Thanks to everyone who participated in this survey. As before, we have visualized the findings. Please find the results and some key takeaway points below.
We’d love to hear your thoughts so feel free to comment here or tweet using #creativedisruption
1. In the first survey, most respondents believed that defense spending around the world will increase for cyber and unmanned systems, at the expense of ground vehicles and manned aircraft. In this survey, respondents reported that not only do they expect spending for cyber and unmanned systems to rise, but also that they expect these systems to have a substantial impact on warfare in the years to come.
2. Furthermore, 81% of respondents believe that a UAV will shoot down a manned fighter or bomber by 2030, while 74% believe that a cyber attack will measurably change the probability or course of a military conflict. Respondents were also more confident that unmanned and cyber systems will play more of a key role for both national militaries and violent non-state actors by 2030 than other emerging technologies such as meta-materials or directed energy.
3. For both major national militaries and non-state actors, respondents believe that emerging technologies will be most disruptive for concepts of employment, while, for minor national militaries, these technologies will be slightly more disruptive for weapons systems than for concepts of employment.Respondents also think that emerging technologies could have a significant impact on R&D allocations for all national militaries. Overall, 67% of respondents believe the consequences for global power dynamics will be disruptive rather than sustaining. This suggests that disruptions in the global balance of power are likely between now and 2030.
4. At least some of these balance of power changes seem likely to advantage non-star actors relative to state based militaries, especially minor military powers. Respondents believe that emerging technologies will provide slight benefits to non-state actors in all regions, but that they will disadvantage national militaries in Latin/South America and Africa.
5. Respondents also suggest that changes will come faster than many might anticipate. Over 50% of respondents think that cyber and unmanned systems will be fully integrated into major militaries within the next decade, and that three dimensional printing, autonomous systems, and directed energy will be fully integrated within the next 20 years.
6. Despite the time and energy devoted to examining the impact of regulatory constraints on defense industry, only 3% of respondents thought that regulatory constraints would be more consequential for industry in 2030 than financial pressures, changes in technology or changes in the security environment. This reflects a potential divergence between national security experts as a whole and defense industry insiders.