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Game-Changer: The Illusion of War Without Risk

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Technical Report

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Joint Military Operations Department Newport United States

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In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Revolution in Military Affairs RMA argued that thanks to improving technological capabilities in the areas of stand-off precision weapons, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance ISR, and command and control, wars could be effectively fought and won with minimal risk to U.S. forces. The Navy particularly refashioned its fleet based on this assumption. Recent experience, however, suggests that the promises and assumptions of the RMA were unrealistic perfect intelligence is impossible, precision stand-off weapons are not silver bullets, and centralized control can degrade military effectiveness. Moreover, the military culture that has developed since the RMA began is one that demands certainty, micromanages, and is particularly fragile to unforeseen events. This paper sets forth an argument and first-step recommendations for returning the U.S. Navy and the military, by extension to such a form and culture that can win wars.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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