Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | October 24, 2011

Back to the Future with the Army

Back with the Army wargame - where I was from its start

Up in Chantilly, Virginia for the alternative futures symposium for the annual Army wargame, Unified Quest 2012.  Last time I was here working in this process was 2000.   I worked this Futures wargame from its inception as the Army After Next wargame.  (I invented the name – Army After Next in Dec 94).   For me, it is back to the future.

Glad and grateful to be back in this work.   My niche.  A few old hands still with it and mostly new faces to me.

Look forward to the well-rounded and accomplished crew of 85 or so that will be in the symposium.

Interesting to me that the honest efforts of General Officers in the U.S. Army will not be respected or remembered when the budget knives come out with a new Presidential administration in 2013.  If the alternative futures indicate the Nation needs an Army with 5 or 600,000 soldiers – or tanks – or rifles – or whatever – the journalists, the isolationists and service competitors and their political patrons will claim “the Army is preparing for the last war.”     Even, though, the Army is certainly doing no such thing – it will be so accused.

Regardless of what the Army’s detractors will say – whenever – it’s great to be back attacking the intellectual high ground for Land Warfare.



  1. So true that those people don’ begin to understand the nature of warfare and see everything only in the light of tonight’s newscast.
    I recall a year before Desert Storm people at a “futures” symposium saying we would never put a CVBG in the Persian Gulf as it was too small. ( We put more than two in a year later.). And that we would never see a division take the field as all ops would be small based only on battalions. ( a year later we had a two corps field army on line for a ground assault.
    Big wars require big formations. I remember Navy officers who had never steamed with more than five ships in formation. We eventually steamed with 31 in my task force alone.
    Many will say this is old. It isn’t the challenge is how to fight big wars if needed (and someday it will) with the latest emerging technology.

    • Dry Viking. Rog. A simple, really simple retrospective to 1775 shows the only time we had enough Army – trained and ready was for the lesser included contingencies below the Big War with the Soviets – performed at the end of the Cold War in Granada, Panama and ODS/ODS. All the other fights cost extra blood and treasure. So, once again the politicians are going to make policy decisions for short term political gain which sooner or later mean more young Americans die and are wounded and more money is wasted – because America needed more Army when the fight got started.

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