A Vision of Alternative Futures Symposium

Friday August 20, 2010

What is it?

The Army Capabilities Integration Center's Future Warfare Division is sponsoring a symposium entitled "A Vision of Alternative Futures," Nov. 3-4, in McLean, Va. The symposium will focus on challenges facing the military and how they might affect the future of armed conflict. In doing so, Future Warfare Division is seeking a diverse group of participants from academia and industry who are willing to write papers on grounded projections of future armed conflict and submit them for possible presentation at the symposium.

Why is this important for the Army?

Theories about the character of future warfare must be grounded in knowledge of emerging threats to national security. For example, prior to 9/11, national defense concepts were based on an assumption that conventional threats would come from hostile nations. In hindsight, this assumption was flawed; the real and emerging threats to national security were coming from non-state actors.

But the character of future warfare is not limited to emerging or sudden threats to national security, it is also affected by the underlying assumptions the military operates within. In a future where defense costs and response timelines will likely be constrained, the Army must continually examine assumptions governing its concepts and long-term planning; as well as "weak signals" developing in a global operating environment to better prepare for future strategic surprise.

What will the Army do?

A thorough study of contemporary conflict in an historical perspective is needed to help frame future challenges to national and international security, analyze underlying assumptions, and identify "weak signals" in a global operating environment to build relevant capabilities to meet those challenges.

Potential areas for study could include expanded globalization and evolution of science, technology, and engineering developments; what "weak signals" futures analysts got right (or wrong) in the past; where conflicts are likely to rise and where stability is likely to take root; social, economic, or environmental trends likely to affect future armed conflicts; the changing global demographics and generational values and their impact on future conflicts and forces.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The symposium will seek to explore factors that may impact armed conflict in the future. Outcomes drawn from the presentations will be used to help guide Army concept, capability, training, and leadership development. Following the symposium, papers will be posted online. Some travel funding may be available. For further details email the point of contact.

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Events

August 2010

_Anti Terrorism Awareness Month

National Immunization Awareness Month_

Aug 21-23: National Guard Association Meeting, Austin, TX

Aug 26: Women's Equality Day See related website: Women in the U.S. Army

Aug 31: End of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF); Transition to Stability Operations

September 2010

_Suicide Prevention Month

National Preparedness Month

Sept 15- Oct 15: National Hispanic Heritage Month_

Sept 1: Operation News Dawn begins

Sept 11: Patriot Day

Sept 25: Gold Star Mother's Day

SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

“The Iraqi Security Forces have proven to the world to be extremely capable and professional as they provide security for the Iraqi people. ... This event symbolizes our enduring friendship and that first step of many for the eventual transfer of JBB back to the Government of Iraq. We are proud to serve side-by-side with … the Iraqi Army.”

-Maj. Gen. Craig Franklin, 332 AEW commander, Joint Base Balad, speaks about continuing the transition to Iraqi Security Forces taking the lead as U.S. forces head to smaller operating locations or exit the country entirely.

Iraqi Forces back on Joint Base Balad

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

"We made sure the Iraqis had everything the needed for the elections. Things are not perfect here, but this country is on track toward a better future…Even though we are considered the young Iraqi generation, the men and women who served here and gave the ultimate price did not do it in vain. We have defended our country and now brought closure to this war in Iraq."

-Spc. Mitchell Anwar, part of a group of young servicemembers who were in their adolescence when U.S. forces invaded Iraq, and now serving in the military have deployed to Iraq themselves. Anwar's unit is part of the last combat brigade to leave Iraq.

Soldiers who saw start of war as youth make up 'Iraq generation'

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