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5 - The Future of War

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 August 2021

Geoffrey F. Weiss
Affiliation:
National Military Command Center, The Pentagon
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Summary

Chapter V applies concepts from preceding chapters to investigate the future character of war and war’s future as a human activity. The chapter begins by exploring the challenge of future forecasting and strategy development, which is compounded by the accumulation of human and environmental effects that invalidate assumptions. The chapter asserts that forecasting may be improved by considering three sets of factors: history and trends, current circumstances, and theory. Next, it explores political, technological, and doctrinal developments that could impact war’s future character, like artificial intelligence and nanotechnology, and provides strategic advice for both high and low capacity groups. The chapter’s latter half uses the history-current circumstances-theory model to assess the feasibility and desirability of ending war forever. Using evidence from archaeology, anthropology, history, trends, and war and peace theories, the chapter concludes that war’s existence is inextricably linked to humanity, i.e., eliminating either eliminates both. It wraps up by offering practical suggestions for minimizing the potential for war.

Type
Chapter
Information
The New Art of War
The Origins, Theory, and Future of Conflict
, pp. 309 - 367
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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