In order to tackle future challenges, the armed forces need to collaborate with new partners. The question of how this can be realised was central to the Future Force Conference. Today, the final report of the conference was published containing concrete, but not always obvious, recommendations, such the recommendation to increase the involvement of young people in policy-making.

On 9 and 10 February, Defence and The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies brought together over 1,200 participants, authoritative speakers and potential partners. Minister Jeanine Hennis and Chief of Defence General Tom Middendorp hosted the conference, welcoming politicians, scientists, managers, military personnel, ethical hackers and experts from other disciplines. They spoke about the armed forces of the future on the theme: ‘From partnerships to ecosystems: combining our efforts for a more secure world’. In order to be ready for future challenges, civilian and military players with an interest in stability must work together more closely in ‘security ecosystems’.

Speeches, reports and photos
The report includes speeches, reports and photos from the conference. Before the conference, Chief of Defence General Tom Middendorp had called on the participants to come up with concrete recommendations. During the breakout sessions, the participants discussed specific subjects in small groups, such as cyber security, gender, the base of the future and disruptive technologies.

Brief summary per theme
Each working group produced a report and a summary of the themes discussed, challenges, possible solutions, previous experience, quotes and recommendations. The breakout session ‘The Road to Durable Peace’ looked at the transition from military interventions to preventive long-term counter-terrorism policy. Former army commander Lieutenant General Mart de Kruif was quoted as saying that you should not start a war that you are not prepared to fight to the end. One of the recommendations was that Dutch politicians and military personnel should collaborate more closely with local leaders in order to gain sufficient support.

Today, chairman of the Steering Committee of the Future Force Conference 2017, Vice Chief of Defence Vice Admiral Rob Bauer, presented the report to the host of the conference, Chief of Defence General Tom Middendorp.