Carnegie Mellon University

The Future of Warfare

Course Number: 84-405

future-of-warfare.jpgWarfare is constantly evolving. In the contemporary conflict environment, irregular actors and tactics are prominent within an overarching context of great-power strategic competition that is in many ways reminiscent of the Cold War. Hybrid actors and proxy groups wage war in an asymmetric and irregular manner, relying on ambiguity, strategic surprise, and deception to accomplish their objectives. These activities often occur within the so-called "gray zone," an area of neither declared nor undeclared hostilities where US adversaries like Russia, China, Iran and others are gradually allocating resources. This course will examine and historically contextualize various "new" trends in warfare, including operations in the information environment, the development of violent non-state actors with conventional military capabilities, and state support of mercenary forces to achieve strategic gains without attribution. Case studies examined in this course will include Russian mercenary activities across the Middle East and Africa, 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, and social media, all of which are combining to characterize the way wars are fought today.

Academic Year: 2021-2022
Semester(s): Fall
Required/Elective: Elective
Units: 9
Location(s): Pittsburgh

Learning Objectives

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 2021
Tuesday
7-9:50 PM

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

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