FIFTH GENERATION WARFARE
If, “Necessity is the mother of invention” then, “War is the mother of civilization.” The fact that humans came together and formed a clan in prehistoric times is because they had to fight against vicious animals for survival. Humans would not have to be civilized if they did not need to fight war against those creatures as well as nature. War created the necessity to invent and innovate for survival. Even in the modern world, it is true.
According to defence analysts, there are five generations of warfare evolved till now. The first four of them will be discussed briefly first, then, I will move to fifth generation warfare. But before moving forward I want to make one statement. I am not a defence analyst; but here, I am trying to share my point of view too. Because, this is not like other blogs. Here, sharing the opinion is important to make certain statements clear.
Beginning of modern generations of warfare : First, second and third generation warfare
The first generation warfare started with the ”Peace of Westphalia” and with the end of “Thirty Years’ War,” which created a new order called Westphalian Order which gave the state the power to control the armed forces. The war stated in 1618 between Catholic and Protestant Christian in Holy Roman Empire in Central Europe, currently in Germany. It ended in 1648 with two peace treaties; the “Treaty of Osnabrück” and the “Treaty of Münster”. These are signed at two different cities, in Osnabrück and Münster respectively, in Westphalia. These two treaties are also very important because it marked the beginning of the first international relations between states.
The first generation warfare started with Westphalian order. The second generation warfare came after invention of rifled musket and breech-loading weapons. It continued till the development of machine guns and indirect fire weapons.
The third generation warfare came into existence when the Wehrmacht ( the military of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945 ) developed blitzkrieg. Quoting from https://military.wikia.org, “The Blitzkrieg (German Term to lightning war) was a military doctrine in operational level, which consisted in using mobile forces in quick attacks and surprise in order to prevent enemy forces had time to organize their defense. Its three essential elements were the effect surprise, the speed, the maneuver and the brutality of the attack, and their main objectives were: the demoralization and disorganization of the enemy forces ( paralyzing their control centers ). The architect of this strategy was the general Erich von Manstein.”
“Third generation war 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.”
Development of Helicopters, aircrafts, missiles allowed the forces to bypass enemy defence line and attack the enemy from greater distance with stealth and greater speed. By today’s conventional war we mean second and third generation warfare.
Fourth generation warfare
The fourth and fifth generation warfare are not something new or out of the world stuffs. In fact, the fourth and fifth generation warfares are old wine in new bottle. This basically challenges the idea of Westphalian order blurring the line between war, politics, combatants and civilians. Westphalian order gave the state the monopoly to have armed forces and deal with international matters. But now the non-state elements are emerging and recruiting civilians and politicians to fight wars at all levels. This is basically fourth generation war.
Fourth generation war is basically a war between state and non-state elements. For example, Western countries created Taliban to fight against USSR in Afghanistan, in USA-Vietnam war USA was basically fighting against a fourth generation enemy. Pakistan creating and using terrorists to fight against India is a fourth generation war because they know very well that, they can not win against India in a conventional war ( “Death by a thousand cuts” - Pakistan’s foreign policy against India ). These are just a few examples of fourth generation war.
[ My opinion : To win a fourth generation war is very difficult and complex, because there is no rule and morality in this war. And modern democracies are failing consistently to counter it because of their ethics and morality. Because, to counter a fourth generation force you have to crush those fourth generation forces with brutality from root – to – tip as well as crush their ideologies. I must say, China is the only country in the world that is implementing the same technique. But it is their own country. Winning a fourth generation war in another country is simply not possible and these are more dangerous than a rouge state. Also, if any state attacks another state and wins, then, that country dissolves and this creates fourth generation forces, a bigger problem than previous rouge state. ]
Fifth generation warfare : Hybrid warfare
The term Fifth generation warfare was first coined by David Axe in an artical in the Wired magazine in 2009. This is basically a propaganda driven information warfare. Many people suggest that 5GW and hybrid warfare are same. Actually, the difference between fifth generation warfare, hybrid warfare and fourth generation warfare is not at all clear. As I understood it, fourth generation warfare is a subset of fifth generation warfare and fifth generation or non-kinetic, non-contact warfare is a subset of hybrid warfare.
Hybrid warfare has no boundaries. On the other hand, we can say, fifth generation warfare is a technology upgraded version of fourth generation warfare. Cyberspace, Diplomacy, Propaganda, Fake news is the primary weapon of fifth generation warfare. Quoting from David Axe’s article in Wired magazine, “The battlefield will be something strange – cyberspace, or the Cleveland water supply, or Wall Street’s banking systems, or YouTube. The mission will be instilling fear, and it will succeed.”
[ My opinion : As an Indian I want give some examples of events happened recently. First I want to point out that ISPR (or DGISPR twitter account, Pakistan’s army’s public relations office ) everyday spreads fake news, creates fake profiles and propagates fake news. ISPR is one of the most successful agencies in propaganda warfare. Unfortunately, some people in India are helping them to spread fake news. If someone watches closely and follow the news properly, then he / she can easily identify them. Next comes Shaheen bagh protest which is a foreign funded ( Pakistan’s ISI funded ) protest. But an interesting fact is that, the protesters blocked a very busy road as well as they also tried to block metro station, so that people would suffer and hence the government try to negotiate with them. And then the Delhi riot occured, where many people died including an Intelligence Bureau personal. The IB personal was severely tortured, the killers pulled out his eyes; there were more than 200 injuries on his body including deep stabs ( This is a text-book technique for torturing someone by Pakistan’s army and ISI ). The rioters were used as human weapons. An interesting fact in that, the riot started as soon as the US president’s plane landed in India. This is nothing but a fifth generation non-kinetic non-contact war by Pakistan’s deep state. ]
How to win a fifth generation war?
Fighting against a fifth generation force is very difficult. Then how to win the war ? According to David Axe, “By not fighting, first of all. Beebe says ending the vortex of violence in Africa means alleviating “the conditions of human beings that create these insecurities across state borders.” In other words, focus on economic development, humanitarian assistance and communication, with nary an M-16 or Abrams tank in sight.”
[ My opinion : According to me to win this war, civilians have to fight. How? By not sharing fake news, reporting fake news, reporting hate comments and blocking their profiles. Do not share fake news, always verify the news.On the other hand the state has to create and implement strict laws against fake news spreaders as well as the state has to keep its digital, cyber and sapce infrastructures away and safe from enemy. JAI HIND! ]
Data Sources: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipWqr1Vnyj4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ur4OgzCBZM https://www.wired.com/2009/01/how-to-win-a-fi/ https://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/lind/the-changing-face-of-war-into-the-fourth-generation.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generations_of_warfare https://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2004/05/4gw_fourth_gene.html https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Blitzkrieg https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Wehrmacht https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Third-generation_warfare