Envisioning the Future of Warfare
Among the possibilities the Future of Warfare team considered:
- Traditional military strength will be marginalized as warfare becomes more asymmetric and indirect (terrorism, sabotage, disinformation campaigns).
- Military forces will see a larger role in peacekeeping, and a smaller role in direct combat.
- Nonlethal attacks on systems (economic disruption, cyberattacks, etc.) will become more important... and more devastating. Terrorism expert John Robb calls such attacks, when designed to cause a cascading effect of infrastructure or market failures, systempunkt.
- The relationship between the US and China will shape much of the geopolitical landscape as the 21st century moves forward.
- Military strategists need to pay more attention to culture and identity when managing conflicts, and may employ sociologists and anthropologists to help in their planning.
One of the more interesting scenarios the team considered involved unintended consequences of the switch to alternative energy sources. If oil prices crash as a result, already volatile regions such as the Middle East could become even more explosive, and an even greater threat to the West.
Source: World Future Society