5th Gen War Is Already Here

All is fair in love and war so you better be ready for anything. The nature and mindset of conflict is always changing so a wise man should be cognizant of possible  future developments. One rubric that delineates the advances of modern war is the generational concept. According to most scholars fourth generation is here and fifth generation is currently in its developing stages. I believe that fifth generational warfare is where the principal actors (whether they have a state behind them or not) will target each other directly instead of going after their followers or support structures.

Allow me to give you a brief history and to give credit to where credit is due for this concept of generational warfare. The two main sources I’ve read about it to date are Marine Corps Gazette, and The Sling and The Stone by Colonel Thomas X. Hammes. While the various authors contributing on the generations of warfare have disagreements about fourth and fifth generation, most of their points are valid. I believe some of them might be limited by what they say by their present employers and sometimes might say things to go along with the party line. The biggest disagreement I have with that consensus on generational warfare is its start point being recent and not including the classical world and that developments are linear.

Here is a quick overview from Wikipedia on what generations one through four are:

First generation In its most common usage, “First generation warfare” refers to battles fought with massed manpower, using line and column tactics with uniformed soldiers governed by the state.

Second generation warfare is the tactics of warfare used after the invention of the rifled musket and breech-loading weapons and continuing through the development of the machine gun and indirect fire.

Third generation warfare  focuses on using speed and surprise to bypass the enemy’s lines and collapse their forces from the rear. Essentially, this was the end of linear warfare on a tactical level, with units seeking not simply to meet each other face to face but to outmaneuver each other to gain the greatest advantage.

Fourth-generation warfare  is conflict characterized by a blurring of the lines between war and politics, soldier and civilian. In terms of generational modern warfare, the fourth generation signifies the nation states’ loss of their near-monopoly on combat forces, returning to modes of conflict common in pre-modern times.

Fifth Generation

The lines between generations are always blurred and no one really knows a one begins and one ends. Therefore I believe methods and ideas of conflict are cyclical depending on the systems available and the politics behind them. The concept of rigid generations in war is a sandbox constructed by some scholars for various reasons. One reason is to discount the application of certain examples that have occurred in the classical world that do not support the generational concept. Another is it makes things trendy and trendy things get published. Third reason is that justifies certain military procurement and training budgets and allows for the payment of certain favored contractors.

There is actually some benefits to labeling wars by the generational rubric. As a sort of play on the rocks paper scissors game, industrialized nations tend to play first , second and third generation war better than the Third World. The later generations of  warfare tend to be favorable to  the side willing to bend or break the rules.

If a first world military is finding itself bogged down playing by the rules of the enemy, you could tell the nation behind it really isn’t too serious about winning. Hiding among the civilian population is not really too helpful to a combatant if his opponent is willing to level the city he is hiding in. But war is not always exclusively about the conflict between two parties. There are many second and third order effects the shot callers are always looking out for. These can include political talking points, economic policies, social policies, triangular diplomacy and market manipulation. The rise of the fifth generational warfare mindset is a fundamental change because traditionally the power players sending the troops to the field refrained directly attacked each other.

Recent History

One of the earliest recent examples I believe of the fifth generation mindset would be the assassination of Pablo Escobar. He was reportedly shot by a Delta Force sniper according to Mark Bowden’s book Killing Pablo. While exactly who killed him is not definite, he was targeted because he was a shot caller in a very big organization that the “War on Drugs”  worked against. While there are other examples that can be arguable be fifth generational warfare further in the past  such as the assassination  of Admiral Yamamoto I do not consider these fifth generational warfare because they were smaller engagements within a wider war that didn’t actually change the mindset of the leadership. They tended to be one off lucky hits instead of an adoption of a darker strategy.

While at this point people can argue things in Colombia are just counter drug police operations, the actions of certain non state actors has transformed from getting attention, to taking hostages, to killing as many people as possible, to killing higher status people and symbols. A good example of this would be Al Qaeda targeting of the Pentagon on September 11 . That 757 could kill far more people if it hit something else. Also the hit on Massoud  in Afghanistan was the application of fifth generational warfare to remove him from the board before any hostilities kicked off in that country.

Fifth generational warfare is not a linear development. It tends to be what works at the time. Remember back in 1991, General Colin Powell explained to the world that removing Saddam Hussein from the board would be a bad move. Flash forward to 2003 and the opening shots of the Second Gulf War included an attempted strike at Saddam himself.  Tthe United States attempt at the fifth generational idea of going after the leadership was not exclusively one-sided. The assassination of Sérgio Vieira de Mello, by the notorious Abu Musab al-Zarqawi by way of a truck bomb shows another side of that conflict also utilized the fifth generational mindset. It can be argued that that hit actually changed the future of leadership in the United Nations.

