“Why America isn’t equipped for the new rules of war”
MIT Technology Review, October 24, 2019
by Janine di Giovanni
“…ultimately wars are politics and there is no technological solution to it. There is no missile that will fix the political circumstances on the ground of Syria or Taiwan. But that’s how we think. That’s why we struggle.”
Sean McFate is a former paratrooper in the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division; he’s also worked as a private military contractor in West Africa. Today he’s a professor at the National Defense University and Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.
His book The New Rules of War, published earlier this year, dissects the ways warfare must change in order for America to succeed. War reporter Janine di Giovanni sat down to ask him about his vision for the future of conflict.
Q: So who gets it? Who is listening to what the new rules of war are? And who are your foes?
A: The CIA likes it, Special Operations commands like it, Special Operations units love it, vets love it, Marines and Army land forces generally love it. Who doesn’t like it? Air Force and Navy, the high tech services, Lockheed Martin, and of course think tanks. Most think tanks in DC get money from Raytheon and all these players. A lot of them love and fetishize technology. But as you know, one of the things that Africa has taught me is that ultimately wars are politics and there is no technological solution to it. There is no missile that will fix the political circumstances on the ground of Syria or Taiwan. But that’s how we think. That’s why we struggle.
About the Author:
Janine di Giovanni is a contributor to MIT Technology Review.