The UAE Ministry of Defense announced Tuesday the agenda of its annual conference, the Leadership Conference: War in the 21st Century, Emirates news agency WAM reported.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the conference will be held on 6-7 November at the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, and the Armed Forces’ Officers Club in Abu Dhabi.
This year’s conference will be held under the theme, “Winning the Digital Warfare”, a subject, confirmed by the leaders of the Ministry of Defense, as one of the most important topics taking place in the midst of unconventional contemporary wars.
Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi, Minister of State for Defense Affairs, stressed that based on its faith of the direct impact of digital technology and the development of artificial intelligence on the requirements for the defense of national security and protection of the state's sovereignty and resources, the Ministry of Defense has chosen “Winning the Digital Warfare” to be the theme for its conference this year.
“Digital wars pose a real threat to states, and a challenge to their ability to protect their digital or cyber-spaces. Therefore, this conference will discuss the challenges of digital wars and their impact on the national security of states and the search for the best Ways and means to achieve victory in such wars,” Al Bowardi added.
Matar Salim Ali Al Dhahiri, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Defense, stressed the importance of this conference, which comes within the Ministry of Defense’s plan for strategic conferences, which was launched in 2015, with a view to contributing to the preparation of future leaders to face the challenges of the Wars of the 21st century. He noted that emerging technologies is changing the character of warfare, especially with the rapid spread and direct impact of digital technology on the defense operational environment. This led to introducing, studying and discussing of the challenges posed by digital wars on the defense security environment.
The official spokesman for the Ministry of Defense’s Conference, Dr. Ismail AlBloushi, said that in order to strengthen the Ministry's proactive vision in addressing major strategic issues of defense by contributing to the development and consolidation of national knowledge awareness and deepening the awareness of all national components of the nature of defense challenges, the conference will discuss a number of topics of interest on the national and international arenas: challenges of digital war, autonomous systems in war, innovation and future strategic challenges, the variance of the digital age in an increasingly connected world, cyber security, space, influence operations in the digital age, guided systems, the national readiness to face digital threats, and securing the digital infrastructure.
“Winning the Digital Warfare” will have an added value by highlighting the areas of digital warfare through the presentation of the latest insights, studies, strategies and policies related to the rapidly evolving trends in digital conflicts and the effects of their potential, emerging and changing threats on the defense security environment to deepen the capabilities of national integration to win these conflicts, Dr. AlBloushi added.
Dr. AlBloushi added that the first day of the conference would include the keynote address of the conference by Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bawardi, Minister of State for Defense.
Following would be a keynote speech by Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence on the Challenges of Digital Warfare; a keynote speech by Paul Scharre of the Center for a New American Security entitled “Autonomous Systems in Warfare”; a specialized working paper by Brigadier General Dr. Mubarak Saeed Al Jabri, Chairman of the CITC at the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces entitled “Innovation and the Future Strategic Challenges”; a specialized working paper by Khalifa Al Shamsi, Etisalat Group Chief Corporate Strategy and Governance Officer entitled “Variance of the Digital Age in an Increasingly Connected World”; a working paper by Professor Ernesto Damiani of British Telecom Information Technology Centre; a specialized paper by Dr. Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director General of the Emirates Space Agency, entitled “Space and Digital Warfare”; a special paper by Dr. Ian Tunnicliffe of the Strategic Communications and Information Operations Unit entitled “Influence Operations in the Digital Age.”