How to Address Complex Security Challenges : Fostering International Solidarity

Special Session 3

Defense Science and Technology and Military Modernization


The ongoing strategic competition between the major powers can be characterized by an intense conflict centered around the cutting-edge science technology. Especially, the core strategic objective is to maintain the "Super Gap" of the military technology against the competing country. Multi-domain Operations (MDO), the military core of the U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy, aims at absolute superiority to the competing countries in multiple domains that incorporate not only conventional domains including land, sea, and air, but also space, cyber, and electromagnetic. Embedded in these unconventional domains is the digital and unmanned nature of modern warfare caused by advancements in artificial intelligence and big data technologies. In addition, network-centered war based on unmanned aircraft and smartphones - made possible by the private company Starlink's investment in space internet - shows that advanced military technology derived from the fourth industrial revolution is no longer monopolized by major powers.

Currently, the Republic of Korea is in urgent need of a paradigm shift of defense science and technology. To address this need, the Yoon administration is driving "Defense Innovation 4.0" in order to encourage the inflow of new technologies from the civil sector to the field of defense science and technology and to realize efficient management of troops through advanced assets. Through Defense Innovation 4.0, the administration intends to establish a virtuous cycle of fostering a strong military based on AI and increase defense industry export and to set out a new strategy on "how to fight" and concept of operational execution.

This session deals with the new aspects of war changed by advanced technologies within the intensifying strategic competition between the major powers and the challenges they entail, responses from the military and the preparation of each state. It will mainly focus on the 1) changes in the aspects of future warfare due to new technologies; 2) strategies and preparation by each state for the survival and victory over future warfare; and 3) organic cooperation between the civil and the defense sectors.