Very little historical research has been conducted on the use of swarming. This work seeks to address this deficiency by analyzing twenty three case studies of past swarming in order to derive a framework for understanding swarm outcomes. The conclusions of this historical analysis are then applied to a discussion of future swarming by both friendly and enemy forces.
This dissertation should be of interest to both military historians and analysts in the defense community concerned with understanding the potential of swarming for future rapid reaction forces and enemy ground forces. The results of the study highlight the limitations and constraints of swarming for both future friendly forces and for current insurgent swarms today (indeed, while this work is primarily theoretical and broad-based, it might be considered sensitive material in so far as it could be put to use by our enemies). The methods used to arrive at those results highlight how qualitative techniques can be used across many complex historical case studies.
This research was supported by RAND’s Arroyo Center, a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) sponsored by the United Stated Army; the International Security and Defense Policy Center of RAND’s National Defense Research Institute, a FFRDC sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified commands, and the defense agencies; the Strategy and Doctrine Program in RAND’s Project AIR FORCE, a FFRDC sponsored by the United States Air Force; and finally, the Department of the Army, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-2.