A Friday piece for The Intercept alleged that the Pentagon conducted a war game called the 2018 Joint Land, Air, and Sea Strategic Special Program (JLASS) that speculated about a scenario in which a “psychologically scarred” Generation Z rebels against America in the mid-2020s.
According to documents obtained by the publication using the Freedom of Information Act, the JLASS covers various scenarios, including the rise of anti-capitalist extremists and a resurgence of Islamic State. Although The Intercept claims the war game is not an official national intelligence estimate, it is allegedly intended to be a “plausible depiction of major trends and influences in the world regions.”
The Generation Z scenario describes the demographic as significantly affected by the September 11 terrorist attacks and the Great Recession, which it claims fueled a feeling of “unsettlement and insecurity.”
“Although Millennials experienced these events during their coming of age, Gen Z lived through them as part of their childhood, affecting their realism and world view … many found themselves stuck with excessive college debt when they discovered employment options did not meet their expectations.”
The report purportedly describes the generation as inclined to believe the United States’ system is “rigged” against them. The rebellion scenario was speculated to occur in 2025 and is driven by “disaffected” members of Generation Z launching a protest movement.
The movement, which was predicted to spread across the world, was speculated to attack corporations and financial institutions using “sophisticated malware.” In particular, the group was believed to steal money from companies and organizations that support the “establishment.” According to the report, the gains of the movement would be funneled to “worthy recipients” in a plan to redistribute wealth around the world.
The report of the JLASS war game comes amid protests of the killing of George Floyd, which has sparked riots and violence across the U.S. In some regions of the country, the National Guard has been sent to quell the chaos, and Donald Trump has deployed some active-duty military forces to Washington, D.C.
In an op-ed for Teen Vogue, Michael-Michelle Pratt, who is from Generation Z, described her experience growing up between the death of Trayvon Martin and Floyd and how it has shaped her perception of the world and the frameworks within it.
“Gen Z has a strong distaste for long-standing systems and institutions, giving us the drive to implement disruptive tactics,” she wrote.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Generation Z is a demographic that is also engaged with climate change and views “ecological collapse” not as a far-out dystopian narrative but a genuine possibility. For this reason, the publication claims they are significantly focused on public service.