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Vice Chief of the Defence Force

Force Exploration Hub

Thinking about the future

The Force Exploration Hub’s thinking about the future is structured by domains and themes. Our thinking in these areas is strengthened by contributions from a wide range of individuals and organisations. We are committed to expanding this network and want to hear from people interested in contributing ideas and insights about the range of potential futures.

Looking to 2040 and beyond, the Force Exploration Hub is working on issues including:

ADF Future Operating Environment : Out to 2040

The ADF Future Operating Environment: Out to 2040 is a document that describes key features of the operating environment likely to be encountered by the Joint Force out to 2040 and beyond.

Emerging Threats and Strategic Engagements

The Emerging Threats and Strategic Engagements (ETSE) team provide Joint analysis on emerging and disruptive technologies and collaborate with our Five Eye international partners in this area.

International Engagements and Working Committees:

  • Emerging Threats Response Group (ETRG)
  • Quinquepartite Combined Joint Warfare Conference (QCJWC)
  • Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC) – UK
  • Multinational Capability Development Campaign (MCDC)
  • Strategic Disruptive Technology (SDT)

The Potential Implications of Kra Canal in Thailand

A futures analysis examining plausible conditions that would potentially result from the construction of a canal through the Isthmus of Kra in Thailand. Hotly debated in Thai politics, the 'Kra Canal' would provide an alternative sea-lane to the highly congested Malacca Strait chokepoint, and have deep strategic and security consequences for the region. The examination of the Kra Canal through the use of future scenarios provides strategic implications that the ADF can draw on to inform strategic planning and force design.

Future of the Law of Armed Conflict

An examination of the ways in which the laws of armed conflict (and related regimes of international law) might evolve over the coming decades. We require an understanding of the ways in which military law might evolve in response to a variety of dynamics if we are to develop a nuanced understanding of the forces that might shape the ADF’s rules of engagement; and, by extension, the nature of the military capabilities. This project is being developed in conjunction with UNSW-ADFA and with contributions from Australian and international institutions.

Future(s) of Melanesia

A futures analysis focussed on our near neighbours (West Papua to Vanuatu). Despite its prominence in much of our strategic guidance, the future of this region is under examined.


Connect with us to share your ideas and insights about the future.

Email us at force.exploration@defence.gov.au