Innovation and Adaptation

'Why We Get it Wrong: Reflections on Predicting the Future of War' by Kori Schake via War on the Rocks

By The Cove August 28, 2018


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In this article by Kori Schake via War on the Rocks, she reviews Sir Lawrence Freedman's book, The Future of War as part of a book review Roundtable: the Future of War, Kori explores Freedman's analysis of why individuals get it wrong when predicting wars. Kori discusses how futurists 'over emphasize' present trends and draw straight line parallels from the present to the future. Freedman states that projecting accurately into the future ‘requires discontinuous behaviour.' Kori examines the 'decisive battle narrative' and how Freedman has tackled the 'mistaken expectation' that a decisive battle will result in victory, instead he argues it is duration that is the crucial factor in war. Kori explores the challenges and benefits of using quantitative analyses, highlighting that quantitative studies are devoid of context where every interstate war is unique with its own circumstances. The last part of Kori's article introduces the other experts from the political and technology professions who were part of the book review roundtable. These include: Mike Gallagher (U.S. House of Representatives), Heather Roff  (senior research analyst at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab), Sakunthala Panditharatne (founder of the company Asteroid Technologies) and Pavneet Singh and Michael Brown (scouts at DIUx, the Department of Defense’s (sic) outreach to Silicon Valley). These reviews are available here.  


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The Cove

The home of the Australian Profession of Arms.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.



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