The U.S. military is fighting extremism—including white supremacists and violent anti-government radicals—in its own ranks. De-radicalized former extremists can provide crucial first-hand intelligence on extremist groups' recruiting tactics.
As a growing consensus embraces the utility of educational wargaming, a more daunting question remains: Can the Joint Force integrate and sustain educational wargaming in the operating forces? The challenges are substantial, but they are not insurmountable. The answer depends on bold leadership, sufficient tools, and eager partners.
Despite some steps taken by the Department of Defense, sexual assault and harassment prevention within the services and at individual installations could be substantially improved. The services could address the problem more systematically and comprehensively.
The benefits of games for military education are well documented. But harnessing the potential of games to foster innovation may require a commitment to sustain gaming over the years needed to explore a problem space and develop and stress-test new ideas.
The military has a growing extremism problem because America does. Service members who embrace violent extremism are thankfully few; Americans citizens who do so are sadly far too many. As a nation we need to deal with both.
Millions of post-9/11 U.S. military veterans experience life-changing invisible wounds, including posttraumatic stress disorder and chronic issues resulting from traumatic brain injuries. While effective treatments are available, many veterans lack access to high-quality care. And what high-quality care means, exactly, has been elusive.
It is not uncommon to see a co-occurrence of PTSD and heavy use of substances, which can rise to the level of a substance use disorder. It may be necessary to challenge how the needs of veterans are addressed to remove barriers to care that make treating these co-occurring disorders simultaneously so difficult.
While AI-enabled robots will have human-like characteristics, they will likely develop distinct personalities of their own. The military will need an extensive training program to inform new doctrines and concepts to manage this powerful, but unprecedented, capability.
The final State of the Union address of President Trump's four-year term may be viewed through the lens of the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the evening. But the speech touched on a range of policy challenges that will remain, regardless of how politics play out in 2020.