More recent examples of targeting the principal actors that make policies and decisions instead of their forces in the field pop up in Libya, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The killing of Osama Bin Laden is a very good example of fifth generational warfare being about targeting principals. While it is a tragedy that such a dedicated public servant such as Ambassador Stevens was killed, the application of fifth generational warfare in that case sent shock waves throughout Washington. A lot of denizens of that city seemed more affected by that death then they did for all the 18-year-old’s that signed up for college money. Ambassador Stevens was a major player in the whole overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and it appears he made the mistake of seeing that conflict as  black and white between only two sides. A very recent example would be the Taliban attack on a restaurant frequented by the power players from the West. Just the fact I read about it when news on Afghanistan doesn’t tend to make the front page anymore indicates they most likely got some important people. UPDATE: one of the victims was the International Monetary Fund’s country director, Wabel Abdallah.

The Future

So what does this concept of fifth generational warfare mean for the future? It means many things. One is leadership on both sides of any conflict are going to take more measures to protect themselves from personal attack. These measures may or may not be politically and socially acceptable. It also mean the power players in the future would actually have to consider gambling with their own blood . This will cut down on war hawks, jingoism and recreational wars. There might also be a revival certain concepts that have not been used since World War II, mainly the threat of eradication. That is what finally broke the Japanese will. The sobering reality of nuclear fire convinced Emperor Hirohito it was time to throw in the towel. It should be interesting if the WWE’s Hardcore Championship concept of “any time, any place” is applied to world politics.

Read More: Let The World Be The World

105 thoughts on “5th Gen War Is Already Here”

  1. Fascinating Douglas. This seems to have political parallels, as swarms on blogs and twitter go after individual supporters rather than political candidates. What “further reading” might you recommend on this topic?

  2. Douglas I love that painting! I’m a huge fan of “Friedrich der Grosse” or Frederick the Great. My favorite historical figure right after Jesus! Frederick the Great is absolutely the greatest monarch who ever lived. He took on Russia, France, Austria and Turkey at once and nearly crushed them all. I encourage you all to research the life of this magnificent man. He spoke 6-7 languages, composed his own music (Flute Concerto No 3 in C Major being my favorite). When the Russians were on the precipice of taking all of Brandenburg and Prussia, he wrote that he was going to go out on horse with his men and die in battle. Don’t hold the fact that he was a homosexual against him. He simply is the greatest monarch who ever lived and probably ever will live. When’s the last time the head of state was at the head of his troops!? All those of German and especially Prussian decent, no matter what you’re mixed with, be extremely proud that you share blood with this man! The painting above is of the noble Prussian guard marching in formation. Most of all he is a man we should all seek to emulate in one form or another, he put his small state at the forefront and made a tiny backwater into a European superpower, setting the stage for Bismarck a few hundred years later. We could all learn a thing from Frederick the Great, whether it’s his stoicism in duty, courage, intellectualism or sheer audacity. One thing’s for sure, men aren’t made like that anymore especially our leaders in democratic countries. Gott Mit Uns!

    1. Unfortunately the Prussian kings who followed didn’t learn any lessons from their ancestor. Prussia was the most slave-like state in Europe.

      1. Are you serious? Are you ignoring the institution of serfdom in Russia? Germany had the world’s 2nd best economy under Hohenzollern leadership by 1905. The only reason why England was still top, was because of its colonies. Germany had the best of nearly everything and “Machen in Deutschland” still to this day has the moniker of craftsmanship. Would you rather buy an American or German car? Exactly. The monarchy made Germany as it monarchies did in virtually every European state only to be overthrown by corrosive groups who sought to overthrow the Ancien Regime.

        1. Be careful about peeing all over the Big Red Dog.
          Remember, it was the SU which crushed the Third Reich, but it was also the predecessor Czar who lost to the predecessor Kaiser
          It’s easy to put down an enemy that was defeated by itself in economics, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t any “push over” in war either. (Case in point:North Vietnam)
          I do agree, though, Prussia was a damn fine state.

        2. Generally, German craftsmanship is revered and heralded as the upper echelon of quality in production. With that said, besides Mercedes, German automive is notorious for making unreliable cars. They are just sporty and look nice. They break easily and often and are very expensive to fix in America. I’d take a GM or Japanese car over a German car. If we are talking something I’m going to only drive for a year then get rid of, then maybe I would lease and Audi or something.
          Now if we are talking German architecture, furniture, musical instruments, or something along those lines – that’s where it’s at.

        3. The Ruhr River valley is the greatest asset in Europe, and is the source of German Industrial Might
          It’s like our Great Lakes

        4. Germans are notorious for making unreliable cars? What!!! Unreliable is not even a German characteristic let alone a feature on the cars. I wouldn’t necessarily say the USSR crushed Germany either, after all 27-30 million Soviets died after being forced at gunpoint to fight the Wehrmacht. For every 1 German that was killed, 10 Soviets were killed in his place. Germany lost the war because it took on all the major superpowers of its day at once, without a credible ally. Germany fielded the best tanks, and fighter planes. The Tiger panzerkampfwagen I was the best tank of the war (to hell with the T-34). The Soviets won because they had a population that could absorb large causalities (surprising after all the purges, gulags and state induced famines) plus the backing of the USA. Make no mistake about it, Germany would have out taken the USSR out, given current studies have shown Germany would have had a nuke by 1944 if allied bombing raids didn’t take Germany’s manufacturing base out. Give me my Audi anyday over your shitty Mitsubishi or GM.

