Decades of peace operations, stabilisation efforts and disaster relief have resulted in widespread agreement about the civil‑military imperative in international responses to natural disasters, armed conflict and complex emergencies: to be effective, traditionally unconnected participants must now more often work in coordinated partnerships.
Progress is being made to develop comprehensive, integrated approaches at both the national (‘whole-of-government’) and the international (‘whole-of-system’) levels. But there are still questions remaining such as: what next for civil‑military effectiveness? What are the primary civil‑military capabilities? What capabilities will be required in future conflicts and disasters? Where should policy makers, force developers, planners, practitioners and analysts focus their attention in the years to come?
To examine these questions and advance this important discussion, the Australian Civil‑Military Centre hosted the third annual Civil‑Military Interaction Seminar at Walsh Bay, Sydney from 7 to 10 November 2011.1 Framed by the theme ‘Civil‑Military Effectiveness: building tomorrow’s capabilities’, the aim of the seminar was to highlight current trends in civil‑military practice and discuss future needs in seeking to avert, mitigate and respond to conflicts and disasters.