Here is a
complete list of the 27 Future of War essays, nicely compiled by Cyrus at New America. I think it is a pretty
Looking it over, I was
surprised to see how many were from military officers. I count 10 from current
or former Army officers, three from Marines, two from the Navy, and one from
the Air Force. That distribution probably is a good reflection of the military
readership of this blog. Overall, I would say there were about 70 submissions.
Two people had two entries appear.
Both in the ones that ran
and the ones that didn't, I think there was a surprising amount of consensus.
That's more vividly expressed in the particulars of each essay than in general
overarching terms, but in short: Messy, unpredictable, violent, using a mix of robots and humans, with a lot of effort by each side to interrupt
the adversary's communications. (Does the future belong to the side that has the best encrypted,
jam-defeating links to its drones? Or to the one that has the best counter-drone concepts?) Technology promises a lot, especially in
robotics, but the more we try for standoff,
the more the enemy will try to move in. Overall, nothing beats adaptiveness and resiliency.
The question, of course, is how to attain those.
But not everyone jumped on
that wagon. Some of the outliers were 1. The guy who said there will be no future war because the current ones will never end, 2. the
former officer who argued we already have lost the next war, 3. the actuary
who said simply that we are gonna have a nuclear war, and 4. the guy who argued
that we have been out-innovated for the last 13 years, so don't count on
technology to bail us out. Call this the pessimist party, if you will.
Now, please vote. Read
over the list and pick two.
For ease of voting, they are
numbered, just as they were when they originally ran. I would like to ask you
to send me an e-mail, using the e-mail address at the end of my bio,
to list your favorite and your 2nd favorite. Put "Contest" in the subject line
and write something simple like, "My top choice is no. X and my second is no.