From the auspices of The Warlord, an interesting paper:
UK Ministry of Defence – The Future Character of Conflict (PDF)
Deductions from Themes in Future Conflict
- Future conflict will not be a precise science: it will remain an unpredictable and uniquely human activity. Adversaries (state, state-proxies and non-state) and threats (conventional and unconventional) will blur. The range of threats will spread, with increased proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), cyberspace, and other novel and irregular threats.
- Even during wars of national survival or the destruction of WMD, conflict will remain focused on influencing people. The battle of the narratives will be key, and the UK must conduct protracted influence activity, coordinated centrally and executed locally.
- Maintaining public support will be essential for success on operations. Critical to this will be legitimacy and effective levels of force protection.
- Qualitative advantage may no longer be assumed in the future. Some adversaries may be able to procure adequate quality as well as afford greater quantity, whereas we will be unable to mass sufficient quality or quantity everywhere that it is needed.
I have a great fondness for the British.
They are culturally our close cousins and are a greater people than their recent governments would imply ( the same can largely be said of Americans as well). The current and former administrations have not nurtured the “special relationship” as they should have.
This is of course, an gross understatement: the Obama administration has been at special pains to kick British Prime Ministers in the groin in public ever since they came in to office in 2009. Now, in a fit of ill-considered budgetary niggardliness, the British are merging part of their military power projection capability with that of France, in order to form something that will be, in case of “future conflict”, completely undeployable. Great.
Just wait, by 2012-2014, the cry in American politics will be ” Who Lost Britain?”
Perhaps we will be too consumed with Mexican narco-insurgency in Texas, Arizona and California by then to care.