The Coming Military Revolution: Opportunities and Risks
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE WASHINGTON DC OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR NET ASSESSMENT
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The course of history should leave little doubt that the ongoing pace of technological change will culminate at some point in another military revolution. By definition, our failure to innovate and adapt successfully to this new regime of warfare will have potentially catastrophic consequences on some future battlefield. Our military will be facing some significant changes in the coming decades. We must be careful not to deter ourselves from profound innovation because of what might appear to be serious problems or challenges. Nevertheless, the characteristics of the future battlefield are not predestined, but rather will depend upon specific choices that we and other nations will be making from an expanding array of technological, operational, and organizational options. Our pursuit of an increasing tempo of combat operations is not necessarily a bad choice, but at present it is being driven more by opportunity than necessity. What is important for us to remember is that the ultimate value of any innovation is measured by its success on the battlefield relative to the enemy, and many seemingly brilliant conceptions have failed miserably in that test. More important, as the German blitzkrieg revealed, the goodness of a military capability is ultimately determined by its contribution to the nations strategic goals and the success of the strategic outcome. That is indeed the criterion by which our exploitation of the ongoing military revolution must be measured.
- Operations Research
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics