You are on page 1of 32

The 5GW Project

(5th Generation Warfare)

Justin Borland
(July 6, 2007-May 3, 2009)

Rand report on the Networks and Netwars

The Dark Side
Most people might hope for the emergence of a new form of organization to be led by "good guys" who
do "the right thing" and grow stronger because of it. But history does not support this contention. The
cutting edge in the early rise of a new form may be found equally among malcontents, ne'er-do-wells,
and clever opportunists eager to take advantage of new ways to maneuver, exploit, and dominate. Many
centuries ago, for example, the rise of hierarchical forms of organization, which displaced traditional,
consultative, tribal forms, was initially attended, in parts of the world, by the appearance of ferocious
chieftains bent on military conquest and of violent secret societies run according to rank -- long before
the hierarchical form matured through the institutionalization of states, empires, and professional
administrative and bureaucratic systems. In like manner, the early spread of the market form, only a
few centuries ago, was accompanied by a spawn of usurers, pirates, smugglers, and monopolists, all
seeking to elude state controls over their earnings and enterprises.
Why should this pattern not be repeated in an age of networks? There appears to be a subtle, dialectical
interplay between the bright and dark sides in the rise of a new form of organization. The bright-side
actors may be so deeply embedded in and constrained by a society's established forms of organization
that many have difficulty becoming the early innovators and adopters of a new form. In contrast,
nimble bad guys may have a freer, easier time acting as the cutting edge?and reacting to them may be
what eventually spurs the good guys to innovate.
The spread of the network form and its technologies is clearly bringing some new risks and dangers. It
can be used to generate threats to freedom and privacy. New methods for surveillance, monitoring, and
tracking are being developed; and the uproars over the intelligence systems "Echelon," "Semantic
Forests," and "Carnivore" manifest what will surely be enduring concerns. Critical national
infrastructures for power, telecommunications, and transportation, as well as crucial commercial
databases and information systems for finance and health, remain vulnerable to computer hackers and

Furthermore, a growing "digital divide" between information "haves" and "have-nots" portends
a new set of social inequities. All this places new strains on the world's democracies. Even worse
is the possibility that information-age dictatorships will arise in parts of the world, based on the
skillful exploitation of the new technologies for purposes of political command and control.

Unrestricted Warfare
...a theory would accept that adversaries will wage -- are waging even as you read this -- neocortical
warfare against us. (That China is quiet, for example, may not mean that we are not engaged in a
conflict with China.)
Have you ever heard of "Unrestricted Warfare"? It's quite a spicy meatball. It's a document by two
Chinese soldiers, Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui. NEEDLESS TO SAY, it was not originally subtitled
"China's Master Plan to Destroy America", and considering it was released in 1999, that cover photo
did not exist. I'm not suggesting that China was behind 9-11 (in fact, I'm not suggesting anything about
9-11, ever) -- but there's a number of people who sincerely believe that. It's an absurd theory, but
exploring it leads to some fascinating data points, if you're so inclined. Most of the focus on this
document is for all the wrong reasons -- the actual contents of the book are not a "master plan" for
anything. However, it is some of the best writing on the nature and future of warfare I've found. Dig:
"New weapons concepts are completely different from new concept weapons. New weapons concepts is
a broad conception of weapons that transcends the military field- whatever method can be used to fight
a war is a weapon. In this view, whatever provides benefits to mankind can also be turned around to be
a weapon to harm mankind. [...] To our way of thinking, a planned stock market crash, a computer
virus attack, making the currency exchange rate of an enemy country erratic, and spreading rumors on
the Internet about the leaders of an enemy country can all be thought of as new concept weapons. This
new way of thinking puts weapons into the daily lives of civilians. New concept weapons can make of
war something that even military professionals will find hard to imagine. Both soldiers and civilians
will be disturbed to see items in their everyday lives become weapons that can attack and kill."
One more excerpt before we move along -- this whole document will be unpacked in detail later on
when we take a look at China (or you could, like, actually read's Unrestricted Warfare in it's
English-translated entirety right here, courtesy of Brainsturbator Library.)
"War in the age of technological integration and globalization has eliminated the right of weapons to
label war and, with regard to the new starting point, has realigned the relationship of weapons to war,
while the appearance of weapons of new concepts, and particularly new concepts of weapons, has
gradually blurred the face of war. Does a single "hacker" attack count as a hostile act or not? Can

using financial instruments to destroy a country's economy be seen as a battle? Did CNN's broadcast
of an exposed corpse of a U.S. soldier in the streets of Mogadishu shake the determination of the
Americans to act as the world's policeman, thereby altering the world's strategic situation? And should
an assessment of wartime actions look at the means or the results? Obviously, proceeding with the
traditional definition of war in mind, there is no longer any way to answer the above questions.
When we suddenly realize that all these non-war actions may be the new factors constituting future
warfare, we have to come up with a new name for this new form of war: Warfare which transcends all
boundaries and limits, in short: unrestricted warfare."
Can't help but be reminded of the McLuhan quote from earlier in the week:
"Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room. Vietnam was lost in the
living rooms of America -- not on the battlefields of Vietnam."

Charles Tart on the Principles of Aikido

Any effective attack means the attacker must flow a burst of concentrated energy along a line
directed at you. If the attack is a punch to the belly, the attacker's energy, embodied in his fist,
moves along a line from his body to your belly. If it hits, you can be badly hurt. So you follow the
first basic principle: you get off the line--you move or turn so that the energy of that punch does
not connect with you.
The second principle is to blend or harmonize with the attack. You practice Ai. . . . To truly harmonize
with the attack, you would not only get off the line, you also would not slow the punch down or oppose
it in any way. In fact, you might put your hand on the punching arm and add energy to it in the
direction it was already going. You have harmonized and blended with the energy of the attack. By
projecting your energy in the same direction the attacker projects his, you see, as it were, your
attacker's point of view. . . .
The third basic principle after you have gotten off the line and harmonized with your attacker's energy
is to lead energy further than it originally intended to go, thus taking control of it. Then you can throw
or otherwise control your attacker. The attacker thus provides most of the energy for handling his
If you were a practitioner of Aikido, how would you react to a personal attack in this imperfect world?
In an idealized scheme, we can distinguish three levels of self-defense.
At the highest level of Aikido skill, you would have developed a great sensitivity to subtle cues from
others. Among other things, Aikido is a kind of mindfulness meditation (Buddhist vipassana) in action.
Thus you would probably sense that the other person was getting upset and might get physically
aggressive, so you would leave before the potential attacker's feelings reached an overt level! Not being
there when someone gets angry is a marvelously effective kind of self-defense, and you certainly don't
need to get angry or aggressive yourself in practicing this approach.
If you were not skilled enough to sense the imminance of the attack before your attacker felt angry, you
would still be skilled enough to know how to stay centered and peaceful under the developing tension
that precedes an attack. Remaining calm, present, and centered is an excellent form of self-defense.

Note the importance of being present as well as calm and centered. You may be calm because you are
so lost in your own fantasy world that you don't know what is happening around you, but that is quite
different from being calm and present.
As I have discussed elsewhere . . ., there is a great deal of fear of psychic abilities in many people,
sometimes conscious, often unconscious. One way this fear can manifest without the person having to
realize he is afraid, is through hostility toward psychic and spiritual subjects. Since I frequently lecture
on these topics, I sometimes become the target of this kind of anger.
I certainly don't like to be attacked for any reason, even if it's only verbal. I can become afraid, angry,
self-righteous, and lose contact with reality as I get absorbed in this pattern. It's not only unpleasant,
there is a further frustration: my goal was to communicate useful knowledge. I might seem to "win"
an argument, but if I'm angry and self-righteous, I probably have not communicated effectively
to my audience, and certainly not to my "opponent".
Before I had studied Aikido, my reaction to an attack in a lecture question was to counterattack. I
would expose logical flaws in my attacker's thinking, and/or show he was ignorant of the facts, and/or
shower him with high-status scientific facts to demonstrate to him the error of his ways. I would
usually "win" the argument, for I was an expert in the subject matter compared to almost all
questioners, and a skilled debater. This also made me popular with most of the audience, who were
typically "believers" in psychic and spiritual matters, for I had won a victory over the kind of person
who attacked them, too. I fought force with greater force.
In retrospect, I doubt that I actually communicated much of anything useful to my "opponent."