        5. Unfortunately, Napoleon humiliated and crushed Prussia later, at Jena-Auerstedt. Napoleon himself claimed that if Frederick was alive, he would have never reached Berlin.

        6. True Prussia at the head of a soon to be United Germany returned the favor in 1870 in half the time it took Napoleon. Napoleon III was possibly one of the worst Frenchman in the history of their military and General Molkte is possibly one of the finest commanders in history.

        7. Only read the first 3 sentences of your irrelevant tirade. The Third Reich war machine, and more importantly, The Soviet Union have literally 0% to do with contemporary german automotive manufacturing. Talking about Jettas and beemers here man, not WW2. Ask any mechanic, they see more Volkswagens and Audis than anything else. Check out the repair statistics for BMW’s and Porsche. They’re cool cars and all, but just not very reliable.

        8. I think what you’re driving at is “over-engineering”. This was a problem for the Wehrmacht, too. Too many variants, too much specialization. Unique parts and pieces that came to be in short supply. Sometimes you have to trade off between precision and replicability.

        9. If I’m not mistaken, isn’t that where Napoleon concluded that, “it’s better to be commanded by one bad general than two good ones”?
          From what I’ve read, Prussian generals were selected from among the nobility, and it was a title partially handed out as a status symbol. So while Napoleon was in complete control of his forces and able to improvise quickly, there was a council of generals on the Prussian side that had to come to a consensus on what to do next.

        10. I am not talking about the real Napoleon! I’m taking about Napoleon III, the nephew of the real Napoleon.

        11. ….Not sure what you are trying to get at. Are you trying to say I’m wrong? This site you linked literally explains my point perfectly. All the major Japanese makes (and GM) are at the top of the list and all the German makes are down near the bottom. Case in point.

        12. Interesting to see Skoda move into the top 10 and Mercedes to drop out of the top 30, behind Jaguar, MG and . . . Ssang Yong; not exactly brands noted for their reliability.
          The much maligned Honda Civic is going to go down in history as one of the greatest cars of all time.
          Perhaps if it cost twice as much and were half as reliable people would appreciate it more.

        13. A hangover from the old days. Nobility simply was whoever conquered a chunk of land and set themselves up as its lord. The nobility comprised the officer corps almost by definition.

        14. It is always important to recount these stories about Germany, because to this day it gives the world hope that the Anglo-American cancer can be defeated. Once upon a time, one small country with no oil fought every world power and nearly won.
          It happened once before, and it will happen once again. Someday.

        15. Yes. Watched a documentary on German car manufacturing the other day and this is precisely what they mentioned for cars like BMW.

        16. That’s debatable, England’s colonies that is. Sure they had power, but in the end, they got little from them in overall return. India (etc, e.g. South Africa) got the most out of it, 10x population growth under British control.

        17. German overengineering is pretty notorious, they fit things to such high tolerances, sometimes you need to losen up a bit.

    2. That Frederick was homosexual is a bit too exaggerated nowadays. His homosexuality is purely an assumption, made by modern historians. Not impossible, but when i see so many historians using it as a proven fact makes me wanna bash them for being sensationalist pricks. History is not journalism ffs.

      1. The how do you explain Voltaire publishing pamphlets trying to out Frederick as a homosexual when their friendship fell out? He had no children, and had a notorious relationship with his childhood lover whom his father beheaded. A large amount of history is the summation of knowledgeable assumptions. My assumption tells me that Frederick was a homosexual.

        1. Yes, large amount of history is assumptions, and none of them are labeled as facts. Frederick was married after all, but everyone will dismiss it, while being absolutely 100% that he was gay.

        2. He also wrote a letter to his wife (Die Konigin von Preussen) stipulating that he could never love her nor engage in conjugal acts with her either.

        3. Are you kidding me? Voltaire was sensationalizing for the French public. Frederick hated his wife because his marriage to her was essentially an arranged marriage made by his hated father Frederick William. His “childhood lover” was not a fucking “childhood lover.” Katte was Frederick’s best friend who was beheaded after trying to help young Prince Frederick escape Germany… what Frederick William viewed as treason. That’s why he was beheaded. The most we know from the man himself was that he simply found women uninteresting and unattractive. The man himself sound asexual, and if he was homosexual he was least flamboyant and least promiscuous homosexual since… well, ever.

    3. Since I am an American with a German mother from East Prussia thanks for the great comment.
      I proud to be a very special “King”.
      Remember, you can all feel your warrior blood of a thousand years pulsing through your veins – always stand proud, and never let the cackle of the female rabble shame you.
      For theirs – is the blood of of a thousands years of whores.

    4. You should see Chesterton’s commentary of Fred the Great, he hated the guy (see Crimes of England). Reactionary writers seems to be split on the issue of his greatness (Carlyle loved him). Personally, I lean on the Chesterton side (atm, but you never know, could change), the Prussian Empire was very bloodthirsty and should have been put in its place (and it didn’t end there, Prussia 2.0 aka Germany caused even more trouble). I am even the same ‘religion’ as Fred the Great, but skeptical about his faith. He was a smart man, but he was after war and power. Can anyone say he was a good/Godly man?

