Past Revolutions, Future Transformations. What Can the History of Revolutions in Military Affairs Tell us about Transforming the U.S. Military?
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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As the Gulf War showed, advances in technology can bring about dramatic changes in military operations. Such technology-driven changes in military operations will continue to bestow a military advantage on the first nation to develop and use them. Accordingly, the vitality and robustness of the U.S. defense posture depend on the DoD RD community being on the leading edge of breakthrough technologies that could revolutionize military operations. Also, the U.S. military services must be on the lookout for revolutionary ways in which to employ those technologies in warfare. LESSONS FROM PAST RMAs The Characteristics of Revolutions in Military Affairs Based on an examination of two historical records-the long history of military technology and the military revolutions in the 20th century-we conclude that the defining characteristic of a revolution in military affairs RMA can be stated as follows which either renders obsolete or irrelevant one or more core competencies of a dominant player, or creates one or more new core competencies, in some new dimension of warfare, or both.
- Military Forces and Organizations