Author: Alex Ryan
Introduction Excerpt: While the beginnings of understanding warfare as a complex adaptive systems dates more than 2500 years to the writings of Sun Tzu, recently a growing body of literature describes the broader aspects of defence systems and operations in terms of complex systems science [Ilachinski 1996, Schneider 1996, Richardson et al 2000, Holt et al 2001, Moffat 2002]. Previous work [Grisogono et al 2004] illustrates that a defence force exhibits the basic properties of a complex adaptive system, and identifies adaptive mechanisms in natural systems at the levels of organism, species and society. Analogous mechanisms exist within defence systems at the levels of adaptive systems, capability development and defence within society, which facilitate adaptation through learning, evolving and cultural change respectively. The defining difference for designed complex adaptive systems is the existence of an externally imposed purpose.