RUSI JournalVolume 164Issue 2

Can Biology Give Us the Information Edge that Physics Cannot?

Ants display remarkably sophisticated forms of social behaviour without the hierarchies associated with human organisations. Courtesy of Sylvain Dubey/Biology Image Library ID: 65360

Individual autonomy and decentralised decision-making may give Western militaries the advantage they need in the Information Age.

In the winning 2018 Trench Gascoigne Essay Prize, Chris Hitchins questions the efficacy of military hierarchies in meeting the complex, high-tempo and unpredictable challenges of the virtual dimension. Instead, he suggests drawing upon inspiration from biology which adapts to meet complex challenges from the bottom up, in the absence of strategy or centralised control.

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