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News | Dec. 11, 2023

Imagining the Future of Landpower

By Frank Hoffman MWI

There is an ongoing debate in the US military establishment about the changing character of war. Officially, we acknowledge the need for significant change over continuity, yet very few agree on the details. Ongoing conflicts raise questions. In particular, just how will the rapid diffusion of low-cost unmanned systems and an array of accurate, lethal top-attack munitions impact warfare and US defense priorities? How should tomorrow’s landpower adapt to the purported changing character of war. What is now a legacy capability and what are the new priorities shaping US military investments? A new book, The Arms of the Future: Technology and Close Combat in the Twenty-First Century, gets to the heart of that debate, taking a forward-leaning look at these questions and urging adaptation. It races up to and past what a prior article in these pages called “the inflection point between evolutionary and revolutionary adaptation.”

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