Abstract

The confluence of deep cultural, social, and demographic trends with technological change can create conditions to which fundamental aspects of military organization and structure must rapidly adjust. Nomadic steppe warriors with composite bows and stirrups changed balances of power from China to Western Europe and throughout the Middle East; corned gunpowder and naval cannon technology, combined with powerful commercial, religious, and imperialistic forces, made the world a European realm for centuries; nuclear weapons have made civilization-level wars unthinkable (if not, unfortunately, impossible). Today a similar adjustment becomes necessary, as demographic shifts change the worker pools that the military will need to draw on, and technology increasingly removes the warrior from direct combat, changing fundamentally the types of skills that the military will need to cultivate, from the aggression, emotion, and physical stamina of youth to the judgment, wisdom, and patience of older age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-95
Number of pages10
JournalBulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Volume70
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Fingerprint

soldier
Military
balance of power
nuclear weapon
technological change
Western Europe
civilization
Middle East
aggression
wisdom
emotion
worker
organization
China
trend

Keywords

  • demographics
  • emerging military technologies
  • military culture
  • military staffing
  • military strategy
  • older soldiers
  • revolutions in military affairs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations

Cite this

Senior soldiers : The thin gray line. / Allenby, Braden.

In: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. 70, No. 5, 2014, p. 86-95.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{a3452acd66af41d49c77862f15d89826,
title = "Senior soldiers: The thin gray line",
abstract = "The confluence of deep cultural, social, and demographic trends with technological change can create conditions to which fundamental aspects of military organization and structure must rapidly adjust. Nomadic steppe warriors with composite bows and stirrups changed balances of power from China to Western Europe and throughout the Middle East; corned gunpowder and naval cannon technology, combined with powerful commercial, religious, and imperialistic forces, made the world a European realm for centuries; nuclear weapons have made civilization-level wars unthinkable (if not, unfortunately, impossible). Today a similar adjustment becomes necessary, as demographic shifts change the worker pools that the military will need to draw on, and technology increasingly removes the warrior from direct combat, changing fundamentally the types of skills that the military will need to cultivate, from the aggression, emotion, and physical stamina of youth to the judgment, wisdom, and patience of older age.",
keywords = "demographics, emerging military technologies, military culture, military staffing, military strategy, older soldiers, revolutions in military affairs",
author = "Braden Allenby",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1177/0096340214546841",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "70",
pages = "86--95",
journal = "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists",
issn = "0096-3402",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Senior soldiers

T2 - The thin gray line

AU - Allenby, Braden

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - The confluence of deep cultural, social, and demographic trends with technological change can create conditions to which fundamental aspects of military organization and structure must rapidly adjust. Nomadic steppe warriors with composite bows and stirrups changed balances of power from China to Western Europe and throughout the Middle East; corned gunpowder and naval cannon technology, combined with powerful commercial, religious, and imperialistic forces, made the world a European realm for centuries; nuclear weapons have made civilization-level wars unthinkable (if not, unfortunately, impossible). Today a similar adjustment becomes necessary, as demographic shifts change the worker pools that the military will need to draw on, and technology increasingly removes the warrior from direct combat, changing fundamentally the types of skills that the military will need to cultivate, from the aggression, emotion, and physical stamina of youth to the judgment, wisdom, and patience of older age.

AB - The confluence of deep cultural, social, and demographic trends with technological change can create conditions to which fundamental aspects of military organization and structure must rapidly adjust. Nomadic steppe warriors with composite bows and stirrups changed balances of power from China to Western Europe and throughout the Middle East; corned gunpowder and naval cannon technology, combined with powerful commercial, religious, and imperialistic forces, made the world a European realm for centuries; nuclear weapons have made civilization-level wars unthinkable (if not, unfortunately, impossible). Today a similar adjustment becomes necessary, as demographic shifts change the worker pools that the military will need to draw on, and technology increasingly removes the warrior from direct combat, changing fundamentally the types of skills that the military will need to cultivate, from the aggression, emotion, and physical stamina of youth to the judgment, wisdom, and patience of older age.

KW - demographics

KW - emerging military technologies

KW - military culture

KW - military staffing

KW - military strategy

KW - older soldiers

KW - revolutions in military affairs

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84906875893&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84906875893&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0096340214546841

DO - 10.1177/0096340214546841

M3 - Article

VL - 70

SP - 86

EP - 95

JO - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

JF - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

SN - 0096-3402

IS - 5

ER -