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Shifting Human Environment: How Trends in Human Geography Will Shape Future Military Operations

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Preface In January 2014 the Center for Technology and National Security Policy was asked to examine some major trends within the domain of human geography, developments that will have important influence on the type of environments future military forces will be operating in. Experts were identified to address the following key topics: • Population, migration and the deve Preface In January 2014 the Center for Technology and National Security Policy was asked to examine some major trends within the domain of human geography, developments that will have important influence on the type of environments future military forces will be operating in. Experts were identified to address the following key topics: • Population, migration and the development of megacities • Technology change and education • Ideological and cultural factors in conflict • Irregular and hybrid threats • Growth of transnational crime organizations and activities One goal of this effort was to provide useful information to DoD policy makers engaged in future force planning and “futures thinking.” The papers contained in this volume all deal with major developments and trends in the human arena that are likely to change the way military forces must operate in the future. Each paper contains a section addressing anticipated implications for future military operations. And by presenting these papers as a package, the reader is encouraged to move beyond a simple recognition of particular trends, and consider how these factors may interact to shape a more complex and surprising future operating environment.1 As economic growth has spread to more and more of the developing world, an unprecedented level of migration to large urban centers has occurred in response. The first paper by Bartone and Sciarretta explores the rise of these “megacities,” and what they mean for the future of U.S. defense policy. According to the United Nations, by 2025 there will be 37 megacities worldwide, up from 27 today. Up until now, the U.S. military has attempted to avoid operating in hostile urban environments whenever possible. Bartone and Sciarretta show that the military needs to develop significant urban warfare capabilities in order to effectively carry out future missions. Albert Sciarretta’s paper on ideology and decision making examines how bias shapes and informs the decisions that government and non-government groups make. Sciarretta reviews the various types of biases and ideologies that leaders have, including religious, pragmatic, and cultural beliefs systems. Understanding what these ideologies are, how they influence thought processes, and who possesses them is critical in order to develop strategies to face emerging threats.


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Preface In January 2014 the Center for Technology and National Security Policy was asked to examine some major trends within the domain of human geography, developments that will have important influence on the type of environments future military forces will be operating in. Experts were identified to address the following key topics: • Population, migration and the deve Preface In January 2014 the Center for Technology and National Security Policy was asked to examine some major trends within the domain of human geography, developments that will have important influence on the type of environments future military forces will be operating in. Experts were identified to address the following key topics: • Population, migration and the development of megacities • Technology change and education • Ideological and cultural factors in conflict • Irregular and hybrid threats • Growth of transnational crime organizations and activities One goal of this effort was to provide useful information to DoD policy makers engaged in future force planning and “futures thinking.” The papers contained in this volume all deal with major developments and trends in the human arena that are likely to change the way military forces must operate in the future. Each paper contains a section addressing anticipated implications for future military operations. And by presenting these papers as a package, the reader is encouraged to move beyond a simple recognition of particular trends, and consider how these factors may interact to shape a more complex and surprising future operating environment.1 As economic growth has spread to more and more of the developing world, an unprecedented level of migration to large urban centers has occurred in response. The first paper by Bartone and Sciarretta explores the rise of these “megacities,” and what they mean for the future of U.S. defense policy. According to the United Nations, by 2025 there will be 37 megacities worldwide, up from 27 today. Up until now, the U.S. military has attempted to avoid operating in hostile urban environments whenever possible. Bartone and Sciarretta show that the military needs to develop significant urban warfare capabilities in order to effectively carry out future missions. Albert Sciarretta’s paper on ideology and decision making examines how bias shapes and informs the decisions that government and non-government groups make. Sciarretta reviews the various types of biases and ideologies that leaders have, including religious, pragmatic, and cultural beliefs systems. Understanding what these ideologies are, how they influence thought processes, and who possesses them is critical in order to develop strategies to face emerging threats.

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