By Thomas Donnelly
To paraphrase the Beatles: Well, you know, you’d better free your mind instead; you may want a revolution but ought to settle for some evolution.
It is an article of revealed religion among defense elites that “we live in a relentlessly changing and fiercely competitive world.” Those words were from former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, once a physicist and someone deeply imbued with the idea that technological change and competition were the elements propelling change, and that those who failed to “innovate” were doomed to defeat: “Today’s era of military competition is characterized by the additional variables of speed and agility, such that leading the race now frequently depends on who can out-innovate faster than everyone else, and even change the game.”
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NOTE: Strategika is an online journal produced by the Working Group on the Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict at the Hoover Institution. Victor Davis Hanson chairs the Military History Working Group with counsel from Bruce S. Thornton and David L. Berkey, along with collaboration form the group’s distinguished scholars, military historians, analysts, journalists, and military officers.