What sorts of threats will the US military face in the “deep future”?
That was the topic of a panel at the Association of the US Army (AUSA) conference this week, the heavily attended annual trade show that draws top Pentagon officials and defense contractors.
It’s a tricky proposition for the Pentagon, since making the wrong predictions means squandering scarce funds in a time of intense budget pressure. The Pentagon was forced to cancel the Future Combat System in 2009, for example, when the military tried to predict where the future was headed “more than a few years out,” said Gen. Robert Cone, head of the US training and doctrine command. As a result, he told the panel, “We’re a little gun-shy.”
Still, in a standing-room-only session, the discussion endeavored to come up with the most likely risks to the stability of the world – and most likely to challenge the US military – in 2030 and beyond. Here are their top three picks.
1. The growth of cities – and of slums
2. A ‘significant and lengthy’ period of Sunni-Shiite violence in the Middle East
3. The revolution in personal communications, combined with cheap drones and robotics
Phi Beta Iota: The top threat to the future is the persistent corruption among all forms of organization, their loss of legitimacy, and the pathological dysfunctionality that introduces into all aspects of human life. The three “threats” above are contextual facts of life, not threats. The US military is lost….and evidently not getting much in the way of intelligence from DIA.