RUSI Land Warfare Conference 2021

Integrating for Operations Today and Warfighting Tomorrow. Held annually on behalf of the Chief of the General Staff, the RUSI Land Warfare Conference is the UK’s pre-eminent gathering of the land forces community

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locationChurch House, Westminter / Online: C+

The British Government published its Integrated Security, Defence and Foreign Policy Review in March 2021, setting out its ambition for the UK’s role in the world over the next decade. Given the announcements around personnel and equipment contained in the IR, the Army is now working to plot a path into the future. But what does the Army need to do to ensure that it is prepared for any immediate conflict, and what does the Army need to be looking at to ensure it retains an asymmetric advantage?

Given the context of renewed great power competition and enduring disorder, the British Army is seeking to persistently operate by, with and through partners and allies while constraining adversaries, to deter escalation to warfighting. The UK needs to field forces that can counter hostile actors continuously and globally whenever they, or their proxies, threaten British interests, yet still retain the ability to transition to fully integrated coalition warfighting at short notice.

There is a broad consensus among militaries that advantage in the future operating environment will be gained by states that have undergone a digital transformation enabling them to integrate effects and capabilities. If war breaks out, states will need to leverage emerging technologies and prioritise speed, range and precision-strike. As the complexity of military systems increases, allies will need to work collaboratively to remain at the cutting edge of manned-unmanned teaming and artificial intelligence. There is a critical need for armies to be able to integrate their capabilities and people to be more than the sum of their parts, and to integrate with partners, allies and industry.

RUSI Land Warfare Conference 2021 will allow partners and allies to explain how they are modernising their forces, calibrating their force posture, and pursuing technological advantage. This will enable us to consider how we can balance maximising the effectiveness of the next generation of combat systems with being able to interoperate.


  • General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith KCB CBE ADC Gen – CGS – British Army
  • Jeremy Quin MP – Minister for Defence Procurement
  • Lieutenant General Alfons Mais – Inspector of the Army - Deutsches Heer
  • General (Retd) Robert Brown – Executive Vice President – Association of the US Army
  • Major General Simon Hamilton CBE – Director of Support – British Army
  • Major General Maria Barrett - CG NETCOM - US Army
  • Major General James Bowder OBE – General Officer Commanding 6 UK Division
  • Alex Cresswell – CEO and Chairman – Thales UK
  • Dr Sean McFate – Senior Fellow – Atlantic Council
  • Elsa Kania – Adjust Senior Fellow – Center for a New American Security
  • Dr Lester Grau – Research Director – Foreign Military Studies Office


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    Welcoming Remarks

    Speaker: Dr Karin von Hippel, Director-General, RUSI

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    Opening Keynote


    Sir David Lidington KCB CBE, Chairman, RUSI

    General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith KCB CBE ADC Gen, Chief of the General Staff, British Army

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    Session One: Competing in the Future Operating Environment

    Chair: Deborah Haynes, Foreign Affairs Editor, Sky News

    Dr Sean McFate, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council Major General Maria Barrett, CG NETCOM, US Army
    Major General James Bowder OBE, GOC 6 (UK) Division, British Army

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    Session Two: Warfighting on the Future Battlefield

    Chair: Professor Peter Roberts, Director Military Sciences, RUSI

    Dr Lester Grau, Research Director, Foreign Military Studies Office Lieutenant
    General Alfons Mais, Chief of the German Army, Bundeswehr
    Elsa Kania, Senior Adjunct Fellow, CNAS
    Lt Gen Sir Edward Smyth-Osbourne KCVO CBE, Commander ARRC, British Army

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    Session Three: Integrating the Whole Force

    Chair: Air Commodore (Retd) Paul O’Neill, Senior Research Fellow, RUSI

    General (Retd) Robert Brown, Executive Vice President, AUSA
    Major General Simon Hamilton CBE, Director of Support, British Army
    Alex Cresswell, Chairman and CEO, Thales UK

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    Ministerial Keynote and Closing Remarks

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

    Jeremy Quin MP, Minister for Defence Procurement
    General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith KCB CBE ADC Gen, Chief of the General Staff, British Army

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    Drinks Reception


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