USMA Research Unit Affiliation
Army Cyber Institute
With the return of great power competition comes another renewed threat most of us probably have not thought about in a long time: American soldiers could become prisoners of war. To put it in perspective, the last conflict where America suffered hundreds of POWs was the Vietnam War. Today, after two decades of fighting non-state insurgents, Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape, or SERE, training for U.S. service members has been tailored to match the counterinsurgency operational environment. But in a large-scale conflict between peer countries, aircrews bail out over enemy-controlled territory, wounded soldiers are captured by an advancing enemy, logistic convoys are ambushed, and the turmoil that comes with a moving battlefield creates risk for troops being captured by the enemy. If that is the more likely battlespace of the future, then there is a need to change once again how we prepare soldiers for being captured.