Alternative Futures and Army Force Planning

Implications for the Future Force Era

by Brian Nichiporuk


Download eBook for Free

Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.5 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Summary Only

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback136 pages $22.00 $17.60 20% Web Discount

To help the U.S. Army with force planning for the 2025 era, this study uses the tool of alternative futures analysis. It bounds the future the Army will face by laying out a representative spectrum of different “future worlds” that hopefully illustrate the complete universe of future missions. By mixing and matching possible trends across five key areas (geopolitics, economics, demographics, technology, and environment), six alternative futures are created: “U.S. unipolarity” and “democratic peace” (best cases), “major competitor rising” and “competitive multipolarity” (medium-good cases), “transnational web” (medium-bad case), and “chaos/anarchy” (worst case). After explaining the main features of each future, the study creates an appropriate “Army type” for each, through a three-step process: (1) a representative combat scenario was created for each future, (2) the strategies-to-tasks methodology was used to set out the raw capabilities needed for a given scenario, and (3) the force characteristics and size required to meet the needs presented in the capability statements were formulated. All the needed characteristics were then bundled together to form a basic Army type for a given future. The report concludes with a review and discussion of the common desired characteristics found across the six types.

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Army and conducted by the RAND Arroyo Center.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.