Publication:
Technology strategy in irregular warfare: high-tech versus right-tech

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Authors
Rowlette, Kevin P.
Subjects
Technology strategy
irregular warfare
unconventional warfare
high-tech
low-tech
special operations
Afghanistan
Britain
Soviet Union
United States
aircraft
artillery
Advisors
Burks, Robert
Date of Issue
2015-12
Date
Dec-15
Publisher
Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
When faced with any type of irregular warfare, technology integration has proved to be problematic for developed countries with technologically advanced militaries. Developed countries train and equip their militaries and develop military doctrines that tend to focus on protection from other developed countries. Thus, these military agencies are well prepared for conventional warfare and assume they can use the same operational concepts against irregular adversaries as well. Unfortunately, this theory has proved incorrect. History suggests that developed countries rely on the most advanced technologies to provide an advantage in all operations; however, high-tech does not always equate to right-tech. Through three related case studies, this thesis analyzes how strong actors use varying levels of technology to engage weak actors in irregular warfare, and how the misuse of technology can lead to defeat rather than victory for the strong actors. I suggest that advanced militaries should develop technology strategies for irregular warfare that are based on tailored capabilities. Additionally, these agencies need processes that promote tactical and technological innovation to fill operational gaps in their capabilities for waging irregular warfare.
Type
Thesis
Description
Series/Report No
Department
Defense Analysis (DA)
Organization
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
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Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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