Israeli Defense Force and Lateral Thinking

The attack conducted by units of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) on the city of Nablus in April 2002
was described by its commander, Brigadier-General Aviv Kokhavi, as 'inverse geometry', which he
explained as "the reorganization of the urban syntax by means of a series of micro-tactical actions."
During the battle soldiers moved within the city across hundreds of metres of "overground
tunnels" carved out through a dense and contiguous urban structure. Although several thousand
soldiers and Palestinian guerrillas were manoeuvring simultaneously in the city, they were so
"saturated" into the urban fabric that very few would have been visible from the air. Furthermore,
they used none of the city's streets, roads, alleys or courtyards, or any of the external doors,
internal stairwells and windows, but moved horizontally through walls and vertically through
holes blasted in ceilings and floors. This form of movement, described by the military as
"infestation", seeks to redefine inside as outside, and domestic interiors as thoroughfares. The
IDF's strategy of "walking through walls" involves a conception of the city as not just the site but also
the very medium of warfare -- a flexible, almost liquid medium that is forever contingent and in flux.
Contemporary military theorists are now busy re-conceptualizing the urban domain. At stake are the
underlying concepts, assumptions and principles that determine military strategies and tactics. The vast
intellectual field that geographer Stephen Graham has called an international "shadow world" of
military urban research institutes and training centres that have been established to rethink

military operations in cities could be understood as somewhat similar to the international matrix
of elite architectural academies. However, according to urban theorist Simon Marvin, the militaryarchitectural "shadow world" is currently generating more intense and well-funded urban research
programmes than all these university programmes put together, and is certainly aware of the avantgarde urban research conducted in architectural institutions, especially as regards Third World and
African cities. There is a considerable overlap among the theoretical texts considered essential by
military academies and architectural schools. Indeed, the reading lists of contemporary military
institutions include works from around 1968 (with a special emphasis on the writings of Gilles
Deleuze, Felix Guattari and Guy Debord), as well as more contemporary writings on urbanism,
psychology, cybernetics, post-colonial and post-Structuralist theory. If, as some writers claim, the space
for criticality has withered away in late 20th-century capitalist culture, it seems now to have found a
place to flourish in the military.

The OTO and Occult Open Source Warfare

In 1917, Theodore Reuss showed up at a commune in Switzerland with a most interesting document: it
was the manifesto which would soon establish the Ordo Templi Orientis, or the Hermetic Brotherhood
of Light, or as it's known to young occultists, conspiracy theorists and weirdos of all persusasions, the
OTO. The statement itself was a barn-burner:
"Let it be known", began this manifesto, "that there exists, unknown to the great crowd, a
very ancient Order of sages, whose object is the amelioration and spiritual evolution of
mankind by means of conquering error and aiding men and women in their efforts of
attaining the power of recognizing the truth. This Order has existed already in the most
remote times and it has manifested its activity secretly and openly in the world under
different names and in various forms: it has caused social and political revolutions and
proved to be the rock of salvation in times of danger and misfortune. It has always upheld
the banner of freedom against tyranny in whatever shape this appeared, whether as clerical
or political or social despotism or oppression of any kind.
To this "secret order" every wise and spiritually enlightened person belongs by right of his
or her nature: because they all, even if they are personally unknown to each other, are one
in their purpose and object and they all work under the guidance of the one light of truth.
Into this Sacred Society no one can be admitted by another unless he has the power to enter
it himself by virtue of his own interior Illumination neither can anyone after he has once
entered be expelled unless he should expel himself by becoming unfaithful to his principles
and forget again the truths which he has learned by his own experience.
All this is known to every enlightened person.
But it is known only to few that there exists also an external, visible organization of such
men and women, who having themselves found the path to real self-knowledge, and who
having travelled the burning sands, are willing to give to others, desirous of entering that

path, the benefit of their experience, and to act as spiritual guides to those who are willing
to be guided.

The open-source revolution is a concept that predates the OTO, of course. The actual claims of
Theodore Reuss are almost beside the point, because the concept is so effectively infectious. Here at
Skilluminati Research, we find a number of words to be utterly useless -- "God," for instance, or
"coincidence" -- and we have long since discarded "terrorism," a wet blanket of a term, for "Open
Source Warfare" or OSW. Occult OSW was also advocated in the memorable Appendix Yod of The
Illuminatus! Trilogy, known as "Operation Mindfuck":
To this day, neither Ho Chih Zen himself nor any other Discordian apostle knows for sure who
is or is not involved in any phase of Operation Mindfuck or what activities they are or are not
engaged in as part of that project. Thus, the outsider is immediately trapped in a double-bind:
the only safe assumption is that anything a Discordian does is somehow related to OM, but, s
ince this leads directly to paranoia, this is not a "safe" assumption after all, and the "risky"
hypothesis that whatever the Discordians are doing is harmless may be "safer" in the long run,
perhaps. Every aspect of OM follows, or accentuates, this double-bind.
This may or may not be the source of the Scottish saying, "never give a sword to a man who can't

Pentagon Red Teams: Get a Job Overthrowing the Government

The Defense Science Board, always a valuable source for info you probably shouldn't have, has a
report on Red Teaming in a Department of Defense context which is most tasty. We offer a pdf
download of that report at the end of this short, meaningless article.
How do you test the security of your secure systems? You hire someone to break in. This is true for
base installations and it's true for networks and communications infrastructure, too. Right now, there
are fake terrorists and hackers working for the government to test out vulnerabilities. The logic, clearly,
is to locate potential threats and cracks in the system before Someone Else realizes that they're there to
exploit. Red Teams need to improvise, move quickly, and be mostly invisible. To me, at least, that
sounds like one hell of a fun job.
We argue that red teaming is especially important now for the DoD. Current adversaries are tougher
targets for intelligence than was the United State's major cold war foe. Red teaming deepens
understanding of options available to adaptive adversaries and both complements and informs
intelligence collection and analysis. Aggressive red teams are needed to challenge emerging
operational concepts in order to discover weaknesses before real adversaries do. In addition, in the
wake of recent military operations, use of red teams can temper the complacency that often follows
Of course, if you're going to do some freelance Red Team activity in hopes of getting hired, make damn
sure that you're doing it well. Don't get caught until you want to get caught, until you are in total

control of the negotiation. They respect balls and expertise just as much as they respect guns. (For
quick reference, think of Keven Spacy in Seven.)
Remember the case of poor Gary McKinnon, who got caught snooping around UFO files . Did they
think "whoa, what a badass hacker?" Did they hire him? Fuck no, they're sending him to
Guantanamo Bay. Prepare thoroughly before diving into shark tanks.
The Defense Science Board is a beautifully frank operation, and you can only respect people who write
as well as they do. Even if they're raving fascists, they're still lucid on the laptops:
Red teams and red teaming processes have long been used as tools by the management of
both government and commercial enterprises. Their purpose is to reduce an enterprise's
risks and increase its opportunities.
Red teams come in many varieties and there are different views about what constitutes a
red team. We take an expanded view and include a diversity of activities that, while
differing in some ways, share a fundamental feature.
Red teams are established by an enterprise to challenge aspects of that very enterprise's
plans, programs, assumptions, etc. It is this aspect of deliberate challenge that
distinguishes red teaming from other management tools although the boundary is not a
sharp one. (There are many tools used by management for a variety of related purposes: to
promulgate visions, foster innovation, promote efficiencies.)

If you're interested in a high-paying job with lots of benefits that you have to break laws in order to
apply to, then we recommend you look into this rapid growth area. Think about it: if you can remote
view, then you can compile a dossier on 50+ extremely sensitive US secret locations all around the
world and get a job. Right? Occult Red Teams probably already exist, so bear in mind you might have
some competition.

