The “AI RMA”: The Revolution Has Not Arrived (Yet)


Narrated by Patrick Kirchner

Winner of the Inaugural Andrew W. Marshall Paper Prize on New Revolutions in Military Affairs

This paper examines the prospects for artificial intelligence (AI) applications initiating a new revolution in military affairs (RMA). It analyzes this issue by applying the lens of four RMA elements—technological change, military systems evolution, operational innovation, and organizational adaptation—to U.S. and Chinese military AI development. It finds that, in the near term, AI applications may be more likely to help fully realize the reconnaissance-strike RMA than to produce a new AI RMA altogether. However, understanding why AI has not yet sparked a new RMA can shape analysis of the potential trajectory of technological-military competition between the United States and China. The paper uses historical lessons from U.S.–Japanese interwar competition, which produced the carrier aviation RMA, to draw relevant insights for present day U.S.-China AI competition. It concludes by discussing potential frameworks for understanding a future AI RMA and areas for further study.

“A State in Disguise of a Merchant”: Multinational Tech Corporations and the Reconfiguration of the Balance of Power in Asia


Narrated by Patrick Kirchner

Winner of the Inaugural Andrew W. Marshall Paper Prize on Future Reconfigurations in Asia

When corporations were created four centuries ago, they fundamentally altered the relationship between the market and the state while also shifting geopolitical power. Technology corporations are creating a similar revolution in the contemporary age. As the world moves from industrial and postindustrial economies to digital ones, technology companies now touch practically every area of modern life. Politically and geopolitically, they are also changing how states interact with each other and achieve their strategic objectives. Technology corporations now play a central role in states’ relative power, and over the next two decades they will impact the balance of power in Asia. A country’s relative power may be intimately connected to native technology companies as they become essential to economic growth, defend infrastructure and businesses, participate in investigations and attributions of cyber events, and even engage in offensive cyber operations. This paper looks at those different areas, examines trends, and then posits a plausible future in which technology corporations may contribute to a reconfiguration of the balance of power in Asia by 2045.

Listen On:

Andrew Marshall: Net Assessment as a Tool of Strategy

March 14, 2023

The Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI)

“Foreign policy strategist Andrew Marshall had a career that spanned seven decades from the late 1940s. He was hailed by a former KGB officer as ‘the grey cardinal, the éminence grise’ of the U.S. revolution of military affairs, and as ‘the great hero’ of Chinese officers tracking developments in U.S. military technology, claiming they had translated every word he wrote. Dr. Thomas G. Mahnken joins ‘Talking Strategy’ to discuss his work and life.”

Jesse Ausubel on “Peak Human”

December 7, 2022

“Jesse Ausubel is the director of the Program for the Human Environment at Rockefeller University and the recent winner of the prestigious Nierenberg Prize. In his second appearance on the [Power Hungry] podcast (the first was on October 12, 2021), Ausubel talks about his new work on “peak human” and “peak humans,” why we appear to be reaching the limits of human potential, immunity to disease, “nature deficit disorder,” and why — after a lifetime of being a fan of the New York Yankees — he has quit watching sports.”

Ending Innovation Tourism

April 19, 2022

GovCon Different Podcast

“Dr. Melissa Flagg calls for an end to innovation tourism in order to regain thought leadership and systematically adopt new innovations as national security becomes fixated on technical superiority.”

Waging War on Efficiency

November 2020

GovCon Different Podcast

“The world has envied America’s R&D model but the world is catching up. Who are the patriot scientists and researches behind the scenes and what new models do they need? Former DASD for research, Dr. Melissa Flagg, has the answers.”

A Conversation with Melissa Flagg

October 16, 2020


“In this OODAcast we ask Dr. Flagg about her approach to decision-making, her views on technology trends, and discuss the potential impact of a wide range of critically important subjects including:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Quantum Computing
  • Biological Sciences

We also ask for her lessons learned on mental models relevant for decision making and explore her eclectic reading habits.”

Remembering Andy Marshall

March 29, 2019

This is a special edition of the Defense & Aerospace Report Podcast that remembers the life and legacy of Andy Marshall, former director of the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment.

Moderated by: Vago Muradian


  • Former Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work
  • Gen. Paul Selva, USAF, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and one of Marshall’s former military fellows
  • Col. Tom Ehrhard, PhD, USAF Ret., vice president for defense strategy at the Long Term Strategy Group, and one of Marshall’s former military fellows
  • Jaymie Durnan, deputy assistant to the director of strategic initiatives at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Marshall’s executor and former military fellow