next-war-itis
n. Military planning that focuses on potential future conflicts rather than on current needs.

Example Citations:
Tory Ann Winterton said there should be greater priority placed on "simple, robust" vehicles rather than complex machinery such as the £16 billion Future Rapid Effects System (Fres) programme and the Eurofighter Typhoon jet.

She accused generals and Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials of "next war-itis" — constantly preparing for a future conflict rather than current operations.
—David Hughes, "High-tech weapons 'not practical' for Afghanistan," Press Association Newsfile, June 10, 2008

"The military is almost always accused of preparing to fight the last war," said former Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne. "The most interesting part of 'next-war-itis' is that we are being accused of trying to fight the next war."
—Julian E. Barnes and Peter Spiegel, A Pentagon battle over 'the next war', Los Angeles Times, July 21, 2008

Earliest Citation:
Much of what we are talking about is a matter of balancing risk: today's demands versus tomorrow's contingencies; irregular and asymmetric threats versus conventional threats. As the world's remaining superpower, we have to be able to dissuade, deter, and, if necessary, respond to challenges across the spectrum.

Nonetheless, I have noticed too much of a tendency towards what might be called "Next-War-itis" — the propensity of much of the defense establishment to be in favor of what might be needed in a future conflict. This inclination is understandable, given the dominant role the Cold War had in shaping America's peacetime military, where the United States constantly strove to either keep up with or get ahead of another superpower adversary.
—Robert M. Gates, Remarks to the Heritage Foundation, May 13, 2008

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