Manuel De Landa on Policing the Spectrum

"Unlike the analyst, who deals only with simple forms of camouflage, the spy operates in a
veritable hall of mirrors, in which several levels of intrigue and dissimulation interact. And
unlike the intelligence analyst, whose performance can be evaluated by his failure or success in
making patterns rise to the surface, the activities of spies and counterspies take place in such
deep secrecy that making a rational evaluation of their performance is often impossible. This has
tended to create an aura of "mysticism" around espionage agencies, giving spies the feeling of
belonging to a secret caste of initiated individuals who have exclusive access to "esoteric"
knowledge. Their successes and failures can only be judged by people having access to this inner
"For this reason the photoanalysts at the CIA and the cryptologists at the NSA have to operate in a very

different environment than their colleagues in think tanks like the RAND Corporation. RAND was
originally created in 1946 as a mathematicians' think tank, designed to apply the tools of
Operations Research and game theory to the problems of warfare, and it has remained pretty
much a technocrat's stronghold ever since. Analysts at the CIA/NSA, on the other hand, must
work together with clandestine operators, in charge of sabotage, assassination and psychological
warfare, and with spy managers, who put together and maintain networks of infiltrators and
informers. The atmosphere of excessive secrecy created by these two characters affects in many ways
the performance of the analytical component of the intelligence agency. This is not to say that the work
of the analyst is unrelated to the world of secrecy and security measures. Rather, it is as if there were
two kinds of secrecy, one with a valid military function and another that has a negative effect on the
internal workings of the war machine."
"Almost without exception secret service organizations have thrived in times of turbulence and,
conversely, have seen their power vanish as turmoil slows. For this reason they survive by inciting
social turbulence, spreading rumors and inventing imaginary enemies, fifth columns, and
bomber and missile gaps. They need to keep society in constant alert, in a generalized state of
fear and paranoia, in order to sustain themselves. This has led to the development of a gigantic
"espionage industry," whose entire existence is based on a bluff few governments dare to call:
The agencies justify their peacetime existence by promising to provide timely warning of a threat to
national security.... Over the years intelligence agencies have brainwashed successive governments into
accepting three propositions that ensure their survival and expansion. The first is that in the secret
world it may be impossible to distinguish success from failure. A timely warning of attack allows the
intended victim to prepare. This causes the aggressor to change its mind; the warning then appears to
have been wrong. The second proposition is that failure can be due to incorrect analysis of the
agency's accurate information.... The third proposition is that the agency could have offered timely
warning had it not been starved of funds. In combination, these three propositions can be used to thwart
any rational analysis of an intelligence agency's performance, and allow any failure to be turned into a
justification for further funding and expansion."

Time as a Weapon: John Boyd

I've been doing some digging inspired by Jeff Well's most recent article over at Rigorous Intuition,
which closed with a meditation on using time as a weapon. It brought me back to John Boyd, one of the
most innovative and intelligent military strategists of the past century, and his concept of "OODA
Boyd's concept was an observation of how humans, wether allies or enemies, process reality: the 4 step
process of "Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act."
"The key is to obscure your intentions and make them unpredictable to your opponent while you
simultaneously clarify his intentions. That is, operate at a faster tempo to generate rapidly changing
conditions that inhibit your opponent from adapting or reacting to those changes and that suppress or
destroy his awareness. Thus, a hodgepodge of confusion and disorder occur to cause him to over- or
under-react to conditions or activities that appear to be uncertain, ambiguous, or incomprehensible."--

Harry Hillaker
In future posts, I will be exploring how "Time as a Weapon" gets applied economically. I wanted to
share this because it's basically a clear blueprint for a very esoteric concept. This is something Albert
Pike was discussing in Morals & Dogma, but it's vastly more understandable here. If this post seems
superficial or simple, try applying the diagram above to recent events and political controversies that
interest you.

Putin Dropping Invisible Bombs

The full transcript of Putin's recent press conference is worth chewing over if you have time. Here's the
most interesting gem that got overlooked, at least in the press coverage that I saw:
VLADIMIR PUTIN: And I am also against an arms race. I am opposed to any kind of arms race but I
would like to quickly draw your attention to something I said in last year's Address. We have learned
from the Soviet Union's experience and we will not be drawn into an arms race that anyone
imposes on us. We will not respond symmetrically, we will respond with other methods and
means that are no less effective. This is called an asymmetrical response.
The United States are building a huge and costly missile defence system which will cost dozens and
dozens of billions of dollars. We said: ?no, we are not going to be pulled into this race. We will
construct systems that will be much cheaper yet effective enough to overcome the missile defence
system and therefore maintain the balance of power in the world." And we are going to proceed
this way in the future.
Moreover, I want to draw your attention to the fact that, despite our retaliatory measures, the volume of
our defence expenditures as a percentage of GDP is not growing. They were 2,7 percent of GDP and
will remain so. We are planning the same amount of defence spending for the next 5 to 10 years. This is
fully in line with the average expenditures of NATO countries. This amount is not more than their
average defence expenditures and in some cases it is even lower than that of NATO member countries.
And we can use our competitive advantages which include quite advanced military-industrial
capabilities and the intellectual capacities of those who work in our military complex. There are
good results and good people. In any case, much of this has been preserved, and we will do everything
possible in order not only to maintain but also to develop this potential.
Asymmetrical Warfare is a topic we cover probably too much here at SR. Previous entries have seen it
referred to as 4th Generation Warfare, Transcendant Warfare, Policing the Spectrum, and had it's roots
in what sociologists called Urban Guerrilla Warfare. Today it is known to most people as Terrorism.

For Anyone Still Confused About Global Politics


Get Familiar with John Boyd

To comprehend and cope with our environment we develop mental patterns or concepts of
meaning. The purpose of this paper is to sketch out how we destroy and create these
patterns to permit us to both shape and be shaped by a changing environment. In this
sense, the discussion also literally shows why we cannot avoid this kind of activity if we
intend to survive on our own terms.
--from Destruction and Creation
I've covered military strategist/taoist warrior John Boyd once before, and as the tone of Skilluminati
Research turns toward real-world instruction and application, Boyd will become a central figure. He
was a very precise thinker and a very concise writer -- in terms of being stripped-down, bullshit-free
and clearly understandable, you'd be hard pressed to find a better author in military history.
Well...barring Sun Tzu. But for my money, John Boyd is light years beyond Machiavelli and still
running circles around existing military doctrine.
Boyd recognized, decades go, that the chain of command would eventually be used as a weapon against
the military itself. Specifically, it would be wrapped around the neck of the top brass by small bands of
insurgents who travel lighter, react faster, and refuse to abide by conventional warfare.

Respect The Troops

Earlier this afternoon I was out on the porch with my laptop and wound up talking to a passing stranger.
He was a Marine and he was broke -- trying to raise gas money to get back home to Carbondale,
Illinois. He said he'd been walking around all day and getting harassed everywhere he went. Local
police had a problem with him being black and broke, and local liberals apparently mistook him an
official spokesman of the Bush administration. I gave him as much as I could but less than I should
I mention this because doing this research has given me a newfound respect for our troops. Not merely
because of their bravery -- and if you don't think volunteering to be on the line of fire qualifies as
"bravery," you're just being stubborn (and dumbfuck).
What really got me thinking was reading The Small-Unit Leader's Guide to Counterinsurgency, which
outlines the training and the daily job description of ground-level commanders. The sheer amount of
details they need to keep track of is nearly super-human. The learning curve is more of a vertical brick
wall you must scale or die.
The Marine I talked to was broke because our soldiers aren't paid well and there's less support for them
on the homefront than ever. I don't mean people cheering and throwing confetti at them on the streets -just health care and economic security. He's headed back in a month for his 3rd tour of duty in Basra.
As I will be repeating constantly in the weeks to come, I think a lot about what the next decade will
bring. What happens when our warriors realize their masters view them as interchangeable meat
property? What happens when young recruits in terrorist organizations like Hezbollah or FARC come

to realize the beliefs they got raised with were merely bullshit? As the division between Superwealthy
and 6 billion peasants and slaves becomes increasingly obvious to even the most domesticated
humans, what will become of their warrior class?

