By Sling and by Stone: A Strategy of Technological Reduction

Eviatar Matania, Erez Seri-Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent decades, scholars have commonly thought of military superiority as contingent on advanced military technology. So did national security establishments, which dedicated an increasing share of military buildup efforts to the development and acquisition of advanced systems. As such, what options are available to the side that suffers from inherent technological inferiority? This article introduces, discusses, and demonstrates a strategy of technological reduction for military force buildup strategy, which calls for the deliberate development of weapons that are simple, compared to the prevailing technology. This strategy has been adopted in several cases in recent years, and seems most popular among those suffering from technological inferiority compared to their rivals. Armed non-state actors and militaries opt to abandon the hopeless technological race and turn to a cunning force buildup; in the same way a force in a state of operational inferiority seeks cunning doctrines, such as guerrilla warfare, for contending with a much stronger rival.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-18
JournalStrategic Assessment
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


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