Paper Prize Prompt

New Revolutions in Military Affairs

Read the competition guidelines here.

The Andrew W. Marshall Paper Prize on New Revolutions in Military Affairs seeks submissions that are interdisciplinary and non-traditional efforts to understand more clearly the history, character, and future of the ongoing RMA but, even more importantly, the prospect for future RMAs and the implications for the national security and long-term competitions of the United States.

Some military revolutions in the past have been the result of changes in social and organizational practices rather than technology as such. This may be the case in the future; technology and technique are not the same things. AWMF thus encourages papers that consider military revolutions broadly defined and understood.


The notion of revolutions in military affairs – periodic and dramatic changes in the way wars are fought – has entered the public lexicon due in no small part to the work of Andrew Marshall. The beginning of his career, especially his time at the RAND Corporation, was defined by the advent of nuclear weapons. He spent more than two decades thinking through how these weapons revolutionized the character and conduct of warfare and peacetime competition.

Later, as Director of the Office of Net Assessment in the Department of Defense, Marshall drew attention to another emerging revolution in the character of warfare. Inspired by the writing of Soviet military theoreticians who believed rapid developments in micro-electronics, significant qualitative improvements in conventional weapons, and the introduction of weapons systems based on new physical principles would soon lead to what they called a Military-Technical Revolution (MTR), Marshall dedicated years of time and effort to examining the ways in which these technologies might bring about broader changes in the character of warfare. By the early 1990s, Marshall’s office had completed an assessment of the MTR that confirmed the Soviet view that, “sooner or later, leading military powers will exploit available and emerging technologies, making major changes in the way they prepare and conduct operations in war, and realizing dramatic gains in military effectiveness.”

But importantly for Marshall, technology was only part of the story. Understanding how these revolutions came about and how they would unfold required drawing not only on technical fields, but also on anthropology, economics, psychology, organizational theory, and other areas of inquiry. He read with interest the historical work on the European military revolution of the 17th century that suggested that changes in organizational practices were at least as important as technology in driving this revolution, and in his own assessment wrote that “technology makes possible the revolution, but the revolution itself takes place only when new concepts of operation develop and, in many cases, new military organizations are created.”


of Submissions

The broad topic area of this paper prize competition is the character and future of Revolutions in Military Affairs (RMA). Within this topic, papers might explore questions such as the nature and character of RMAs, new interpretations of specific past RMAs, and the views of specific countries or groups regarding RMAs. Submissions might also investigate the prospect for future RMAs, the attributes necessary to participate effectively in a novel RMA, the character and possible development of the ongoing RMA, or other aspects of RMAs that the authors believe might affect the goals and national interests of the United States.

Speculation about future RMAs should be supported by data or analyses describing historical trends or developments, concrete observations about historical patterns, or another firm foundation for forecasts. Futures described should be well-supported by evidence, but they do not necessarily need to be likely or straight-line projections from today. Authors should place emphasis on addressing questions or aspects of problems frequently overlooked or insufficiently studied; originality and boldness will be rewarded.

Winners of the Inaugural Andrew W. Marshall Paper Prizes

New Revolutions in Military Affairs

The inaugural Andrew W. Marshall Paper Prizes began in February 2021 with a call for submissions on Future Reconfigurations in Asia 2045 and New Revolutions in Military Affairs. These two competitions offered three rounds of awards for intellectually bold work that explored strategic questions facing the United States. Read about the Paper Prizes here.

We received 65 submissions of 500-word abstracts to the first round of the New Revolutions in Military Affairs Paper Prize. Distinguished panels of practitioners and scholars evaluated these abstracts in a double blind review, awarding eleven authors or teams of authors $500 prizes and the opportunity to submit papers, competing in Round Two as Semi-Finalists. Out of those who chose to compete, we awarded three authors $2,500 prizes and the opportunity to refine their papers, competing in a final round as Finalists. In June 2022, one Grand Prize Winner was awarded $10,000. The grand prize-winning paper will be presented and published in Fall 2022.

Grand Prize Winner
Finalist (Anonymous)
The Andrew W. Marshall Foundation extends special thanks to reviewers of the Paper Prize on New Revolutions in Military Affairs:


News Releases | 06/21/22

Announcing the Winners of the Inaugural Andrew W. Marshall Paper Prizes

On Future Reconfigurations in Asia 2045 and New Revolutions in Military Affairs Congratulations to our Semi-Finalists, Finalists, and Grand Prize Winners Owen J. Daniels and […]

News Releases | 03/24/21

The Andrew W. Marshall Paper Prizes

AWMF will award two prizes of up to $13,000 for well-researched, intellectually bold work on Future Reconfigurations in Asia 2045 and New Revolutions in Military […]