Virtual Warfare Will Become an Essential Aspect of Military Conflicts Between States, Says Think Tank's Chief

  • 4 April 2013

Virtual warfare, waged via computers and the Internet, will become an essential aspect of military conflicts between states, as the operation and management of warfare in the future has begun to change, according to the Director General of The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECCSR), H.E. Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi.

"Scientific progress and sophisticated technological development have brought about the emergence of new forms of more lethal and destructive weapons. Many countries have begun to arm themselves with defensive and offensive means as a part of their national security strategy. They also conduct research and discussions within military circles in order to determine new strategic concepts necessary for the future," the chief of the Abu Dhabi-based think tank said today in remarks at a press conference for ECSSR s 18th Annual Conference entitled "The Future of Warfare in the 21st Century", which is scheduled between 9th 10th April, 2013 in Abu Dhabi.

"Based on our conviction of the importance the development of warfare in the future, and in light of the regional and international environment affected by turmoil and instability, where struggle and confrontation are looming, we have decided to dedicate the 18th Annual Conference this year to The Future of Warfare in the 21st Century. Since the establishment of the ECSSR in 1994, we have focused our activities, efforts and conferences on tackling vital topics at the local, regional and global levels covering political, economic, military and security issues." This conference, he added, provides a valuable opportunity to exchange views and present ideas, which will be offered by an elite group of military officials, analysts and specialists. The conference will cover a number of topics including the changing nature of warfare, the new challenges facing national security; the future role of technology in military use; the political and civil aspects affecting future warfare; the close relationship between arms manufacturers and military institutions and the strategic dimensions of this relationship; and the future of warfare and stability in the Middle East.

Al-Suwaidi said the nature of warfare in the future begins with science and ends with technology, and through this conference we will try to explore this science and examine how to take advantage of this technology.

Information technology has brought about a revolution in the military and defense industries. This revolution has contributed to the creation of a new reality that altered previously recognized concepts of wars and armies, whereby asymmetrical warfare dominated traditional forms of conflict between adversaries.

This technological evolution requires the provision of electronic warfare units in many of the world s armies, where their role includes maintaining internal civil security and stability. Such technology advances have had implications for the quality and form of naval, air and land-based weapons, whether defensive or offensive. These vital topics form part of the regional and global research focus of the Emirates Center of Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR), and therefore it is holding its Held under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and President of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR), The conference comprises four sessions, during which 12 research papers will be presented by various prominent experts, intellectuals, researchers and officials from the UAE, the Gulf region and internationally.

The first day covers discussions of the changing nature of warfare and the new challenges facing national security such as terrorism and electronic warfare. It will then address the topic of innovation in the defense industry and the future role of technology in military use.

The second day address the political and civil aspects affecting future warfare such as the relations between civil and military institutions, the future role of armies in war prevention, peacekeeping, and the close and strategic relationship between arms manufacturers and military institutions. The conference proceedings will conclude with a session on the future of warfare and stability in the Middle East, focusing on topics pertinent to the region such as the purchase of weapons, nuclear weapons proliferation, and the risks facing the region's security.