Naval War College Review


As former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld once noted, we go to war with the Army (and Navy) we have. However, we do not necessarily win wars with the same armed forces or strategy with which we began them. Often, these forces initially are not optimized for the particular conflict in which they become engaged, and even when they are, adaptive adversaries present unanticipated challenges. Often throughout history, leaders have needed to recognize that their initial plans were not successful and that adaptation (organizationally, doctrinally, or in weapons and equipment) was needed.1