I posted this as part of a comment at TDAXP, part of an excellent discussion with several D5GW contributors and Smitten Eagle about the shape of XGW and its differences from the Generations of Modern Warfare (GMW). I’m posting it here so that I can possibly expand upon it and more easily refer back to it in the future.
0GW is the heading for genocidal/survival warfare. Individuals fight for themselves and for the right of their line to survive.
1GW encompasses projection of force to and from key geographical postions. The Spartans and Persians at Thermopylae is a good example of this as are the campaigns of Hannibal and many other battles from antiquity to modern times.
2GW covers doctrines of attrition, where force is used to degrade the physical ability of the enemy to oppose you by direct force. Agincourt is a prime example of this but so are many battles in the American Civil War, WW1 and WW2.
3GW is for doctrines that dislocate the strength of an enemy with a strike at the essential weakness of an enemy (2GW is strength on strength, and 3GW is strength on weakness). The German bypassing of the Maginot Line is an example of avoiding strength to attack weakness and displacing the enemy. This kind of displacement may be positional, temporal, material and/or moral. The Mongols were masters of this, so was ‘Stonewall Jackson’ and Erwin Rommel.
4GW makes the jump into the moral that 3GW starts. 4GW doctrines strike at the enemy’s perceived ability to continue fighting. Scorched earth is an example of 4GW in that even before an invader feels the pinch of not being able to provide for themselves from conquered territory (even if alternative supply can be arranged) they begin to feel unable to continue the fight in the face of such destruction and resolution.
5GW is even more subtle, it’s activity goes below perception into the context of conflict. What a target observes is manipulated in order to cause the target to react in a specific and completely natural manner.
Each of these Generations is, in effect, a dislocation of the previous Generation (X-1). The doctrines that fit into each of these Generations may exist concurrently with each other. A 5GW campaign may contain battles fought with 4GW, 3GW and 2GW doctrines and contain engagements of Generations 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4. This is a strength of XGW.