  3. Or could it be viewed as tribalism being utilized by Second World powers to hold back First World powers? Tribal systems with their ties of kinship have proven resilent throughout history. Killing their leaders doesn’t work, diluting them does (via something like feminism.)
    Or it could be seen as a Bronze age ethos versus modern Industrialism. During the Bronze age up till the Modern European era, cities that resisted a majority of the male population of fighting age was killed and the women and children sold into slavery (ex. The sack of Troy, the retaking if the Holy Land by Joshua, the sack of Jerusalem by the Crusaders.)
    The Middle East has always seen its fecundity as the main weapon in their arsenal. Even pre-dating monotheism, a la Ishtar/Inanna who was the goddess of sexual lust and war.
    Even rescently a radical Immam in Europe said, “where we failed with sword, we will prevail with the penis.”

  4. “Fourth-generation warfare is conflict characterized by a blurring of the lines between war and politics, soldier and civilian. In terms of generational modern warfare, the fourth generation signifies the nation states’ loss of their near-monopoly on combat forces, returning to modes of conflict common in pre-modern times.” – Douglas
    So what exactly is the difference between that description and fifth generation warfare you articulated in the title?
    I don’t really see any proven method to counter it in a definitive kind of way, therefore I think we are still clearly in the Fourth Generation.

    1. “I believe that fifth generational warfare is where the principal actors
      (whether they have a state behind them or not) will target each other
      directly instead of going after their followers or support structures.”

      1. The State becomes the terrorist, eh?
        I was in a dialogue with a former FBI agent, and she told me that the Israeli and Russians effectively stopped Piracy in Somali.
        What they would do is find the “clan” that the pirate belonged in, and then drop bombs indiscriminately in the village to “punish” the Clan. (They kill the pirate’s family and elders, rather then go after the pirate.)
        Combined with increased security, the Clans compelled the pirates to stop, because they wanted to stop getting their kids killed with bombs.
        Charming Eh?

        1. Thats what happens when you have wives and children. You become a pussy faggot and get your ass kicked.

        2. Very old technique. The Maori used it effectively. Patton used it in the Middle East and had no trouble afterward. The state is not becoming the terrorist, the state is the terrorist.

        3. We are using it in the Middle East. Why they go in families houses and stomp it up and shoot inside terrifying the women and children. The US can’t win over there. They will never give up.

  5. Apparently, fifth generation warfare will not work with highly organic combat groups like or example VietCong
    On the other hand, not only borders between generations are blurred, but many approaches from the past reappeared in the future.
    Napoleon for example was very influenced by Caesar, both in military and political areas. He introduced square column as a marching formation, much influenced by marching formation of roman cohort, also, he used cavalry in much same fashion as Romans did. However, biggest surprise he pulled was bringing lancers as shock cavalry. Everyone believed age of shock cavalry was long time gone, and we are talking about 19th century !
    New era of warfare will bring mostly drones and unmanned aircraft, larger engagement of special forces, usage of guided missile to deal with opposition (for example, Russians killed Chechen leader by a guided missile, cause he was using satellite phone).
    Tho no one can do as much damage as mercenary liberal organizations, and demonstrators-for-hire.

    1. “no one can do as much damage as mercenary liberal organizations, and demonstrators-for-hire.”

  6. Pre-emptive (thank Bush for that doctrine) EMP nukes over North America and a massive military satellite strike by a Russian/Chinese alliance and Europe/Asia is theirs. Russia will control West Eurasia, China the East; they’ve already made the deal.
    Once technology is down, manpower rules, and China has the manpower.
    We’ll be lucky to keep North America. The Kalashnikov is the weapon of choice because it is simple, technology-independent, reliable, and kills when you want it to kill.

    1. For those that dont know he is talking about the AK-47
      Kalashnikov just died a few weeks ago.

        1. “I’m Canadian, and yeah I’ll admit, we have nothing militarily to be proud of . . .”
          Remember Vimy Ridge!

    2. Manpower alone doesn’t mean much.
      The manpower of the Russians against the Germans wouldn’t have meant anything if not for the other allies. Germans killed 14 Russians for every man they lost on the Eastern front.
      Hernan Cortez conquered an entire continent with a few thousand men.
      Thus Chinese manpower alone doesn’t worry me much.

      1. So true! The early days of Operation Barbarossa were absolutely stunning. Military achievements of such symphonic beauty that they’ll probably never be achieved again. Entire Soviet Army groups were surrounded, cut off and destroyed by numerically lesser German Panzer units. The Battle of Smolensk and others like it, detail the stunning shock and awe of the Eastern Blitzkrieg. Soviet Army groups upwards to 600,000 men were surrendering or dying after every major defeat. The loss at Stalingrad pales in comparison to what the Red Army suffered. The Germans lost the 6th Army, up to 300,000 men. However, Soviet losses could be replaced either by Soviets at gunpoint or American bombing raids keeping the Germans at bay.

