Rhys Binney

Document Type




This article steps back from the extensive literature on new technologies, strategies and weapons that will dictate how future wars will be fought as espoused by strategic think tanks and military academies worldwide. Instead, I will endeavour to identify how wars will be fought in the future based on the strategic cultures of the actors involved and how they will approach war. Using the ‘2x2 matrix’ methodology that is commonly employed by futurists in developing scenarios (Curry and Schultz, 2009), the article will show how future wars may be fought within the paradigm of four strategic cultures: the large warrior culture; the small warrior culture; the large pragmatic culture; and the small pragmatic culture. Borrowing from the ‘scenarios archetype approach’ in labelling (Curry and Schultz, 2009; see also Dellios & Ferguson, 2013, ch. 6 on the use of metanarratives in scenario construction), I will call these four cultures: the bully, the underdog, the shape-shifter and the survivor. All four of these strategic cultures will be forced to engage in warfare but it will be their method of engagement that ultimately shapes how wars will be fought in the future.