The John Boyd Conceptual Spiral

To keep track of the dizzying responsibilities involved with modern warfare, you need a clear, simple,
and effective overall system to organize your information overload.
Here's the entire conceptual framework, laid out in John Boyd's own words:
"Patterns of Conflict" represents a compendium of ideas and actions for winning and losing
in a highly competitive world;
"Organic Design for Command and Control" surfaces the implicit arrangements that permit
cooperation in complex, competitive, fast moving situations;
"The Strategic Game of ? and ?" emphasizes the mental twists and turns we undertake to
surface appropriate schemes or designs for realizing our aims or purposes;
"Destruction and Creation" lays out in abstract but graphic fashion the ways by which we
evolve mental concepts to comprehend and cope with our environment;
"Revelation" makes visible the metaphorical message that flows from this "Discourse."
All of the documents I linked to are hosted by the folks at Defense and the National Interest. BIG
THANK YOU to Chet Richards for making this available.
That's more than enough brainfood for now, huh? I apologize for the overdose. When I find the single
most concise summation of his overall body of work, I will definitely let y'all know.

The Irreversible Problem of Dangerous Information

Thanks to my friend Garrett Heaney for the discussion that inspired this one.
With publicly available infomation, self-training and luck, a single human being can have a huge effect
on the everyday lives of millions of people. I could be talking about a terrorist attack or I could be
talking about a YouTube video.
Is there any safe way to talk about this material? I'm dumbstruck by how much Peter J. Carroll and
John Boyd have in common.
Here's the problem: there's a very defined vocabulary of destruction available today. Futurists and
policymakers are concerned about "SEI" -- Super-empowered Individuals." Power asymmetry is
presented as a bad thing, but for us peasants it's a more level playing field.
As you can imagine, that apparently spooks the shit out of the formerly ruling class.

What I'm doing with Skilluminati is codifying technique for solo warfare. Not only because it's a
"manual" but also because it's an accurate model of the problem. Personally, I happen to prefer living in
a peaceful community, being healthy and not having to carry weapons around. I would imagine anyone
reading this feels the same, even those of you enlisted. I am probably more concerned with defending
against these tactics than I am with codifying them.
After all, how precise can I be? I need to be at Esozone this year, so I can't get deported until November
at least. Check out the John Robb thinkpiece "The Disruption of Saudi Arabia" -- he can only say so
I will probably say way more than that, way too often.

Blogger Types
The military gave humanity the Brevity Code, and thinking in military terms can be clarifying and
useful. For instance, the Pentagon is engaged in ongoing "Information Operations" -- spending billions
every year on what was formerly termed information warfare.
It's a small detail, but I bring it up because if online communication, information broadcasting and
persuasion is being used as a weapon, where is that "common sense" metaphor actually taking us? The
battlefield is "hearts and minds" of civilian "non-combatant" populations, as stated in Joint Doctrine.
The insurgents are anyone counteracting military propaganda and gathering intelligence on their know, most bloggers, probably including you.

Stakes is High
We approach many problems from many different angles. Only a few of them actually work.
I'm a big advocate of trial and error -- in fact, that's the only way to explain most of my conscious life.
But it's mostly error, and most of what intelligent humans devote themselves to is fluff.
I don't think where I'm taking Skilluminati Research is irresponsible. I think this is signifigant
information, unlike my stoner fluff at Hump Jones. Warfare is just another skillset that future mutants
need to learn, and it's a logical application of time, much like martial arts. I'm actively researching it,
putting it into practice, and then codifying it for other people.
Back when Skilluminati was running on the regular, way back in '07, I featured an old Kevin Kelly
essay title "Information as a Communicable Disease." He was meditating on how experiments tracking
the spread of ideas, when graphed, bear a startling resemblance to maps of how diseases spread. As I've
implied in the title, dangerous information is an irreveribile problem, from nuclear weapons to
improvised explosive devices to pdf maps of electrical grids.
"Information," much like the "electricity" it's based on, is everywhere at once, interacts with everyone
and everything, and yet it's impossible to precisely define. When information gets crystalized, though,
it's undeniably dangerous stuff -- like the hotel room full of Ricin in Las Vegas, for instance.
There's a lot of good comments in an earlier discussion, Is Secrecy Ever Justified?, that relates to this.
I'm definitely still curious what people think. I welcome opposition but tend to delete long rants.

One Billion Earth Homeless? Is this for real?

If it's accurate, the situation is way worse than I thought. I feel like a total dick when I type something
like that, but damn, it's true. I was startled to find this on page 287 of the super-dope book
Worldchanging, which was very much worth the $20.
There are 1 billion squatters in the world today, almost one in six people on the planet. If
current trends continute, there will be 2 billion squatters by 2030 and 3 billion (more than
one third of humanity) by the midpoint of the twenty-first century.
To keep up with the influx, the world must build 96,150 homes a day - roughly 4000 homes
every hour. Generally, only squatters are prepared to make this effort. Their homes start
out as mud and cardboard hovels. But once they know they will not be evicted and they can
exercise control over their communities, they create permanent, thriving neighborhoods.
There's a couple other gems as well:
Alone, squatters have little power. Together, they can create great things. "The problem of
the urban poor can only be solved by the urban poor, not anybody else," says Jockin
Arputham, head of Slum/Shack Dwellers International, a global squatter-organizing
effort. "The urban poor will be the change agents of the city."
And from the "other cultures are beautifully surreal" department:
A generation ago, the tiny hamlet of Sultanbeyli on the Asian side of Istanbul was just
beginning to attract immigrants from the east. Those early arrivals lived in hovels,
pirated electricity, and survived without water or toilets. But as more people came, the
citizens of Sultanbeyli pursued their political rights - and this has made for an amazing
In Turkey, if squatters build overnight without being caught, they cannot be evicted without
being taken to court. This is why Turkey's squatter areas are known as gecekondu, meaning
"it happened at night." Further, once a gecekondu community has two thousand residents,
it can petition the federal government to recognize it as a legal municipality.
Today, Yahya Karakaya, Sultanbeyli's popularly elected mayor, works in an air-conditioned
office on the top floor of the seven-story squatter city hall building, with a view over the
city of 300,000 people who do not fear eviction.

I'm still waiting on a recently ordered copy of The Job, a collection of interviews with the late
great William S. Burroughs. In it, WSB proposed selling people in the "Third World" some
Authority Kits, which were basically all the fixings for an official-looking police roadblock.
Uniforms, badges, decorations, letterhead, stamps: everything, for a couple hundred bucks. (And

over time, much much less.) This generates incomes for indiginous people and this undermines
overall trust in authority. Not saying it's a good thing, just saying that option is out there.
Also worth considering that there's already a thriving global market in "Authority Kits" -- as Mao said,
power comes from the barrel of the guns which are sold by the billions, all over the Earth, every year.
Official-looking, comfortably fitted police unforms are nice and all, but in actual practice all you need
is a group of people who all have guns, right?
Yeesh. Welcome to the Kali Yuga, and enjoy your workweeks.

