Office of Sponsored Programs


Historical Review of Successful USAF Military Transformations

  • Published
  • By HAF/A5SM Strategic Assessments
  • HAF/A5SM Strategic Assessments

TOPIC SPONSOR: HAF/A5SM Strategic Assessments

When has the USAF successfully executed a military transformation in response to significant strategic shifts or revolutions in military affairs? What lessons do past examples provide that could assist USAF leadership today? Historical studies have been a major source of insight into the processes of military transformation. In most instances, they have begun by selecting a specific instance of transformation which could be identified as significant on the basis of subsequent history and then tracing its origins and trajectory. Such studies have been valuable in revealing the inner workings of transformation processes. They have been less useful in understanding the broader processes by which military institutions conceive, embrace, or reject transformative opportunities. These operate in an environment of multiple uncertainties and competing priorities and can best be understood from a system-wide ex ante perspective.