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“RMA” and the Gulf Countries

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Developments in Modern Military Technology and their effects upon the Defense Policies of the GCC Countries. Address by Dr. Joseph Moynihan at the 5th International Defence Exhibition & Conference. Source: GEC, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, March 18-22, 2001.

The speaker will review developments in military technology in recent years, to include the "Revolution in Military Affairs" (RMA), and discuss the transformation occurring in Western military establishments at this time.

While transformation/modernization has many implications for Western military forces – their structure, training, deployability, tactics, techniques, operational procedures and so on – the focus of this presentation will be upon the advance of relevant technology, to include comments on the future direction of military-related technology.

Recent and projected modernization of military forces, enabled by and large by the commercial information technology revolution, is most evident in:

1.      the greater battle-space transparency available to modernized forces; and,

2.      the greater ability to synthesize battle-space transparency/awareness into timely and informed battle-management decisions.

Without question "smart weapons" have also transformed military operations, but absent the capability increasingly referred to as "Information Dominance," smart weapons would in and of themselves represent only linear advances through modernization. Exponential or "transforming" modernization is occurring through continued advances in ISRC4.

Western ISRC4 enables Western and allied GCC forces to prosecute conventional conflict "asymmetrically." Asymmetry, while always a goal of military strategy, was displaced during the Cold War by attrition warfare – most demonstrably by the Cold War nuclear reality of Mutually Assured Destruction.

Asymmetrical dominance in conventional terms does not in every scenario produce assured national or regional security. Indeed, regional opponents confronting GCC and coalition conventional dominance may be increasingly incentivized to pursue military objectives through unconventional means. The threat represented by this reality is also addressed.

Transformation, and the capabilities and limitations of transformation-enabled military asymmetry has great implication for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) military strategy, doctrine, tactics and particularly coalition operations. Indeed, not only GCC security is impacted by military transformation, the military preparedness of individual Gulf states is increasingly a function of technology, and the asymmetry such technology offers.

 

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).

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