The US Military is A/B Testing the Future of Warfare

By Adam Clark Estes on at

Down some spookily-lit corridor at the Pentagon, there are surely soldiers dreaming about the future of warfare. But, at the National Defense University, some of the nation's top brass are actually playing out the scenarios. In fact, a group of generals just finished a rather innovative year-long wargame.

ArmyTimes has all the details. The exercise actually introduced the same war scenario to two armies of the future—or rather, two different versions of what our military could become. It's similar to how web designers might A/B test two different button designs to see which one people click on more. Lance Bacon describes the military's own A/B test:

The war game took place in 2025, and with good reason. Two separate teams independently responded to the same scenario. The first, called the "Evolution Group," was equipped with current and planned capabilities and structures. The second, called the "Innovation Group," was equipped largely with nonexistent but technologically feasible gear and used a variety of unique strategies and force structures.

The results were telling.

It's kind of an A/B test for the future of warfare. SPOILER: The Innovation Group obviously wins—and the details of how and why a radically different army could work better than what we actually have planned are fascinating, from 4D printing to "molecular changes" in soldiers' armor. [ArmyTimes via @peterwsinger]