Overview of RMA Research
--Interview with Dr. Michael J. Mazarr, Senior Researcher at CSIS访华盛顿战略与国际问题研究中心高级研究员米切尔•马扎尔博士
MR. CHEN BOJIANG: After the Gulf War, there has been an ongoing discussion of the Revolution in Military Affairs in the defense community. Two of the earliest research results that I read which caught my attention were a CSIS1 report on military technological revolution and an article titled “Is There Military Technological Revolution in the future of the U.S.”, published in CSIS’s, The Washington Quarterly2, Fall 1993. Based on these two publications and from references I gathered from other materials, I wrote a summary of the U.S. defense community's views on the military revolution which was published in China Military Sci¬ence, in the Spring 1995 issue3. You were the main author of the CSIS report as well as the editor of the article. Therefore, I have reason to believe that CSIS and your¬self are among the earliest to research the subject of a military revolution in the Unit¬ed States. This is also the reason I'd like to interview you today.
Could you give me an overview of your process and that of CSIS's process in researching the RMA?
MR. MICHAEL MAZARR: We did come to this subject fairly early, when the U.S. defense establishment was trying to get an early understanding of what it was all about. So our work was fairly theoretical. This was an issue that was not very well defined at the time.
And so mostly, in that initial4 report we were just trying to lay out, as the title suggested, a framework for understanding what the RMA was, how you could define it, and what future issues for research there would be. It was too early to have any final answers for ultimately what the Revolution in Military Affairs would mean in all of its details for U.S. policy. Our goal at that time was just to gather a vari¬ety of information. We worked with people in the U.S. Defense Department, and we were working on new technology to try to get a comprehensive idea of the different areas of technology, and doctrine, and strategy that were being discussed in con¬nection with the Revolution in Military Af¬fairs. We then wanted just to sort of orga¬nize them, and put out a review that would start a dialogue, not provide the final an¬swer, but begin a dialogue in the U.S. de¬fense community, which really had not started very much at that time.
MR. CHEN: I have noticed that in your report and article, the term used is “Military Technology Revolution.” But in later articles, “Revolution in Military Af¬fairs” was used instead. Is there a differ¬ence in using these two terms?
MR. MAZARR: There's not a big difference. Basically, military technological revolution was a term that U.S. analysts first borrowed from the Soviet Union. Be¬cause, as you know, a lot of these ideas originated5 in Soviet thinking about ad¬vanced maneuverable warfare6 and armored warfare7. So it was just a borrowed term.
And then eventually as the idea began to take more shape in the United States, people began to realize that there was a broader context for a more radical change in warfare than the initial Soviet analysts were talking about.
There is a difference, in that the Rev¬olution in Military Affairs is a much broad¬er term, much more encompassing8. The military technical revolution, at least early on, generally was referring to much more advanced precise ways of waging the same old kind of warfare. The Revolution in Military Affairs refers to, possibly, com¬pletely new forms of waging war that would be unrecognizable to generals of the old style.
MR. CHEN: You argued that “scien¬tists, policymakers and military leaders have been relatively poor assisting the mili¬tary implications of revolution and tech¬nologies forecasting9 their effects on future battlefields.” Why do these things hap¬pen? How do you assess the military impli¬cations of revolutionary technologies at the present time?
MR. MAZARR: Well, the biggest problem in the U.S. system in thinking about this issue has been the problem of bureaucracy10; that the Defense Depart¬ment has certain services, and offices, and soon, that are organized based on the way that the United States military has waged war for 50, 60, 70 years now.
And so when new technologies come a-long the bureaucracy tends to take them and put them into categories11, based on its traditional understanding, and to view them as ways of waging the same old kind of war more efficiently, rather than as po¬tential indications that the nature of war is changing.
So, the U.S. military has been very good at developing technology, good at pushing the technology into operational forces, and using it; but not as good at seeing the broader implications of precision technologies, or perhaps moving too slowly.
That process has begun to accelerate a little bit. Within the U.S. military there's a lot more discussion today of, for exam¬ple, changing the way military units oper¬ate on the battlefield because of new pre¬cise technologies, because of the need to have very small, decentralized12 units, those sorts of things.
So that is happening more, but for a long time, for a decade or more, these technologies would come into the U.S. bu¬reaucracy, one at a time, and would be plugged into13 the conventional14 way of do¬ing business. And the broader implications of those were not seen very well.
MR. CHEN: Could you give me a brief introduction of the process of the CSIS report on “Military Technological Revolution?” What was the influence of this report?
MR. MAZARR: Well, the process we used to come to the conclusion was, in a way, a series of meetings, really. We did some initial research here at CSIS. Then, we had somewhere around 50 or 70 people drawn from the different military ser¬vices15, from other research institutes around town, and from CSIS. We would do some initial research, get some ideas, present the ideas at these meetings, have a lot of feedback16, conversation.
And then after we had a series of ses¬sions like that, we here at CSIS drafted a rough draft report; and sent it out for commentl7. I'm not sure exactly how many people sent comments back, but quite a few18, a couple dozen at least. We did a fi¬nal draft, based on their comments, and that ultimately became the report. So all the writing was done here within the CSIS, but with a great deal of input from other folks19 around town. And this was really a group of people who were interest¬ed in the RMA, people who were following it at the time.
There's kind of a group of people within the military services who in many cases know each other fairly well, because they're part of this group that follows this issue on a regular basis. So, at that time those were the sorts of people that we were bringing together.
And as far as influence, I don't know that the report really changed any thinking about the RMA at the time, because it was still fairly early. It was too early to make sort of a comprehensive argument for changing the U.S. military in the direction of the RMA, which is something we couldn't have done anyhow.
But what I think it did do was help to organize the thinking early on, and get people talking about the same issue or is¬sues as part of the RMA. Because one of the problems at that early stage was all sorts of people had different ideas of what it was. So I think it helped to clarify20 the debate a little bit, and just push it along. But we were certainly not trying to come up with any final answers at that time. That wasn't the influence we hoped out of the report.
Practise Listening to Words 词汇听力练习:
1.CSIS:Center for Strategic& International Studies华盛顿战略与国际问题研究中心
3.issue  n.（报刊）期号
4.initial  adj. 最初的
5.originate  vt. 起源于
8.encompass  vt. 包含
9.forecast  vt. 预见
10.bureaucracy  n. 官僚主义
11.category  n. 分类
12.decentralize  vt. 分散
14.conventional  adj. 常规的
16.feedback  n. 反馈
17.comment  n. 评论
18.quite a few 相当多
19.folk  n. 人们
20.clarify  vt. 澄清