The Language of Power

QUESTION: Some are raising that the privacy aspects of this thing, you know, sharing of
that kind of data, very personal data, among four countries is quite a scary thing.
CHERTOFF: Well, first of all, a fingerprint is hardly personal data because you leave it on
glasses and silverware and articles all over the world, theyre like footprints. Theyre not
particularly private.
His stance has remarkable implications for the future of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) in a
post-Bell's Theorem world. It's also a very naked statement that the only "privacy" you can expect to
have ends at the surface of your skin -- everything else is exposed to the panopticon. Clothing hides
nothing anymore.
Spooky action at a distance is a great single-sentence summary of 5GW. For brainfood I submit Henry
Okah, David Myatt and Ronald Stark. In terms of clinical psychology, 5GW operatives are NOT SANE
-- they are sociopaths, they are monomaniacs, etc. Effective 5GW is all-consuming and requires greater
discipline than most humans are willing to subject themselves to.
Henry Okah ran a multinational fuel-piracy ring, which funded the purchase of huge stockpiles
of weapons, which were used to arm constantly-shifting groups of mercenaries who were
organized and mobilized via SMS text messaging. He's repeatedly crippled the infrastructure of
Nigeria, and done over $29 billion in damage to Shell. He pulled all this off while living a r
espectable life in South Africa: he's since been arrested in Angola and deported to face charges
in Nigeria.
David Myatt wears many masks: he's a leading neo-nazi philosopher, he's a Satanic
occultist, and he's also a radical Islamic cleric. Sounds crazy and gets far stranger than
that -- get to know David Myatt aka Ashton Long aka Abdul Aziz. Jeff Wells at Rigorous
Intuition has the best summary and meditation on Myatt's twisted legacy: read Nine Angles
of Separation.
Ronald Stark was the subject of the most entertaining article I ever did research for: The
Man Behind the LSD Curtain. It was mostly guesswork, quotations and my own blend of
horseshit, but characters like Stark -- or Barry Seal, or Finis Shelnutt -- are worth studying

for the patchwork of connections they reveal.

The Language of Power II

When I wrote "Plain and Simple: Fuck 9/11," the title wasn't an afterthought or even a joke. Words
were chosen carefully for maximum effect and sure enough, I still get an email a week about an article
I wrote a year ago. It was in the context of asking 9/11 Truth activists what they expected that I raised a
question I've been chewing on ever since:
Be honest with yourself: who are you asking for justice? Are you expecting the same power
structure that has been running the United States of America for the past 50 years to give up
because you're right? Because you can prove mathematically that two buildings collapsed
faster than they should have? Because you have thousands of pages of evidence to prove every
point you're making? Does the truth matter? Seriously. Does the truth matter? Or does power
That's really the central question, and I'm not proposing it as an either-or. Both would be nice, but I'm
also proposing it might be too late for that kind of hope. I've had a number of Skilluminati readers
email the instant classic quote from an anonymous source, of course, in the Bush administration -named as "a senior advisor to Bush":
The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he
defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible
reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He
cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an
empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality
-- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study
too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors...and you, all of you, will be left to
just study what we do.''
This article emerged from some conversations I had after the first installment of The Language of
Power. I was only sketching out a few points I would like to state much more clearly here.

Happiness is Slavery
Until about six months ago, I was unable to put my finger on why Barack Obama makes me uneasy.
I was having a (deeply hilarious) conversation with an Obama volunteer who stated it perfectly for me.
She told me that Obama was all about how American 20-somethings were transforming -- from the Me
generation to the We generation.
Skilluminati Research has nothing to do with the United States or the US military and I personally view
all 195 "legitimate" nation-states on Earth as equally damaging to human progress. As Doug
Stanhope puts it, nationialism is "baggage from dead people." All governments are founded on violence

and maintained by exploitation.

I am very much indebted to the work of Curtis Gale Weeks, John Robb, Mark Safranski, and everyone
at Dreaming 5GW and Small Wars Journal, but our language has some differences. I am unlike most
5GW bloggers in that I'm not worried about the future of the US as a global superpower. I'm writing for
an audience very much like myself: post-nationalism, post-racism, post-religion human beings with no
respect for authority, national borders or even the laws of physics.

Happiness is a Warm Gun

Peter J. Carroll, who is himself a 5GW veteran, operating under a pseudonym and re-wiring tens of
thousands of brains around the world, posed this question in terms of religion. On a planet with over
10,000 actively worshipped Gods -- none of which are currently visible, none of which can be proven
to exist -- how can you be sure which Divinity to bet upon? Doesn't it make more sense to invest that
faith in yourself?
With Skilluminati Research, I'm making the same argument on a political level. Why make appeals to
power when you could build your own? You could be learning to weld, working out or reading a book
with that valuable time. Why worry about your leaders when they can't actually control you, and
don't care what you personally think, want or feel?
5GW is power.
Specifically, 5GW is dedicated individuals exercising their power to achieve their own goals at the
expense of everyone who gets in their way. I think this kind of clarity is missing from the discussion
because the occult dimension of power has no place in a respectable debate, from military theory to
politics to history. For thousands of years, small groups of humans using ritual magick have been
controlling nations, waging wars and engaging in economic and psychological warfare. One occult
warfare master who does get mentioned in military circles is Hassan i Sabbah, long a muse of William
S. Burroughs and Robert Anton Wilson.
I'm open to the argument that I'm only engouraging a plague of lone psychopaths declaring war on the
world, but my own 5GW practice is informed and indebted to D.J. Kilcullen, author of the 28 Articles,
which you should probably read right now if you haven't already. Article 26 states: "Build your own
solution -- only attack the enemy when he gets in the way."
As I said at the outset of this project, "my interest in 5GW (5th Generation Warfare) is rooted in it's
potential for positive social and cultural change." I am investigating warfare for the same reasons I
investigated psychology and marketing -- beacuse the tools of social control will be less damaging
when they're widely distributed. Executives who have power over millions of other humans are
inherently dangerous -- millions of humans with executive control over themselves is where we're
headed this century.
The dinosaurs of governments and corporations and media conglomerates and think tanks and
universities -- the old legitimate White Control System -- will not let go quietly and politely. So I
think every future mutunt has a common-sense obligation to learn how to disable and disarm them as
effectively as possible. This is going to be a very bumpy ride and we can all help minimize the
In closing I realize that I have used the word "I" far, far too often in this post. That trend shall not
continue -- it's all technique from here on out.
Thank you for listening.

5GW Defense: John Robb on The Resilient Community

Let's rewind.
I've been talking about 5th Generation Warfare, but that's because I'm a hyperactive little kid who's
fascinated by everything in the Universe. Here's a remarkable fact: 4GW is a problem that hasn't
been solved yet.
Sure, there's a lot of written material about counter-insurgency operations, some of it truly brilliant.
However, on a reality-based level, 4GW outfits are still doing billions in damage to better-armed,
better-funded nations and corporations. In the face of this continuous loss, something remarkable has
happened: the generals and the technocrats are sounding like damn hippies and calling for smaller,
sustainable communities, energy independence and other radical cultural changes.
The important point to remember is never underestimate the motivation, patience, and
creativity of an adversary! He is attacking against a defense that is nave, arrogant,
unbalanced, and fragmented. We are critically dependent on our technology, but the gap
between offensive and defensive capability is huge and growing. We must find a different
We have to recognize that our systems are vulnerable to sophisticated attacks and find
ways to defend against them.
Now, that sure sounds like Amory Lovins, especially his classic article "How to Get Real Security." But
it's not: that quote is actually from James Gosler at Sandia National Laboratories. Of course, scientists
are always saying weird things, so perhaps his call for rethinking the fundamental infrastructure of
Western Civilization is just another voice in the wilderness. Gosler made that statement at the 2008
Unrestricted Warfare Symposium held by Johns Hopkins. The proceedings of the conference are
available online, and there were some definite gems in what I read through last night.
Here's another clear-cut sign that 4GW remains an unsolved problem -- witness the palpable frustration
of Philip Mudd, the "Associate Executive Assistant Director" of the FBI's National Security Branch:
What we have is an architecture of youth that is not organized in ways that we have seen
in the past. They do not touch a known person; they do not touch a known cell. We cannot
use known security tools. We cannot follow their phone calls because they are not calling
anybody. We cannot follow who they are talking to on a computer because they are selfradicalizing on their own computer, and they are not chatting. We cannot follow them in
terms of a vehicle or somebody they are meeting on the street because they are not a
member of a cell. How do we stop them?
Good question, Mr. Mudd...

