The Williams Foundation March 2018 Seminar: A Look at the Shift to Preparing to Fight and Prevail in High Intensity Warfare


2018-02-09 The Williams Foundation will continue its series of examining the transformation of military forces by looking at the challenges of the shift from the land wars to higher tempo, high intensity operations.

According to The Williams Foundation, the focus of the seminar is as follows:

Most Air Force and senior military leaders in the western world begin their military careers either around or shortly after the Falkland Wars which were watched globally as an epic air, sea, and amphibious campaign; conventionally fought at the ends of the earth and at the end of an immense supply chain for the British Forces.

The decades that followed saw warfare in the Balkans and Middle East, and counter insurgency operations in Afghanistan; warfare very different from that postured for during the cold war, and exercised in high end air combat exercises.

The Australian Defence White Paper 2016 and the associated Force Structure Review was written to an Office of National Assessment Strategic Environment to 2035 against this paradigm, whilst recognizing impending change. The subsequent rate of change in global security has shocked even pessimistic observers and we face the heightened risk of high intensity, non-permissive air environments non-discretionary wars”.

Questions to be addressed at the Seminar

  • What will be the impact on the delivery and expectation of 5th Generation systems as the world has changed so dangerously and so rapidly?
  • Have hostile forces been watching the development of our 5th generation systems and developed active asymmetry to defeat us?
  • Has the combination of our cold-war legacy and participation in irregular wars led us to make decisions that will limit our freedom of movement?
  • As we rediscover the concept of denied area (A2AD / beyond FEBA) and need to re-invest in strike capabilities, are there areas of concern?
  • [Range / Payload / Escort requirements / requirement to step non fast-air platforms / risk of hypersonic AD systems]
  • [Basing options / Life Support / Force Protection / Multi-domain threats]
  • Do we need to reconsider air campaigns in the light of Joint Force / Joint Strike options?
  • Do our national systems support the requisite battlespace awareness in denied areas to conduct effective targeting and effect generation?

The seminar will be held in Canberra on March 22, 2018 and be held at the National Gallery of Australia, ACT.

The preliminary program is as follows:


For our look at the challenge of transition, see the following: