Swarming and the Future of Conflict
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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Swarming is seemingly amorphous, but it is a deliberately structured, coordinated, strategic way to strike from all directions, by means of a sustainable pulsing of force andor fire, close-in as well as from stand-off positions. It will work best-perhaps it will only work-if it is designed mainly around the deployment of myriad, small, dispersed, networked maneuver units what we call pods organized in clusters. Developing a swarming force implies, among other things, radical changes in current military organizational structures. From command and control of line units to logistics, profound shifts will have to occur to nurture this new way of war. Our study examines the benefits- and also the costs and risks-of engaging in such serious doctrinal change. Examples of swarming can be found throughout history, but it is only now able to emerge as a doctrine in its own right. That is largely because swarming depends on a devolution of power to small units and a capacity to interconnect those units that has only recently become feasible, due to the information revolution.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics