Small Wars Journal

Mad Scientist Conference: Strategic Security Environment 2050

                                                                                                                    02 Jun 16   

INFORMATION PAPER

SUBJECT:  Mad Scientist Conference: Strategic Security Environment 2050

1.  Purpose.  To provide information on the upcoming U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s (TRADOC) Mad Scientist Conference cosponsored by Georgetown University Center for Security Studies, and the Chief of Staff of the Army’s Strategic Studies Group, with a specific focus on the Strategic Security Environment in 2050.

2.  Facts. 

     a. Mad Scientist is a TRADOC G-2 initiative that supports continuous dialogue between Joint military partners, international partners, academia, policy institutions, and private sector organizations to help the Army explore the evolution of the Operational Environment (OE) through the year 2050.  Mad Scientist also seeks to examine the effects of all aspects of technology as well as other OE factors on the far future of armed conflict. 

     b. Mad Scientist events are part of the G-2’s continuous study of the future Operational Environment and the Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC) Campaign of Learning.  Mad Scientist facilitates dialogue between Joint military, international partners, academia, and industry – key partners in defining the future OE.    

    c. The strategic environment is defined as the set of global conditions, circumstances, and influences that affect the employment of all elements of U.S. national power.  The strategic environment is essentially the sum of all of the OEs in which the commanders and units could find themselves conducting decisive action operations.  The conditions of the strategic environment must be understood, captured and factored into Army decision-making, training, capabilities, and leader development and education. 

     d. The nature of war – what it is and why it is fought – is eternal; it is violent, interactive, and fundamentally political.  However, the character of war – how it is fought – is ever-changing due to constantly shifting strategic trends in, for example, demographics, governance, and technology.  We posit that the direction global trends shaping the future Operational Environment (2030-2050), and the geopolitical situation that results from it, will lead to fundamental change in the character of war. 

     e. The event will address the following questions:

          1. Describe how the physical attributes of the future operational environment will change between now and 2030 to 2050?  Include descriptions of the terrain (including urban and complex terrain) and assess the agility and/or resilience required to adapt to these changes.  

2. How will changes in the future operational environment impact on our current approaches to protection, survivability, and lethality?  (for example, demographics, situational awareness, Human Dimension, WMD, etc.)

3. What Operational Environment trends and areas of potential conflict should the Army be watching in the deep future to prevent the Army from getting it “too wrong?” Consider demographics, economics, science and technology, resources, alliances, etc.

4. What types of capabilities, concepts, and force structure will the Army require to meet the challenges of the Operational Environment between 2030 and 2050?  How will changes in the character of warfare in the future impact the Army Warfighting Challenges and the Army Warfighting Functions?  

5. What role will military applications of  emerging advanced technologies play in shaping the future operational environment (2030 to 2050)?  Will they radically alter the way warfare is conducted?  If so, how?

6.  How will global trends impact the U.S. and its national interests in 2050? What enduring U.S. National Interests in 2050 may require use of military force?  How might new or emerging systems of governance affect use of military force to achieve national interests?

    h. The event will be held Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies, Washington D.C. from 8-9 August 2016.

     i. If you cannot physically attend the conference, we invite you to join us remotely on the TRADOC Watch website at:  www.tradoc.army.mil/watch/

     j. Remote attendees will also be able to participate in the discussions via an online chat room and will be provided an opportunity to provide questions that will be proposed to conference speakers.

     k. Please join the All Partners Access Network (APAN) to receive updates on the conference, to include list of speakers, agenda, and related information at: https://community.apan.org/wg/tradoc-g2/mad-scientist/

Dr. Kira Hutchinson

                                                                                                APPROVED BY:  COL Grubbs

Categories: Mad Scientist