Swarming on the Battlefield: Past, Present, and Future
The military application of emerging technologies for communications and information processing is likely to change the way military force is managed and applied. Oftentimes, a dramatic improvement in technology brings about an equally dramatic change in military doctrine and organization. One possibility is a doctrine based on swarming, whereby military units organized as networks use dispersed yet integrated operations. Swarming has occurred throughout military history, and the lessons of this past experience may offer insights into a possible future application of swarming. This monograph analyzes ten swarming cases, from Scythian horse archers against a Macedonian phalanx supported by light cavalry, 329-327 B.C., to Somalis surrounding U.S. commandos in a peacekeeping operation in 1993, and applies the conclusions to a discussion of future swarming. History suggests that elusiveness, standoff firepower, and situational awareness are essential to the success of swarming armies. However, because swarming doctrine requires radical force-structure changes, this study recommends that a portion of the U.S. light or medium force adopt swarming as an operational concept, if swarming proves to be feasible during field experiments. This work should be of interest to U.S. policymakers, commanders, planners, and others who desire an understanding of swarming and its potential for future wars.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Donogh - LibraryThing
Interesting short study of the concept of swarming with 10 case studies from Alexander in Sogdia to Black Hawk Down (these case studies are very light). However the author remains disciplined in using ... Read full review