Typology of military thinkers

It is striking how different actors view warfare through very different lenses. Amos C. Fox has an interesting typology of military thinkers on The Strategy Bridge:

“The Futurist camp, for instance, asserts that drones, artificial intelligence, and cyber are the future of armed conflict. Meanwhile, the Traditionalist camp does not drift far from the musings of Prussian theorist Carl von Clausewitz and they often serve as a regulating force on those making bold assertions that are out of step with historical precedent. Institutionalists, or those who are socialized to think and speak in their professional organizations’ respective language, tend toward reinforcing their professional institution’s thinking. As a result, Institutionalist thought in Western militaries stays close to maneuver, precision, and technology-centric advocacy.”

I can definitely recognize these three groups from the military academic landscape. I’m less convinced of his fourth category of “conflict realism”. It somehow seems like a different word for anyone who recognizes that there is some truth to all these perspectives.




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