Ramiz Ayaz Malik
Causing war is a natural instinct. It is always controlled by society and civilization. Power to rule is what drives this insatiable desire to create warfare. To play God is the ultimate desire of the powerful. The outcome, however, is always never long lasting. This is a game two or more can play and eventually lose. And this is what has been happening since the rise of mankind.
A lot has been and is being printed and aired about generations of warfare. It is a fact that with every few generations of humans, the trend and the lust of power pushes the minds to create ways of generating wars and conflicts.
The Traditional Wars and Battles
A war in the traditional sense was typified by numbers in an army or force. In other words a battlefield was one that was on ground, visible, physical and predictable. It was also bound by territory and borders defined. From bows to arrows to the advent of the Musket and the Winchester, we saw the advent of heavy artillery and fighter jets. These defined the norms of the traditional warfare. The race was in numbers of these arms and armaments, not to mention in the infantry as well. It does not necessarily mean that the one having a higher number may win. This is a debatable point. It also depends on the devotion to a cause that is real in its nature with a background of centuries.
The Economic Warfare
As the name suggests, it pertains to the economics of the world. The shuffling and rehashing of figures in the financial markets and the major players creating the ripples that brings about financial instabilities in countries dependent on foreign loans. Not only does this affect loan dependent countries it is used as a tool to break the economy of a country itself only later to lift it up when other countries have invested in that region. There are many other ways the economic warfare is employed to bring about changes in a given region.
The sublime approach
In conjunction with the above, sublime is where there is a lot in between the lines to read. Indirect approaches via many venues that can bring to forefront, material that would capture the subconscious, making it react to the message planted in the mind. Sublime approach makes us automatically react to a given situation according to the message planted in our subconscious.
Who is not afraid of fear itself? Instill it in anyway possible and the reaction of a human is to protect oneself, either in a defensive or an offensive mode. Terror is one of the most apparent mind games deployed since World War II. Combine sublime with propaganda and there is the perfect mix for terror.
5th Generation Warfare (GW) has been given many names and innumerable subheads are attached to it. Some call it an idea, a myth, a concept and so on. Others prefer taking it on its face value i.e. considering it is there and needs to be addressed. The 5th GW is very much a reality, reality with many facades, each spiraling into the other, very similar to the human DNA itself. Call it the DNA of a warfare whose chromosomes are yet to be discovered fully.
But 5th GW should not be confused with just arms and armaments race combined with high-end technology alone. That race is to keep many economies afloat. The traditional warfare was about taking over a country in terms of conquering it geographically. The physical invasion was one of the principal aims of wars in the past. A clear example of the 5th GW is of random shooting at schools and in public by some disturbed teenager. They just do not do it for the kicks. Something propels from the subconscious that provokes the subject to act accordingly. Lot of experiments have been conducted on how and what the subconscious mind does. There is no cause attached to that particular action. This is where the 5th GW comes in.
Factually, every move towards harming someone on a larger geographical scale is considered a form of war. Let us take the psychedelic revolution as an example for starters. The psychedelic revolution was not in fact a revolution. It was developed to ‘invade’ cultures. Primarily it did so in the countries that developed it. The objective at core was to distort the cultural conformity of many nations. Rooted deep in the visions of the masterminds, the revolution was to take the free culture ‘whose base was the cult of Crowley and mix it with a ‘love and let live approach’ (this was psychedelic). It did its job to a major extent. Pakistan, however, got only a slight dent because of the war in 1971. A whole lot of other countries took the influence. It is not about being liberal or conservative as both can dwell harmoniously in same social structure. It is about instilling a sense of insecurity.
So What is New? What Changed?
5GW is not anything new. It was already thought about in the 70s. As the 60s era was declining and the electronic, pharmaceutical, oil and chemical market were reaching a peak, along with transforming mechanisms of information dissemination into a mammoth market, the need for such kind of warfare was felt. Japan got involved into it first. Followed by Hong Kong. Then came Taiwan. Today, countries from the Far East, EU, USA and Russia, all are engulfed in the onslaught of the 5th GW-proxy-hybrid warfare. The United States’ race towards technology competing both with itself and with rival countries saw advancements in every field of technology inducted in them every few years. The Far Eastern countries developed it further as they had the chance to. Labor in the East was cheaper at that time and to assemble goods in demand was economically viable. That very technology mushroomed into Medusa itself. The former generations were Pandora boxes.
Elements of 5th GW
The 5th GW is not something that can be fully described as the concept itself is still evolving. It is hybrid. It uses proxies literally and electronically.
At one level threats are identified in the cyber domain and attacks have come in shape of security breaches, cybercrimes threatening cyber-security. Others include a blend of traditional battlefield tactics supplemented with superior Artificial Intelligence. 5th GW is a contortion of ideas itself. Before the world’s tangible cash or money bottlenecks, a confusion of ideologies will play the most important role in the 5th GW towards a totally cashless society rendering reserves of not much significant value.
5th GW is not a myth. It is the implementation of myth into the sublime mind.
The first 4 GW’s unfolded without the myriads of satellites orbiting the earth, moon and other planets. This time the GW is about the technology rooted in the early 1980s. It has almost reached fruition. We are constantly informed of how insecure we are. The constant hammering makes the mind believe so and the ‘pseudo’ need to create our own little segments and taking care of them becomes natural. Call them cults, faiths, beliefs or religions. The point is to make everyone insecure. For instance, is anyone on the internet really safe from hacking? Be mindful that all the information flows to a group of server stations lying even deeper than the corporations and military tiers. The dark web. What exactly is it? Simple answer is what cannot be seen is dark. And the latent high-end tech of today has its feet planted where it is not visible.
The old formula of creating a need and then filling the gap is also at work here. Today we need our devices and gadgets attached with IOT more dearly than anything. Information, information and more information is what inundates our devices. Can any security measures be guaranteed globally? The EU formed a commission that is at work to a certain level. But is it good enough? The US is following suit after the many leaks it suffered at the hands of the ‘non-linear’ concept allegedly from Russia. Notice how our terms of everyday usage got gelled with those of the computer technology? Even as you read this piece you may have noticed the number of technology terms used in the article itself. It is not the terms of technology to begin with. Tech world development took the keywords to benefit by making the archaic terms modern. Simply put our 5th GW is a war of identities. We do mistake it for security because it directs itself towards it. As they say ‘the mind believes what the eye sees’. The mind registers what the ears hear. Conspiracy theorists globally have been assassinated or mysteriously vanished. Researches on the internet are controlled by regions through algorithms. Pattern prints of human mind into synthetic platform defining pathways predicting human nature and behavior at an individual level. What you see is what you are directed to see.
The subject of the 5th GW is such a vast one that it cannot be summed up easily. 5th GW at its heart has an overlap between the two schools of thought; one who believe in raging a traditional style warfare and the other who advocate the hybrid and sublime approach. Elements like China’s deployment of the world’s largest telescope were not only to monitor sources of energy but also to monitor interstellar goals of other nations. Same goes for US and Russia and their designs in space.
5th GW will change ideologies, create causes that attract adherents without any real value to the cause. Like every generation gone by, it will create a hybrid generation that can be controlled. There are many who are exposed to this warfare. There are still more who are working on its full implementation. Combine all of the above elements and we have some sense of what the 5th GW might entail.
Ramiz Ayaz Malik is a strategist for digital and advertising platforms and is a former deputy editor of a media group.