Preparing for Future Warfare with Advanced Technologies

Prioritizing the Next Generation of Capabilities

by John Matsumura, Randall Steeb, Paul S. Steinberg

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A new era in military planning is under way. As the defense leadership attempts to define and prepare a more efficient and effective military from the top down, the services are selectively transforming key capabilities to meet the anticipated needs for warfare in the new millennium. Past planning emphasized developing a superior military capability by way of manpower and materiel that would in large part already be in place. Where parity in manpower could not be achieved, technology was implemented to level the playing field. Many "force multipliers" were designed and fielded, including the first generation of truly "smart" and precision-guided weapons. In this new era of planning, the immediate challenge is about understanding the problem, not just the "who" and the "where," but also the "why" and "to what extent." One fundamental question is, "What capabilities are essential for the future, and how should they be prioritized?" This issue paper seeks to address this question, bringing to bear empirical analysis based on sophisticated modeling and simulation recently carried out by RAND researchers. In particular, using a scenario based on experiences in Operation Allied Force in Kosovo in 1999, researchers evaluate how three prioritizations of capabilities might play out in a similar small-scale contingency (SSC) in the 2015 timeframe.

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