The Revolution in military affairs : strategic paradigms, limitations and illusions

The Department of defense (DoD) and the Armed forces of United States have undertaken an important transformation of their structures and doctrines. This reform is based on the thesis that a radical change of war is underway because of a Revolution in military affairs (RMA) based on information technologies. Within the field of military and strategic studies a debate has taken place between promoters and critics of the current RMA. The aim of this article is to broaden the debate by introducing an analysis in terms of strategic paradigms. On the one hand, it is argued that the RMA is not simply based on technological development, but that it relies on an approach to war that is connected with a specific tradition in strategic thinking. On the other hand, this article is an attempt to understand the limits of the RMA and in particular its simplified and misleading view of war of the forthcoming future. – Summary AFRI-2002