      2. The Allies wouldn’t have meant anything if not for the manpower of the Russians. Don’t kid yourself, the Soviets won European WW2. America came in at the tail end and cleaned up the western side.
        I may not have a lot of affection left for my Russian wife, but she left me with a learned view of WW2. The Soviets lost more lives than anybody. I am left admiring Russians. They are true warriors.

        1. True, but China doesn’t seem to have a thirst for territorial expansion in their blood. They seem content to pursue global power through other means.
          As a civilization, they lack that European wanderlust.

        2. Umm, we buy all our shit for China while garbage is our biggest export. Obviously, the US is on the winning side of that bargain and China is not going to be enforcing any debts.

        3. I have to disagree with you here. The snap up a little island, now and then, when they think no one is looking. Frankly, everyone just pretends like it didn’t happen because they don’t want to have to do anything about it. They intend to own the Pacific, make no mistake about it.
          Plus, China is the largest trader on the African continent. They are developing bare bones infrastructure and extracting resources there like nobody’s business. Again, nobody in the west seems to care.
          Last gripe. The Chinese are drilling off our Florida shore, drinking our milkshake, while this administration forbids American outfits from doing likewise.
          I can’t stand them or their murderous government, but they lack the constraints of “political expediency” that our politicians deal with.

        4. The truth is that sovietic industrial capability was enormous in 1944 and 45, that technology-wise had even they upper hand that year, at least when it came to conventional warfare.
          The Chinese economy is already a lot bigger than mainstream economists in the west will tell the plebe and of course Chinese economists themselves, since Obama and his masters already demands that China change its currency exchange rates to support the US dollar that they are now printing like crazy to keep the “recoverty” going on.
          The Chinese are also significantly more numerous, because extra children are born illegaly it means they are less protected by the state and police from exploitation than the average Chinese.
          Oh and US and other western economies are much lower than offical numbers shows too, most western governements have twisted inflation datas for a very long time now.

        5. The Chinese gov and people have absolutely zero interests and reasons to trust the “elite” that spread the poison of political correctness against their own people and civilization.
          You are indeed correct but don´t forget that an industrialized China wouldn´t be a sovereign country.
          It would depend on foreign trade for its industries and thus at the mercy of a naval blockade.
          Tropical africa on the other hand have a lot of ressouces, both arable land and material for industry, the solution is to send the extra chinese population to africa, make it a sphere of Chinese influence. This also mean they can get ridde of the 1 child laws.
          But Washington & Bruxelle would likely not accept that China does that, even if that means naval blockade and threat of WW3.
          So China have to prepare for a military conflict that can only be won fast with a single, decisive blow that will leave the enemy crippled, unable to win by extending it. We are coming to the point where MAD won´t work that well.
          Are you familiar with the Ender Games series? Humans have overpopulation problems, population-limit laws and the Formics planets have a lot of planets.

  7. Ever since 1945 we’ve been in the Nuclear War Generation. Anything less than nuclear war is really more of a skirmish.
    If any major power starts losing a real conflict you can bet they’re firing off nukes before they surrender.

    1. This is 100% correct. Best comment. And these furnishes will increasingly be determined by military robotics. The machismo of this article and comments thread are bullshit. Future warriors will be the guys who push the buttons on nukes, supplemented by guys who control the joystick for military robots.

      1. Future war will be fought by computer banks of fat black lesbians operating drones swooning to the sound of Obama’s voice reading off his kill list.

      1. Because it’s a niche subject and until now I’ve never met a person outside of the SOF community who is even remotely familiar with the concept. Imagine my surprise then when I saw it on a game website.

        1. Maybe you still haven’t met someone outside the special operations community that is familiar with the concept….also way to pigeonhole by limiting the site as a “game ” site

    1. We live in a 6th gen war era – the OODA loop is pre-empted as you attack an enemy (ie the population) before they are able to perceive an attack taking place (ie debt slavery, fractional reserve banking, home repossession, sickly foods, dependence on government). This is done by bankers to get the population dependent on them and it is arguably too late to reverse the process for the vast bulk of the population.
      If you believe certain folk, they would have you believe the bankers use technology to control us, and perhaps have a rudimentary form of behavioural control through controlling the information we receive.
      If we applied this to game, it would involve ‘attack’ via indirect means (so she cannot perceive the attempt), before getting her to think your ideas are hers(pacing and leading), and then overpowering her with your sexiness. Unfortunately, feminists have re-defined game-aware men as ‘rapists’.

  8. The biggest question of 5th Generation war is not who will engage in it. The biggest question is who wont be engaging in it. It requires no borders, no funds, no soldiers. All it requires is information, and the internet makes that available to anyone. How long until the “normal”, “average” but highly motivated citizens of so-called developed nations begin using it against those they politically disagree with.
    One could argue it’s already happening in the U.S. when it comes to some political subjects. One also has to wonder if it won’t push some developed nations into true police-state-territory.

