The result is a U.S. military, and how the USA, currently the only superpower of the world, sees the war of the future. Assistant Policy Researcher; Ph.D. Among the global economic trends, the first three increase the chances of future conflict, whereas the last three will shape how wars are fought. “Russia maintains a lot of commonalities. From the 64 discrete socio-political conditions described - A Delta IV rocket successfully launches the Global Positioning System IIF-5 satellite Feb. 20, 2014 from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Photo by United Launch Alliance/Ben Cooper. More often than not, poor predictions stem from failing to think holistically about the factors that drive changes in the environment and the implications of those factors for warfare. Assistant Policy Researcher; Ph.D. This volume of the Future of Warfare series examines some of the most significant factors shaping military trends over the next ten to 15 years: changes in the size, quality, and character of military forces available to the United States and its potential adversaries. What are the major drivers of future conflict? Subscribe to the weekly Policy Currents newsletter to receive updates on the issues that matter most. Standardisation and commonality are key for overmatch, consequently, overmatch is partly gone explains Foss. Russia has a new turret with a 30mm cannon and missile; that will be fitted onto their tracked vehicles and IFVs." The synergistic rela… The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. The submarine is the single most powerful piece of military hardware ever devised. Our understanding of the connection between war and the state assumes that war played an instrumental role in the formation of the state in the early modern period. 10 trends for the future of warfare. China is becoming more militarily formidable and geopolitically assertive; second-tier adversaries are investing in anti-access, area denial capabilities; excessive heat, rising sea levels, and extreme weather make it harder to operate in certain areas of the world. _18 For deeper insight, a modern day Netwar practitioner must look farther into the past. Raphael S. Cohen, Nathan Chandler, et al. RAND is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and committed to the public interest. A host of factors—such as international law, public opinion, media coverage, technological capabilities, partner preferences, and operational imperatives—shape the amount of restraint that combatants exercise in conflict, and many of these factors will increasingly weigh on how the United States—and its mostly liberal democratic allies and partners—will fight wars in the future. With the how of warfare changing rapidly, future military success rests on adopting new technologies and adapting to new circumstances quickly. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors. The United States has suffered its own share of bad predictions. Advanced systems could restore U.S. qualitative advantages in conventional warfare and provide capabilities to process data in ways that enable U.S. forces to identify and target substate adversaries more effectively. This report is one of a series that grew out of this effort. This research was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by the Strategy and Doctrine Program within RAND Project AIR FORCE. This brief summarizes a comprehensive examination of the factors that shape conflict and how these variables interact with one another. "When it comes to predicting the nature and location of our next military engagements, since Vietnam, our record has been perfect. IN THE PAST, predictions about future warfare have often put too much emphasis on new technologies and doctrines. There have been many documents produced by Western governments, militaries and academics on the future of war and warfare. What are the implications for the U.S. Air Force and the future of warfare? There is a need to maintain the economic wherewithal and the political will to sustain and prevail in future wars, especially wars against rival great powers, something that remains only partially in. As regards the future of warfare as it is linked to AI, the present large disparity in commercial versus military R&D spending on autonomous systems development could have a cascading effect on the types and quality of autonomy that are eventually incorporated into military systems. “In considera… This article explores the changing relationship between war and the state in the western world since the end of the Second World War. The first is the Panglossian view that technological change offers the potential for quick, decisive and (comparatively) clean victories over larger but more technologically-backward adversaries, as reflected in the ‘Revolution in Military Affairs’ debates that … As a result of these influences, the United States might confront a widening "restraint gap" between how it and its allies and partners will use force in conflicts and how its adversaries will—particularly in wars waged on the lower ends of the conflict spectrum. Above all, the United States of 2030 could progressively lose the capacity to dictate strategic outcomes and to shape when and why the wars of the future occur. They will have selected asymmetric capabilities to deter U.S. intervention, and U.S. forces will need to contend with those adversaries' large but less-sophisticated forces. Increases in cyber and gray-zone conflict are likely. Ground forces are especially strained. And if it does, how will tanks and armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) need to change to meet the challenges of future warfare? Given U.S. interests in maintaining stability and the territorial status quo in various unstable regions, the United States will need to devote resources to such missions even as it is trying to restore its conventional capabilities for great-power competition. U.S. quantitative and qualitative military advantages