Small Wars Journal


Mon, 06/30/2014 - 8:03pm


As the summer heats up so do discussions concerning future war. Here are four different views of future war for your reading pleasure.

Predicting Future War by Robert Johnson

This article assesses how we think about future war, drawing attention to its associated caveats, obstacles, and intellec­tual problems. It is divided into three sections: the first acknowledg­es that predicting the future is immensely problematic, but suggests history can be a critical guide. The second assesses the present and why it is difficult to conceive of accelerating change. The third ex­amines the trends of future war. The article concludes with implica­tions for US forces.

The New Cold War by Michael G. Roskin

Russian and Chinese hostility toward the United States creates a New Cold War, but treating the two adversaries differently can make things break our way. US strategists should pick the bigger long-term threat, Russia or China, and treat it firmly and the smaller one flexibly, avoiding the rigid diplomatic and military policies that prolonged the old Cold War.

Forking Paths: War After Afghanistan by Michael Evans

   For defense departments and professional militaries of advanced liberal democracies, judgments concerning future armed conflict are necessary to guide force preparation, personnel readi­ness, and equipment procurement. When such judgments are made in times of economic austerity and geopolitical uncertainty, the need for clarity of thought on the future of war becomes imperative in determining priorities.

The Paracel Islands and U.S. Interests and Approaches in the South China Sea by Lt Col (USAF Ret) Clarence J. Bouchat

The Paracel Islands and South China Sea disputes require better understanding by U.S. policymakers in order to address the region’s challenges. To attain that needed understanding, legal aspects of customary and modern laws are explored in this monograph to analyze the differences between competing maritime and territorial claims, and why and how China and Vietnam stake rival claims or maritime legal rights. Throughout, U.S. policies are examined through U.S. conflicted interests in the region. Recommendations for how the United States should engage these issues, a more appropriate task than trying to solve the disputes outright, are then offered.

We hope you will enjoy these insightful and thoughtful works and we always look forward to your feedback through comments to this blog, Landpower, or to me.