Five-Dimensional (Cyber) Warfighting: Can the Army After Next be Defeated Through Complex Concepts and Technologies?

  • March 01, 1998
  • Dr Robert J Bunker

The theme for the U.S. Army War College's Ninth Annual Strategy Conference (April 1998) is "Challenging the United States Symmetrically and Asymmetrically: Can America Be Defeated?" Dr. Robert J. Bunker of California State University, San Bernardino, answers the question with an emphatic "yes." He expounds a scenario in which a future enemy (BlackFor) concedes that the U.S. Army's (BlueFor) superior technology, advanced weaponry, and proven record of success in recent military operations make it virtually invulnerable to conventional forms of symmetric attack. Therefore, BlackFor seeks asymmetric ways to obviate BlueFor's advantages. Dr. Bunker's scenario frontally assaults some of the premises he sees emerging from the Army After Next Project. It posits not a new peer competitor for the United States, but a new type of enemy for which, in Dr. Bunker's view, we will be ill-prepared, given our likely force development azimuths over the next two decades. It may be tempting to dismiss the possibility of an enemy possessing all the capabilities Dr. Bunker describes. Nonetheless, his paper points to potential changes in warfare that, even partially effected, must absorb our Army's professional attention as we address the challenges of the next century.