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An event not to be missed: the Army's military thought conference

On the other side of the mirror, making war differently

On Thursday, February 10, 2022, the Command Doctrine and Education Center (CDEC) will hold its colloquium on military thinking in the French Army, at the École Militaire, in the Foch amphitheater, starting at 2:00 pm.

The possible return of large-scale conventional conflict, as reflected in the major French and allied military strategy documents, should not preclude reflection on asymmetric engagements. Confrontation "under the threshold" of war, with unknown or forgotten competitors and adversaries requires a certain intellectual and operational balance. More than ever, the Army will have to be able to juggle traditional and irregular, direct and indirect approaches, in an environment that is potentially degraded due to exogenous factors such as climatic disasters or population flows.

The emergence of new competitors, new strategies with new means in more distant regions of the globe, or in virtual theaters, also calls for new thinking and implies both capability and cultural transformations for the armed forces.

This symposium aims to contribute to the Army's reflection on these subjects, by giving the floor to high-level civilian and military authorities.

The debates will be structured around two round tables:
In the head of my enemy: new threats, new competitors. The debates will explore the new strategies implemented, from the Donbass to the Nagorno-Karabakh through the Levant, by actors using innovative, multi-domain modes of action and associated means. While hybridity is already the subject of numerous studies, echoing in particular the conceptual and doctrinal evolutions of competitors such as Russia or Iran, grey zone strategies are also developed by non-state actors, whether in the Near and Middle East or in the Sahelo-Saharan strip. More than ever, a detailed understanding of the intellectual mechanisms presiding over these strategies, as well as a precise knowledge of the cultures and societies in which future conflicts will take place, are essential to win tomorrow in air-land combat.

Thinking about war differently, perspectives. During the second round table, emerging threats will be presented, calling for an intellectual rethink and encouraging us to think differently about war. In order to "win the war before the war", this reflection must necessarily give a very important place to the effects produced by the Army in the immaterial fields (cyberspace, electromagnetic environment and perceptions), which have become indispensable in the context of competition and contestation below the threshold of armed conflict. Their articulation with "kinetic" manoeuvres must be deepened, in order to dominate the adversary in all environments and all fields. In this respect, allied expertise in the field of hybrid warfare is rich and numerous, both on the other side of the Atlantic and, closer to home, within European armies, not forgetting the case of the Tsahal.


Conference poster


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