On 31 January 2019, the Army organized a military thinking conference revolving around a particularly vast and modern issue: “Long distance warfare, winning in close combat”.

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This conference followed up a seminar gathering students interested in military issues, the goal was to shed light on the current stakes.

The Army military thinking conference is now a milestone in the cultural landscape of the defense world, stirring the reflection on interesting and various subjects.

In 2016, the type of conflicts was the main topic, and then the 2017 edition was dedicated to the military action and sovereignty. Finally, the notion of victory in the 21st century was the issue of last year.

This conference has become the symbol of an Army dealing with strategic thinking anew, in a seemingly coherent way with the rebirth of the Ecole de Guerre-Terre.

Both on the national territory and further afield, the Army is committed in a global, ever-changing and complex operational environment.

Now, as more and more nations harness new technologies in order to put distance between themselves and the manner of waging war, nonetheless, maintaining contact with the terrain itself and the players on it remains the fighter’s raison d’être.

How can we take on board the paradoxical elements of these developments?

For parties engaged in modern warfare, is proximity the deciding factor of lasting peace?

The debates will revolve around 2 round tables :


Round table n°1

Has long distance warfare eliminated close combat?

Cyberspace has enabled warfare at a distance, while simultaneously establishing a high degree of proximity between parties. How have the new forms of long distance warfare revolutionized close combat across all environments and time periods? What impact does this have on combatants?


Round table n°2

How can maintaining contact help us act together to achieve lasting peace?

With the technological development of precision weapons, certain Western armed forces have adopted the strategy of “no boots on the ground”. Nonetheless, the crises of the 21st century continue to threaten worldwide stability. How can we optimize our footprint in current conflicts? How can we link innovation and close combat? Will the new possibilities offered by long-distance warfare lead humanity into an era of lasting peace?


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Download the program Military thinking conference program
Watch the teaser Military thinking conference teaser



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