  9. “While there are other examples that can be arguable be fifth generational warfare further in the past such as the assassination of Admiral Yamamoto
    I do not consider these fifth generational warfare because they were
    smaller engagements within a wider war that didn’t actually change the
    mindset of the leadership. They tended to be one off lucky hits instead
    of an adoption of a darker strategy.”
    Wouldn’t the 1914 assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo qualify as 5th Generation?

    1. Of course, WW1 wasn’t 5th Generation, but that assassination got the ball rolling, so to speak.

  10. One problem w/ the Escobar example is that he was killed at the *end* of the “war”, not the beginning. His empire had been dismantled before he was tracked down and killed, so he’s more of an example of Hitler-in-the-bunker than, say, even Yamamoto.
    That said, there were some novel things in that campaign; Pablo’s attacks against the Search Bloc leadership, Los Pepes attacks against Pablo’s otherwise-untouchable legitimate infrastructure, &c.
    I’d argue that generational warfare can be broken down by (a.) who it’s meaningful to kill, (b.) who you’re able to kill, and (c.) who you’re willing to kill. By that reckoning, 3GW could be marked by an ability to kill the logistics and supply train in the rear areas, 4GW by attacks on the underlying civilian and industrial support structure, and 5GW (by your lights) by targeted/decapitation attacks.
    One of the big lessons from the Colombians is that you might not be able to kill someone, or their family, or their family’s friends, but you can always find *someone* who isn’t protected — the relatives of the friends of the families of their lieutenants, for example — whose deaths can ultimately exert leverage over your target.
    It’s all about finding the accessible weak point, whether it’s your enemy’s cities, or your enemy’s lawyer.

  11. Need help fellow Alphas.
    Didnt speak to my girlfriend for 5 days. Today she invites me over and wants to talk and get back together talk. She lies about not making date plans with other dudes. I know since the dude(a distant friend but a friend indeed) told me about it. I gave her so many cchances go come clean every suggested indirectly, she kept lying…. One thing I do not tolerate is lying and cheating. My plan is to treat this slut like a queen(so she’s super in love) and pretend I will propose soon, all while Im finishing up school and going back to Europe… I would write more but she reads ROK and Ive been busted before.

    1. Dump her….if you are in the US (which you seem to be) your idea of treating her like a queen may end in a false rape allegation.
      When you get back to europe? Look for a decent eastern european woman.

        1. You are welcome. Western women make up rape/stalking allegations all the time. They are truly evil people.
          To tell you the truth. I would never date a western woman every again. Not a chance. They have proven themselves to be deeply evil. I want nothing to do with them except maybe sell them things.
          I am going to start an advice series for married women on the MBA Education channel. In the 90s lots of married women used to come to me for counselling about their husbands. I helped many married women stay married. I was actually nicknamed “Mr. Relationships” by many of my friends as I felt giving people the tools to improve the quality of their relationships was important.
          So you can see my surprise when these same women who were my good friend who I helped out would not help me out with Jennifer, right?
          No western woman will ever be the friend of a man. None. Of the thousands of women I know from the west? I count only ONE of them as a friend. ONE. That is a huge indictment on western women.
          My advice to all young men is to stay away from western women as much as you can. Where you want to game them etc? Sure. But no good can come of dating a western woman. They are just PURE EVIL now. And I challenge any of them to put up some essays or some rebuttals to my claim that 99.9%+ of western women being EVIL people.

    2. Are you serious? Don’t even talk to that bitch again. <—- that dot is a period. It means “full stop.”

      1. That would be to easy on her. Im going back to Europe and she’s not. Ill leave her ass a note on the table and jump on the plane. I do feel betrayed, man, atleast my buddies(some of them) are still there…

        1. Yeah. Write her a note and disappear. Real manly. No. Go borrow a nice, fat engagement ring. Shit, a fake one will do. Say: “Fuck you, you lying cunt. This was going to be yours.” Wave it at her. Let her get a nice look. THEN ditch her and head back to Europe. And make sure to warn your buddies who might feel compelled to be her rebound.

        2. Ohhh. Hey. Better idea. Buy her an engagement ring. A fake cubic zirconium. Play it off perfectly. propose to her and tell her when you return you will set the date.
          Then never talk to her or see her again.
          The lifetime of wondering what happened will be absolutely priceless. It will stay with her till the grave.

        3. Dude I fucking love this idea! Although she might check the value of the ring before i get on the plane…

    3. I hate to burst your bubble, but you’re not an alpha, at least not yet. No true alpha tolerates this from a woman. I proposed this question to all my dearest associates and friends who had girl problems: Take away her capacity to fuck you, or even take away her vagina and then re-estimate her value in your life. How much would you value a nagging, whining piece of Anglo-shit if she didn’t have a vagina or the propensity to have sex? Think of living with a nagging gay man for 30 years and you’ll soon find yourself ameliorating from this shit. This isn’t love either. Real women sacrifice with blood, obedience, womb and honor for their men, a trait no longer prevalent with women in the West. Sir what you are doing is chasing pussy; stop! There are plenty of women out there, man the fuck up and ditch the bitch.

