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date: 26 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

At the heart of the challenge faced in the conduct of war is the importance of understanding the character of conflict. Even more difficult is the challenge of identifying what the future holds. Maintaining balance against the unpredictable is the most obvious measure to avoid being more surprised than one's adversary. However, it is also the most expensive and a truly balanced capability is a luxury few can afford, so hard choices need to be made. This places a premium on analysing what is faced on the battlefield today in order to identify enduring trends. All conflict is unique, yet the indications are that conflict in the future is likely to share many of the same characteristics as that of today. The implications are significant and far-reaching, particularly in terms of structure and equipment. However, these are strategic matters for politicians and national ministries of defence, so this article focuses on the implications for the conduct of joint operations in terms of the mechanics of command, fighting the battle, training and educating the commanders who fight, and the exercise of high command.

Keywords: joint operations, military conflict, adversary, battlefield, mechanics of command, training and education, high command

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