Chief of the Defence Staff’s Strategy Forum: UK Defence Space Strategy

The Changing Character of War Centre was delighted to host the Chief of the Defence Staff’s Strategy Forum on Tuesday 28 November 2017. Held in the Harold Lee Room at Pembroke College, the conference addressed the theme of ‘UK Defence Space Strategy’. In addition to the many attendees from the Ministry of Defence, the presentations and discussions saw the participation of personnel from both British and foreign armed forces, the UK and European space agencies, private sector organisations, and academic institutions.

Upon arrival, the audience were welcomed with an introductory speech by General Sir Gordon Messenger, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. This was followed by opening addresses by Will Jessett, Director of Strategic Planning at the Ministry of Defence, and Professor Fred Lamb from the University of Illinois. Professor Lamb examined the risks in developing ways of interfering with, damaging, or disabling space assets, instead emphasising “machine learning, … [and] cooperative relationships with many advanced countries, to build resiliency.”

Mr Jessett and Professor Lamb were joined in a panel discussion by Dr Rajeswari Pillari Rajagopalan, from the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), and Carissa Christensen, founder and CEO of Bryce Space. Dr Rajagopalan discussed the challenges in space defence for India, with key implications for the UK as a strong partner and ally, especially concerning international agreement in space. Moreover, Ms Christensen provided a wide range of insights on the growing role of private sector enterprise in the space domain.

Finally, the event involved four syndicate discussion sessions, providing a seminar-style focus, in which all of the conference attendees took part. Each session addressed a specific question concerning contemporary space security, with an aim to provide Ministry of Defence policy makers with options regarding the opportunities, risks and solutions available for formulating the Ends, Ways and Means of a UK Defence Space Strategy. 

The Changing Character of War Centre would like to thank General Sir Gordon Messenger, the speakers, and all the participants for a thought-provoking and valuable day.

Adrian Garside receives Marjan-Marsh Award 2017

Adrian Garside receives Marjan-Marsh Award 2017

Congratulations to CCW Visiting Research Fellow, Adrian Garside, who will be collecting the Marjan-Marsh award on behalf of the Community Wildlife Ambassadors in South Sudan today at King's College London. The Marjan Centre is part of the War Studies Department at King's College London, and the Marjan-Marsh award is given annually to someone who has made an invaluable contribution to an area where conflict and conservation overlap

'Toynbee at War' - CCW Director, Dr Rob Johnson, on BBC Radio 4

'Toynbee at War' - CCW Director, Dr Rob Johnson, on BBC Radio 4

Hear CCW Director, Dr Rob Johnson, speak about the renowned historian, Arnold J Toynbee, on BBC Radio 4's programme, 'Toynbee at War'. In the programme, Polly Toynbee examines how war profoundly informed the vision of her grandfather, His generation were slaughtered on the Flanders fields but Toynbee's life took him on a different path. 'History is as melancholy as war itself'...

Summary Report: ‘Russian Views on the Changing Character of War’

Summary Report: ‘Russian Views on the Changing Character of War’

Conference chaired by CCW’s newly appointed Director of Research on Russia and North European Defence and Security, Dr Andrew Monaghan. This inaugural event brought together leading subject matter specialists from academia, the private sector, public policy and the military to facilitate a detailed discussion about the evolution of Russian national security thinking...

Conference Report: ‘Britain’s Defence Policy: Alliance, Coalitions, and Partnerships’

On September 12th, in partnership with the Norwegian Ministry of Defence and the Ax:Son Johnson Foundation, the Changing Character of War Centre was pleased to host the conference ‘Britain’s Defence Policy: Alliance, Coalitions, and Partnerships’. The event was structured as a series of presentations and debate sessions, chaired by Dr Rob Johnson, Director at CCW, and Professor Janne Haaland Matlary, Head of the International Politics section at the University of Oslo and adjunct professor at the Norwegian Command and Staff College. Aimed at the composition of an edited volume due to be published next year, the seminars brought together a diverse range of panellists from the universities of Oxford, Exeter and Oslo, the United States’ National Security Council, NATO, École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr, the Norwegian Staff College, the Norwegian Institute for Defense Studies, and both the UK and Norwegian Armed Forces.

            The discussions were divided into four main categories, each pertinent to the formulation of contemporary British strategy: British Strategic Thinking about Britain’s Role; the ‘Special Relationship’ and Britain’s NATO role; French, German and EU Policy; and Britain’s Leading Role in Northern Europe. These sessions spurred in-depth debate, confronting a broad range of issues from the UK’s new aircraft carriers to the evolving state of NATO. Overall, this marked the critical need - in the midst of on-going Brexit negotiations, an unpredictable Trump administration, and instances of Russian aggression in Europe - not only to clarify the position for Whitehall policy-makers, but also to further investigate foreign perspectives of British strategy.

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