February 18-19, 2014
USF Patel Center for Global Solutions
We are at a major inflection point after two wars, major upheaval and change in the Middle East, humanitarian challenges, new military technologies and changes in the character of conflict. The conference examines the increasingly important human, social and cultural dimension in contemporary and emerging warfare and conflict, while seeking to inform the debate about national strategy and military doctrine. Understanding the human domain is a key consideration for policy and strategy as so many conflicts now arise not from encounters between state-sponsored militaries but rather from among groups more or less embedded within civilian populations. Contemporary conflict and warfare increasingly involves adversaries (insurgents, terrorists, criminal networks, piracy, and guerillas) who exploit specific human environments, such as ungoverned areas, tribal social structures and stressed urban environments.
This conference seeks to aid overcoming inadequate understanding of the human domain for military, civilian agency, NGO and international organization decision-making. We endeavor to examine conflict and the human dimension because we are not as good as we need to be in taking ‘the human’ into consideration as it impacts governance, politics, development, and security. A common critique of US efforts is US strategy and policy suffered from an inadequate understanding of the human domain’s implications for influence and engagement operations for pre-conflict, conflict and post-conflict. This shortfall equally impacts civil government agencies, NGOs, international organizations and the private sector. We anticipate this conference will contribute to building the collaborative networks necessary to enhance academic and government efforts to improve human domain capabilities to improve NGO, International Organization and government planning and operational support. Panels will illuminate key lessons of the wars and conflicts involving the US military in the last ten years and, furthermore, seek to inform our understanding of the challenges and implications of the social and cultural environment in contemporary and future warfare.