Three case studies from U.S. naval history emphasize the importance of applying lessons learned in making changes to the way we fight.
The latest conceptual buzzword in U.S. military circles is “adaptation.” Drawing on a decade of conflict against asymmetric adversaries, many recognize that the need to learn and adapt does not stop when a war begins. Reinforced by hard-earned lessons from combat over the past decade, innovation must continue on the battlefield. As authors in this journal have emphasized, “adapt or die” is equally true for both evolving species and militaries facing challenging opponents. 1 Those same authors stated: “It is not yet possible to specify exactly what will be involved in institutionalizing rapid adaptability.”