Land Warfare in the 21st Century Pub247

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LAND WARFARE IN THE 21ST CENTURY General Gordon R. Sullivan Lieutenant Colonel James M. Dubik February 1993 ******* The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. This report is approved for public release; distribution unlimited. Portions may be quoted or represented without permission, provided that a standard source credit line is in
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  LAND WARFARE IN THE 21ST CENTURY General Gordon R. SullivanLieutenant Colonel James M. DubikFebruary 1993  ii*******The views expressed in this report are those of the authorsand do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position ofthe Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or theU.S. Government. This report is approved for public release;distribution unlimited. Portions may be quoted or representedwithout permission, provided that a standard source credit lineis included.*******Comments pertaining to this publication are invited and maybe forwarded to: Director, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. ArmyWar College, Carlisle Barracks, PA 17013-5050. Comments also maybe conveyed by calling the Conference Organizer, Dr. Gary L.Guertner, commercial (717) 245-3234 or DSN 242-3234.*******This paper was srcinally presented at the U.S. Army WarCollege Fourth Annual Strategy Conference held February 24-25,1993, with the assistance of the Office of Net Assessment. TheStrategic Studies Institute is pleased to publish the paper aspart of its Conference Series.  iii PREFACE Land warfare in the 21st century will be shaped by thecumulative effects of many revolutionary changes that have yet tomerge in a clear or predictable pattern. This paper identifiesthree elements of change that are likely to have the greatestimpact on the Army and the joint conduct of land warfare.First, the international system is undergoing its thirdmajor transition of the 20th century in response to the end ofthe cold war. The bipolar world has disappeared, replaced byuncertainty and instability. The United States as the world'ssole superpower is debating its role and responsibilities in sucha world, a debate that is greatly influenced by domesticpressures to resolve a complex set of economic and social issuesat home. Together these trends are forcing a dramatic shift instrategy from the Soviet global threat to regional crises thatrequire collective applications of military power in operationsother than war. These include humanitarian relief, peacekeeping,peace-enforcement, and peace-building (nation assistance) thatwill require a wide range of forward presence/peacetimeengagement operations.Second, changes in military technology are culminating inwhat many believe will be a military-technical revolution thatbrings unprecedented depth and transparency to the battlefield.Five of this revolution's most significant technologicaldevelopments for land warfare are lethality and dispersion;volume and precision of fire; integrative technology; mass andeffects; and invisibility and detectability. These developmentswill drive adjustments in tactics, organization, doctrine,equipment, force mix, and methods of command and control. Theauthors believe that these innovations indicate that smaller landforces can create decisive effects IF  technology is used by high-quality, well-trained and well-led troops employing properdoctrine. Implicit in this analysis is the assumption that thereis a line below which technology can no longer compensate forcuts in force structure. That line will ultimately be determinedby the capabilities of our adversaries and the will of theAmerican public.Finally, this paper cautions that change will inevitablycoexist with at least three constants--the root causes of war,the nature of war, and the essence of fighting power. Preparationincludes traditional non-quantifiable factors as much astechnology. Leadership, courage, self-sacrifice, initiative, andcomradeship under extreme conditions of ambiguity, fog, friction,danger, stark fear, anxiety, death, and destruction--all remainthe coins of war's realm and no amount of technological advancewill degrade their value.  ivA central message of this paper is for strategists to carrythe best of the present forward as we adapt to the revolutionarychanges on the horizon. Land warfare will remain a vitalcomponent in the national military strategy, but only if weunderstand and respond to the forces that are shaping thebattlefields of the 21st century.
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