Carnegie Mellon University

The Future of Warfare

Course Number: 84-405

future-of-warfare.jpgWarfare is constantly evolving. Long gone are the days of set-piece battles involving conventional military forces. In the contemporary conflict environment, hybrid actors and proxy groups wage war in an asymmetric and irregular manner, relying on ambiguity, strategic surprise and deception to accomplish their objectives. This course will examine new trends in warfare, from the onset of cyber war to the development of violent non-state actors with conventional military capabilities. Moreover, this course will explore the concept of the "gray zone," an area of neither declared nor undeclared hostilities where U.S. adversaries like Russia, China, Iran and others are gradually allocating resources. Case studies examined in this course will include Russian hybrid warfare in Crimea and Ukraine, Chinese cyberwarfare and information operations, Iranian sponsorship of proxy militias in Syria and Lebanon and a range of other emerging trends in areas such as technology, demographics, urbanization, and social media, all of which are combining to radically alter the way wars are fought today.

Academic Year: 2020-2021
Semester(s): Fall
Required/Elective: Elective
Units: 9
Location(s): Pittsburgh

Learning Objectives

The course is critical to the International Relations and Politics major and understanding how wars are fought today and how they will be fought in the future, as well as how emerging trends could make warfare more lethal, which also places an onus on preventing wars from beginning in the first place and the need for robust diplomacy and political engagement.  Students will learn how emerging technologies and demographic trends are affecting the way wars are being waged, as well as the diffusion of technology and the ever-evolving norms of international relations and the laws of war.

Fall 2020
Monday and Wednesday
1:30-2:50 PM

Required course for the following IPS degree:
Minor in Cybersecurity and International Conflict

Elective course for the following IPS degrees:
B.S. International Relations and Politics
Additional Major in International Relations and Politics
B.S. Economics and Politics
Additional Major in Economics and Politics
Minor in International Relations and Politics