May 14, 2014
The Art of War
While the video game ignores some trends in warfare and is designed to be exciting and engrossing, it touches on topics that early panelist discussed: technology is not the sole domain of the well resourced and powerful. Technology is accessible and the person or entity that can use it in the most creative manner will have the advantage.
Anthony, comparing the Call of Duty franchise to the US military, stated, “both are the most power in their field.” They both face numerous threats and have a hard time countering and acknowledging them all. But developing a proactive strategy is possible while countering pop-up threats. He also understands the difficulty of confronting major changes. His publishers are risk-averse, adopting the mindset of ‘why change if it is working?’ His answer is that it needs to change to survive. “Why leverage an artist or people outside of the bubble?” he asks. Because they come with outside the box solutions but, they are also analytic and find generalized solutions.
August Cole, a history major, journalist, and fiction writer on topics of national security, continues the theme of how to leverage the creative types in finding solutions to national security questions. He says that the world is moving faster than the Department of Defense can keep up with, but this rapidly changing environment is great for writers. Science fiction writers are useful because they can afford to be wrong as long as they make it interesting. Therefore, they can take more risks and tackle more diverse concepts. “Creativity is on the way to becoming a bad word in this town,” Cole says. It is increasingly being tied to ways to save money. Writers have the ability to tackle difficult subjects and become more relevant as you move further off into the future.
Brin closed the panel by reminding us of the importance of involving not just artists, writers, and creative types but also actively involving citizens. Brin stated, “the attack on the US ended and was won on the morning that it started when the citizens aboard flight 93 rose up against those who took control of the fight.” He went on to say that while the US has been outstanding in working to anticipate the next war, there will always be a surprise. Only through empowerment of the citizen will the next surprise attack be defeated.
This excellent panel closed with a question from the audience. John Hanacek, noting an underlying theme of diffusion of technology and potential for nefarious use countered by the use of that technology for good, asked, “what message should America be sending?” In a sense, what is the brand that the world wants to embrace that is counter to those that would use technology for purposes of malfeasance? The answer from all the panelist was the same. America is a place where citizens have a voice, where ideas can come to flourish, and that accountability is on the rise
US Marine Corps Senior Fellow Mark Revor provides a few summary thoughts on "The Art of War" the final panel at the Disrupting Defense: Dynamic Security in an Age of New Technologies conference.