Report on Leveraging Human-Machine Teaming by the Special Competitive Studies Project and the Royal United Services Institute


Leveraging artificial intelligence will be “critical” to creating armed forces which are capable of fighting effectively in future operating environments.

Interdependent human–machine teams will need to be a key component of future UK and U.S. military efforts to deter great power war and, if deterrence fails, win.  

That’s the conclusion of a major piece of analysis conducted by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), in partnership with the Special Competitive Studies Project (SCSP) and published on January 18, 2024. 

Authored by RUSI Research Fellow Sidharth Kaushal and RUSI Research Analyst Juliana Suess, together with SCSP Defense Panel Director Luke Vannurden and Senior Advisor Ylber Bajraktari, the report proposes that, as part of a broader offset strategy, the UK and U.S. militaries should use human–machine collaboration (HMC) and human–machine teaming (HMT) to: demonstrate the potential to decrease the military, economic and political cost of war for the U.S. and the UK and increase such costs for their adversaries; achieve decision advantage and impose dilemmas on adversaries; and generate awareness in denied environments.

The authors identify five specific capability areas that the UK and U.S. militaries should pursue to achieve significant advantages: (1) improving sensing, analysis, planning and decision-making; (2) developing lower-cost and more attritable forces; (3) uncrewed sustainment for expeditionary forces; (4) enhancing deception; and (5) leveraging HMC for predictive maintenance.

Finally, the report proposes a series of recommendations, intended as a policy guide for policymakers, aimed at maximizing the advantages of the U.S. and UK’s operational and military-technological asymmetries. Key recommendations include:

  • Reforming the acquisition process through the development of more effective relationships between government and technology companies. 
  • Supporting industry-government experimentation, strengthening the interface between the military and civilian sector machines, datasets and infrastructure.
  • Engaging in a wider programme of re-industrialisation, with the partial reshoring of manufacturing capacity 

Ultimately, “militaries will need to develop technology and dedicate significant resources towards the development of new concepts of operations and approaches that treat the combination of human judgment and technological capabilities as central to success.”


Click to access the login or register cheese