2022 - THE FUTURE OF WARFARE

Njall Trausti FRIDBERTSSON (Iceland) - PRELIMINARY DRAFT REPORT

29 April 2022

The future is fraught with uncertainties and envisioning the future of warfare is a difficult task, particularly as warfare is shaped by geopolitical, societal, technological, economic, environmental and military trends. Too many analyses focus on the issues of today and do not include the unexpected changes in society, technology or politics. 

In contemplating warfare, we tend to prepare for the last war, think in obsolete military concepts or focus on previous battle-winning capabilities, which are, or will soon be, outdated. The international security environment is rapidly changing, and Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has created a seismic shift in the security landscape. The Alliance therefore needs to anticipate and adapt to new, emerging security risks while maintaining its focus on deterrence, defence and cooperative security. 

This preliminary draft report raises the question of as to what warfare of the future may look like; it focuses on technological aspects, particularly on the likely impact of Emerging and Disruptive Technologies (EDTs). Moreover, this paper also provides a brief overview of NATO’s continuing adaptation process to make the Alliance fit for future warfare. The report also offers some preliminary observations of the Ukraine war and its possible implications for future warfare. This report is meant as a basis for discussion among NATO Parliamentarians; it will be updated and expanded for the Assembly’s 2022 Annual Session.
 


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