5/20/2008

Fifth Generation Warfare, an interview with Skilluminati

About a month ago, Justin Boland, our Director of Research, introduced us to a phrase we had never heard before — Fifth Generation Warfare (5GW). In fact, he dedicated one of our Sister Sites (Skilluminati.com) to its research. When Justin started writing about tactical military manuals, it made me a little nervous. Knowing his heart is good, I decided it would be best if I contacted him for an interview. I think the resulting discussion is a good primer on Fifth Generation Warfare and the direction Skilluminati Research is moving.

Wishtank: Could you give us your definition of fifth generation warfare (5GW)? How might this differ from popular understandings of the phrase?

Justin Boland: “Solo warfare” would be the most concise. It’s slippery because both words are deceptive — “solo” implies that you’d never collaborate with other 5GW operatives, and “warfare” implies overt agression and violence.

In terms of the generations of war, I think the distinction between 3GW — traditional, nation versus nation warfare — and 4GW is very useful. 4GW is non-state “guerrilla” organizations going to war against nations, and it’s a great unsolved problem of our time. Nations all around the world are losing these wars right now, and the USA is no exception.


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