Aviation Week and Space Technology asked me and Peter Singer to contribute an essay on the future of war to their centennial issue that explored the coming decades of aviation and aerospace. It was an honor to be asked, and to have our writing appear alongside aerospace greats Burt Rutan and Sir Richard Branson.
The wars of the future might start by accident, such as by a pilot hot-dogging and bumping into another plane, the loss and outrage from the accident escalating into outright battle. Or they might be driven by some crisis boiling over, a dispute over a new policy or even a new island, with other powers drawn into the fight by old alliances. Alternatively, the conflicts might reflect deliberate choices to go to war, perhaps to avenge an old wrong or remake a new world order to reflect emergent economic and military powers.
The cause and course of such future conflicts are unpredictable, but there are some things we can be certain of.