Evolving Challenges

US Army soldiers watch as a M-ATV armored vehicle burns after it struck an improvised explosive device near Combat Outpost Nolen in the Arghandab ValleyIn this session a panel of speakers will address the changes we have witnessed in the battlefield since the 1990s through the first decades of the 21st century. From a well structured battle scene, with linear boundaries and clearly defined fighting forces on both sides, modern conflicts are fought asymmetrically – massive, well protected and highly sophisticated forces, backed by immense firepower, engaged by ‘disappearing’ opposing elements employing stealth, deception, and guerrilla tactics to hit their enemy’s least protected elements. In doing so, guerrilla forces are employing warfighting techniques that may have long forgotten, but used often in ancient wars.

The new dimension added in recent years are fighting in urban terrain, which is enabled by the global proliferation of the media, enabling terrorist and guerrilla elements to freely act within civilian population, without risking the retaliation that military forces have employed through thousands of years. Yet this is the way of the world today, and military forces are bound to operate accordingly.

This panel of speakers will discuss he evolution of asymmetric threat to combat forces, by analysing open source information, depicting the evolution of rocket propelled grenades (RPGs), improvised explosive charges, mines, rockets, missiles and other devices, and their adaptations against evolving countermeasures deployed by military forces.

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