Monday, May 27, 2013

Progress Report on the Fifth Battlespace

It was postulated, about the emerging nature of the information landscape, early in the 90's, at the beginning of the Revolution in Military Affairs, that information itself shall soon constitute a complete battlespace to be in particular recognized alongside the other existing four which is earth, sea, air, and space.

The importance of this characterization of the nature of information in our age in the context of the mission of the U.S. military was underscored by the designation of this nascent battlespace, of whose nature, climate, and environmental constants as well as variables were yet undefined, as primarily the specific domain of the youngest and brightest of the five distinct branches of the U.S. Armed Services, the Air Force.

This importance was driven primarily by the recognition from within the military of the emerging reality of an information threshold; that the realm of information evolving as a distinct presence in our world shall soon become decisively poised to shape the nature of human affairs in general but in particular, and as far as this report goes, the military affairs of the nations.

This was and still is evidenced by the growth of not a few information-centric thinking among the world's military establishments as well as the development and potential of those technological derivatives in support of those doctrines designed to establish warfighitng as an ability in the fifth battlespace.

This was over two decades ago now. And today we have yet to pierce the cloud that surrounds the fifth battlespace. I have come to a conviction that information which is inert yields not the secrets of its coming and going without a final recognition of a space that exists as an unseen reality beyond its nature where there inhabits a force that works behind its constant state of flux.

This force is spirit and, in my mind, it is spirit, not information, that constitutes the fifth battlespace.

Information as a whole is integral to the fourth battlespace which is space being that interior aspect of light and darkness that is both contained by space and constrained by time that in ebbing and flowing, dwells in a state of constant revelation to the mind of man.

And this new information age we are now thrust in, right here at the very crossroads, is - more precisely - an Age of Spirit and Thought.

I used to hold many fears as to the dangers of the fifth battlespace. Now they are not as many and those that do remain, though still quite significant, I feel are those we can, with good effort and concentration, hope to adequately mitigate if not master.

How we, as nations, understand information and how we apply its fruits to bless the human ends for which all information has been, from the very beginning of time, destined by heaven and earth depends on our strength of spirit and this strength of spirit depends on right remembrance - where:

1+1 = better.