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Precision Strike in 21st Century Multidomain Operations

13 May 2021, 12:00 to 14 May 2021, 15:30
The conduct of 21st century campaigns will be shaped in large measure by opponents’ use of reconnaissance strike complexes to achieve effects in depth. This conference will seek to examine both the offensive and defensive aspects of a 21st century strike campaign, as well as the available avenues for offence-defence integration.

The ‘democratisation’ of access to long-range precision strike assets once thought to be components of an exclusively Western revolution in military affairs will have important ramifications for the conduct of 21st century warfare.

The introduction of novel technologies in areas such as hypersonics at one end of the cost spectrum, and the abundance of easily- proliferated loitering munitions on the other has only increased interest in conventional precision strike.  Yet in many ways, our understanding of the technical capabilities of emerging technologies has outstripped efforts to locate them within an operational and strategic framework.

This conference will attempt to bridge this gap by placing precision strike in context. Will precision strike assets serve an independent role, targeting an opponent’s vital economic infrastructure, or will they be assigned a subordinate operational role in support of manoeuvring forces? How should we assess the relative importance of precision and mass when developing targeting plans? What is the relationship between precision strike assets and tools such as special forces and proxies which can be activated deep within an opponent’s territory?  And, seen from the opposite perspective, how should defensive campaigns and missile defences be organized to meet an adversary’s prompt strike? Finally, what are the pathways towards achieving offence-defence integration?

Answering these questions, and understanding how states around the world perceive them, will be critical to identifying the role, utility, and limitations of conventional precision strike within a nation’s force structure.  

 This conference will draw on the expertise of a wide range of theorists and practitioners from across the military, industry, and the academic community. 

Confirmed speakers include:

Day 1

Introduction   

Professor Peter Roberts RUSI

Session 1      

  • LTG Eric Wesley, Former Deputy Commander, U.S Army Futures Command 
  • Air Cdre Philip Champion, Director General Strategy and Planning RAAF
  • Dr Tom Karako, Director, Missile Defence Project, CSIS
  • Dr Motonobu Fujita, Chief Scientist, Acquisition Technology and Logistics Agency, Japan  

Session 2     

  • Dr Jack Watling, Research Fellow Land Warfare RUSI
  • Brigadier Charlie Hewitt, Commanding Officer, 1 Artillery Brigade, UK
  • LTG Richard Formica, Director CALIBRE, Former Commanding General US Army Space and Missile Defence Command

Session 3 

  • Brigadier General Marcus Annibale, Chief of Staff, STRIKFORNATO
  • Admiral Sir Philip Jones, RUSI Trustee, Former First Sea Lord, UK
  • Bryan McGrath, Managing Director, Ferrybridge LLC, Easton
  • Professor Sam Tangredi, US Naval War College

Session 4      

  • Dr Brad Roberts, Director, Center for Global Security Research, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, US
  • Michael Kofman, Director, Russia Studies Programme, CNA, Virginia, US
  • Dr Aaron Bazin, US Special Operations Command

Day 2

Session 1      

  • Rear Admiral (ret) Archer Macy, Former Director, Joint Integrated Air & Missile Defense Organization, US
  • Dr Uzi Rubin, Former Director, Israel Missile Defense Organisation
  • Radisalva Stefanova, Head, NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence Section

Session 2      

  • Dr Peter Layton, Associate Fellow, RUSI
  • Lt. Gen Henry Obering III,  Former Director, Missile Defense Agency, US
  • Dr Sarah Kirchbirger, Institute for Security Policy, Kiel University, Germany

Session 3   

  • James Acton, Carnegie Endowment For International Peace, US
  • Brad Clark, Director of Nuclear Policy, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy, US

                   

 RUSI Points of contact:  

 Military Sciences Research Fellow: Dr Sidharth Kaushal (sidharthk@rusi.org)  

Project Manager: Peppi Väänänen (PeppiV@rusi.org

Conference Manager

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