The Answer is: You Can't

You can't defend strip malls, interstate commerce, nationwide electrical grids and our

current system of agriculture. You can't defend the physical infrastructure of the internet
and you can't defend huge borders.
As the distribution of power gets wider and deeper, old forms like nations and imperialism are no
longer sustainable. As a general design rule: if it's not sustainable, it's not secure.
I'm a Vermont native -- an obscure part of the continental US, for American readers who might be
unfamiliar -- and most folks there reached this conclusion about 200 years ago and have been trying to
reverse the mistake of getting United to the US Federal Government. So it's remarkable that John Robb
would be headed to my homeland to give a speech on "Defending Our Energy Security -Building
Resilient Communities." (He'll be at the 2008 Vermont Distributed Energy Conference, if you'd like to
John Robb is a subject of controversy in 5GW circles, but more importantly, he's a really solid author
and an original thinker. His last book, Brave New War, was excellent brainfood, and his blog Global
Guerrillas is the best coverage on the topic I've found. So I'm obviously looking forward to his next
My goal with this book? I hope this book will provide readers with a useful eschatology for
the current global system and a conceptual blueprint for the DIY (do-it-yourself) efforts
necessary to build a Resilient Community.
The reaction the book will get? For those that completely tied to or immersed in the legacy
system, this book will be a very scary read. For those that are fearless and willing to adapt
in order to progress, it will become a go to reference.
You can get an early sense through his previous posts: exploring the pressures behind this
transition with Transition Towns and Food and the RC, an exploration of energy independence
through Microgrids, and the original brainstorm, The Resilient Community.

"The Internet is Killing Us"

That's from Philip Mudd again...I'll give him the last word:

In the nuclear age when the enemy was the Soviet Union, we had the luxury of imagery to
look at sites, SIGINT (signal intelligence) to look at communications, HUMINT (human
intelligence) to recruit sources and defectors, and international organizations like the IAEA
(International Atomic Energy Agency) to watch material. Try to apply a single one of those
to a 17-year-old in the United States today.

Two Cautionary Tales From the Front Lines

This article might appear to be mere pessimism. To the reader with a good imagination and better
common sense, though, I'm advocating an entirely different angle from the traditional binary trap of
Fighting Against Power Elites vs. Fighting For Power Elites.
Humans fight -- let them. (Seriously, trying to stop a fight is dangerous and stupid 99% of the time,
unless it's kids who are smaller than you.) The 5th Generation Warfare angle we'll be pursuing at
Skilluminati is based on leveraging the existing fault lines, ongoing conflicts and profitable culture
wars that we live within today.
I'm not advocating that we should stir up more bullshit -- I'm suggesting that we practice the martial art
of invisibly exploiting the bullshit that's already here. To do otherwise is to ignore history -- here's a
look at why.

Those Who Would Overthrow Them

Let's bypass Kent State, the fate of the Branch Dividians, disappearances in Chile, Argentina and
everywhere else in Latin America, and the assassinations of Archbishop Oscar Romero, Malcolm X and
Martin Luther King, since none of them were actually advocating the overthrow of the United States
government, they just happened to get in the way.
Let's focus on a single event which is much more recent, and far more relevant to the inept would-be
"5GW warriors" among us.
This is the story of a federal agent who tried to get three hippies to commit to a plan -- any plan -- to
blow something up and break Federal laws. It took her many months of prodding, lots of pushy
confrontations, and a lot of her FBI money, but they finally managed to frame their targets. Yep, that's
the story in two sentences -- here's a great article that explains it detail if you want more narrative
backgroun. I'm going to be exploring the tactical insights here. What amazed me most: how "Full
Spectrum Dominance" applies to the surviellance of activists.
On January 10, the four toured the Institute of Forest Genetics in Placerville, using fake
names and posing as college students for a tour. They were under surveillance the whole
time by FBI agents and agents of the U.S. Forest Service.
On the morning of January 13, the FBI was keeping a close eye on a cabin in Dutch Flat,
about a half-hour north of Auburn. The government had the cabin and its four occupants-two men and two women--under 24-hour surveillance for nearly a week because the group
was suspected of plotting acts of domestic terrorism in the name of the Earth Liberation
The four left the cabin at around 10 a.m. in a 1997 maroon Chevy Lumina and traveled
about 30 miles to a Kmart in Auburn. There were agents inside the store, watching them

Hippies are the butt of jokes for a reason, and these kids were basically stumbling around in a
minefield. Lesson: Effective 5GW is a process that takes total surveillance for granted. It must be
exceedingly subtle and executed in plain sight.
YOU MIGHT BE WONDERING, as I was, how exactly Federal agents justify the dirtywork they do
undercover, and there is a precise answer. It's referred to as a Tier 1 Otherwise Illegal Activity when an
agent breaks the law in order to catch someone breaking the law. The question of legal rights and
entrapment is far too boring and irrelevant to pursue, though, so let's move along.
Since this is a cautionary tale, it's worth remembering the overall rules for how punishment is
distributed. Here is how a 4-member cell being set up on a Federal level will fare, on precedent:
Zack Jenson, age 20, spent 6 months in prison, then agreed to testify against McDavid.
Lauren Weiner has an unfortunate last name, but at least it was a wealthy one -- she's been free on bail
with her family and also agreed to testify against McDavid. She was also 20 years old.
Eric McDavid was sentenced to 19 years and 7 months. He's 28 and got logically framed up as the
dangerous ringleader. (Note to Derrick Jensen fans: shave the beard.)
And as for Anna? The article says she made out alright: "According to testimony from Sacramentobased FBI Special Agent Nasson Walker, she got paid at least $75,000 for her work."
The reader could be forgiven for thinking I'm telling some sort of moral story -- perhaps implying that
"Anna" is down with 5GW and one of the cool kids. NAY. "Anna" is just a servant of power -- and those
who serve power historically fare no better than those who oppose it. Which is the subject of my next
cautionary tale.

Those Who Would Work For Them

Let's just bypass Paul Wellstone, Vincent Foster, the assassinations of JFK, RFK and the strange fates
Roberto Calvi and Frank Olson. The past is dead, and the news has given us a even-more interesting
Roland Carnaby was a company man -- a veteran of the CIA, although that's a matter of some dispute.
The other publicly known facts about Carnaby are not disputed, though, and they're eye-opening. At the
age of 52, he was shot in the chest, handcuffed, and left to bleed to death while Houston Police officers
watched. The image above is real -- I cribbed it off a Fox News website and it was taken from a news
helicopter. My own interpretation of facts is obvious and predictable -- Carnaby either knew too much
or threatened the wrong people, both essentially the same problem.
When you serve power, you cannot protect yourself from those who protect you. Of course, when
you fight power, you're left with the exact same problem again, and I apologize for making resistance
sound futile.
It is, though. Resisting the momentum of your culture is absurd. Who can seriously talk about fighting
globalization? You might as well resist the Pacific Ocean.
"All of this other stuff (about Carnaby's mysterious life) is all very interesting, but it is of
no consequence when you consider a man is dead and he died handcuffed and nobody tried
to stop the bleeding or anything," Brooten said. "You know what you call that? You call that
an assassination."
Jett defended the officers at the scene, saying they are not trained to assist people with

serious gunshot wounds.

"We would handcuff people and try to get them comfortable, but we're not paramedics, and
most officers don't know about giving first aid like that other than CPR, and you don't want
to give CPR to a gunshot victim," he said.
Investigators later found three weapons in Carnaby's car, police said. One pistol was
under the passenger-side floormat. A second was between the seats. On the back seat
floorboard lay a pistol-grip shotgun with a round in the chamber and the safety off.

No Moral to the Stories

This is only food for thought, of course. Things are going to change a lot in the next decade, but
archetypes will repeat like always. We will always rationalize our actions, no matter how callous or
brutal. I'm sure you think you're a good person, too.
Here in the 21st century, talking about warfare is essential. Our planet is being turned into a
slaughterhouse and Control is going to be a lot more elusive for everyone -- especially those in power.
We've seen a nearly infinite array of permutations of "kill the enemy" -- 5GW is something new.
Harmonize with the enemy, control the enemy, use the enemy.
Next week: my first Dreaming 5GW contribution, working out the details of my own theory, beta
version though it may be. Sorry for the long lead-up, and thanks for all the brainfood from everyone
commenting, especially Eric Patton who's been a huge help behind the scenes.

