Working Sessions

Session I:

International Security Environment: Emerging Challenges and Opportunities

The return of great power competition in global politics is posing enormous challenges for the entire world. Momentous developments in International Relations including the US- China rivalry, an assertive Russia challenging the Western-led global economic and political order and its military operations in Ukraine are having far reaching implications for countries around the world. These developments have led to the formation of alliances likely to exacerbate tensions with potential to disturb strategic stability.

The great power rivalry and competition and the unprecedented challenges it poses for global economic, political, and strategic stability underscore imperatives to find ways to avoid military confrontation and peacefully manage global competition between the US, China and Russia and regional rivalries involving India, Pakistan, Iran, the Middle East and North Korea.

This session will review these challenges, asses their implications and help find mechanisms for avoidance of military confrontation through communication, Confidence Building Measures, and conflict prevention methods to bolster strategic, political and economic stability.

Moderator: Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani, Advisor (Foreign Policy), Centre for Aerospace & Security Studies, Islamabad, Pakistan

Keynote Speaker: Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman, Senate Defence Committee, Government of Pakistan.

Session II:
Geoeconomics: Driver of the Asian Century

The conventional wisdom of the 21st Century as being a decidedly ‘Asian Century’ corresponds with various tectonic shifts in the geoeconomics of the Asia-Pacific region. These shifts portend an increasing concentration of economic development and dynamism in Asia but are accompanied by strategic-level recalibrations of the world’s major geoeconomic players in ways that are, at times, complementary, but at other times, antagonistic. This GSTAR session looks at three core elements of geoeconomic concern for the Asian Century and what they might mean for Pakistan as well as for the world at large:

  1. Impact of great power rivalry in the Asia-Pacific,
  2. Geoeconomics of Asia-Pacific’s rise, and,
  3. How to build peaceful regional connectivity and prosperity.
Looking at these three facets of contemporary geoeconomics, and drawing upon the insights of leading international thinkers, this session will offer a significant contribution to our understanding of the role that geoeconomics will play in the modern geostrategic environment.

Moderator:      Dr Usman W Chohan, Director (Economic Affairs and National Development), Centre for Aerospace & Security Studies, Islamabad, Pakistan

Keynote Speaker:     Dr Moeed W Yusuf, Former National Security Advisor, Government of Pakistan

Session III:

Emerging Technologies & Future Warfare

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) has resulted in unprecedented pace of development in innovative technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Directed Energy (DE), cyber, space, quantum computing and biotechnologies, among others which affect all facets of modern life such as health, agriculture, education, businesses and also help improve the economies. However, like all other technologies, when used in military applications, they have the potential for unprecedented destruction and devastation. New technologies, in addition to changing the quantum and speed of destruction, will also impact the character and nature of this destruction during war and create response dilemma for policy and military leadership, leading to uncertainties. With their kinetic and non-kinetic disruptive capabilities, convergence of these technologies will create serious challenges, necessitating better understanding of their combined effects on nuclear thresholds and strategic stability. Emerging technologies and their speedy acquisition by all states with huge funding has triggered an arms race, undermining stability and increasing the prospects for unintended and potentially uncontrollable escalation. While many existing technologies are not fully covered by existing laws, innovative technologies are developing at a pace faster than nations are working to develop legal frameworks. These technologies can, therefore, upset the existing value system and frameworks upon which the current international social order and norms are dependent.

Moderator:     Air Marshal M. Ashfaque Arain HI (M), SBt (Retd), Advisor Chief of the Air Staff on CASS Affairs and Director Technologies, Centre for Aerospace & Security Studies, Islamabad, Pakistan

Keynote Speaker:     Lieutenant General Khalid A. Kidwai, NI, HI (M) (Retd), Advisor National Command Authority & Former Director General, Strategic Plans Division, Government of Pakistan

Session IV:

Aerospace Security: Determinants and Future Prospects

In contemporary times, innovative technology applications and doctrines, rather than traditional military hardware and strategies, are shaping the modern-day battlefield. In this technology-driven world, the duration of armed conflict between states is shrinking and the latter are more concerned about achieving their political objectives and strategic effects in a short span of time. Air power attributes of flexibility, ubiquity, accuracy, destructive power, and availability on short notice make it a weapon of first choice. While advancements in space technologies are helpful in fostering scientific progress and economic growth, integration of space-based technological developments such as real- time Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), secure communications, early warning etc. have transformed airpower into aerospace power giving tremendous boost to its effectiveness. Aerospace power is, thus, having profound impact in shaping current as well as future warfare doctrines and strategies. This session aims at analysing the impact of emerging technologies in the aerospace domain, specifically national security and challenges faced by technologically developed and developing nations.

Moderator:     Air Commodore Dr Zia Ul Haque Shamsi, SI (M) (Retd), Director (Peace & Conflict Studies), Centre for Aerospace & Security Studies, Islamabad, Pakistan

Keynote Speaker:     Air Commodore R. Shaun Clarke, ONZM (Retd), Former Director RNZAF Air Power Development Centre & Chief of Staff for New Zealand’s Joint Forces Command