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Arnel David is a part-time PhD Student at the King’s Wargaming Network and Defence Studies Department.

Arnel is an active-duty, US Army Strategist, with multiple tours of duty in conventional and special operations units where he deployed to the Middle East, Central Asia, and Pacific.

He is a distinguished military graduate from Valley Forge Military College, holds an MA from University of Oklahoma, MMAS from the Local Dynamics of War Scholars Program at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, completed an Artificial Intelligence Programme at the University of Oxford Saïd Business School and is the coauthor of Military Strategy in the 21st Century: People, Connectivity, and Competition. Arnel is the cofounder of Fight Club International, an experimentation group seeking to improve the efficacy of warfighting across all domains by using advances in gaming and simulations. 


Research interests

Military Innovation & Learning

  • Modeling and Simulations
  • Wargaming
  • Human Domain
  • Military History
  • Strategy

Thesis Title: Prototyping Warfare: Developing a 21st Century 'System of Expedients'

Emerging technologies have introduced a new level of speed and complexity in war never before seen. Western nations are slow to change with modern concepts to match this new tempo. The US and UK continue investing in few, expensive, and exquisite platforms over cheaper, abundant, and integrated systems to accelerate kill chains. This study posits an initial view that increased prototyping, combined with gaming, hastens concept development and technological integration, expanding the conversion rate of ideas into capabilities, leading to asymmetric advantage in war. How does the military condition units to be more adaptive and responsive to rapid change? Will prototyping new ways of fighting aid in concept development and therefore, new capabilities? Does the military have the means to learn and share knowledge at a scale and speed relevant to this era of digital disruption?


PhD supervisors

Principal: Dr Robert Foley

Secondary: Dr David Banks 



Charles T Cleveland, Benjamin Jensen, Susan Bryant and Arnel P David, Military Strategy in the 21st Century: People, Connectivity, and Competition (NY: Cambria Press, 2018).

Arnel P David, Sean. A Acosta, and Dr Nicholas Krohley, "Getting Competition Wrong: The US Military's Looming Failure," Modern War Institute (3 December 2021)

Arnel P David, "Renewed Relevance: CA Develop Human Networks for Effective Engagement," Civil Affairs: A Force for Engagement and Conflict Prevention Vol. 2, ed. Christopher Holshek (Carlisle: PSKOI, 2016),

Arnel P David, David Allen, Dr Aleksandra Nesic, and Dr Nicholas Krohley, "Why We Need A Modern Theory of Special Warfare to Thrive in the Human Domain," Wavell Room (May 2020)

Arnel P David and Dr John DeRosa, "Wargaming Contested Narratives in an Age of Bewilderment," Strategy Bridge (January 2020)

Arnel P David and Dr Shawn Walsh, "Revolutionizing the Institutional Army," Real Clear Defense (May 2018),

Arnel P David, "Network of Influence: Military Personnel Exchange Program Builds Powerful Connections," Army Magazine (July 2019),

​Arnel P David, Jason Buckley, and Toby Whitmarsh, "Prototype Warfare: Inculcating a Culture of Adaptation in the British Army," Wavell Room (June 2019)

​Arnel P David and Tobias Whitmarsh, "If You are Not First You are Last: Gaining an Adaptive Edge Through Prototype Warfare," War Room (May 2019)

​​Dr Aleks Nesic and Arnel P David, "Operationalizing the Science of the Human Domain in Great Power Competition for Special Operations Forces," Small Wars Journal (April 2019)

​Dr W A Rivera and Arnel P David, "Toward a More Comprehensive Understanding of Lethality," Small Wars Journal (February 2019)