‘Nor can technology abolish war’s central essence as the realm of uncertainty and of the clash of wills. Processing power can no more replace discernment and sheer guts at the strategic level than on the battlefield itself.’ - The Dynamics of Military Revolution As more have come to accept that our global society is on … Continue reading Winning Wars: Technological advantage or the will to fight?
The closer you look at Information Operations (IO), the harder it becomes to define. Indeed, so too does the broader information instrument of national power; a component of the ‘DIME’ model, as well as many other models used to understand national power. The perceived complexity of IO is often the cause of needless friction in … Continue reading Information Operations: Marketing for War
In his 1998 landmark False Dawn, John Gray wrote that whatever mutation was to emerge from the disintegration of global free market capitalism and the uncontrolled spread of technology, it would likely be unrecognizable from capitalisms past. Two decades on, we can attest to Gray’s foresight. But the mutation that emerged has now become visible. … Continue reading The Geopolitics of Surveillance Capitalism
The future isn’t always going to be about machine-based organisms, direct-energy weapons (LASERS!) and artificial intelligence. It can be anchored in the past with the future battlespace being shaped by competing tactical and strategic demands. War will continue to be more than combat and technology and the sensationalism of new weapons and munitions may blind … Continue reading Drivers and Dividers: The Future of Munitions in Accelerated Warfare
Counterinsurgency operations are not just ‘difficult’, they’re ‘playing Pac-Man on level 256 while solving five rubik's cubes with one hand difficult’. Intervening in foreign affairs in pursuit of a rules-based global order has sapped the energy from superpowers past and present - and will likely continue to do so into the future. Throughout the 20th … Continue reading British response in Dhofar: the pursuit of an elusive ‘rules-based global order’
On 22nd June 1941, the Russian military was in disarray as Germany embarked upon the largest military campaign the world had ever seen; Operation Barbarossa. Tactically, the Red Army was woefully unprepared, but a robust Soviet strategic and ideological framework was in place to leverage off the concept of total national mobilisation. Russia’s ruthless approach … Continue reading Countering Mass as a Middle Power: A Case Study
In late 1938 Europe stood on the brink of war. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain received a hero’s welcome on his return from Munich. His efforts to save the peace in Europe were greeted by fanfare and relief. Intent on preserving peace in Europe, Chamberlain had made all allowable concessions to Hitler. He was convinced … Continue reading The Risk of Appeasement to Relative Power
Without humans, war would be a relatively straight-forward affair. Thucydides explores the dynamics of human interaction in his account of the Peloponnesian War; both how humans affect, and are affected by war. He presents us with a number of key propositions about war and human nature, perhaps most strikingly, the motives for war; “fear, honour, … Continue reading Thucydides and the Inseparable Union of War and Human Nature
New and novel technologies are transforming military capabilities and will impact how militaries will fight into the future. As with any transformation, new vulnerabilities are being exposed and will be exploited by future adversaries. These new technologies include directed energy weapons which are within the reach of our future adversaries. Directed energy weapons can be … Continue reading The ethics of directed energy weapons
This post explores the German approach to Auftragstahik (mission command), blitzkrieg (combined arms integration) and officer education during the Second World War. It explores why modern military professionals remain facinated by the German approach but are unable to replicate it.