The Future of War
Nov 9, 2011
William J. Lynn, III MPA/JD ‘82, former deputy secretary of defense at the U.S. Department of Defense, presented a public talk on November 9 titled, “The Future of War.” Lynn discussed how the nature of warfare is changing and the importance of recognizing these changes as defense budgets shrink. Key trends shaping the future of war include the increasing access to lethality by non-state actors, the longer duration of conflicts and the prevalence of asymmetric tactics on the battlefield. Lynn has had an extensive career in national security. He has served two presidents, five secretaries of defense and was an aide to Senator Edward Kennedy. He has also worked as a senior defense industry executive. Most recently, Lynn served as the 30th deputy secretary of defense from February 2009 until October 2011. As the Department’s chief operating officer under Secretaries Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, he managed three million personnel and oversaw an annual budget of $700 billion. He also personally led the department’s efforts in cyber security, space strategy and energy policy. Secretary Lynn visited the School as the Conor D. Reilly Distinguished Visitor in Leadership and Governance.