20YY Warfare Initiative

20YY Warfare is an ambitious, multi-year project to examine how emerging technologies will shape the future of warfare. Rapid advances in unmanned systems, robotics, data processing, autonomy, networking, and other enabling technologies have the potential to spur an entirely new warfighting regime. State and non-state actors alike will seek to exploit these and other new technologies, many of which are driven by commercial sector innovation in information technology. The U.S. military will need to develop new concepts of operation, doctrine, training, policies, and organizational structures to exploit these technologies and stay ahead in the emerging warfighting regime. These developments may occur in the next decade or later, hence “20YY.”

Download the latest report, "Robotics on the Battlefield Part II: The Coming Swarm

The 20YY Warfare Initiative will focus on publishing groundbreaking research and growing the community of interest on these issues. 20YY aims to deliver practical, actionable recommendations to policy makers today to help prepare the U.S. military for the challenges and opportunities these technologies will present in the years to come.

What is Autonomy?

In February 2014, Paul Scharre, fellow and project director for the 20YY Warfare Initiative, discussed Autonomous Technologies at the Chatham House, London.

The Role of Robotics on the Battlefield

On June 11, 2014, Mr. Scharre also presented on the 20YY Warfare Initiative during the CNAS Eighth Annual National Security Conference. USNI News covered his presentation and new report.


20YY Warfare Initiative Team:

The 20YY Warfare Initiative is supported by a partnership of sponsors and affiliates.

Related Content

  • February 26, 2015
  • Paul Scharre
  • Op-eds

ROBOTS AT WAR AND THE QUALITY OF QUANTITY

The U.S. Department of Defense has launched the search for a “third offset strategy,” an approach to sustain U.S. military technological superiority against potential adversaries. But, for a number of reasons, this strategy is different than the previous two. Even the name “offset” may not be...

Read More

  • February 26, 2015
  • Paul Scharre
  • Videos

A World of Proliferated Drones

Paul Scharre, who is the Director of the 20YY Warfare Initiative at CNAS, contemplates how the proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles among states and non-state actors is impacting international security and stability.

Read More

  • February 25, 2015
  • Paul Scharre
  • In the News

Next-Generation Drone Warfare: Interview with Paul Scharre

Prior to joining OSD, Mr. Scharre served as a special operations reconnaissance team leader in the Army’s 3rd Ranger Battalion and completed multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Scharre has published articles in Proceedings, Armed Forces Journal, Joint Force Quarterly, Military Review, and...

Read More

  • February 25, 2015
  • Kelley Sayler, Paul Scharre, Van Jackson
  • Op-eds

Release the drones

This week, the Obama administration announced a new policy loosening export restrictions for military and commercial drones. This policy shift represents a responsible first step toward ensuring U.S. defense industry competitiveness in the face of an ever-increasing number of global drone...

Read More

  • February 21, 2015
  • Michael Horowitz
  • In the News

New Armed UAV Export Rules Help US Firms

WASHINGTON — New US rules loosening restrictions on exports of armed drones should not only help US companies, but will also aid Washington in shaping "global norms of behavior" when it comes to strike UAVs, an expert said. On Feb. 17, the US State Department released new rules for how and when it...

Read More

  • February 18, 2015
  • Paul Scharre
  • Op-eds

BETWEEN A ROOMBA AND A TERMINATOR: WHAT IS AUTONOMY?

Department of Defense leaders have stated that robotics and autonomous systems will be a key part of a new “offset strategy” to sustain American military dominance, but what is autonomy? Uninhabited, or unmanned, systems have played important roles in Iraq and Afghanistan, from providing loitering...

Read More

  • February 17, 2015
  • Michael Horowitz, Paul Scharre
  • In the News

Obama To Sell Armed Drones To More Countries

The State Department on Tuesday announced that the United States would be expanding the sale of armed unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, to carefully selected allied countries. The announcement suggests that strategic partners – especially in the Middle East — could acquire American-made armed...

Read More

  • February 17, 2015
  • Alex Velez-Green
  • Blog Posts

Autonomous Weapons in the News

America's Military Might Is Unmatched: 5 Ways to Keep It That Way (The National Interest) Dave Majumdar writes that the Pentagon must develop autonomous drone technology in order to perform sustained operations against “a sophisticated adversary” in communications-degraded environments. He further...

Read More

  • February 13, 2015
  • Michael Horowitz, Paul Scharre
  • In the News

THINK TANK PUBLISHES REPORT ON TANKS THAT THINK

No military technology is perhaps more viscerally upsetting than the idea of a machine, armed with a gun, making the decision on its own to kill people. It's a theme throughout dystopian fiction and films, and it animates protests against drones, despite the fact that military drones still have...

Read More

  • February 13, 2015
  • Paul Scharre, Michael Horowitz
  • Working Papers

An Introduction to Autonomy in Weapon Systems

In this working paper, 20YY Warfare Initiative Director Paul Scharre and Adjunct Senior Fellow Michael Horowitz discuss future military systems incorporating greater autonomy. The intent of the paper is to help clarify, as a prerequisite to examining legal, moral, ethical and policy issues, what...

Read More

Pages