Russia’s systematic, sophisticated annexation of Crimea in March 2014 demonstrated to the world that some nations are still willing to act forcibly against other nations to secure their interests. Putin’s government, the security services and military set what many commentators view as a bench mark for how multiple levers of national power—non-attributable effects such as cyber, irregular forces and information warfare, and modern whole of government operational design—could challenge the rules based order in a way that didn’t provoke an escalatory response until the facts on the ground had been changed to Russia’s advantage..
Commentators exclaimed that this new type of war—a hybrid war—was based on a recognition that non-military means had become more powerful than military means. Political, economic, information and legal coercion needed to be integrated and synchronised with traditional and irregular military action, such as terrorism and criminal disorder by non-state actors, to achieve strategic objectives.
However while Russia’s annexation of Crimea has captured most of the attention due to its success it has not been that the only actor using such strategies. ISIS in Iraq has demonstrated how a hybrid threat combines conventional and irregular warfare with sophisticated information and propaganda operations and China’s grey zone strategies in the East and South China Seas have demonstrated how ‘salami slicing’ that includes the use of law enforcement, militias and legal mechanisms to challenge the status quo and secure their own interests. .
The Defence White Paper 2016 frames these challenges to the rules based order as a risk to the framework that underpins Australia’s prosperity. However, these problems are not just an issue for Defence but require a whole of government approach to manage their complexity. The debate on hybrid warfare has started to shift, asking whether this is truly a new military concept or whether it is simply traditional statecraft re-imagined for 21st century Grand strategy. This Congress will explore hybrid warfare and whether it is new or whether it is simply a new articulation for how states can use different levers of national power to coerce each other. It will explore the different aspects of Hybrid warfare and what they mean for Australia and the whole of government national security architecture.
The congress will also provide Australia’s future strategic leaders with an introduction to the core skills necessary for working in the strategic environment, including:
- Strategic thinking – making the connections between operational and strategic outcomes
- Writing for national security – presenting information for decision making
- Negotiation and facilitation skills – working in groups and solving problems
Who should attend: Early to mid Career members of the national security community, those currently studying in the field and those who aspire to join the national security community.
Accommodation: Accommodation onsite is included in the cost. It is shared student accommodation - basic but comfortable.
Cancellation Policy: Final numbers for accommodation and meals are provided one week out. We are happy to provide a full refund up until then (Friday 19 Aug). Unless prior arrangement has been made any unpaid registrations by that date will be cancelled.
Chatham House Rule: Please note we operate strictly under the Chatham House Rule. Under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.
Attendance: Please note that all registrations to attend the Future Strategic Leaders’ Congress will be reviewed by the Board of the Institute for Regional Security, which retains absolute discretion on whether individual applications are accepted.