Under the patronage of the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ministry of Defence is to host a conference on the changing character of war in the 21st Century at the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research and at the Rabdan Academy, both in Abu Dhabi.
Entitled "Leaders Conference: War in the 21st Century," the conference will take place on 22nd and 23rd October. The agenda of the conference will address a range of strategic issues, to be considered during opening speeches, panel sessions and focused workshops.
The Ministry, through hosting the Conference, aims to highlight the impact of emerging technologies on modern warfare and the changing character of contemporary and future conflicts.
The Conference will bring together senior national and regional officials, and prominent experts and scholars specialising in the military sciences and strategic thinking.
The event's first keynote speech, titled "The Changing Character of War in the 21st Century" will be delivered by General Stanley McChrystal. He will explain the ever-changing direct and indirect threats to national security posed by traditional geopolitical adversaries, and the need for governments and militaries to adapt rapidly and constantly to these changing challenges.
Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, will deliver another keynote speech on soft power and the use of media and digital diplomacy in wars.
The discussion sessions of the conference will be moderated by journalist Mohannad Al Khatib.
The first discussion session, titled "Strategies to Face Evolving Threats," will address an array of topics, including the development of security strategies and comprehensive national and international defence plans, and the need to strike a balance between investing in current and future national capacities in order to face emerging threats.
Lt. General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Dubai Police Deputy Commander, Lord Peter Ricketts and retired Rear Admiral James Morse will tackle these and other relevant topics.
The second session will explore the use of strategic narratives and their impact on security, considering various methods that influence communities, including hateful rhetoric attacking government legitimacy and sovereignty. These and other important topics will be discussed by Maqsoud Kruse, Dr. Steve Tatham and Dr. Matti Saarelainen.
The third session, titled, "The Geopolitics of Technical and Economic Advancement", will discuss the impact of emerging technologies on regional geopolitics, national politics, and economic and social conditions. The speakers for this session will be Rudolf Lohmeyer, Dr. Peter Singer and Dr. Robert Johnson.
The second day of the conference will consist of focussed workshops, held at the Rabdan Academy, that will use the knowledge gained from the international speakers and experts on the first day to come up with concrete, practical recommendations for action that the United Arab Emirates can implement to prepare to address 21st Century war threats.