The Revolution in Military Affairs, its Driving Forces, Elements and Complexity

Neuneck, Götz ; Alwardt, Christian


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Dokumentart: Bericht / Forschungsbericht / Abhandlung
Institut: IFSH - Institut für Friedensforschung und Sicherheitspolitik
Schriftenreihe: Working paper // Interdisziplinäre Forschungsgruppe Abrüstung und Rüstungskontrolle
Bandnummer: 2008,13
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 2008
Publikationsdatum: 06.04.2009
Originalveröffentlichung: (2008)
DDC-Sachgruppe: Politik
BK - Basisklassifikation: 89.80 (Militärwesen: Allgemeines), 89.77 (Rüstungspolitik)
Sondersammelgebiete: 3.6 Politik und Friedensforschung

Kurzfassung auf Englisch:

The current concept of a “Revolution in Military Affairs” mainly characterizes the transformation of the US military to smaller, more powerful forces. It is driven by structural changes in the international system, the high investment in R&D and military expenditures the US government, the dramatic advancements in Information and Communication Technologies and the integration of these military, doctrinal, and technological factors into new military structures and tactics. This current revolution in American affairs has been a capital-intensive evolution, and while these innovations have lead to tactical victories over opposing forces on the battlefield, it is not yet clear that they have contributed to stability in the larger strategic context. Indeed, even the tactical advantages are eroding as potential opponents retool their own military doctrines. The strategic response runs the length of technological spectrum, from the development of countermeasures such as in the proliferation of WMD to the development of low-tech warfare strategies and tactics like IEDs detonated by cell phone. The proliferation of conventional weapons combined with the adaptation of new asymmetric tactics is another consequence. Precision weapons are minimizing the casualties of the RMA forces, but not necessarily the casualties of the adversary. The Iraqi war demonstrates that the fog of war is not overcome and wars fought with Precision Guided Munitions are not necessarily “clean”. In consideration of these facts the efforts must be intensified to develop new methods for effective arms control. Overall the key task for the globalized world is first and foremost to develop strategies to win the “hearts and minds” of people in zones of violent conflict. The inclusion of the civil society is a basic element and armed forces should seek the dialogue with the civil society before it comes to war.

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