Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the U.S. Army began an effort to re-invent itself in anticipation of changes in the political, operational and technological environments. The “Army After Next” (AAN) program was an effort to look into the future of warfare some 25 years in order to frame the major issues that would drive the design of the Army and its modernization efforts. Today, Army Futures Command (AFC) is attempting once again to get one step ahead of the future. It is developing a vision of future warfare, the concept of Multi-Domain Operations (MDO), at the same time it is driving forward with a multi-faceted technology modernization program. In many ways, the AAN effort was a harbinger of the challenges facing U.S. military planners today as the pace of change continues to accelerate. AAN holds some important lessons for an Army striving to re-invent itself and to do so at speed. I discuss some of the lessons to be gleaned from AAN for MDO here.
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