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Colloque S&T Symposium 2009: Understanding the Human Dimension in 21st Century Conflict/Warfare: Taking Care of the Front Line (comprendre la dimension humaine dans les conflits/la conduite de la guerre au xxle siecle: veiller a la ligne de front)

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Technical rept.

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Defence ST Symposium 2009, which focused on Taking Care of the Front Line, was the third of a three part series exploring the human-centric dimensions of conflict in the future security environment. When deployed, Canadian Forces are increasingly expected to navigate the tides of complex situations and environments that require strategies that are not purely military in nature. To successfully support such endeavours, a whole-of-government approach is necessary. Such an approach cannot work unless the best direction of policy and action is clearly established, but the complexities involved may create confounding issues for decision makers. To this end, human-centric ST research is clearly needed. Four themes were used to illustrate the role best played by the ST community to support those who are on the pointy-end i.e. the front lines. Theme 1 Preparing for Irregular Warfare Theme 2 Complexity and Conflict Theme 3 Duty of to Care and Theme 4 Super-Empowered Individuals. As these themes illustrate, the enormous challenges involved in taking care of the front line defy simplistic solutions. Original research presented by representatives from the defence community, academia, and industry illustrate the complexity of the issues involved, and point to a need for inclusive approaches to taking care of the front lines that break down existing barriers between departments within government, military and civilians, the front lines and the home front, and even leaders and their subordinates. What it means to take care of the front line within the future battlespace can only be understood using models that can account for high levels of complexity. To this end, the role of human research within the ST community is becoming an increasingly important factor that enables the agility and adaptability of the Canadian Forces.

Subject Categories:

  • Sociology and Law
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Psychology

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