      1. Correction, no true Alpha gives a ****.
        Cheated on me? I´ll just have to make sure to enjoy my German vacation, then! Oktoberfest, here I come!

        1. Oktoberfest is all the way next year? You’re going to wait that long? German girls in the cities tend to be mostly Americanized/Anglophiles, I would suggest if you are going to engage in frivolities, then Berlin all the way. If you want a nice German girl to date, then find a nice Catholic Bavarian girl. They are the best Germany has to offer. Prussia no longer exists by allied decree, so Prussian identity has been mostly lost after 1945.

        2. Just an example. Things are not as bad in Germany, at least not yet.
          Sure they did, one of the great entente powers fell to internal treason, the others are not that far from going the way of the twin towers.

  12. My understanding that in 5th generation war, the target is the opponent’s legitimacy to wage war. It only works in a world where people rely on systems of allies and treaties. Attacks on civilian infrastructure are clumsy attempts at 5th-gen war – attempting to show that the government of an enemy state cannot provide basic services and is therefore not legitimate.

  13. Thought provoking piece, thanks. 5G concept you presented seems typical “cut off the head” tactics rather than war. Wasn’t Alexander the Great poisoned, Hitler bombed by his own officers, etc… many more examples in the comments.
    I was expecting information/data, drones, economic/finance as tools of 5G war. Perhaps social networking too. Getting third, fourth parties to do ones dirty work. Where better to hide your “army” than within the people of the target nation/group. Much like the British did with Irish Republicanism. But then that might just be espionage and an age old tool of leaders.
    I see it as like corporates: highly automated systems with a reduced overhead and a tiny team of decision makers lost in a complex web of subsidiaries.

  14. The thing that’s missing from this pretty good article is that most recent big confllicts have been won by non-violent offensives. The overthrow of Marcos in the Philippines, the various color revolutions in Eastern Europe, the dis-assembly of the Sovet Rube Goldberg state — all done by non-violence. Arab Spring? Pretty much the same, with a lot of sharp edges in Algeria and Egypt, two unusually complex states.
    I’m serious: non-violence is the new way of serving your country, of defending Your Way of Life, Preserving Our Values, all that good stuff that used to be necessarily military. Youngsters get taught in Guides and Scouts how to stand at attention and how to salute. Why aren’t they being taught to wear two pairs of underwear to a demonstration (cuts down injuries when the police attack, gives you spare pair to wash while you’re waiting in jail)?
    The media are all full of whiz-bang jets and helicopters. But the brakes are made out of beryllium, a poison, and the cancer rates on the bases are out of line. Where’s the coverage of that?
    And so on and so forth. Over to you to list the next five things you’d do in a peace-oriented world.

  15. I think these protests we see around the world these days are part of 5th generation warfare.

  16. @ Doug
    I think you err. What you’re describing is nothing new. What you are describing in your 5th model is what is called a “Special Operation”.
    That is to say, an operation intended to have an operational or strategic effect.
    Let me give you an example of a SO. In WW2, Germany kidnapped the Hungarian Regent who had the power to make life for Hitler very difficult by siding with the Soviets and exposing his southern flank. By removing him from the equation, Germany was able to bring Hungary to the side of the Axis. This was Operation Panzerfaust. This kept Hungary on the side of the Germans, and prevented them from allying with the Soviets.
    Your example with OBL is not a good one. He was a minor player at that point. He was not calling any shots. Secondly, it had no positive operational or strategic effect. Removing him was just counting coup. On the other hand, it was a strategic blunder that pissed off tens of millions of Pakistanis, and made the U.S. presence in Afghanistan even less tenable, not to mention it further de-legitimized the U.S. by showing that it does not respect the sovereignty of other nations, though it claims to do so.

    1. “I think you err. What you’re describing is nothing new. What you are
      describing in your 5th model is what is called a ‘Special Operation’.”
      that would be the equivalent of saying Operation Barbarossa was a “movement to contact”
      The concept of powerful people going after each other directly is the fundamental change.

      1. Syria would be an interesting study. Seems that removal of leaders would be a 5G priority. Not sure it’s happened. Whats left does seem very modern and very much a proxy war with numerous players.

  17. Thanks for the great article. When I learn something new from pieces like this, I truly feel grateful for the excellent writers present on the site. I hope others are giving due support with a donation to the tip jar.

  18. I think 5th generation warfare will involve Western women fighting whatever the other side throws at them. Men should have figured out by now that they are going to wars for a country that despises them.
    I mean, look at the reality of all of these men that have died or been horrible wounded and forever without limbs (or worse) to fight Obama’s “good war” in Afghanistan. What happens in Afghanistan is real war. People die. Our men die. They are still dying.
    Then, they come home and see that Obama is running a presidential campaign based on the totally bogus and manufactured (by his campaign machinery) “War on Women.” If there is a war on women, who is conducting it? Well, it must be the alpha males that are willing to go into combat for our country. They do the fighting in every war.
    I think the “War on Women” campaign strategy of Democrats is the last straw. There is no sense in joining the military to “protect our values and way of life” if our values and way of life involve concocting something as outlandish and totally false as a War on Women. Think of the insult men in the military who have been in combat must feel after seeing that.
    No. If future presidents want to conduct war, they are going to have to enlist women to do the fighting. They are already on the government payroll in so many ways that all the government has to do is shift them from welfare and handouts to employment by the military.
    Of course, that will not work out too well. But tough shit. They made their bed, now they have to sleep in in. We will be cruising safe countries for real women.

