Gathering dimensions of conflict into a unified model

When considering the generation warfare model as a tool of categorizing the types or scopes of conflict a few things are exposed rather rapidly. At ComingAnarchy.Com Younghusband identifies several of the same issues I did in attempting to bring the discussion forward. I especially appreciate the depth of thought that the model can illicit when considering the ramifications of multiple generations of warfare and their relationships to high and low intensity conflict.  What Younghusband does with the Venn diagrams is begin to prepare a mathematical model that can be expressed in discrete mathematics. I think he is likely further along this path than I am. 

It could be said that we are actually defining the problems with the theories but a honest inquiry into that allows us to expose the strengths and further amplify those as the debate continues. This is one of the greatest benefits of collegial discussion among people who are trying to figure out the next step in a theoretical framework.

Dan at tdaxp in 2005 diagrammed out a new aspect of the fifth generation warfare concept that placed the generations within aspects of the John Boyd OODA model. This is an intriguing element that maps back to what Younghusband recently posted. If you consider the Trinitarian aspects as valid within the scope of conflict and begin to dissemble the theory into it’s parts. Dan at tdaxp does that by looking at different systems models like the waterfall model and the rapid application development model.
When layering the different aspects the model becomes much more rich and you can perceive aspects that are explained by the model before you have even asked the question. In looking at the models and applying them through a spectrum of conflict basically so I can argue that cyber warfare and cyber terrorism are explained within the scope (my open and obvious agenda) of the different models.  The model should have enough depth to accept the original elements of national power diplomacy, intelligence, military, economics (DIME) or the newer counter terrorism approach of military intelligence, diplomacy, legal, information, financial and economic (MIDLIFE). Personally I’ll stick with the less redundant, if over come by events , DIME acronym and acknowledge that yes I know the other one exists.

If we layer DIME on top of the generational paradigm, the OODA loop, and the various aspects of military operations other than killing (MOOTK – yeah I just made that up) we can further deepen the model. The question then become how do we analyze the depth of that model and the effort and inherent violence differential between low intensity conflict and high intensity conflict.  This is an interesting question as Barry Boehm in defining the software development process created a spiral model that is broken up into four sections; Determine objectives; Identify and resolve risk; Development and test; Plan  the next iteration.  If graphed the theory starts from an x, y coordinate of 0,0 and then moves through each quadrant spirally outwards  with  more and more tasks occurring in each quadrant as they become bigger or the volume of work increases (picture here).

A long time ago while working on a project similar to this effort to define generational warfare on the way to further understanding the specific generations I built a multiple dimension explanatory (non-mathmatical) model. The model was called the Tornadic Chaos Model (figure 1).  

The model as depicted begins with low intensity and continues through high intensity conflict.  Based on the descriptions of first generation warfare through fourth generation warfare the size of each cone gets larger. As an example first generation as set piece warfare might not have the discrimination of targeting found in third generation warfare. Thus the cone is depicted as smaller or larger as required. This though is not a static model it is expected as an adversary moves through the John Boyd OODA loop they are escalating or de-escalating conflict and in fact can move between different generational constructs.

Some interesting observations from this model is that a counter insurgency (4GW) can co-exist with a conventional conflict. All of the different forms of conflict exists within the model the depiction of the cones as taller than the others is only for the sake of perception that they exist.  The model explicitly depicts a spectrum of conflict.  What is missing from the model as depicted is the aspects of DIME we originally set as a goal.  One could argue that the DIME model is inclusive of the low intensity to high intensity conflict spectrum, but I think that would be to simplistic.

Zenpudit in an essay from 2005 discussed some of these elements and identified the fact that each generation of warfare expands warfare deeper into the adversary. He further went onto say this may be a risk that fifth generation warfare could result in wholesale destruction of the networks/society/sympathizers of the adversary through new generational warfare tools.

So, the open questions among many are still what to do with DIME and what change to the model as a descriptive if not mathematical tool can occur. Some will complain that pretty pictures do not fight wars but they do help us explain concepts that can be transitioned to training plans. A model though is just that. A model is a representation of reality that can never quite hold all of the aspects of reality. Upcoming will be a look at DIME and generational warfare working towards a fifth generation and hopefully explanation of cyber warfare along the way.

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