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Photo of an ME 264 taken in 1942. Courtesy of Bundesarchiv.

The Changing Character of War: Making Strategy in the Early Twenty-First Century

Rob Johnson
RUSI Journal, 3 April 2017
Defence Policy, Global Security Issues, Technology
The West will need to develop strategic solutions to address today’s challenges.

Several fashionable fallacies affect current assessments of the character of conflict. It is always difficult to discern what changes will affect the strategic level, especially when attention is focused on particular wars and technological novelties. In this article, Rob Johnson argues that an honest appraisal of what is unchanging offers one route to that evaluation. Strategically, revisionist geopolitics, an electronic arms race between encryption and access, and a greater focus on protecting populations and national wealth are anticipated. After a period when the West could intervene across the globe at will, it appears that escalatory, existential threats are back, demanding a strategic solution.

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