RUSI Land Warfare Conference 2016

Held annually on behalf of the Chief of the General Staff, this conference reflects on the breadth of challenges confronting today’s land forces in a global security environment characterised by constant competition and unpredictability

calendar - clock - (BST)
locationChurch House, London


For over a decade, the Land Warfare Conference has been the UK’s pre-eminent gathering of the land forces community, bringing together leading practitioners, academics, policy makers and the private sector in a unique forum for unparalleled discussion, debate and networking.

While the British Army is at its smallest for two centuries, the tasks assigned to it range ever-wider, from national resilience at home and countering terrorism overseas, to conventional deterrence against state threats through restoring the capability for war-fighting at scale.The conference explored this ‘adaptability challenge’ through the following themes:

Uncertain Threats – uncertainties of state, non-state and hybrid threats

Theories and Practices for Adaptability – insights from historical, contemporary and private sector adaptability

Partnering for Adaptability  at home and internationally, whether military, cross-government, industry or civil society

Confronting the Challenge  perspectives from ‘the generation that matters’

Chief of the General Staff Keynote – force development for adaptability

Main Image Credit Land warfare

Watch the recording

General Sir Nick Carter - RUSI Land Warfare Conference 2016



Day 2

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    Session Six: Partnering for Adaptability

    Consideration of how the British Army, at its smallest size in two centuries, can optimise its relationship with wider military, cross-governmental, industrial, civil society, and non-traditional partners, at home and internationally.

    Chair: Lieutenant General Nicholas Pope, Deputy Chief of the General Staff

    Professor John Louth, Senior Research Fellow and Director for Defence, Industries and Society, RUSI - View the presentation slides

    Dr Nic Anderson, Managing Director of Land, Babcock International Group - View the presentation slides

    Mr Jerome Paolini, Chairman, Sovereign Global UK Ltd

    Lieutenant General Carsten Jacobson, Deputy Inspector, German Army - View the presentation slides

    Lieutenant General Milosav Simović, Army Commander, Serbian Armed Forces - View the presentation slides

    Major General Bill Hix, Director Strategy, Plans & Policy, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, US Army - View the presentation slides

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    Tea and Coffee

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    Session Seven: Confronting the Challenge

    Innovative approaches to confronting the challenges of uncertain threats and constrained resources, from ‘the generation that matters’ – that which will command the British Army of the future, yet under design today – followed by a question and answer session.

    Chair: Major General Bob Bruce, Director Capability

    Advanced Command and Staff Course 19, Joint Services Command and Staff College

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    Session Eight: Secretary of State Keynote Address

    The Secretary of State for Defence gives an overview of the value of expeditionary adaptability and the international, partnership driven design of the SDSR.

    Chair: Professor Malcolm Chalmers, Deputy Director-General & Research Director, RUSI

    Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, Secretary of State for Defence

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    Session Nine: Adaptability and the British Army

    Future force designs for adaptability and how the Army will adapt over the next five to ten years as it moves towards and beyond Army 2020.

    General Sir Nicholas Carter, Chief of the General Staff

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    Session Ten: Chief of the General Staff Q&A Session

    General Sir Nicholas Carter, Chief of the General Staff

    Warrant Officer Class One Glenn Haughton, Army Sergeant Major

Day 1

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    Session One: Keynote Address

    Chair: Dr Karin von Hippel, Director-General, RUSI
    General Sir Nicholas Carter, Chief of the General Staff

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    Session Two: Uncertain Threats?

    Consideration of the re-emergent threat from state actors, the on-going evolution of non-state actors, and a seemingly increased level of uncertainty in the contemporary operating environment.

    Chair: Dr Rob Johnson, Director, Changing Character of War Programme, University of Oxford


    Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, Commanding General, US Army Europe
    Mr James Sladden, Analyst, RAND Europe
    Ms Linda Robinson, Senior International Policy Analyst, RAND Corporation Mr Charles Farr, Chairman, Joint Intelligence Committee

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    Tea and Coffee

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    Session Three: Unpacking Deductions from Uncertain Threats

    A keynote on implications from the breadth and hybridity of threats for future capabilities and force design. Followed by panel discussion on opportunities and threats posed by adaptable force postures.

    Chair: Lt Gen (Retd) Professor Sir Paul Newton, Director, Strategy and Security Institute, Exeter University

    Professor Eliot Cohen, Robert E. Osgood, Professor of Strategic Studies, Johns Hopkins SAIS

    View the presentation slides

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    Session Four: Theories and Practices for Adaptability

    Theories of adaptation and insights on their practical application from leaders across the private sector and wider government; offering best practice for structuring organisations to think and behave adaptively in the midst of uncertainty and adversity.

    Chair: Major General (Retd) Andrew Sharpe, Director, Centre for Historical Analysis and Conflict Research

    Mr Tim Harford, Economist and Author of ‘Adapt: How Success Always Starts with Failure’ - View the presentation slides

    Ms Kirstan Marnane, Senior Expert, McKinsey and Company Mr Herman Narula, Chief Executive Officer, Improbable - View the presentation slides

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    Tea and Coffee

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    Session Five: Military Adaptation in Action

    Case studies of the British Army and other militaries’ adaptation in conflict, throughout history and on contemporary operations, with lessons to be drawn for the future.

    Chair: Dr Harlan Ullman, Senior Adviser, Atlantic Council

    Dr Niall Barr, Reader in Military History, King’s College London - View the presentation slides

    Mr Antony Beevor, Military Historian and Author

    Lt Gen Michel Yakovleff, Vice Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe

    Brigadier General (Retd) Dr Meir Finkel, Director, Dado Center for Interdisciplinary Military Studies - View the presentation slides

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    Drinks Reception

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