Future warfare will be increasingly blended with conventional and unconventional approaches. Military forces should strengthen their future unconventional warfare capability by acknowledging the changing character of warfare and the need to balance their forces as an effective strategy in an era of persistent conflict.
Conventional Warfare is officially dead. This has become an obvious trend with innumerable adversaries engaging the American military and her allies in unconventional ways and means. The long-held notion of the ‘decisive battle’ that brings the combat power of two nations against each other for a winner-take-all slugfest lies in the next grave. Even ‘wars of attrition’, in the model of the American Civil War, First and Second World Wars, and Korea are gone. If America hopes to remain strategically significant, its political and military leadership must adapt to the new reality that no adversary wants to fight the United States (U.S.) in a symmetrically conventional fashion.
Numerous voices have claimed that the day of conventional war is over. For years, these voices have predicted that “war amongst the people,” or “hybrid war,” or “gray zone operations,” or “distributed security missions,” are the new face of war. But conventional war—however it may be changing—may not be as dead as some believe. Danger is already emerging from the confluence of several unfolding trends.