Researchers highlight role of science in modern military in new book
Credit: Army Research Office
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (Feb. 13, 2020) — With the standing up of Army Futures Command and the establishment of the modernization priorities, the Army is focused on preparing for the future. In a new book, Army researchers describe the roles that science, especially artificial intelligence, will play in future military operations.
In the book, Nonsimplicity: The Warrior’s Way, Dr. Bruce J. West, a senior scientist at the Army Research Office, and his coauthor, retired Army Brig. Gen. Chris Arney, Ph.D., discuss in a nontechnical, informal style how the military can grow and change to prepare itself for its future. This book is the first in a series of books being published by the Cyber Defense Review, a journal associated with the Army Cyber Institute at West Point.
ARO is an element of U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory.
“Our world is complex — uncertain, irrational, chaotic, foggy, and full of paradox,” West writes. “To serve the American society in this complex time, the U.S. military must become non-simple and agile. That means being able to meet its missions in all their forms–major conflict, full spectrum combat, cyber and information warfare, asymmetric war, unconventional war, disaster relief, stability operations and cognitive challenges.”
In the book, the authors recommend a new set of Information Age Principles of War and identify the strategies, tactics, systems and weapons that the modern warriors need to develop and use.
“The new principles are based on the conceptions of nonsimplicity, nonlinearity and the broader, more modern view of warfare,” Arney writes. “Some of new principles are flexibility, synchronization, cooperation, integration and awareness. Gone from the list are the means to restrict the force to simplicity such as offense, mass, economy of force and unity of command. These old conceptions of the military can still play roles in planning and implementation, but no longer rise to the level of an Information Age Principle of War.”
“Modern warriors will need new cognitive and leadership skills to be able to adapt their thinking and planning to the forthcoming deceptions and paradoxes that easily confuse and defeat industrial age thinking,” West said. “The information age military requires new talents and combinations of warriors – data analysts, complex problem solvers, cyber experts, information scientists, network scientists, roboticists and interdisciplinary modelers.”
An electronic copy of the book is available for free at Cyber Defense Review; a version for e-readers is also available.
The CCDC Army Research Laboratory is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. As the Army’s corporate research laboratory, ARL discovers, innovates and transitions science and technology to ensure dominant strategic land power. Through collaboration across the command’s core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our nation’s wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.
Lisa B. Bistreich-Wolfe