
"In the early 1960s, America's top military leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba.
"Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.
"The plans were developed as ways to trick the American public and the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba's then new leader, communist Fidel Castro."
More from Curtis Gale Weeks:
The disenfranchised (whether by self-determination or by exterior exclusion), the subcultural or countercultural elements, the criminals and hermits of a society, are likely to be the canaries in the mine: A 5GW force will use the weight of the dominant segment(s) of society against that society and not waste effort on the seemingly powerless members of that society, and the oddball elements of a society are more likely to be sensitive to changes in the majority opinion than those who hold the majority opinion. (I’m not excluding the 5GW potential for using criminal elements and homeland terrorists against a society, however.)
The problem with "subcultural or counter-cultural elements" to warn society about a SecretWar attack is that they will be ignored. Alex Jones, George Noory, and the rest of the 9/11 conspiracy theorists are warning us of a textbook SecretWar right now:
""When we say 'the government' we're oversimplifying. There are corporate interests that are bigger than most governments that basically can steer and manipulate our government -- the largest and most powerful in the world -- and their goal is to expand that control over our population, to basically use us as an engine of global domination. This has been stated in major public white papers by different sectors of the elite. So when I talk about 'the government' engaging in different criminal activities, we're talking about very small, clandestine groups within intelligence and security agencies -- but -- those small clandestine groups are up at the very top of the pyramidal power structure, and so through compartmentalization they're able to manipulate and steer our society
""Isn't it also accurate, though, to say rather than 'government,' 'a group of individuals who are doing something for their own sinister means'?"
""Absolutely.... People all the time say, 'Well, a 'grand conspiracy with the whole government?" I'm in the government! My husband's in the government! Are you saying they're evil?' Absolutely not."
and society ignores them.
Any real SecretWar attack met with warnings that are lost in the background noise is the same as a SecretWar without warning.
I can easily imagine the formation of a counter-5GW development in a targeted society: If a small 5GW attacker succeeds in manipulating the wielders of conventional power and the conventional power brokers, a small 5GW defender may mobilize within the targeted society. The oddness of such an event is quite pertinent: The 5GW defender may or may not know of the true attacker; but either way, the defender may appear to be attacking the dominant elements of the society to which he belongs. (Those dominant elements have already been motivated to follow a self-destructive path, if a 5GW attacker has been successful.)
Again, the best defense against SecretWar is Open Government.
A brilliant 5GW attack might indeed include, perhaps will require?, instigation of civil war, particularly if the targeted society is a large, highly developed and complex society; but then, perhaps there would still exist the possibility that the counter-5GW force will win and then turn on the original attacking 5GW force?
An interesting thought. If a SecretNetwork could "latch on" to visible political movements (say, neocons and theocons), the SecretWarriors will benefit from polarization as the ideologies they are subverting benefit from it.
Dan, I think that your idea of "open government" is related to my idea of canaries in the mine. While it is true that the powerless countercultural elements might be ignored, that doesn't mean that no warning occurs. The fact that they will be ignored is the weakness in our present system....
But I think we ought to take a closer look at the distinction between a closed government and an open government. I think the openness you require would open the government activity to criticism, a criticism that might come from the sub- and counter-cultural elements. (Witness the general unwillingness of the GWB base to criticize GWB, and the secrecy of the GWB administration. The GWB admin. doesn't want to open itself to close scrutiny and criticism which a complete openness would invite.)
In general, I brainstormed with an eye on future defenses which would require a *revolutionary* change in the system we now have -- especially since 5GW would itself be revolutionary and would require a revolutionary defense. To suggest from another angle: the system of "majority rule" as now practiced concentrates the power into hands which need not listen to any minority in decisions requiring *immediate* action, and this is likely to be utilized by a 5GW attacker.
I should have made more of the Auden quote from my blog entry. We could isolate several key issues now splitting America in two, any one of which or any group of which could ultimately lead to a civil war. (I think some are already attempting civil war -- but not the pre-5GW type of civil war!)
Posted by: Curtis Gale Weeks | Sunday, August 07, 2005
A thought-provoking reply.
Just as our enemies focus on economy of force -- how to subvert or subdue us with only the forces they can muster -- we must eye economies of force while designing ways to protect our nation.
(a) a response should be automatic, or as Jeremiah (http://organicwarfare.blogspot.com/) might say, immuno-defensive
(b) the response should be easy to implement, as the greater the change required, the harder it will be to build, and the less likely it will be built at all
In other words, we need an easy way to mutate an enemy from SecretWar to something the system can process. So we need to shift our enemy from SecretWarriors or even SecretPoliticians to just plain politics.
