Sunday, March 9, 2008

5th generation warfare tactics of Arkansas

In the perennially healthy Pacific Northwest my college courses taught a lot about cross-cultural understanding. Dialogue, even if oppositional, is always full of opportunity for increasing understanding. I would sit in the classes and think back to how oppositional politics was played in Arkansas, circa 1989-1994. I felt a twinge perversity, because I had been involved in a political methodology anathema to what the Pacific Northwest practices.

In Arkansas, political enemies are taken out in a certain style:

  1. Wait a few years, till the "issue" which you both were battling over ceases to be on people's minds.

  2. Send them to prison on charges within a sphere of their lives totally unrelated to whatever you both were embattled over.

  3. Be unjust, whatever they lose in life is out of scale with the "issue" you both once engaged in.

Then was with a sense of pride that saw this methodology associated with the cutting-edge, with 5th generation warfare:

"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."

Dreaming 5th Generation War

It is interesting that we call our age the Information Age. Information seems to the body of 4th generation warfare. Sounds like 5th generation warfare may be about no information. The enemy learns from mistakes, can even become repentant and change course in their lives and switch to your side, because your "information" is so compelling. With communication always transferring across boundaries, dead ends/pathos in societies can be averted.

Not so if you send no information that helps the opponent associate an attack with previous interactions (with you) or a synopsis of your moral ideology.

The opponent is hit , with no message. And long after whatever was at stake is over.


BFGalbraith said...

This sounds a lot like stuff going on in the modern Human Resources and Labor industry.

These days if your boss's boss is a problem, look for a new job, and plot justice later for the good of the whole-community. I am involved in a project like this now, and it's all about going over the top when it comes to documenting problems with WA state L&I. The idea is to create a confrontation between the target, his support networks, and the state - but not with us personally. This is not the only project I've been involved with in the last decade that fits this description.

Purpleslog said...

I posted a reply to this at Dreaming 5GW:

Cross-posted to my blog: