The 2023 War On The Rocks Holiday Reading List

Featured in War on the Rocks

The Arms Of The Future


In The Arms of the Future: Technology and Close Combat in the Twenty-First Century, Dr. Jack Watling: Watling, of the London-based Royal United Services Institute, has authored a concise but rich examination of future warfare trends. He offers some trenchant observations on the future operating environment in the opening section, and then uses that context to evaluate and design tactical formations to be more effective given changes in the character of conflict. This bottom-up-driven force design is very granular but well-presented and meticulously researched. The proposals are also supported by numerous personal observations from experiments, exercises, and field research in Ukraine, where Watling has distinguished himself with numerous short reports. His comments on urban warfare and armor debates are detailed and surely provocative, standing between the proposed reforms of the late David Johnson and the evolutionary arguments of Dr. Stephen Biddle. This book will appeal to civilian policy leaders questioning land warfare requirements and military combat developers struggling to understand what to keep and what to mold.