The XGW Theory and the 6th Gradient of Warfare


  • Veiko Dieves




generations of modern warfare, gradients of warfare, strategy, OODA loop


The study of war as a phenomenon requires a theoretical framework, a general theory of warfare, which goes beyond armed conflict in warfare. A general theory of warfare is also needed for the creation and development of systems for warfare, as all systems, including organizations, are optimized to operate under certain specific conditions. A comprehensive understanding of these conditions, and thus an understanding of the constraints of these systems, is necessary for creating new successful systems. This article presents a new addition to the gradient theory of warfare, otherwise known as XGW theory. Thus far, this theory has been described in individual essays and in discussions among researchers; the author compiles the previous discussions into a comprehensive, unified description of the theory. In addition, the article introduces a novel element – the 6th gradient of warfare. In summation, the article provides an overview of the XGW theory, along with the author’s insights. The XGW theory describes Gradients 1 to 5 as attacking specific parts or sections of the opponent’s OODA (observe-orient-decide-act) loop, with each sub sequent gradient attack moving deeper into the opponent’s OODA loop. The first gradient of warfare focuses on attacking the opponent’s decision and action phase. The second gradient of warfare attacks the opponent’s decision-making. The third gradient of warfare attacks the opponent’s ability to orient itself. The fourth gradient of warfare focuses on enemy orientation and observation. The fifth gradient of warfare focuses on the opponent’s ability to observe, manipulating the context of its observation. The article brings together prior research on XGW theory for a more comprehensive overview. Additionally, this article also describes the sixth gradient of warfare, where the attack moves out of the opponent’s OODA cycle and becomes part of the outside world as its passive agent, causing changes in the motives of other subjects in the world. The 6th gradient force shapes a favourable environment for itself, summing up the proper behaviour of other forces, the motivators of which are predetermined by the 6th gradient force. Thus, a discussion of the XGW theory of warfare must address gradients from 0 through 6.


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