and seemingly in harmony with the prerequisites of just war theory. Could this be manipulated to lead us into more rather than fewer wars? It may be possible to wield the military instrument with greater discrimination and selectivity, provided the ends are as thoughtfully considered as the means. However, this increasingly discriminate capability may result in temptations to employ the military instrument more often in support of broader, less cleanly defined national interests.
None of this has a significant impact on U.S. military force posture if the current tenets of readiness, agility, and versatility are maintained. What will be required for the future is greater attention to ends. Of greatest importance is the strategic decision-making process that must produce proper focus and depth of thinking to provide precise direction, right and left limits, and all those other incalculables required for effective prosecution of war that meet just war criteria. We have an increasing capability to conduct war according to just war principles, particularly in terms of proportionality. Structural changes within the services are already underway and will result in more versatile, rapidly deployable forces with ultra-high-tech capabilities. But the most important questions have little to do with technology. Instead we must answer the question: Why apply military power at all? And if it is to be applied, to what long-term end? If we can force ourselves to answer these questions wisely, within the moral limits of just war theory, perhaps we will find ourselves en route to true peace and stability.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.