This is how OpenGovernment relates to "canaries in the mine." The more open government is, the more likely that any "conspiracies" or even semi-private associates will become "just politics." While "subcultural or counter-cultural elements" like Alex Jones are unlikely to gain political influence, marginal figures like the people who influence political primaries will. To give two examples from the 2004 Democrat Primary, showing how both SecretPolitics and SecretWar can be deformed into "just plain politics"
1. There was an effort by college Republicans to subvert the Democrat Party by supporting Howard Dean in Iowa John Kerry's people found out about it, and Kerry publicly complained. While Kerry was mocked for being "paranoid," it did get the idea into the logosphere (http://zenpundit.blogspot.com/2005/07/googles-5g-vision-to-reshape.html), and transform the SecretPolitics that supported Howard Dean into "just plain politics."
2. More extremely, Howard Dean mentioned an "interesting theory" that Bush knew about 9/11 in advance but purposefully did nothing. Howard Dean's parrotting of Alex Jones did little for his credibility, but it showed that even life-and-death SecretWar can be transformed into "just plain politics."
So the proverbial canaries aren't the most marginal birds who die easily -- the "canaries" are birds more like us, but just a tad weaker -- just a bit more sensitive to lack of oxygen. There will be false positives, but not so many that they are useless.
In other words, exactly like real canaries.
The reference to the Bush Administration is valuable. As charges of "neocons and theocons" (http://tdaxp.blogspirit.com/archive/2005/06/09/the_neocon_theocon_axis_winning_and_losing.html) show, the Bush Administration has partially adopted SecretPolitics. This is because the system makes SecretPolitics profitable. Frighteningly, the same "features" that lay the ground work for small numbers of SecretPoliticians are "vulnerabilities" to small armies of SecretWarriros.
A "winner take all" system makes America very vulternable to SecretWar. Fortunately, it would not be too hard to substantially lessen our vulnerability. America's Constitution is federal, recognizing the wide powers of the several States. The more states-rights a nation has, the less harm that any one enemy can do. Likewise, the less attractive a massive SecretWar would be, as not so much power gained from a victory.
A return to greater states rights would limit the number of national divisive issues. Giving the several States the right to spend highway and medicare funds as they see fit, returning to the several States the right to legislate on abortion as they see fit, and (in a non-Federal but still devolutionary course) super-empowering individuals by giving them greater control over "their" Social Security "investment," would all structurally lesson the risks of SecretWar and SecretPolitics.
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Sunday, August 07, 2005
Dan, canaries only have to die to deliver their message. They don't have to deliver the chemical or particle structure of the gas that kills them. They are unlikely to know the exact composition of that gas.
I think that a return to greater States rights and a limiting of Federal powers is a step in the right direction -- but we have seen how easily such a configuration can lead to civil war! Maybe "easily" isn't the right word. I'm contemplating a blog post on the idea even as I type this...
Posted by: Curtis Gale Weeks | Tuesday, August 09, 2005
I love this canary analogy! :)
The purpose of the canary isn't to die -- the purpose of the canary is to be observed to be dead.
So a SecretWarrior in a mine would try to stop the miners from seeing that the canary had died.
How much damage could ruthless saboteurs do if they focused their attack on hiding the canaries death? Assuming that a dangerous situation would arise naturally, but without a notictably dead canary the miners would not have warning... probably a lot.
Coast to Coast AM used to carry /every/ suspicious death and near-death of biological and genetic researchers. It was spooky, but without knowing how many biological and genetic researches would find themselves in dangerous situations just randomly, it was impossible to know whether or not there was anything to it.
A sufficiently skeptical society is easier for a SecretWarrior to fight in, because it will not "leap to conclusions."
I think there are more useful ways to view the causes of the Civil War than slavery. The initial causes of the war were
1. The 1860 bumber cotton harvest
2. The rise of a President who wanted to export Northern anti-slavery rulesets to the South
The Civil War was a very bloddy attempt to attack the South at her strongpoint -- love of wealth.
A wiser strategy would have been to subvert the South by using that strong point. A noticably above-market-rate eminent domaining of all slaves, combined with existing anti-slave-import laws, would have ended slavery immediately, while buying off the North's opposition.
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Is 5G warfare only possible in free societies? What would a 5G campaign against China look like? What if an American non-state actor decided that it wanted to take action to ensure that Russia did not become an authoritarian state but a democracy? What kind of strategy would it pursue?
A lot of our discussions are defensive in that we are trying to conceive of 5G attacks on the US. But I think that the US is better able to absorb 5G attacks than any other society (but not completely immune). We have lots of small factions trying to gain political influence, why would a 5G cell be anything but another faction? factions come and go. Political, religious, artistic, philosophic, economic ideologies come and go. Some have influence and some don't, but none of them have destroyed our country.
The US has a lot of experience dealing with natural disasters. Every year we have hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, forest fires, blizzards, mudslides, floods, droughts, and more. We spent decades preparing to survive a nuclear war that might completely devastate our country. We are not a bunch of naive doofuses. We are a resilient and resourceful people. We are a self-organizing, entreprenuerial people.
I think we give too much credit to those who seek to bring us down. We have 300 million people among whom a vast amount of knowledge and skill are distributed. We do not need orders issued from centralized "leaders" to survive in a chaotic and unpredictable world.
