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Spread of 5GW Terminology

My friend Bruce Kesler sent me a link to an article in David Horowitz’s Frontpagemag.com by Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld  and Alyssa Lappen from the American Center for Democracy , Frontpagemag is a conservative site which mostly concentrates on purely political and cultural battles with the Far Left, that had a very interesting title:

The Fifth Generation Warfare

The article is actually an excerpt from an academic study prepared by the U.S. Naval War College, Armed Groups: Studies in National Security, Counterterrorism, and Counterinsurgency and the section used is focused on financing of Islamist terrorism and related activities. For example:


Funding the jihad, i.e., financial jihad, or Al Jihad bi-al-Mal, is mandated by many verses in the Qur’an, such as chapter 61, verses 10.11: “you . . . should strive for the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives,” and chapter 49, verse 15: “The [true] believers are only those who . . . strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah.” This has been reiterated throughout Islamic history and in recent times. “Financial Jihad [is] . . . more important . . . than self-sacrificing,” according to Saudi and Muslim Brotherhood (MB) spiritual leader Hamud bin Uqla al-Shuaibi.6

Qatar-based Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the most prominent Sunni scholars in the world today, reiterated the legal justification for “financial jihad [Al-Jihad bi-al-Mal]” in a lecture he gave on 4 May 2002 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to him, “collecting money for the mujahideen (jihad fighters . . . ) was not a donation or a gift but a duty necessitated by the sacrifices they made for the Muslim nation.” 7

This is more or less in the vein of “Unrestricted Warfare” on the Chinese model but readers can read for themselves. What I find interesting is that the 4GW/5GW ideas and terminology that have been kicked around this corner of the blogosphere for the last four or five years are creeping in to mainstream use across the political spectrum as academics, journalists and politicos try to get a handle on the evolution of irregular warfare.


A site called “Arabic Media Shack” emailed me today and pointed to this post by one of their bloggers “Grandmasta Splash” on perceptions of what is and what is not considered moderately conservative vs. extremist within the Muslim world. Later on, in an unrelated conversation, a source of great street cred gave Arabic Media Shack an unprompted personal endorsement. So, here they are.

3 Responses to “Spread of 5GW Terminology”

  1. PurpleSlog Says:

    I read the article earlier today (thank you google alerts) and thought “Unrestricted Warfare” right away too.

    The ideas from URW haven’t quite made there way into 4GW/5GW…there is a lot of richness in the its ideas. There is more in URW then is in Lind’s 4GW. So, does that make URW a better source for 4GW, or just for how states might fight 4GW? There is a lot of 5GW-ish stuff in there to. Maybe URW concept should be distilled and and treat as a separate category in XGW.

  2. “Unrestricted Warfare” (URW) and XGW / 4GW / 5GW « PurpleSlog Says:

    […] Warfare” (URW) and XGW / 4GW / 5GW I have been meaning to write this for awhile. Zenpundit’s mention of “Unrestricted Warfare” and 4GW/5GW got me to type it: The ideas from URW haven’t […]

  3. zen Says:

    Hi Purple,
    URW was written from a state-centric, mildly futurist and a battlespace-shaping perspective. It’s far broader than 4GW in it’s parameters ( the 4GW school did not start considering air, naval, economic etc. variables until very late in the day) but also less well developed intellectually (as far as we know). The authors apparantly did not become high profile flag officers and little else on URW has come out of China, at least to my attention.

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