In the Pentagon, senior U.S. military leaders often like to say that historically they are terrible at predicting the next war, while critics argue that generals constantly are planning for the last war.

Both may be true. Ironically, those same leaders have spent the last two years complaining that they are being forced to live in an era of too much uncertainty.

Why do Pentagon leaders think they can make uncertainty go away? The year 2014 could not have proven more unpredictable. Maybe it’s time to start planning for the unexpected.

The new era of global conflicts for which political leaders demand constant U.S. military intervention offers the Pentagon a new opportunity to stop fighting against the age of uncertainty and start embracing it.

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