View Full Version : Recent 5GW Sightings...

10-18-2006, 02:10 PM
Here are several recent 5GW posts from the blogosphere:

5GW Emergent - But What Is It? (http://zenpundit.blogspot.com/2006/10/5gw-emergent-but-what-is-it-sound-and.html) - ZenPundit Blog
My Own Personal 5GW Dream (http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/003849.html) - Thomas P.M. Barnett Blog
Into the 5th Generation (5GW) (http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2006/10/the_changing_fa.html) - Global Guerrillas Blog
Thousand Flowers Will Bloom on 5GW... (http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/003851.html) - Thomas P.M. Barnett Blog
5GW: On Yardsticks and Theories (http://zenpundit.blogspot.com/2006/10/on-yardsticks-and-theories-great-deal.html) - ZenPundit Blog

Mark at Zenpundit:

A great deal of posting on 5GW has occurred ( a new one from Tom, recently from Purpleslog, Christian Soldiers...) which brings me to the general subject of theory. Not everyone is enamored with theories or theorizing. Bruce Kesler, a friend who blogs at Democracy Project is one; a marine veteran of Vietnam, his patience for speculations that stray too far from real-world experiences is fairly short. I have heard similar views expressed from time to time at The Small Wars Council and at Military.com, which often invigorate partisans of a particular view to make their case and defend the insights a particular theory might offer. This is unsurprising as antipathy toward purely theoretical investigations is pronounced in the American character, our pragmatic bent having been observed by Alexis de Tocqueville long before the arrival of William James and John Dewey.

Nevertheless, theories are relevant and useful tools for interpreting the world in direct proportion to their reliability, validity and ease of use. The greater their explanatory power, the greater the longitudinal impact they will have on civilization. Truth has traction...

Steve Blair
10-18-2006, 02:21 PM
I find the theories interesting and provocative, but I'm also not totally convinced that every theoretical change in warfare style necessarily needs to be classed as its own "generation." Sometimes that clouds the debate, as it sends waves of "generational partisans" rushing to the barricades to protect their own pet theory.

Warfare has evolved, and will continue to evolve so long as humans remain competitive. One could argue that 5GW (or 6GW or 3GW) is really nothing more than a high-tech circle back to Sun Tzu, or one could argue that it's a whole new ballgame, unrelated to anything that came before. What I found most interesting about these pieces was the discussion of methods, and not the wrangling about what to call the developments.

Bill Moore
10-18-2006, 07:27 PM
I concur with Steve's points, but I also think if we fail to recognize the evolution of warfare in a timely manner (and sometimes that takes a label) we're at risk for developing a doctrine for a legacy threat that doesn't exist (or at least has evolved considerably), and mostly or completely missing the real threats we face today. I think doctrine tends to led to robotic thinking, and even more serious it guides the thinking that leads to how we design the force (force levels, equipping, training, etc.) in response to the specified threat. It is not that black and white, but I confident you get my point.

I only had time to review a couple of the links so far, but I think most of us would agree we don't have a military or any other government agency that is designed to deal with these emerging threats. Our response is trying to counter them by pounding our legacy square peg into a round hole.