I have my doubts about the claim that each succeeding generation can defeat the previous generations' armies. That may be true with 1st, 2nd and 3rd generations, but 4th generation stategies emerge when a combatant realizes that it CAN'T beat a 3rd generation army. So 4G is about bypassing that army and collapsing support for the war from within. It is a defeat but not a defeat on the battlefield. The only way this can be successful is if a society is susceptible to that kind of strategy. Not all of them are. A society might be susceptible to this strategy if it had lost confidence in itself or if a significant faction was constantly propagating the idea that that society could not possibly succeed, how it was to blame for whatever was happening, that it was doomed to failure, that its every action only made things worse, that its leaders were all liars who were engaged in some kind of conspiracy, etc. This could be the perfect avenue for the 5G warrior to "manipulat[e] the wielders of conventional power." Thus creating the conditions for the 4G warriors to be successful. But if citizens did not fall for that then the society would not be undermined by the 4th and 5th generation efforts and a 3rd generation military could be successful.
What makes 5GW "warfare" and not simply "politics"?
Posted by: phil | Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Because more free societies tend to be more open societies, 5GW (SecretWar) and 5GW-style Politics (SecretPoltics) are more effective in unfree societies than free societies. Power is more concentrated, there are less avenues for revealing deception, etc.
(The differenece between SecretWar and SecretPoliticss is the same as the difference between in any type of war and any type of politics -- in war you kill people. This implies that there is not a clean war/politics, or SecretWar/SecretPolitics, divide. A group could be largely political but selectively kill enemies. Likewise, a group could be largely violent but occasionally use the political process.)
A SecretPolitics or SecretWar againt Moscow to restore democracy could be modeled on Deng's takeover of China and the recent "Revolutions-in-a-Box" (Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, etc). (These weren't true secret wars, because Mao and Putin finally recognized their enemies. But both were too late. Mao was unable to act harshly against Deng because Deng already had powerful internal ideological allies who Mao could not safetly identify and remove. Putin's foes already had powerful external allies that protected them before they began their campaign by taking Belgrade.)
Anyway, a semi-Secret approach to winning Russia:
1. Appear invisible to the regime. Either be a trusted but weak helper, or a radical but harmless agitator. Either because of "loyalty" or "weakness," never be thought about by the Enemy.
2. Begin establishing friendly contacts with regime members. It helps if these aren't overtly political even to the contacts themselves You are merely trying to find sympathetic people who can listen. Even if your Enemy knows about you through this, the SecretCampaign can continue. The Enemy may see this as further proof of your weakness -- you are being sucked into the informal patronage network that prevents true resistance. But the Enemy is thinking at least a generation behidn.
3. Begin establishing friendly contacts with foreigners. This is very dangerous. Foreigners are naturally distrusted, particularly when the foreigners most able to help (Soros, bin Laden, etc) are the most universally distrusted.
4. Be patient. Development of the Secret force is "in house," and can take a decade. Keeping up momentum while remaining silent is very hard. Further, a regime may have an immune system that unthinkingly tries to provoke Secret foes into revealing themselves. DO NOT FALL FOR TRAPS. DO NOT MEANINGFULLY JOIN IN ANY "CAMPAIGN" TO CHANGE OR REFORM TEH REGIME.
5. Embrace your weakness. Realize your only weapon is the Enemy's strength. In Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia, for example, the government stupidly held elections while loudly praising free elections. Your Secret organization will have ties to critics of the regime during the crisis (an election, whatever). Maintain these ties, but do not expose yourself.
6. The Enemy will win the crisis. This is natural. Your goal is to win the post-crisis. Cause a "stroke" by paralyzing your Enemy with your Secret network. In the anti-Moscow coups, this was caused by anti-government demonstrations COMBINED WITH moral support by sympathizers in the regime unmasking themselves. In Kiev, Victor Yushenko was often flanked by former KGB agents, who isolated the government and encouraged the demonstrators by showing than "even KGB agients" had turned against the government. THE STROKE MUST BE SEVERE. The Enemy has more staying powr -- you have little "stand-off" power. Use the stroke to physically endanger the enemy (in all anti-Moscow coups, the local Enemy was in danger of physical harm from the mob -- the coagulated blood. In Georgia, the mob physically carried off the Enemy from the Parliament).
7. Post-post crisis, rapidly restore order by connecting local and foreign friends. When the "international community" is behidn a government of local sympathetic elites supported by a street mob, the Enemy will fold in on himself. This happened in Ukraine, with former regime elements assassinating each other to prevent them from turning. When this happens, even the Enemy becomes a SecretAlly!
Of course, much more 5GW-style pro-democracy efforts are imaginably... but that is a post for another time...
What do you think it would look like?
Interesting criticism that "each succeeding generation can defeat the previous generations' armies." I'll need to sleep on it.
Excellent comment! Thank you! :)
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Tuesday, August 09, 2005