About the bears and the bees: Adaptive responses to asymmetric warfare

Author: Alex Ryan 

Abstract: Conventional military forces are organised to generate large scale effects against similarly structured adversaries. Asymmetric warfare is a ‘game’ between a conventional military force and a weaker adversary that is unable to match the scale of effects of the conventional force. In asymmetric warfare, an insurgents’ strategy can be understood using a multi-scale perspective: by generating and exploiting fine scale complexity, insurgents prevent the conventional force from acting at the scale they are designed for. This paper presents a complex systems approach to the problem of asymmetric warfare, which shows how future force structures can be designed to adapt to environmental complexity at multiple scales and achieve full spectrum dominance.

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