Over the past decade adversaries have developed doctrine and capabilities specifically tailored to counter the western way of war. Acting below the threshold of direct armed conflict they have exploited the west’s binary view of war and peace. Through asymmetric warfare they have outlasted armies designed for winning decisive exchanges. With cyberattacks and electronic warfare they have threatened the precision of western systems; re-empowering states that can generate mass. From cover-agnostic high-lethality munitions, to the proliferation of anti-access area denial systems, new technologies are posing unprecedented challenges to western armies.
The result is constant competition between states, creating greater instability in contested environments, and a growing risk of major armed conflict. People start wars when they think they can win them, making it vital to secure demonstrable competitive advantages. But as publics become increasingly detached from military affairs, and budgets are cut, land forces need to be innovative and strategic in how they develop capabilities, doctrine, and interoperability both with allies, and across government.
This year’s Land Warfare Conference will explore the emerging boundaries of modern competition, and how land forces are adapting to them. Senior officers from around the world will discuss how they are innovating to operate in denied environments, and how they are modernizing. The conference will seek to understand the impact of information warfare on land forces, and the changing nature of alliances in an increasingly multipolar world.
This year’s conference will explore:
- What are the key dynamics of constant competition shaping land warfare?
- How can armies modernise while remaining resilient and scalable?
- How must land forces operate in increasingly denied and dangerous environments?
- How can land forces secure information advantage?
- What are the trajectories of competing alliances?
Watch the recording of the sessions
Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt speaks about the 'full value of Defence' in her keynote speech. Read the transcript
Session One: CGS’s Introductory Remarks
Chair: Dr Karin von Hippel, Director General – RUSI
General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, KCB, CBE, ADC Gen: CGS – British Army
Session Two: What does the arena for modern competition look like?
Constant competition means confronting adversaries across a wider array of domains, in complex terrain, and in morally and legally innovative ways.
Chair: Lucy Fisher, Defence Correspondent – The Times
Ewan Lawson, Senior Research Fellow, Military Sciences - RUSI LTG (Retd) Terry Wolff, Director, Near East South Asia Center - NDU
Dr Ronen Bergman, Author of Rise and Kill First
Tea and Coffee
Session Three: How are Land Forces adapting for competition?
Land Forces are reshaping their operational concepts, procurement priorities, training, and culture to adapt to this new era.
Chair Dr Jack Watling, Research Fellow, Land Warfare - RUSI
Giedrimas Jeglinskas, Vice Minister of National Defence - Lithuania
Maj Gen Kathryn Toohey, AM, CSC, Head of Land Capability – Australian Army
MG Charles Beaudouin, Director of Capability – French Army
Session Four: How can armies modernise while remaining resilient?
The most powerful systems are often exquisite and therefore neither scalable nor attritable. Moreover, introducing new equipment quickly can create unexpected vulnerabilities.
Chair: Prof Michael Clarke, Distinguished Fellow – RUSI
Sharon Weinberger, Author of The Imagineers of War
LTG (Retd) Alain Bouquin, Defence Advisor - Thales
Brig (Retd) Iain Harrison, CBE, Strategic Engagement Director - QinetiQ
Session Five: Fighting in denied and dangerous environments
The proliferation of long-range precision standoff capabilities, and cover-agnostic highlethality munitions is reshaping the way that armies must fight.
Chair: Lt Gen (Retd) Graeme Lamb, KBE, CMG, DSO
LTG Eric Wesley, DCG, Futures Command – US Army
BG Ori Gordin, Chief of Staff, Ground Forces - IDF
Brig James Martin, DSO, MC, OBE, Commander, 1Armoured Infantry Brigade – British Army
Tea and Coffee
Session Six: Securing Information Advantage
Information will shape public support for a war effort, the attitudes of populations in the battlespace, and the intelligence picture. How can we secure information advantage?
Chair: Dr Lynette Nusbacher, CEO, Nusbacher Associates
Ed Williams, CEO – Edelman UK
Konstantin von Eggert, MBE: Baltic Correspondent - DW
Dave Longmuir, BD & Sales Manager FVEYS - L3 TRL Technology
Session Seven: Keynote Address
Chair: Prof Malcolm Chalmers, Deputy Director-General - RUSI
The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP, Secretary of State for Defence
Session Eight: Keynote Address
Chair: Professor Peter Roberts, Director Military Sciences – RUSI
LTG Mykhailo Vitaliyovych Zabrodskyi, Commander – Ukrainian Airmobile Forces
Session Nine: Evolving Alliances
How is NATO adapting to re-engage with peer level competitors? What does European Strategic Autonomy mean for the alliance, if it is viable? How have transactional alliances forged by Russia and China reshaped the way we think about power and influence?
Chair Shashank Joshi, Defence Editor – The Economist
Ambassador Sarah MacIntosh, CMG: UK Permanent Representative to NATO
Prof Anne Applebaum, Director of ARENA – London School of Economics
Dr Barbara Kunz, Research Fellow - CEFRA
Dr David Roberts, King’s College London
Tea and Coffee
Session Ten: Historians’ Analysis of OVERLORD
On the 75th Anniversary of Operation Overlord – and at a time when Land Forces are increasingly required to work across multiple domains – what lessons can be drawn from one of history’s most complex, multination and multidimensional operations?
Chair Maj Gen (Retd) Mungo Melvin, CB, OBE
Prof John Buckley, Professor of Military History - University of Wolverhampton
Dr Matthias Strohn, Head of Historical Analysis – CHACR
Prof Michael Goodman, Official historian of the Joint Intelligence Committee
Session Eleven: The Disruptors
In collaboration with The Wavell Room we will hear from a number of speakers delivering short pitches on disruptive ideas.
Chair: Major Kitty McKendrick, 4 Armoured Close Support Squadron, REME – British Army
Steve - ‘You think you’re disruptive, but you’re not’
Emma - Rethinking How and Who to Recruit: Disrupting Talent Management
Noel - The Army’s role in Civilian Resilience
Ryan - ‘I’m a soldier, not a warrior’ the problem with the ‘warrior ethos’
David Kilcullen - Russian Liminal Warfare, from Crimea to Clinton
Tea and Coffee
Session Twelve: Innovation and Adaptability
Having ideas is the easy part. Implementing them is the real challenge. How can innovation be effectively integrated into the force?
Chair: Col James Cook, OBE: British Army
Lt Col Alan Brown, CO 101 Engineer Regiment – British Army
Samuel Bendett, Research Analyst - CNA
Prof Nina Kollars, Associate Professor – US Naval War College