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Adaptation under Fire – How Militaries Change in Wartime - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Adaptation under Fire: How Militaries Change in Wartime

David Barno and Nora Bensahel


Adaptation under Fire looks at the essential importance of military adaptation in winning wars. Every military must prepare for future wars despite inevitably having little confidence about the precise shape that those wars will take. As former US secretary of defense Robert Gates once noted, the United States has a perfect record in predicting the next war: “We have never once gotten it right.” Despite this uncertainty, military organizations still must make choices. They must determine the nature of doctrine they will need to fight effectively, the type of weaponry and equipment they must pr ... More

Keywords: military adaptation, organizational change, military doctrine, military technology, military leadership, war in Afghanistan, war in Iraq, future of war

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780190672058
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190672058.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David Barno, author
Lt. General (Ret.), U.S. Army

Nora Bensahel, author
Visiting Professor of Strategic Studies and Senior Fellow of the Merrill Center, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)