Paper: Army Doctrine Must Evolve for Future Fight

Paper: Army Doctrine Must Evolve for Future Fight

Soldiers on vehicles in a convoy
Photo by: U.S. Army

Army concepts and doctrine must evolve as the service looks to a future battlefield that arguably will be dominated by artificial intelligence and autonomous systems, according to the author of a new paper published by the Association of the U.S. Army.

“The Principles for the Future of Warfare and Stand-off Warfare” by Lt. Col. Amos Fox is the third paper in a series focused on future warfare and how the military thinks about it. Fox is a doctoral candidate at the University of Reading and a freelance writer and conflict scholar writing for AUSA.

This latest paper calls on concept and doctrine developers, science and technology experts and force designers to work together to “develop pragmatic ideas and designs for future forces that integrate the key aspects of future technology without neglecting the enduring challenges of land warfare.”

“For the Army’s principles of war to remain relatively unchanged for nearly 100 years does not reflect their timelessness but rather the community of interests’ unwillingness to engage with the material in any meaningful way,” Fox writes. “This neglect should be alarming, especially considering that we are transitioning from a very human-centric era of warfare into one that will arguably be dominated by artificial intelligence, human-machine integrated formations and a multitude of autonomous systems.”

Read the paper here.

Through his five-part series, Fox aims to start a discussion on military thinking about the future of armed conflict by highlighting the differences among strategy, concepts, doctrine, plans and theory. The papers also will describe how institutional thinking is well represented in contemporary military thinking, but independent ideas are underrepresented.

Fox, whose research and writing focus on the theory of war and warfare, proxy war, future armed conflict, urban warfare, armored warfare and the Russo-Ukrainian War, has been published in RUSI Journal and Small Wars and Insurgencies, among many other publications.

The first paper in the series, “Western Military Thinking and Breaking Free from the Tetrarch of Modern Military Thinking,” is available here.

The second paper in the series, “Myths and Principles in the Challenges of Future War,” is available here.