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Resources relating to Future Warfare and Futurology
Last Updated: May 11, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates


National Intelligence Council's "Global Trends" Reports (US) and Reports Inspired by "Global Trends"

Global Risks 2035: The Search for a New Normal - Mathew Burrows
(Washington, DC: Atlantic Council, 2016)
“What will the world be like in 2035? The forecast seems dire. In the four years since ‘Global Trends 2030’ was published, the biggest change in the world is the increased risk of major conflict. In 2012, a large-scale US/NATO conflict with Russia or China was close to unthinkable. Now, the post-Cold War security order has broken down, and the consequences are immense, potentially threatening globalization. The report projects that, given the broader geopolitical and technological trends, in the best case, the world is looking at multipolarity with limited multilateralism. There would still exist some cooperation where there was strong interest among the great powers. However, fragmentation could easily slide into open conflict. In that worst case, the multipolarity would evolve into another bipolarity—with China, Russia, and their partners pitted against the United States, Europe, Japan, and other allies. In that scenario, conflict would be almost inevitable. Authored by Dr. Mathew J. Burrows, director of the Strategic Foresight Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security and the principal drafter the highly influential National Intelligence Council publication ‘Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds,’ the report emphasizes that world leaders and policymakers must understand global risks and take imminent actions to make sure that the world of 2035 is a safe and prosperous one.”

Podcast about “Global Risks 2035: Search for a New Normal" - Atlantic Council
Atlantic Council. September 22, 2016, streaming video, 60:32:24

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Global Trends 2030 - National Intelligence Council
Call Number: Root Hall - CB161 .G56 2012
(Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2012)
“‘Global Trends 2030’ is intended to stimulate thinking about the rapid and vast geopolitical changes characterizing the world today and possible global trajectories over the next 15 years. In depth research, detailed modeling and a variety of analytical tools drawn from public, private and academic sources were employed in the production of this report. Visit this page for continuing coverage of ‘Global Trends 2030.’”

Global Trends 2030: Alternative Trends 2030 (Blog)
“The National Intelligence Council (NIC) is a U.S. Government entity, operating as part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). The NIC is sponsoring this website to provide a forum where guest bloggers can discuss selected topics to be raised in the NIC’s upcoming 'Global Trends 2030' (GT2030) publication. These guest bloggers – government officials; NIC IC Associates; academicians; or experts from independent think tanks or other consultancies – ...[ran] this blog through September 2012.”

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Global Trends 2025 - National Intelligence Council
Call Number: Root Hall - CB161 .G56 2008
(Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2008)
"'Global Trends 2025' is the fourth installment in the National Intelligence Council-led effort to identify key drivers and developments likely to shape world events a decade or more in the future. Both the product and the process used to produce it benefited from lessons learned in previous iterations. Each edition of 'Global Trends' has tapped larger and more diverse communities of experts."


Most Recent Annual Forecasts Produced By Think Tanks

2017 Index of U.S. Military Strength: Assessing America's Ability to Provide for the Common Defense - Dakota L. Wood (Ed.)
(Washington, DC: Heritage Foundation, 2016)
“As the new administration and Congress are settling in, one of their early priorities must be national defense. One of the key resources available for policymakers is The Heritage Foundation’s ‘Index of U.S. Military Strength,’ containing the latest assessments of global threats and the U.S. military. The ‘2017 Index of U.S. Military Strength’ is Heritage’s third annual assessment of the United States Armed Forces’ ability to provide for the common defense. As with the first two editions, the 2017 Index continues to analyze the U.S. military’s status in capacity, capability, and readiness. The publication looks at evolving threats and opportunities around the globe and how they contribute to and influence this ability and discusses how and why elements of national security grew better or worse over the past year. Additionally, the ‘2017 Index of U.S. Military Strength’ provides focused analysis of specific security themes such as the role of alliances in America’s efforts to protect its interests around the globe, an overview of operational concepts and their contributions to successful military planning, a discussion of cybersecurity and its broader consequences for national security policy, and an exploration of the military strategy and strategic thinking.”

Preventive Priorities Survey: 2016 - Paul B. Stares
(Washington, DC: Council on Foreign Relations, 2015)
“The Preventive Priorities Survey seeks to evaluate conflicts based on their likelihood of occurring or escalating and their impact on U.S. national interests. This fall, CFR's Center for Preventive Action (CPA) solicited suggestions from the general public on potential conflicts that could erupt or escalate next year. CPA narrowed down the nearly one thousand suggestions to thirty, and invited government officials, academics, and foreign policy experts to rank them. CPA then categorized the scenarios into three tiers, in order of priority for U.S. leaders—high, moderate, and low."

