Every Army Is Struggling with the Pace of Technological Change

By Richards, David | The Independent (London, England), September 22, 2009 | Go to article overview
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Every Army Is Struggling with the Pace of Technological Change


Richards, David, The Independent (London, England)


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SUCCESSFUL armed forces adapt and transform at a pace faster than their potential enemies. Cromwell, as an example, unlocked the synergy of discipline, training, new equipment and new tactics in a manner that left the Royalists looking like barely gifted amateurs. This process can be found throughout history although rarely is it accelerated with the vision and drive of a Cromwell.

In the 1920s, Basil Liddell Hart and Boney Fuller struggled to persuade soldiers everywhere that the era of the horse had been replaced by that of the tank and aircraft, even though both had been in service for a number of years. It was during this period that Liddell Hart noted ruefully that "there is only one thing harder then getting a new idea into the military's mind and that is getting an old one out!" We must not be accused of having fallen into this trap by the soldiers of 2109.

Self-evidently, although not yet culturally internalised, there has been a radical change in the way wars are fought. We cannot go back to operating as we might have done even 10 years ago when it was still tanks, fast jets and fleet escorts that dominated the doctrine of our three services.

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Every Army Is Struggling with the Pace of Technological Change
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