The Leavenworth Way of War

History Discussion at CGSC

H101 –Viva la Revolucion!

poster_cheguevara_bigAuthors Knox and Murray, in the textbook, The Dynamics of Military Revolution, analyze the major historical changes in the nature of warfare in the modern period. They call these Military Revolutions (MR). A subset of those revolutions are smaller specific changes in the methods of warfare, they consider these smaller scale more focused changes Revolutions in Military Affairs (RMA). The major military debate coming in the next years is how to structure the American military for the 21st Century. In that debate it is important to determine if warfare currently is in the midst or has undergone an MR based on emerging and existing digital information technologies. Do you think the US Army leadership believes that an MR has occurred or is occurring? What is the evidence of that? Regardless of what you believe the US Army leadership thinks regarding MRs, what is your opinion?

August 25, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. To explore the question of whether we are in the midst of a Military Revolution (MR) or not it is useful first to define, or in this case review, the relevant definitions. According to Knox and Murray MR’s “recast society and the state as well as military organizations” (Knox and Murray, pg 7). The question then, is: will the emerging and existing technologies recast society, the state and the military?

    Firstly, with the establishment of US Cyber Command we see a shift in the military’s structure and organization. It has not, however recast the military organization as a whole, it has merely augmented it with additional capabilities. On a similar note there has not been a dramatic shift in the state or society. Thus at this point I believe that the US Army has taken a more practical approach and is pursuing a Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) and “devising new ways of destroying their opponents” (Knox and Murray pg 12).

    This is not to say that a MR is not possible and I think history will be the ultimate judge if we meet the criteria for a MR or not as it is difficult to define a MR if in the midst of one. Emerging technologies do have potential to drastically reshape how we understand and operate in our environment. As we struggle to understand things such as cyberspace, cyberpower and cyber warfare (which is discussed in greater detail by John B. Sheldon in his chapter “The Rise of Cyber Power” in Strategy in the Contemporary World, edited by Baylis, Waltz and Gray) we can begin to see how these new technologies and the vulnerabilities of current ones will influence how states operate and what priorities and goals they set as well as how they go about achieving them.

    Comment by Jonathan Cox | August 31, 2017

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