    1. Marvelous comment. Why on earth would an American male want to join the military to “uphold our values and way of life”? If that way of life is Cultural Marxism, then that is the culture and society you’d be protecting. Sure, if a young man wants to fight to get some thrills, God bless him, however beyond that there’s no point defending a system which despises us men, traditionalism, and normalcy. The new counterculture is Christianity, heterosexuality, traditional marriage, and most of all traditional men. We are now the enemy. Normalcy is the new counterculture, while degeneracy and perversities of all type are the main stream culture. You’re a woman with 10 bastard children and no father in the home? You’re a victim worthy of all his money plus money from the taxpayer oh and a heroine! You’re a transgendered crack smoking artist!? You’re an artistic treasure to the nation and an idol to be emulated! Are you an illiterate street peddler? You’re a victim! And worth of our tax dollars!
      Worst of all, is the Western woman! God help us! These are the worst whores on the planet, the most treacherous, backstabbing whores ever. The ungrateful lot of them, especially the Anglo bitch and her variants deserve whatever fate befalls them. And when I say fate I mean savage raping Genghis Khan hordes fate. There is no more worthy group than them. For centuries, men have been dying on battlefields, shortening our youths for the protection and defense of nations, homes and women. After years of radical foreign subversion from the likes of Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem etc, the Anglo woman and her minority counterparts were ripe to pick us apart, and that they have. The ingratitude against us, our homes and traditions have crushed us and aided our enemies (we all know who they are). If a Just God exists, trust me, he’s not on our side, and if he does exist, we don’t have long. Realistically America’s economy is defined as a “Mixed Economy.” This is true, America’s culture is no longer “American” but it is firmly Culturally Marxist. We live in a society that is Culturally Marxist with a Mixed Economy. The USSR didn’t lose the Cold War by itself, we both did. Our military services this state of cultural filth, our women are rotten to the core with white women, once the most idealized women on the planet being the worst. Let the West burn.

  19. I appreciate the attempt, but (to put it succinctly) this article was shit. Several typos and errors (proofread, god dammit!) and overall just poorly written and explained. RoK would do good to write about serious masculine intellectual topics like this, but they’d do better to take time and care in writing them.

  20. Emperor Hirohito surrendered BEFORE the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to Stalin. Stalin let the American know of his surrender but was ignored. The Americans wanted to use the bombs to scare the USSR and establish their supremacy in the world, not as a means of ending the war with Japan.
    Get your facts straight.

  21. I don’t think going after the principles is a sign of 5th generation warfare. I think it’s a return to 1st generation warfare, you kill their champion/leader to end the war.
    It isn’t anything new.
    The whole policy of not attacking leaders is a more of a post WW2 measure. After Kennedy’s assassination we had the whole ‘The USA will not assassinate the leaders of enemy countries’ because everyone believed that Russia or Cuba killed Kennedy because Kennedy was trying (and failing) to kill Fidel.
    Anyway, just my .02

  22. It’s getting tedious having to re-read bad syntax in articles. Doesn’t anyone know how to write anymore? Can writers start proofreading before hitting the “post” button?
    That aside, we can kill OBL all we want, we can kill or capture his Lieutenants. his bombers, his children one by one. Perhaps with a Saddam and a proper State, you kill the head, you kill the government, but then, as we learned with Iraq, you have everyone else still to fight. With radical Islam, worldwide, that’s magnified. Like any military or militant organization, next one down is next man up. And again, with Islam, the entire population is in play worldwide. Rogue, one-man, lone-wolf players operating merely on general decree do most of the damage. In this case, enormous damage could be done to radical Islam with a complete wiping out of the Iranian state and instilling fear in those that finance it all, but that’s not likely given our tolerance and weakness of traditional, modern day American “leadership”.
    The WW2 generation, as with the complete destruction of Japan, after 9/11 would have made Islam a religion practiced only in Hell. However, the Vietnam Generation, as in all things, continues to degrade what the WW2 Generation left behind in terms of lessons learned. In any case, 1st-5th Generation warfare theory is bullshit, no disrespect intended, because take out Obama, you get Biden, take out Biden, you get the Speaker and so on. Take out an entire ruling class that has progression and a Constitutional procedure and the 5th generation of war means nothing as long as there is population and war-fighting infrastructure still intact.
    Ignored in this article is a Generation of warfare that pays attention to infrastructure. The grids, the water, the food, the transportation of an enemy brought under attack reduces an enemy to loser-status and quickly at that. Honestly, I’m not certain why this article was published.

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