The Future of War makes a brilliant case that the twenty-first century, even more than the twentieth, will be the American century, and that America's global dominance will be associated with a revolution in weaponry and warfare as basic as the one that arose with the development of gunpowder five hundred years ago. From the era of flintlocks and cannons to the day of automatic weapons and heavy artillery, the waging of war-while undeniably changing in many aspects-has continued to rely on the technology that began with the use of black powder to expel a projectile through a tube.
In The Future of War, the authors argue that this Age of Ballistics is ending and we are entering a fundamentally new period, the Age of Precision-Guided Munitions (PGMs), the so-called smart weapons that will antiquate the traditional way of making war. Where guns and artillery are inherently inaccurate and need to be fired thousands of times to hit one target, these new projectiles are precise and lethally efficient; while ballistic weapons platforms must be brought within range of the battlefield, PGMs can devastate from any distance.
The authors show how the innovations in weapons technology will affect America's defense strategies on land and sea, in air and in space, reshaping our military forces, while confronting us with new strategic challenges as America enters the twenty-first century as the dominant power on the globe.