RUSI Land Warfare Conference 2019

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

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Overview

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?

Main Image Credit Land warfare


Watch the recording of the sessions


To watch the RUSI Land Warfare Conference 2019 sessions please click on the video below, to select a session please follow the instructions on the playlist.

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt speaks about the 'full value of Defence' in her keynote speech. Read the transcript

Agenda

Day 1

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    Registration

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    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

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    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

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    Tea and Coffee

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    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

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    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

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    Lunch

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    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

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    Tea and Coffee

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    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

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    Session Seven: Keynote Address

    Chair: Prof Malcolm Chalmers, Deputy Director-General - RUSI
    The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP, Secretary of State for Defence

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    Drinks Reception

Day 2

  • -

    Registration

  • -

    Session Eight: Keynote Address

    Chair: Professor Peter Roberts, Director Military Sciences – RUSI
    LTG Mykhailo Vitaliyovych Zabrodskyi, Commander – Ukrainian Airmobile Forces

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    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

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    Tea and Coffee

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    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

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    Lunch

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    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

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    Tea and Coffee

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    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

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