Square Pegs For Round Holes: Current Approaches to Future Warfare and the Need to Adapt
Western militaries are moving too slowly to adapt to the needs of future warfighting. The reality of nuclear weapons and the United States hegemony have prescribed the options for current and potential adversaries, leaving them with few viable approaches. One such is ‘complex irregular warfare', a type of war that deliberately uses an asymmetrical approach in an attempt to dislocate Western strength. Countering this approach has significant implications for Western militaries. This paper concludes that: there will be increasing tensions between the services and strains on the joint community, that training for high-intensity war and adjusting for low-intensity is not the right answer, that there is a pressing need to embrace multi-agency operations, and that the West needs to adjust further to the realities of US leadership. Otherwise, we are destined to maintain and upgrade our high-end, industrial-age square pegs and be condemned for trying to force them into contemporary and increasingly complex round holes.