Global Conflict Tracker 2016
Publication Date: 2016
The accompanying online interactive map to the "Preventive Priorities Survey: 2016."


"War on the Rocks" Podcasts

"War on the Rocks" Podcasts
“Great discussions with security, defense, and foreign policy experts.”


Future of Warfare Initiative from the Center for a New American Security

"Future of Warfare Initiative from the Center for a New American Security"
"The Future of Warfare Initiative is an ambitious, multi-year project to examine how emerging technologies will shape the future of warfare. Rapid advances in unmanned systems, robotics, data processing, autonomy, networking, and other enabling technologies have the potential to spur an entirely new warfighting regime. State and non-state actors alike will seek to exploit these and other new technologies, many of which are driven by commercial sector innovation in information technology. The U.S. military will need to develop new concepts of operation, doctrine, training, policies, and organizational structures to exploit these technologies and stay ahead in the emerging warfighting regime. These developments may occur in the next decade or later.

The Future of Warfare Initiative will focus on publishing groundbreaking research and growing the community of interest on these issues. The Initiative aims to deliver practical, actionable recommendations to policy makers today to help prepare the U.S. military for the challenges and opportunities these technologies will present in the years to come."


Futures Weapons: New and Disruptive Technology

“Emerging Technology: Creator of Worlds" - W. Michael Guillot
Strategic Studies Quarterly 10, no. 3 (Fall 2016): 3-8.

“Biotechnology: An Era of Hopes and Fears” - Douglas R. Lewis
Strategic Studies Quarterly 10, no. 3 (Fall 2016): 23-46.

“Deterring Emergent Technologies” - John P. Geis II and Theodore C. Hailes
Strategic Studies Quarterly 10, no. 3 (Fall 2016): 47-73.

“Additive Manufacturing: From Form to Function” - Amanda M. Schrand
Strategic Studies Quarterly 10, no. 3 (Fall 2016): 74-90.

The Drone Revolution Revisited: An Assessment of Military Unmanned Systems in 2016 - Arthur Holland Michel and Dan Gettinger
(Annandale-on-Hudson, NY: Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College, 2016)
“‘The Drone Revolution Revisited’ offers a guide to the evolving ecosystem of unmanned systems technologies as it stands in 2016, and reflects the ways in which the technology has evolved and matured over the past seven years since the publication of ‘Wired for War’ [by Peter W. Singer]. The research produced by our students served as the basis for Chapter I, which consists of portraits of 30 systems that Singer presented as the harbingers of the drone revolution. Some of the systems—for example, the U.S. Navy’s MQ-8 Fire Scout—have grown into large multi-billion dollar military acquisition programs, while other systems that seemed promising, such as the Boston Dynamics BigDog or the Foster Miller SWORDS, have fizzled. Of these 30 systems, 13 are active or deployed, three remain in development, and 14 have been cancelled or are inactive. By revisiting these systems, we have sought to update, expand upon, and interrogate Singer’s 2009 portrait of the drone revolution."

“Tactical Utility of Tailored Systems” - Robert E. Smith
Military Review 96, no. 4 (July-August 2016): 108-115.

"Frankenweapons Loom on the Horizon" - Carl Meuser  Icon
Proceedings: United States Naval Institute 142, no. 7 (July 2016): 28-33.

"Will Humans Matter in the Wars of 2030?" - Andrew Herr
Joint Force Quarterly, no. 77 (2nd Quarter 2015): 76-83.

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Ready for Battle: Technological Intelligence on the Battlefield - Azriel Lorber
Call Number: Root Hall - UB250 .L67 2015
(Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015)

Twenty-First Century Defense and Disruptive Innovation - Wagen, Carey M.
Call Number: Root Hall AD-A 563 406
Carlisle Barracks, PA: U.S. Army War College, 2012.

Strategic Technology - Boswell, James E.
Call Number: Root Hall AD-A 562 101
Carlisle Barracks, PA: U.S. Army War College, 2012.

