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From warrior geek to prototype warrior: entrepreneurialism, future war, and the emergence of twenty-first century civil-military relations

Abstract

Armed forces are now in a race to exploit the technologies associated with Artificial Intelligence. Viewed as force multipliers, these technologies have the potential to speed up decision making and roboticise warfighting. At the same time, however, these systems disintermediate military roles and functions, creating shifts in the relationships of power in military organizations as different entities vie to shape and control how innovations are implemented. In this article we argue that new innovation processes are sites of emerging forms of public–private interaction and practices. On the one hand this is driving entrepreneurialism into government bureaucracy even as it forges new bonds between defence and industry. On the other, as technologies replace soldiers, a new martial culture is emerging, one that reframes the warrior geek as an elite innovation corps of prototype warrior. We seek to map these relationships and explore the implications for civil-military relations in the twenty-first century.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Professors Pauline Shanks Kaurin and Matt Uttley and Drs David Morgan-Owen and Rob Geist Pinfold for their helpful comments and reviews of this manuscript.

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Ford, M., Gould, A. From warrior geek to prototype warrior: entrepreneurialism, future war, and the emergence of twenty-first century civil-military relations. Digi War 2, 35–50 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1057/s42984-021-00039-w

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Keywords

  • Martial culture
  • Beta war
  • Prototype war