5GWhat? The Meaning of Warfare in 2008

A number of Skilluminati readers have voiced the concern that calling benevolent 5GW campaigns
"warfare" is misleading or outright wrong. As Bruce Scanlon puts it:
WE have a great deal of choice about which scenario we will end up in, and WE have the
power, within the scope of our own lives, to make significant contributions to these different
I am not saying you can get the whole world to do what you want it to do, but I am saying
that you can make your part of the world/find a part of the world a lot more to your liking-and that you have a lot more power to do this than most people think.
This sizable power for change to me deserves more than to be categorized as warfare,
5th generation or not.
Is war merely overt violence? If you subdue your opponent using judo or aikido, is it still a
fight? Bands of primates go to war, and I'm hoping humans can do better than the hunt-kill

method. (Then again, maybe not: recently Israeli general Yossi Peled said "The only effect I
know in warfare is to kill the enemy.") So first, let's take a look at my own cognitive biases...

Aikido Anarchism
My interest in warfare was awakened by the article Neocortical Warfare, which I immediately wrote a
Brainsturbator article about. (I go into more depth about my vision for 5GW in a recent Wishtank
I suspect, but I cannot prove, that human beings can greatly amplify their personal power by aligning
their goals and techniques with natural design. By fighting on the side of Life on Earth, we've opted for
the most powerful available ally on the planet. Advances in human technology are based on principles
decoded from nature, and nature remains vastly more sophisticated and robust than existing human
So although my friendly local wikipedia has a detailed article on the history and theory of war, I find
the "spectrum of conflict" and "measures short of war" drivel to be mostly intellectual apologies for the
naked exercise of state power. We're all grown-ups, and we all know that power kills people every day.
C'est la vie for better or worse, and it's obviously worse. Let's set academia aside and ask some
questions instead.

Pointed Questions
Can you wage war without your opponent knowing it? Well, Condoleeza Rice and Donald
Rumsfield were both totally shocked by 9-11, weren't they? The concept of planes as weapons was
utterly unthinkable, despite the fact they were both repeatedly briefed about exactly that. You can view
that as proof of conspiracy, or just another example of how cognitive bias blinds all humans equally.
The concept of the secret war is not new to 5GW, and I refer the reader to earlier and excellent reads
from dan tdaxp, dan tdaxp again , and Zenpundit.
Is blogging warfare? According to the Department of Defense, the answer is "Yes." See, us
independent media types are engaged in Information Operations (IO), formerly known by the less
friendly and ambiguous term "Psychological Warfare." As John Rendon so eloquently put it:
"Information is an instrument of national power, just as military, economic and political. Like any
weapon or tool, the United States Government needs to use it or cede the 'battlefield' to someone else."
Is activism warfare? According to the White House, absolutely. All you non-violent liberal types are
engaged in "Low-Intensity Conflict."
Low intensity conflict a political-military confrontation between contending states or groups below
conventional war and above the routine, peaceful competition among states. It frequently involves
protracted struggles of competing principles and ideologies. Low-intensity conflict ranges from
subversion to the use of the armed forces. It is waged by a combination of means, employing political,
economic, informational, and military instruments. Low-intensity conflicts are often localized,
generally in the Third World, but contain regional and global security implications
Are domestic law enforcement operations warfare? It's an armed conflict, there's casualties
involved, and the parallels between domestic law enforcement and foreign counter-insurgency are
striking. Lethal use of force by police is legally justified, but does that nescessarily make it legitimate?
(Every non-civilian casualty of war is legally justified, too.)

If You Want My Opinion

Resource shortages are manufactured and wars are not nescessary. However, in 2008 there exists a
global power elite -- probably less than 100,000 of them altogether -- who posess far too much power
and abuse it at will. As a result, millions of human beings around the world are suffering on a daily
basis. Is that something worth fighting against? Would you term that conflict a "war?"
That graffitti basically sums up my outlook for 2008-2012. Every single human community on Earth
has expanded exponentially and bumped shoulders on an abruptly crowded planet. Communities need
to rethink everything and rebuild for a global future -- anyone trying to force a top-down solution is
either willfully evil or catastrophically stupid. This applies from Al Gore to Vladimir Putin to Hugo
Chavez to George Bush: you need to stop looking up to your leaders and start looking around to your

More Pointed Questions

When the peace of Western affluence is made possible by the violent opression of Third World
countries, what is the "spectrum of conflict" useful for? The thing to remember about the whole
humans species is that it's the whole human species and all the lines we draw beyond that are arbitrary,
often misleading and occasionally very useful. When you grow up in a home that's financed by profits
from Lockheed Martin, is that peace? Is "peace" the condition that exists within the fortress walls of the
gated communities and Green Zones?
Is the city of Chicago at war? Wikipedia has an outstanding map of ongoing conflicts around the
world that's worth considering here -- armed conflict with organized crime surely qualifies as warfare,
right? As the supporting data notes, "major wars are those that cause at least 1000 battlefield deaths
annually," and if you dig around, you might it's kind of hard to find crime reported in human terms.
The usual factoid is the "Homicide Rate" -- how many homicides are reported annually, per 100,000
local residents. This renders death into an abstract index instead of a distinct and specific number of
dead human beings. Reporting the numbers honestly is a body count, and body counts are alarming.
Homicide Rate is like humidity, which is why you'll find most FBI/DoJ statistics published in that
In 1994, the city of New Orleans had 424 reported homicides. Drawing off data from Swivel's
"Homicides in the US" spreadsheet, the Drug War in California is claiming more than enough lives
every year to qualify as a "major war" -- a year before New Orleans peaked, Cali reported 4,096
homicides. From 1990 to 1994, the total number of US homicides floated between 23,000 and 24,000
annually -- then began a sharp decline. It's been stable at over 16,000 a year since 2001.

Last Word: Smitten Eagle

Smitten Eagle said "Im not sure I necessarily buy into the 5GW frameworks yet. Trying to nail 4GW
Jell-O to the wall is hard enough. 5GW is like nailing said Jell-O while its still liquid." His explanation
of this is some of the best writing on 5GW I've found so far -- from a comment at Chicago Boyz:
As far as 5GW goes, I dont think there is even a solid framework to rely on. Some have
referred to 5GW as tactically being about changing the enemies Observation in the OODA
loop to make him think hes not even in conflict with the enemy. For me, this is too close to

the political end of the Policy-War continuum of violence to be considered warfare.

Others have spoken about the role of the Super Empowered Individual (SEI) as a major
actor in 5GW. Im afraid that lone gunmen, in my conception of warfare, do not qualify as
organized violence. For violence to be organized, it requires an Organization. An
Organization of One is not an organization. I think there has to be more to organized
violence than a single pissed-off dude with lots of cunning.
Finally, for 5GW to actually exist, it needs to have a strong track record of convincingly
beating 4GW fighting forces. Im afraid there really hasnt been any evidence to support
this. (Unless, of course, my denial of 5GW is evidence of its successbut if thats the case,
I think were getting a bit too close to Heisenbergs Uncertainty Principle to speak
anything authoritatively about 5GW, or any xGW for that matter.)
A great example of the circular reasoning and collapsing logic of Invisible War. My next post is
what I've been working on this whole time -- a thinkpiece on how to wage war in a Universe that
actually runs on Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. Since that's the Universe we happen to live

Wars, on Drugs: Highlights from Drug Intoxicated Irregular


I wanted to share some highly memorable excerpts from Paul Rexton Kan's excellent paper
"Drug Intoxicated Irregular Fighters: Complications, Dangers and Responses." It's a very
readable study of the role drugs play in asymmetric warfare around the world.
The first two quotes are entertaining, but the real brainfood is in the third part.

Really Bad Ideas

"Drugged conscripts have been a danger to their own forces; a soldier stationed near the Russian border
with Georgia shot and killed eight of his colleagues (and wounded five others) during a hallucinogenic
fit brought on by eating magic mushrooms."

Zombie Insurgency
"Combatant behavior is often influenced by an individuals state of intoxication. For example, U.S.
Marines reportedly had to change their tactics when notified that the insurgents in Fallujah were
probably high and thus less likely to be stopped by standard shots to the torso. One Marine stated that

on the second day of the fight, word came down to focus on head shots, that body shots were not
good enough, while another compared it to Night of the Living Dead, people who should have
been dead were still alive.