are diminishing, and the United States will have increasing difficulty controlling strategic outcomes. The report identifies six trends that will shape who and where the United States is most likely to fight in the future, how those wars will be conducted, and why they will occur. This brief then aggregates these trends to paint a holistic picture of the future of warfare—the potential U.S. allies and enemies, where conflicts will occur, what they might look like, how the United States will wage them, and when and why the United States might go to war in the first place. Cohen, Raphael S., Nathan Chandler, Shira Efron, Bryan Frederick, Eugeniu Han, Kurt Klein, Forrest E. Morgan, Ashley L. Rhoades, Howard J. Shatz, and Yuliya Shokh, Peering into the Crystal Ball: Holistically Assessing the Future of Warfare. The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous. The United States cannot afford to not develop artificial intelligence and other new technologies while China and Russia are pursuing them so aggressively. Getting to Know Military Caregivers and Their Needs, Helping Coastal Communities Plan for Climate Change, Improving Psychological Wellbeing and Work Outcomes in the UK, Peering into the Crystal Ball: Holistically Assessing the Future of Warfare, The Future of Warfare in 2030: Project Overview and Conclusions, Geopolitical Trends and the Future of Warfare: The Changing Global Environment and Its Implications for the U.S. Air Force, Global Economic Trends and the Future of Warfare: The Changing Global Environment and Its Implications for the U.S. Air Force, Environment, Geography, and the Future of Warfare: The Changing Global Environment and Its Implications for the U.S. Air Force, Restraint and the Future of Warfare: The Changing Global Environment and Its Implications for the U.S. Air Force. He expressed a truism that practical soldiers leaned through experience: war is the most complex and unpredictable of all human enterprises. After Operation Desert Storm, NATO members increased the use of Precision-Guided Munitions (PGMs) in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and later in Afghanistan. RAND research briefs present policy-oriented summaries of individual published, peer-reviewed documents or of a body of published work. Why will it occur? It starts by identifying the key three dozen or so geopolitical; military; space, nuclear, and cyber; restraint; economic; and environmental trends that will shape the future of warfare from now until 2030. Cohen, Raphael S., Nathan Chandler, Shira Efron, Bryan Frederick, Eugeniu Han, Kurt Klein, Forrest E. Morgan, Ashley L. Rhoades, Howard J. Shatz, and Yuliya Shokh, Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center, Family Caregivers Should Be Integrated into the Health Care Team, Allies Growing Closer: Japan-Europe Security Ties in the Age of Strategic Competition, The Astronomical Price of Insulin Hurts American Families, Unemployment Insurance and the Failure to Reform, Benefits and Applications of a Standardized Definition of High-Quality Care. Getting to Know Military Caregivers and Their Needs, Helping Coastal Communities Plan for Climate Change, Improving Psychological Wellbeing and Work Outcomes in the UK, The Future of Warfare in 2030: Project Overview and Conclusions, Geopolitical Trends and the Future of Warfare: The Changing Global Environment and Its Implications for the U.S. Air Force, Military Trends and the Future of Warfare: The Changing Global Environment and Its Implications for the U.S. Air Force, Global Economic Trends and the Future of Warfare: The Changing Global Environment and Its Implications for the U.S. Air Force, Environment, Geography, and the Future of Warfare: The Changing Global Environment and Its Implications for the U.S. Air Force, Restraint and the Future of Warfare: The Changing Global Environment and Its Implications for the U.S. Air Force, Japan, India, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines (to a lesser extent) versus China, Potentially, countries in Russia's near abroad, Continuity in NATO allies that feel threatened by Russia, Varies based on country and type of crisis, with Eastern Europe often showing the most will to oppose Russia, Potentially less contribution from traditional Western European allies, Increasing near-peer conventional modernization and professionalism, China and/or Russia versus United States and select allies or partners, Potential for new alliances in Asia among strong states that feel threatened by China; continuity in NATO allies that feel threatened by Russia, Increasing public concern for civilian casualties, Greater deterrence of liberal and democratic states; autocracies often less affected, Potentially lower participation by U.S. partners, Emboldened nonstate actors and autocracies; liberal-democratic states more deterred, Potentially less contribution from traditional Western allies, Terrorism, weak states, and proxy wars in Islamic world, Weakening of state's monopoly on violence, Space an increasingly contested environment, Erosion of norms and treaties constraining tactical nuclear weapons use, Widespread distribution of imagery of military operations, Proliferation of commercial space capabilities, Relatively declining U.S. and allied economic might. Research suggests that the US military and its democratic allies may have an innate edge in this adaptability due to a more skilled and educated workforce. The United States will face the necessity of making a finite amount of resources go farther in a future with ever fewer strategic certainties. Military force designs therefore require an idea of what equipment is for and what a future conflict may look like – in military parlance, the Future Operating Environment. United States might need the ability to face at least five credible adversaries⁠—including two near peers—in four different types of conflict spread through at least three different geographical regions of the world, along with the need to consider the growing role of air, space, and cyber operations. Assuming that the United States opts to maintain or double down on its current commitments, the accompanying tables explore how the military might shape the force in a general sense in terms of capability, capacity, posture, strategy, and overall policy. However, these capabilities also come with serious risks that will need to be managed, and the United States will not have a monopoly on access to them. Who will fight in it? Photo by Voice of America/Wikipedia Creative Commons. Six years after 9/11, the U.S. military is at a crossroads. Greater use of AI comes with serious risks that will need to be managed. With U.S. conventional forces reduced in size, China—and, to a lesser extent, Russia—will narrow the qualitative gap. The Pardee RAND Graduate School (PRGS.edu) is the largest public policy Ph.D. program in the nation and the only program based at an independent public policy research organization—the RAND Corporation. The prior focus on counterinsurgency, counterterro… Daniel Rothenberg, co-director of the Future of War Project, Future of War fellow at New America, professor of practice at Arizona State University, and co-editor of Drone Wars. Drawing upon decades of experience, RAND provides research services, systematic analysis, and innovative thinking to a global clientele that includes government agencies, foundations, and private-sector firms. In this issue: what Dstl’s Intelligent Ship competition tells us about the future of naval warfare, what to expect from this year's DSEI, views on emerging cybersecurity threats from the National Cyber Security Centre and industry, how pilots will train for sixth-generation fighter jets, the latest in covert threat detection, and more. What Does Vietnam Want from the United States in the South China Sea? Air Force. Countering these strategies will require the United States to persistently confront different tactics and to be prepared to fight at multiple levels of conflict, from subconventional through high-end wars. Such considerations go well beyond understanding the operational implications of technology and include geopolitical, environmental, and economic changes. All the armed services want to understand what the future of conflict holds for them because, given how long it takes to develop capabilities, they must gamble today on what kinds of technology and people they will need to win tomorrow's wars. Furthermore, such factors as international laws, public opinion, and media coverage can constrain how states use force and, thus, how wars are fought. Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center, Family Caregivers Should Be Integrated into the Health Care Team, Allies Growing Closer: Japan-Europe Security Ties in the Age of Strategic Competition, The Astronomical Price of Insulin Hurts American Families, Unemployment Insurance and the Failure to Reform, Benefits and Applications of a Standardized Definition of High-Quality Care. Four overall trends are likely to exemplify the changing character of conflict during the next two decades regarding how people will fight: The blurring of peacetime and wartime.Future conflicts will increasingly undermine concepts of war and peace as separate, distinct conditions. All military capabilities matter only to the extent that actors decide to use them. Iran and North Korea do not have—and are unlikely to develop—capabilities to match those of the United States and its regional allies. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2020. https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB10073.html. These trends must be considered in the military sphere, matched with advances in our adversaries’ capabilities and operational concepts, and superimposed over a U.S. military that has been engaged in a non-stop state of all-consuming counter-insurgency warfare for the last 15-plus years. On top of all this is the necessity of making a finite amount of resources go farther in a future with ever fewer strategic certainties. U.S. Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis meets with China's Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe at the Bayi Building, China's Ministry of National Defense in Beijing, June 27, 2018. The air force and nav… Daily life in Zaatari refuggee camp in Jordan, located 10 km east of Mafraq, Jordan on June 04, 2014. RAND is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and committed to the public interest. Photo by Senior Airman Brittain Crolley/U.S. (This photo has been altered for security purposes by blurring out sensitive equipment. Garrett Sinclair, 347th Operations Support Squadron chief of weapons and tactics, analyzes a computer during exercise FT 19-04, April 18, 2019, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. U.S. forces will need to find ways to neutralize asymmetric capabilities and destroy substantial portions of adversaries' forces. Nuclear trends present a cleaner, if less rosy, picture of the future. The reports took the approach of examining these questions through the lenses of several trends—geopolitical, economic, environmental, legal, informational, and military—that will shape the contours of conflict. The 2018 NDS directs a shift away from the counterterrorism focus of the “Global War on Terror” and back toward “great power competition”. Drawing upon decades of experience, RAND provides research services, systematic analysis, and innovative thinking to a global clientele that includes government agencies, foundations, and private-sector firms. None of these problems appear likely to be resolved anytime soon and will likely shape the contours of conflict in the years to come. In determining trends, RAND researchers reviewed scholarly work, analyzed different data sets and topics of interest, conducted extensive field research, and relied on professional judgment. Armoured vehicle commonality is not widespread amongst NATO nations. All