The Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA), unleashed by the integration of information techlogies into weapons systems, military units, and operations is a phemen whose impacts have been felt well beyond the Gulf in 1991 or the Balkans in 1999. Techlogical developments lie at the center of these changes; however, the RMA is about more than techlogy. It includes the consequences of techlogical changes for defense and security. This study provides an assessment of the RMA that goes beyond a mere description of new defense-related techlogies to deal with deeper, more fundamental issues. Through the contributions of American, Canadian, Chinese, and French experts, this book surveys the RMA from various perspectives and evaluates it from the standpoints of military history and military science. The authors conclude that, while the RMA represents a significant challenge for defense establishments, it may fall short of being truly revolutionary. Whether one looks at power projection or information warfare, it appears that emerging techlogies will translate into significant improvements in capabilities, but t necessarily a revolution in warfare. From a comparative perspective, the United States remains well ahead in thinking of and implementing changes that stem from the RMA, although other nations may make selective use of the RMA to promote regional security goals.
THIERRY GONGORA is Research Associate with the Institut quebecois des hautes etudes internationales, Universite Laval, Quebec City. He has published on defense issues and Middle East affairs in such journals as Defense Analysis and the International Journal of Middle East Studies. HARALD VON RIEKHOFF is Professor of Political Science at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. He is the author and editor of several books dealing with German foreign policy, NATO, arms control, and Canada-U.S. relations.