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Sixth Military-Revolution: Warfare in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

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Technical Report,13 Aug 2018,14 Jun 2019

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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Historians MacGregor Knox and Williamson Murray originally suggested only five military-revolutions had occurred in the history of the western way of war. However, in 2017 Murray published America and the Future of War and said a sixth military-revolution was unfolding in the modern era and it was mostly influenced by rampant technological change. He went on to suggest that society was only in the nascent stages of understanding the 6th MR and understanding what it might mean for present-day militaries. Thus, the researchers aim in this thesis was to expand on Murrays basic description of the 6th MR by exploring the root causes of change in the first five military-revolutions in order to formulate an argument for what was driving change in the 6th MR. After the historical precedents for revolutionary changes to war were considered, the researcher used the lessons gleaned from that analysis to examine how technology and other factors were influencing the character of war in the modern era. Ultimately, the authors conclusions presented in this thesis offer an expanded explanation of the 6th MR and considers the implications for the present-day U.S. Military.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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