CYBER-WARFARE, SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Time to Rethink Our Views on War in the 21st Century – Part 1

Written by Clearchus on May 20, 2015

Defining all-out war is fascinating. In the last fifty years, Israel and the United States have waged what some call, Low Intensity Conflicts (LIC).

Glenn Beck even joined into the discussion:

That next war – true war, not this low intensity side show – will astonish and amaze. Even many of my military friends do not know how to define it, any more. World War II vets can. Especially the guys who assaulted the Beaches of Normandy, Pacific Islands or stood against SS Panzer Divisions in the Battle of the Bulge.

This is Part one of a two part column detailing modern war in a common framework. You will not see this on the nightly news or the Prime Time soap operas that pretend to tell people about war.

Much of the ongoing work in this area comes from David Aucsmith. His web site is at:

Reaching back past 4,000 BC (According to Usher’s dating) the first thing we encounter after creation is spiritual warfare. In many ways, Genesis 3 details man’s inability to comprehend and execute war in the spiritual domain. Arthur C. Clarke once said that high technology for the uninitiated seems like magic. For 6,000 years, war in the spiritual realms still seems like magic. Beyond point and click or surfing from our mobile devices, the Cyber Domain of war is like magic. Yet, it is pedestrian magic in that we use cell phones, ATMs, online banking, and surf the web for remedies ranging from ED to Warts.

Most of us miss the fact that in our pedestrian wireless / cell based devices, new technologies create new modes, or domains, of war. Existing theories of war are, of necessity, re-evaluated to adapt them to new capabilities of war fighting. The most obvious example of this was the development of theories of war after the introduction of heavier-than-air aircraft in the early 20th Century. Cyberspace, as a domain of war, is new and pervasive. In briefly addressing a theory of war in cyberspace, my greater purpose is to carry this thought process into the spiritual domain of war. I can see you rolling your eyes, already, accusing me of being another Dipwad trying to define the undefinable. For those who stick with me, striving to make sense of spiritual war, we might discover a few rational ideas to help make sense of our world as it hurtles to Disorder.

First things first, let’s take a hard look at the cyber domain of war. Keep the concept of spiritual war in the back of your mind. Defining cyber war makes it necessary to change currently understood theories of war to make them applicable to the unique characteristics of cyberspace. I will not Geek out too much on this but Cyber war is about war from and war within the cyber domain. Likewise, Spiritual war appears to have the same dual nature with war executed from the spiritual domain and war executed within the spiritual domain. War from cyberspace is distinctly Western while war within cyberspace is distinctly not so. For Christians, war from the spiritual domain is preaching, teaching, administration, and the things that become reality in the framework of length, width, depth and time present. War within the spiritual domain wraps around prophecy, healing, tongues, faith, focuses on a timeless creator. War within the spiritual domain is an invisible war of thrones, dominions, principalities and powers. In other words, war from the spiritual domain is comfortable and visible because it arrives in the present and we can wrap our brains around it. War within the spiritual domain is far beyond our understanding and distinctly not comfortable at all. It suffices that one of the attributes that spiritual war and cyber war have is that they crush our commonly held assumptions.

Here is a brief look at the Domains of War in Western Thought:
Land Domain: The simplest of war domains, combatants can make war with rocks and sticks.
Sea Doman: Combatants must have sufficient technology to create stable platforms on the ocean from which soldiers and sailors can fight.
Air Domain: Technology developed this domain with flight capable platforms that proved to be as revolutionary as the development of the Roman cohort in the land domain.
Space Domain: orbital platforms take war to new elevations and new sensor platforms
Cyber Domain: Technology is turning this domain into a place where the fight can occur anytime, anywhere.
Quantum Domain: With Quantum research and even time travel under serious discussion, this is like the cyber domain of war but it straddles the 10 dimensions of creation. It is not limited by length, width, depth, and time present.

In the late 1990s, Admiral Arthur Cebrowski proposed the concept of Network-Centric Warfare as the basis for a theory of war from cyberspace. That is, Cebrowski formulated a theory for using the capabilities of cyberspace to fight wars in the other domains. Once the capability existed to project force from this new domain into other domains, capabilities to wage war within the new domain soon follow. With the nascent establishment of Cyber forces, we are now exploring how to wage war within the cyber domain.

Spiritual Warfare executed within the spiritual domain and from the spiritual domain is at least a 6,000 year old capability. The key is that in a world plunging to disorder with old men dreaming dreams and young men receiving visions, execution of spiritual war is taking on components of force, friction, strategic mobility, and asymmetric warfare like never before.

Carl von Clausewitz wrote in his tome, On War that, “Wars in every period have independent forms and independent conditions, and, therefore, every period must have its independent theory of war.” With the advent of the information age, we have created cyberspace as a domain of war and need a theoretical framework in which to understand it. Mindful of the sin of hubris, this column and the next one attempts to address war in cyberspace from a theoretical perspective and provide a framework based on eight tenets. In turn, it is critical to embrace the parallel war in the Spiritual domain because evidence indicates that the velocity of what might be coming, and the death that will sweep the world, will be Old Testament in Nature but much faster.

Again, this is a lot of David Aucsmith and his magnificent work, A Theory of Cyber War.

Next time, Aucsmith’s eight tenets of cyber war and my feeble attempt to use them to define Spiritual War.

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Clearchus is the author of three Science Fiction books: Sunigin, Insurgio and Certo (Available at Amazon) about the next Texas Revolution. He is a retired Army Field Artilleryman who was one of the last men in the U.S. Army to command an M110 8" Howitzer firing battery. He currently designs computer networks for commercial, non-profit, and government environments. Married for 32 years to the most gorgeous babe he knows, he and his wife have four kids. Their lives and perspectives straddle military assignments, combat tours, and mission trips across Europe, Asia, and the Horn of Africa.