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Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century - P. W. Singer
Call Number: Root Hall UG450 .S35 2009; Ridgway Hall UG450 .S56 2009
(New York, NY: Penguin Press, 2009)

Competitive Advantage, Uncertainty, and Weapons Procurement: Striking Balance for the Future - Mason, Patrick H.
Call Number: Root Hall AD-A 510 863
Carlisle Barracks, PA: U.S. Army War College, 2009


Futures Weapons: Nuclear Weapons

North Korea Nuclear Futures from 38 North
"38 North is a website devoted to analysis of North Korea. While it strives to break new ground, the site’s main objective is to bring the best possible analysis to both seasoned North Korea watchers and general audiences alike. Too often analysis of the North is permeated by inexperience, littered with inaccurate information or grounded in poorly deducted reasoning. We believe no one really knows for sure what is going on in North Korea, but we can at least try to understand the possibilities. Similarly, anyone who professes certainty should be viewed with the greatest skepticism."

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The Case for U. S. Nuclear Weapons in the 21st Century - Brad Roberts
Call Number: Root Hall UA23.18 .R63 2016
(Stanford, CA: Stanford Security Studies, 2016)

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Asia's Latent Nuclear Powers - Mark Fitzpatrick  Icon
Call Number: Root Hall U162 .A3 no. 455
(Abingdon, NY: Routledge for the International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2016)

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Underestimated: Our Not So Peaceful Nuclear Future - Henry D. Sokolski
Call Number: Call Number: Root Hall U413.R32 S632 2016; Ridgway Hall U413.R32 S632 2016
(Carlisle Barracks: PA, U.S. Army War College Press, 2016)

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Global Rogues and Regional Orders: The Multidimensional Challenge of North Korea and Iran - Il Hyun Cho
Call Number: Root Hall JZ5675 .C455 2016
(New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2016)

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Nuclear Strategy in the Modern Era - Vipin Narang
Call Number: Root Hall U264 .N36 2014
(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014)

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Regional Missile Defense from a Global Perspective - Catherine McArdle Kelleher and Peter Dombrowski (Eds)
Call Number: Root Hall UG743 .R435 2015
(Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2015)

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The Future of Extended Deterrence: The United States, NATO, and Beyond - Stéfanie Von Hlatky and Andreas Wenger (Eds)
Call Number: Root Hall U162.6 .F86 2015
(Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2015)

Perseverance of Power: The Relevancy of Nuclear Deterrence in the Future - David P. Goode
(Maxwell Air Force Base, AL: School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Air University, 2013)


Futures Weapons: Autonomous Weapons Systems ("Ethical Autonomy Project" from the Center for a New American Security)

Ethical Autonomy Project
"The project on Ethical Autonomy will examine the legal, moral, ethical, policy and strategic stability dimensions of increased autonomy in future weapon systems. The goal of CNAS’ Ethical Autonomy project is to help states, activists, academics and militaries grapple with the challenging issues of autonomy in future weapons. This dialogue is necessary to ensure an appropriate balance between ethical and strategic stability considerations, technological opportunities and future warfighting needs."


Futures Weapons: Autonomous Weapons Systems (Research Articles)

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Future Weapons: Autonomous Weapons Systems (Books)

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Future Weapons: Autonomous Weapons Systems (Campaign to Stop Killer Robots)

"Formed by the following non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at a meeting in New York on 19 October 2012 and launched in London in April 2013, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is an international coalition working to preemptively ban fully autonomous weapons."

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Research Articles: Maritime Drones / Autonomous Undersea Vehicles

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Reports: Maritime Drones / Autonomous Undersea Vehicles

Report to Congress: Autonomous Undersea Vehicle Requirement for 2025 - Chief of Naval Operations, Undersea Warfare Directorate
Publication Date: February 2016
"The following is a comprehensive report on the Navy’s autonomous undersea vehicle report outlining its plans to 2025. It was delivered to Congress on Feb. 18, 2016."


Research Articles: Hypersonic Weapons

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Research Articles: Aerial Drones / Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

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"The Military Profession in the Future" by Don Snider, a lecture at the U.S. Naval War College's Ethics 2016 Symposium

The Military Profession in the Future - Don Snider
May 2, 2016, streaming video, 41:58
April 19, 2016

USAWC Library Bibliographies

These bibliographies contain books, reports, journal articles, multimedia, and internet resources.

Please note that a server change in 2014 has disrupted many of the active links in the bibliographies built before this event. Academic articles will need to be searched for in the library databases. Please contact the Reference Desk for assistance.

Military Policy Awareness Links [MiPALs] from MERLN [Military Education Research Library Network] at the National Defense University

Research guides featuring access to current U.S. policy statements accompanied by broad, objective, and comprehensive analysis from a global network of think tanks and research institutes.


DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) News

"With more than 200 different programs across the spectrum of science and engineering, DARPA frequently has news to share. We regularly announce the launch of new programs, contract awards and -- most exciting -- compelling results from our ongoing research." 

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Armed With Science

“'Armed with Science' is a daily blog site for the Department of Defense that incorporates print, video, and social media assets over 50 scientific organizations across the Federal government. These efforts were recognized with the 2009 APEX Award for Publication Excellence and the PR News Nonprofit PR Award."

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Research Articles: Military Innovation

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General Futures Research

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Outplayed: Regaining Strategic Initiative in the Gray Zone - Nathan Freier et al.
(Carlisle Barracks, PA: U.S. Army War College Press, 2016)

To Rebuild America's Military - Thomas Donnelly et al.
(Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute, 2015)

“No Wake for Ares" - Frank G. Hoffman and Ryan Neuhard  Icon
Proceedings: United States Naval Institute 141.12 (Dec 2015): 38-44.
Note: This article is a response to Stephen Pinker's "Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined." (See below).

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Red Team: How to Succeed by Thinking Like the Enemy - Micah Zenko
Call Number: Root Hall HF5386 .Z46 2015
(New York: Basic Books, 2015)

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Security 2.0: Dealing with Global Wicked Problems - Charles Hauss
Call Number: Root Hall JC571 .H356 2015
(Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015)

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Global Security in the Twenty-First Century - Sean Kay
Call Number: Root Hall JZ5588 .K39 2015
(Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015)

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Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction - Philip E. Tetlock and Dan Gardner
Call Number: Root Hall HB3730 .T47 2015
(New York, NY: Crown Publishers, 2015)

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The Right Way to Lose a War: America in an Age of Unwinnable Conflicts - Dominic Tierney
Call Number: Root Hall UA23 .T485 2015
(New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company, 2015)

Thucydides Was Right: Defining the Future Threat - Colin S. Gray
(Carlisle Barracks, PA: U.S. Army War College Press, 2015)

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Governing Military Technologies in the 21st Century - Richard Michael O'Meara
Call Number: Root Hall U42.5 .O44 2014
(New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)

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The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined - Steven Pinker
Call Number: Root Hall HM1116 .P56 2012
(New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2012)

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Going Big by Getting Small: The Application of Operational Art by Special Operations in Phase Zero - Brian S. Petit
Call Number: Root Hall U163 .P48 2013
(Denver, CO: Outskirts Press, 2013)

Warrior Ethos Revisited: Implications for the Future - DeBusk, Steven S.
Carlisle Barracks, PA: U.S. Army War College, 2011.

A National Strategic Narrative by Mr. Y
(Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center, 2011)
"Mr. Y is a pseudonym for CAPT Wayne Porter, USN and Col Mark "Puck" Mykleby, USMC who are actively serving military officers. The views expressed herein are their own and do not reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marine Corps, the Department of Defense or the U.S. government."

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Exporting Security: International Engagement, Security Cooperation, and the Changing Face of the U.S. Military - Derek S. Reveron
Call Number: Root Hall UA23 .R48 2010
(Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2010)

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The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century - George Friedman
Call Number: Root Hall JZ1305 .F75 2009
(New York: Doubleday, 2009)

“Deconstructing Our Dark Age” - Paul M. Phillips
Parameters 39, no. 2 (Summer 2009): 94-110.

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Children at War - P. W. Singer
Call Number: Root Hall UB416 .S35 2006; Ridgway Hall UB418.C45 S56 2005
(Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2006)

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Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry - P. W. Singer
Call Number: Root Hall HD9743.A2 S56 2003; Ridgway Hall HD9743.A2 S56 2004
(Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2003)

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Exporting Security: International Engagement, Security Cooperation, and the Changing Face of the U.S. Military - Derek S. Reveron
Call Number: Root Hall UA23 .R48 2010
(Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2010)


Futures Technology: Nanotechnology (Reports)


Futures Technology: Nanotechnology (Research Articles)

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Futures Weapons: Cybersecurity, Cyberwarfare, Quantum Computers, the Internet, and Neurotechnology

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Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know - P. W. Singer and Allan Friedman
Call Number: Root Hall QA76.9.A25 S56 2014; Ridgway Hall QA76.9.A25 S56 2014
(New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2014)

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@War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex - Shane Harris
Call Number: Root Hall U163 .H377 2015
(Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014)


Research Articles: Anti-Access Area Denial

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