Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


This is coolbert:

Here is a headline that catches the attention right away. At least for me it does. From Front Page magazine.

"The Fifth Generation Warfare"

"a global ideological and political movement supported by a parallel "Islamic" financial system to exploit and undermine Western economies and markets."

"Shari'a finance is a new weapon in the arsenal of what might be termed fifth-generation warfare (5GW)."

We have heard, of course, of 4th generation warfare [4GW]. You cannot said to be conversant in the most modern aspects of "military thought" unless you can talk intelligently about the subject [4GW]?

To refresh the memory, the various "generations of warfare" are classified as:

* "1st Generation: tactics of line and column; which developed in the age of the smooth bore musket." [black powder warfare in all it's manifestations. Troops, in packed dense formations trading salvos at close range.]

* "2nd Generation: tactics of linear fire and movement, with reliance on indirect" fire. [fire and move type warfare.]

* "3rd Generation: tactics of infiltration to bypass and collapse the enemy's combat forces rather than seeking to close with and destroy them; and defense in depth." [Hutier tactics brought totally to fruition with the German blitzkrieg tactics of World War Two.]

4GW is of course the use of classic methods of terrorism, insurgency, guerrilla warfare, subversion on a global scale by multi-national entities [Al Qaeda], warfare by a weak party confronting a stronger opponent, NOT an adjunct to traditional conventional conflict but the preferred form

NOW, we have, already, 5th generational warfare?

An Islamic alternative to the existing world financial system? A robust alternative that can be used to undermine "western" markets and economies? A form of warfare that places your adversaries at a disadvantage? NOT warfare as ordinarily understood, but allowing for a "combatant" to achieve goals and objectives!

Warfare in the sense better described as conflict. NOT always armed struggle but conflict nonetheless. Bring your opponent to their knees and make them cry "uncle"!

Islamic nations, NOT totally so, awash in petro-dollars that can be used to achieve political goals. "War is politics by other means" - - Clausewitz!

We are seeing and hearing - - right now, "rumblings" of such efforts! Replacing the U.S. dollar as the standard currency the world uses for international financial transactions? This is just one step among many that need to be made for financial "jihad" to progress and be successful?

[please recall that the most recent efforts by the U.S. Treasury to thwart counterfeiters was a response in larger measure to the Iranian government printing very good copies of the U.S. $100 bill and flooding the world currency market with bogus American currency. Efforts of this sort have been historically unsuccessful - - at least up to now!]

I do think, however, that the use of the term 5th generational warfare is way overdone. WARFARE - - the term, should be applied ONLY to ARMED conflict?

Financial "jihad" is merely an aspect of the normal conflict between nations as would be found on the polar opposite war/peace sliding scale continuum? Financial warfare is a tactic, a part of, and not an overall strategy as would be 4GW?




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