Forsvarets Forskningsdatabase


The concept of strategy in the age of complexity

Projekt: Typer af projekter

For the very first time in the history of national nuclear strategy and force posturing, the recent US Nuclear Posture Review expanded the role of nuclear deterrence to also cover largescale attacks on the nation’s critical infrastructure via cyber means. The shift drew attention and a great deal of criticism from both highly respected members of the US nuclear policy community and the emergent cyber-security community of scholarship. An important question left over in this discussion however, is whether the concept of strategy running through the US tradition of deterrence thinking is still an adequate prism of evaluation in the new day and age of increasing complexity? Taking a cue from the evolving practice of military planning, this article argues that the concept of strategy is currently undergoing radical change as a result of technological innovation and joint operational thinking in a way that has yet to be formally theorized or critically questioned by IR scholars. Substantively, therefore, it makes sense to develop a new complexity-acknowledging model of strategic security dynamics for our own day and age. Rather than base this on a neat and deductive two-player logic taken from game theory, a more appropriate and empirically useful place to start would be from a field- and network-based understanding of people, power, and complex systems. This, in turn, would make possible a new conceptualization of complex security dilemmas and strategic options for early mitigation, transcendence, and managing enduring patterns of competition and conflict.

    Forsknings- og udviklingsområder

  • Strategi, Atomvåben, Nye teknologier, Cross-domain udfordringer
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