War-Continuity in Change, and Change in Continuity   [open pdf - 704KB]

"So, how does one attempt to improve guesswork for the future concerning war, warfare, and strategy? The most basic answer is that one can only educate in the hope that judgment will be improved so that good, as opposed to poor, strategic choices will be made. You cannot know today what choices in defense planning you should make that will be judged correct in ten or 20 years' time. Why? Because one cannot know what is unknowable. Rather than accept a challenge that is impossible to meet, however, pick one that can be met well enough. Specifically, develop policy-makers, defense planners, and military executives so that they are intellectually equipped to find good enough solutions to the problems that emerge or even erupt unpredictably years from now. And, one has to emphasize, develop and maintain capabilities sufficiently adaptable to cope with a range of security challenges, since particular threats and opportunities cannot be anticipated with high confidence. The article presents nine major points, or claims, and concludes by offering some observations on the major current and near-term future characteristics of war and warfare with caveats appended."

2010 Colin S. Gray.
Retrieved From:
U.S. Army War College, Parameters: http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/parameters/
Media Type:
Parameters: United States Army War College Quarterly (Summer 2010), v.40 no.2, p.5-13
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