Accession Number:

ADA611979

Title:

Stuck in the Middle Without a Coherent Strategy: An Allusion to Future War

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2014-05-22

Pagination or Media Count:

109.0

Abstract:

Focusing on the future is inherently difficult without an existential or quantifiable conventional threat to Western security, and a lack of continual predictability makes it problematic at best. Yet, Western militaries currently sit stuck in the middle, with strategies defined by operational effectiveness not strategic positioning. Juxtaposed to this is an environment whereby threat streams continually erode the advantages afforded by high technology dominance through seeking to attack vulnerabilities indirectly. This monograph sits in a space that questions current strategies of technological superiority. Its importance is in framing strategic choice and the case in point of short-lived relative advantage, whether dictated by internal policy, threat, or an inability to translate the technology into truly effective capability. The compounding effect is a lack of overall strategy and the view that aspiring to technological dominance has supplanted the traditional logic of strategy for development. This creates military subservience to only the driving forces of the day without a clear understanding for the future. Analyzing trends in the future security environment demonstrates that a lack of change may not spell the end for wider US hegemony and military dominance. However, the relative nature of comparative advantage suggests that this is downhill slope. This does not ignore the view that technological dominance has enabled the Western Way of War, mitigating a perceived lack of mass with quality. However, recognizing current fiscal and resource constraints the previous planning assumptions do not apply when emerging from a decade of conflict. Returning to a theoretical base of first principles offers a way to adapt in the face of institutional bias, recognizing the lessons from history. This is not an easy task and there remain no clear answers for dealing with an uncertain future. A phenomenological approach tackles this to understand this environment from the pe

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE