Our thinking about future wars is often held hostage by the tension between continuity and change. We tend to embrace the known past and continuity with it, sometimes too tightly. But thinking about future wars and preparing the Joint Force for success beyond today’s battles has to be based on more than extrapolating from history or clinging to the immutable realities of war. This is not a task for the faint of heart, as Colin Gray notes, “the further away from today one peers and tries to predict, the foggier the course of future events becomes.” Certainly we can benefit from deep immersion in history and its lessons, but we also must peek around the bend into the future. Since warfare often presents changes that are more than cosmetic, per Clausewitz, Joint Force developers must continuously balance their search for relevant lessons from the past while scanning for indicators of trends that will yield change in the future.

Some critical questions that guide this search are: Has war, either its nature or character, been altered in some way? How are our enemies adapting to contemporary conflict? What potential “game changers” are to be found in new forms of technology and how might we, or just as importantly, how might future adversaries, exploit them? What has changed over time, and what could change further? What is merely possible and what is probable? Which of the consequences of these changes are unacceptable to policymakers? In a world with rising powers, reduced resources, but also rising disorder, which kinds of warfare might the Joint Force have to be prepared for? [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-JT – Michael’s Blog