The future of warfare is an important and interesting topic, yet no comprehensive book on this subject exists. This is not one of those silly books sponsored by defense contractors that describe future warfare as a video game won by "technology." New weaponry will be a factor in future conflicts, yet wars will still be won by the nation with most professional military backed by a modern and healthy industrial base with access to strategic materials.
Future wars involve broad and diverse topics, so it is not surprising that no one has attempted to address future warfare. I have never been in a future war, and no modern military forces have clashed on a large scale since 1953, although Israel and Arab nations engaged in notable battles, and nations like Iraq and Iran fought World War I type wars. This book is based upon independent thought after a lifetime of reading about military affairs, and several years of experience as an officer in the US Marine Corps. I promise not to dwell on historical anecdotes, which most writers use throughout their discussions about the future. This is detailed analysis, similar to the dozens of my articles that appeared in G2mil and other military publications over the past 25 years.
This is not a book by a "futurist" who writes in vague terms about "precision strikes," "netcentric warfare," and "elite forces." This is not a science fiction book in which robotic vehicles battle while unmanned aerial vehicles rule the skies. The warping of military discussions into sales pitches for new expensive equipment was criticized a few years ago by Marine General Paul Van Riper: "There's an unfortunate culture developing in the American military that maybe should make you nervous. I don't see the rich intellectual discussions that we had after Vietnam. I see mostly slogans, clichés and unreadable materials."
This is not a book about a new generation of warfare that pretends real military power is of little value since future wars will only involve terrorists pursued by Special Forces. Much of this book covers mundane topics as logistics, maintenance, professional development, and operational costs. However, topics include lasers that blind soldiers, naval bombers, and war in space. Most of this book is written so the average person can grasp concepts, however, complex topics are addressed; this is not Warfare 101. I have attempted to write this book from an international perspective, but since the United States is at the forefront of most military technology, and since I am most familiar with its structure and equipment, much of this book addresses American military capabilities.
I wish to thank those who encouraged my military writings these past three decades. Colonel John Greenwood USMC (ret.) the former long-time editor of the Marine Corps Gazette. The late Colonel David Hackworth, best-selling author of About Face, was always very supportive of my work. The iconoclastic Mike Sparks, who served in the US Marine Corps, US Army, and Army National Guard in a frustrating attempt to serve in a truly professional military force. He first posted my ideas on the Internet and has been supportive for many years. I must thank Larry A. Altersitz, Phillip Park, and Phil West for reviewing the final content of this book to ensure clarity and correctness. Finally, thanks to all my e-mail friends who supported G2mil the past 15 years.
Carlton Meyer editorG2mil@Gmail.com