Global Demographic Change and Its Implications for Military Power

Global Demographic Change and Its Implications for Military Power

Global Demographic Change and Its Implications for Military Power

Global Demographic Change and Its Implications for Military Power

Excerpt

Air Force planners are charged with designing an air force that can fly, fight, and win tomorrow’s wars. In doing so, it helps to have a sense of what tomorrow looks like, particularly with respect to how it differs from today. Many of the changes that will take place between today (2011) and, say, 2050 are, for all practical purposes, unpredictable. Nevertheless, there are a few factors for which one can confidently assert that tomorrow will differ in specific ways from today. Technology is one. Demographics—the age and geographic distribution of future populations—are another. Thus, while forecasting, in general, may seem no better than throwing darts, it may be useful to first move the dartboard in the direction of knowable change.

This monograph analyzes the following question: What is the impact of demographics on the prospective production of military power and the causes of war? It addresses this issue by, first, projecting working-age populations; second, assessing the influence of demographics on manpower, national income and expenditures, and human capital; and, third, analyzing how the ability to carry out broad missions is affected by manpower, available national income, and human capital. The monograph also examines some implications of these changes for other aspects of international security.

The research described in this monograph was sponsored by the Director of Strategic Planning, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Strategic Plans and Programs, Headquarters United States Air Force (HQ USAF/A8X). The study was performed within the Strategy and Doctrine Program of RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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