Secret History of Vietnam

"During the Korean War, American servicemen stationed in Korea and Japan invented the speedball,
an injectable mixture of amphetamine and heroin. U.S. troops in Vietnam preferred marijuana, but
when subject to a sudden marijuana ban, they turned to heroin. Discipline problems quickly rose;
as one commanding officer lamented 2 years after the marijuana crackdown, If it would get them to
give up the hard stuff, I would buy all the marijuana and hashish in the Delta as a present.
"Drug use was so severe among American troops in the later stages of the Vietnam War that more
soldiers were evacuated for drug problems than for battlefield wounds."
"The addiction rate of returning troops has been of constant concern to average citizens as well as
elites. In November 1971, New York reported nearly 10,000 heroin-addicted Vietnam veterans which,
as discussed in this monograph, was the result of the U.S. militarys clamp down on widespread
marijuana use by troops.
Heroin use among Vietnam veterans created societal fears of rising crime and disorder. Time
magazine reflected the public mood by reporting that the specter of weapons-trained,
addicted combat veterans joining the deadly struggle for drugs in the streets of America is
ominous...the Capone era of the 20s may look like a Sunday school picnic by comparison."

Dreaming 5GW: Invisible War

"Whoever finds me will kill me." --Gen. 4:14
5GW and marketing have a great deal in common. The one similarity I'd like to emphasize here:
effective techniques are constantly mutating so fast that written theory is basically an autopsy. By the
time we can recognize a pattern or strategy, it will be useless to actual 5GW operatives. It's hard to
overstate the speed of the turnover here -- basically, what worked in 2008 will not work in 2008.

My Personal Dream of 5GW

The core tenet of Invisible Warfare is this: circumstances dictate. This is not a cop-out, but a rigorous
challenge to expand your personal power, because most of the time, what circumstances dictate will
involve skills you don't currently have.
That core tenet contains the first imperative: situation awareness. Circumstances can
change in a second and you need to maintain focus and awareness. This more complicated
than merely "paying attention" -- our human brains have built-in biases and design flaws
that are hard to counteract, even after we've become aware of them. What you see is seldom
what you're looking at.
"Thanks to telegraphs and modern communications, commanders are flooded with a
tsunami of almost meaningless facts."
--Naval manual from 1949
It's impossible to achieve situation awareness when we're constantly distracted, and unable to

isolate the important details from the meaningless noise. There are several aspects of warfare and
power projection, all taken for granted as nescessary, that I believe are counter-productive
although not useless: secrecy, violence, and intelligence.
Secrecy only matters when secrecy matters. In my own experience, it seldom does. Bear in mind that
real secrecy is extremely difficult to maintain -- an intensive demand on time and resources.
Violence is only nescessary when violence is nescessary. Again, it can usually be averted or avoided,
and more importantly every non-violent resolution you can create will increase your network and your
strategic power. Rather than destroying your enemies, make them tools, if not allies.
Intelligence-gathering should be critical, and I'm not advocating that you run around
blindfolded. I am cautioning against the downward spiral of paranoia, the disinformation
hall of mirrors, and most of all, the delusion that your assumptions and information are
correct. Awareness of the present moment trumps any and all models, patterns and beliefs
that exist in your monkey head.

The Death Spiral of Containment and Control

Here's one more common mistake, which is both counter-productive and useless: the strategy of
containment and control. Government power is achieved through their population base: citizens
generate the income, obey the laws and serve in the military, voluntarily or otherwise. Because of the
extreme strategic importance of maintaining this power base, governments spend an absurd amount of
resources on the containment and control of their civilians.

Fortunately for those of us on the recieving end, containment and control are both impossible goals.
We're raised to imagine a grid of defined nation-states with precise borders, but in reality the entire
system is riddled with tunnels, shortcuts, criminal networks, secret alliances, holes and cracks and just
plain blindspots nobody's noticed yet. Perhaps you will.
Centuries after the myth of entropy first took hold, people are still catching up to the common-sense
work of Ilya Prigogine, who demonstrated that "closed systems" exist nowhere in nature. By interacting
freely with our environments, we free ourselves from the heat-death of entropy, but modeling our
communities after a closed system is a literal death sentence. Endless books have been written about
the advantages of collaboration, freedom of speech, open source development and globalization.
Actually applying that logic is difficult, opposed by the powerful vested interests of those who have
become wealthy and powerful protecting the sheep.
The containment and control system is dangerously stupid, and free humans have an
imperative to disable that system wherever possible.

Invisible Warfare
The definition of warfare is being reconsidered, but the discussion among generals and academics is
secondary to the more hands-on approach of global terrorists, field commanders, organized crime,
religious cults, tech companies, and upstart corporations.
There is an evolving martial art of systems disruption that is radically skewing the power balance
between individual humans and the existing control and containment system. Put bluntly, with open
knowledge and legal tools, you personally can fuck shit up on a catastropic scale.
Global civilization is inevitable, and terms are being negotiated as you read this. Most of the humans
on Earth are not part of these negotiations -- only a vanishingly small minority of powerful, connected
and wealthy people. This is inevitable, too: why would the powerful negotiate with anyone else?
As officers Dunlap claim in their recent essay America's Greatest Weapon:
"There is really no escape...Today's captains carefully cultivate information sources among
the locals as the Armys new counterinsurgency manual teaches them to do. Schooled in the
manual, such captains deliver offers the insurgents cant refuse: be captured or be killed.
These are exactly the kinds of dilemmas the U.S. military loves to impose upon our
Systems disruption changes the containment and control game by offering a third choice:
stalemate. This is somewhere between a Masada self-sacrifice and Mutually Assured Destruction.
The social contract needs to be radically re-negotiated to accomodate citizens who are capable of
crippling society itself.
Containment and control is no longer an option because of this precise problem of empowerment. You
only need to protect citizens who are incapable of defending themselves -- the entire complex of
"homeland security" and border control relies on ignorant, disempowered citizens -- helpless normal
folks. This is not written for them.
Without the excuse of protection, government control and intervention become a naked power play.
The choice is presented to you as "be captured or be killed." Submission equals life, resistance equals
death -- the Military of a "free country" parroting science fiction monsters like the Borg. Systems
disruption offers a third choice, but at great cost. Frankly, it's pretty stupid, but nescessary, because it

brings us to a higher synthesis...

Invisible Warfare as Militarized Nomad TAZ Dowsing

In the interest of the proliferation of dangerous ideas, I'd like to propose a fourth alternative: organized
groups of friends forming mobile TAZ units -- camouflaged as a circus, a business, or a music group if
need be...but better yet, disguised as nothing at all and functionally invisible. Military manuals refer to
this core discipline as Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) and these TAZ units would be
able to scatter into individual parts, disappear from view and recombine elsewhere.
This obviously involves a high degree of planning, training and reliable tools and technology. All of
which translates into "hard work."
Barring a well-placed shot to the back, the classic rhyme is true: "He who fights and runs away, lives to
fight another day." However, it's important to know which way to run. When you are attacked by either
domestic law enforcement or foreign counter-insurgency, their approach will be the same: using a
spearhead unit to chase you towards a larger ambush unit. In other words, the first agents you see are
the weakest line of defense, and your exits are probably covered.
That's just a single, specific example of the counter-intuitive logic of...well, reality. All power plays
and confidence tricks are designed to distort your situation awareness, and you need to discipline
your mind to remain calm. If a stance mentality leads to failure, can constant mobility (and
invisibility) prevent that -- or does "no stance" just become a stance of it's own?
I'm advocating mobility through national borders, as well. Randomly swinging through small asian
nations and undermining the containment and control machine with an unpredictable broadside will do
a great favor to the natives. In the aftermath you will create large avenues of escape, and resources
previously devoted to domestic repression and genocide will be turned towards a paranoid quest to
defend against a threat that will never return.
Lurk! Withdraw! Upon them! this is the Law of the Battle of Conquest: thus shall
my worship be about my secret house.