The Future of Warfare

U.S. Air Force, Hawaii Air National Guard, INDOPACOM, TFI, Hawaiian Raptors, F-22, 199th FS, 19th FS, KC-135R Stratotanker, 203rd ARS, C-17 Globemaster III, 204th Airlift Squadron, 535th AS

Photo by U.S. Air National Guard

Where will the next war occur? Who will fight? Why and how will it be fought? This series of reports examines these questions from multiple perspectives, focusing on the geopolitical, military, economic, environmental, legal, and informational trends that will shape the future of warfare through 2030.

The United States will face a series of strategic dilemmas over the next decade. While U.S. adversaries will likely remain constant, allies are liable to change, if not on paper then in practice. The most likely locations for future conflict are not necessarily those most dangerous to American interests, further complicating the U.S. ability to prepare for contingencies. The Joint Force will likely face multiple types of conflict, each requiring different capabilities, even as its ability to sustain a quantitative or even qualitative edge over adversaries will likely decline. The United States may progressively lose the initiative to dictate strategic outcomes and to shape when and why conflicts occur. To meet future demands, the Joint Force and the U.S. Air Force will need to invest in more precision, information, and automation; build additional capacity; maintain a robust forward posture; and reinforce agility at all levels of warfare.

The Future of Warfare Series