Future Conflict Learning




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New Security Learning has initiated a debate about the radical change in the nature of future conflict and its implications for learning and training. Our short film 'Future Conflict Learning' including interviews with experts from India, the United States and the United Kingdom, contains some fascinating new insights and ideas. Now we want to hear from you. Click HERE to let us have your thoughts.



Future conflicts will be less violent but more intense. A central feature will be the struggle for control of information systems and the achievement of ‘perception dominance’. A radical rethink of the nature of security-related education and training will be essential to meet the challenge. This was the verdict of three leading experts from the United States, India and Great Britain, when we asked them for their views on how conflict will develop and what the implications will be for training. Click here to watch our film on ‘Future Conflict and Learning’ with Col. Dr. Jeffrey McCausland, Col. Amardeep Bhardwaj and Chris Donnelly, CMG.

Security experts in the United States, Great Britain and India are expecting funadamental changes in security training priorities, as the world comes to terms with the nature of the new international security environment. The experts, Colonel Dr Jeffrey  McCausland of the US Army War College, Colonel Amardeep Bhardwaj of India’s Army War College and Chris Donnelly, CMG of the Institute for Statecraft and Governance, all agreed that the nature of conflict had changed completely and some radical thinking was urgently needed to deal with some of the challenges we now face.

All 3 experts recognised that developments in information and communications technology are bringing profound changes, both to what is possible for trainers to achieve and to what is expected of them.

Colonel Jeffrey McCausland, visiting professor at the US Army’s War College, believes that we face a continuing battle to keep up with enemies, who are increasingly technologically proficient. Chris Donnelly, former special advisor to the Secretary General of NATO and senior fellow of the UK Defence Academy but now Director of the Institute of Statecraft and Governance, feels that simply ‘keeping up with the pace of change’ will be a major problem for security planners and that we need to focus more on education, rather than on training to meet the challenges of the future. Colonel Amardeep Bhardwaj of the Indian Army War College is convinced that information will be a major battleground of the future and that what will count will be ‘perception dominance.’

In a fascinating discussion, experts from three countries give their views on how conflict will develop and what it will mean for training.


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1 Comment

  1. Interesting point made about risk analysis in the combat theatre; at what point do we have enough information on a situation and when do we act? Also how are we to lean away from "herd learning" and move towards developing individuals in our security and defence infrastructures to highlight their particular strengths? The main thrust certainly seems to be that information is the key element in future conflict on a state level. Whereas in previous conflicts information dominance was a key element in winning. In future the suggestion seems to be that the conflict itself will, at its most basic, be based around our ability to control and understand information and how best to use it. Irregardless of this, the key to security is and always has been continuous improvement; maintaining the ability to alter ones organisational genetic makeup to respond to emerging and present dangers. This point is very well made here.