Seeing It Coming:
Revitalizing Future Studies in the US Air Force
In the Department of Defense during the first decade of the twenty-first century, a contrast existed, on the one hand, between intellectual emphasis on transformations, revolutions in military affairs, and next-generation warfare, and, on the other hand, the realities of insurgents on horseback and renewed piracy on the open seas. We must not allow ourselves to use the failure to anticipate the current “alternative future” of 2012 as a condemnation of future studies. Instead, the repercussions of this unexpected shift should motivate the Air Force to turn away from the myopic tendencies that have become so prevalent and renew its focus on future studies. Anticipation of the next decade promises to be equally challenging, but service leaders must cultivate the disciplines of forecasting and planning to prepare themselves for the possibilities ahead.