told, the RAND team interviewed more than 120 different government, military, academic, and policy experts from more than 50 different institutions in Belgium, China, Germany, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Poland, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom (UK) for their perspectives on regional and global trends that might shape the future of conflict between now and 2030. Raphael S. Cohen, Nathan Chandler, et al. Although successfully predicting the future of warfare is notoriously difficult, the U.S. military, for better or worse, is deeply invested in the forecasting business. To dominate the information domain before, during, and after the next conflict, significant change is required in the U.S. military’s appr This brief summarizes a series of reports that sought to answer these questions—looking out from now until 2030. The deepening strategic dilemmas that the United States will face include preparing for the low and high ends of the spectrum of conflict, planning for the wars that the United States most likely will fight and the ones it most hopes to avoid, and maintaining current U.S. allies and cultivating new ones. U.S. leaders will need to find ways to maximize benefits while mitigating inevitable risks. Share Article The Battle of the Somme has gone down in history as one of the bloodiest ever fought, with over a million men killed or wounded in the course of the largest action on WW1’s Western Front. Restraints and geography trends, the increasing salience of lawfare, the wider distribution of imagery of military operations, and the growing urbanization of the global population all could affect warfare by 2030. Specifically, it analyses how that relationship evolved during and after the Cold War, and extrapolates from current trends to speculate what impact war will have on the future evolution of the state. Welcome to the future of warfare. During the exercise, personnel will be evaluated on how well they defend and recover the base from ground-opposition forces, as well as mortar and missile attacks, while in mission oriented protective posture gear. military thought nor an executable doctrine for future warfare but a collection of tactics, techniques, and procedures that have been used throughout history. Despite the intention to focus elsewhere and on interstate competition and not terrorism, the Middle East remains the most likely—although not the most dangerous—place where the United States will need to fight wars in the future; this is exacerbated by U.S. restraints on the use of force and the continued public aversion to using ground forces in the region. Western thinking about future war (which is covered in a recent book by Lawrence Freedman) tends to oscillate between two extremes. These great-power states might calculate that the United States lacks sufficient capacity—in some cases, the capability—to respond effectively. Being able to use space-based assets for intelligence, communication, and navigation has long been one of the cornerstones of the U.S. military's advantage, but future U.S. dominance in space could be subject to two countervailing trends. Iran and North Korea are also likely to employ gray-zone tactics in pursuit of their regional objectives. The locations where the United States is most likely to fight will not match where conflicts could be most dangerous to U.S. interests. As aggressive states arm individuals and groups in regions they seek to destabilize or annex, the weaker states will have difficulty containing the violence that results and likely will turn to the United States for support. Military history is littered with mistaken predictions about the future of warfare that have left forecasters militarily unprepared—sometimes disastrously so—for the conflicts ahead. Howard J. Shatz @HowardJShatz, Nathan Chandler, Trend 1: Decreasing U.S. Why do predictions about the future of warfare usually fall flat? What changes are expected in the size, quality, and character of military forces available to the United States and its potential adversaries? We have never gotten it right, from the Mayagüez to Grenada, Panama, Somalia, the Balkans, Haiti, Kuwait, Iraq, and more—we had no idea a year before any of those missions that we would be so engaged. Subscribe to the weekly Policy Currents newsletter to receive updates on the issues that matter most. Michael Howard, the eminent scholar and military strategist, once observed that the purpose of future gazing in war is not to get it right, but to avoid getting it terribly wrong. about the future of warfare—specifically, those conflicts that will drive a U.S. and U.S. Air Force response—by examining the key geopo-litical, economic, environmental, geographic, legal, informational, and military trends that will shape the contours of conflict between now and 2030. This report is part of the RAND Corporation research report series. Also available in print form. According to Gen. Milley, “we’re going to have to, as we move forward in the next 10 years, optimize the army for urban warfare.” Battles in open terrain will increasingly be a thing of the past, as vast urbanization in developing countries is driving the majority of the world’s population into cities. There has been a remarkable acceleration with the use of guided weapons since Operation Desert Storm, where unguided dumb bombs were the norm. Tactics in pursuit of their regional objectives not have—and are unlikely to develop—capabilities match. Maximize benefits while mitigating inevitable risks to the public and private sectors all reports. Howardjshatz, Nathan Chandler, Trend 1: Decreasing U.S what changes are in. Interact with one another research briefs present policy-oriented summaries of individual published, peer-reviewed documents or of body!, 2020. https: //www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB10073.html, a modern day Netwar practitioner must look into... 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