Actors and Factors In Future Security Threats Analysis (1) – the Crisis in Ukraine

This series of posts deals with the core and basis of the foresight and warning analytical process, explaining it while stressing three most common challenges analysts and participants to workshops face: identifying factors correctly (this post); specifying actors objectively (2-); overcoming an inadequate mix of “actors and factors” (3-). Practical ways forward will be suggested. The example that will be used as case study throughout those three posts is the 2013-2014 crisis in Ukraine, with, as corresponding strategic foresight and warning (SF&W) question, “What are the possible futures for the Ukrainian crisis over the next two years?” Compared with our previous methodological series, these posts may seem to address more basic problems. However, as workshop after workshop, participants, be they …

The remaining part of this article is for our members. Make sure you get real analysis and not opinion, or, worse, fake news. Become one of our members and access this article. Log in if you are a member.

The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly 144, Geopolitics also matters for businesses

Editorial – Geopolitics also matters for businesses – Among the big changes that the “Ukraine and Crimea crisis” are bringing or catalyzing, we may be seeing the end of the hegemonic belief that economics, and “business” only matter. Now that the E.U., its European members and the U.S. could be moving towards sanctions against Russia …

Climate Blowback and US National Security

The recently released 2014 Quadrennial Defence Review (QDR) establishes that “The impacts of climate change may increase the frequency, scale, and complexity of future missions, including defence support to civil authorities, while at the same time undermining the capacity of our domestic installations to support training activities. Our actions to increase energy and water security, including investments in energy efficiency, new technologies, and renewable energy sources, will increase the resiliency of our installations and help mitigate these effects.” This important statement is followed by a thorough assessment of how climate change may become a “threat multiplier” through the combination of multiple stressors such as food insecurity, water shortages, rapid and global urbanization, and coastal flooding. The Review furthermore states: “Climate change …

The remaining part of this article is for our members. Make sure you get real analysis and not opinion, or, worse, fake news. Become one of our members and access this article. Log in if you are a member.

The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly 143, Towards a 19th Century Order?

Editorial – Towards the 19th century or a darker, more remote past? (Nota: The map above depicts a 1903 vision of Europe and the Mediterranean Sea in 1190) Last week we underlined that we should be looking beyond the current Ukraine crisis and estimate what it may mean in terms of changing the world order. This week we find a string of signals that continue pointing in this direction, including weak data of growth for the US that would be the new norm, questioning the supremacy of the US Dollar, and consequences for American power, on all fronts. while tension over Ukraine and Crimea does not abate. Meanwhile, the Middle East is in the throes of transition with even more tension, and …

The remaining part of this article is for our members. Make sure you get real analysis and not opinion, or, worse, fake news. Become one of our members and access this article. Log in if you are a member.

Evaluating Scenarios and Indicators for the Syrian War

Every year, The Economist, in its “The World in…” series, assesses it successes and failures regarding its past yearly forecasts (e.g. for 2012). This is an exemplary behaviour that should be adopted by all practitioners: if we are to deliver good and actionable strategic foresight and warning, and to improve our process, methodology and thus our final products, then we should always evaluate our work. Having now completed our last series of updates on the state of play for the Syrian war, we can now start assessing how our own scenarios and indicators fared so far, if they need to be updated and the potential methodological improvements that we should endeavour. Evaluating the scenarios As the Geneva conference took place (see previous …

The remaining part of this article is for our members. Make sure you get real analysis and not opinion, or, worse, fake news. Become one of our members and access this article. Log in if you are a member.

The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly 142 – Beyond Ukraine, towards Change in the World Order?

Editorial – Beyond Ukraine, towards change in the world order? What if behind the tension in Ukraine and Crimea there was something more and larger at stake? What if it were not just one more serious international crisis, but also a moment when some underlying dynamics that were so far only hardly perceptible, or still in the making were crystallized and becoming quite obvious? It is most likely that it is indeed what is happening as underlined, for example, by Ivan Krastev in his article in Foreign Affairs, when he writes: “Russia’s aggression in Ukraine should not be understood as an opportunistic power grab. Rather, it is an attempt to politically, culturally, and militarily resist the West. Russia resorted to military …

The remaining part of this article is for our members. Make sure you get real analysis and not opinion, or, worse, fake news. Become one of our members and access this article. Log in if you are a member.

Climate Change and U.S. National Security: a Geoeconomic Approach

In May 2013 and February 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry defined climate change as a global strategic threat. In May 2013, he declared: “… A principal challenge to all of us of life and death proportions is the challenge of climate change… So it’s not just an environmental issue and it’s not just an economic issue. It is a security issue, a fundamental security issue that affects life as we know it on the planet itself, and it demands urgent attention from all of us” (John Kerry, Remarks with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld, May 14 2013). In February 2014, on a diplomatic tour in Jakarta, he said: “When I think about the array of global climate – of …

The remaining part of this article is for our members. Make sure you get real analysis and not opinion, or, worse, fake news. Become one of our members and access this article. Log in if you are a member.

The Syrian War: the Start of a New Phase

This (long) post ends the current series of updates on the Syrian war. It focuses on the evolution within the National Coalition and the Supreme Military Council, the expected failure of Geneva 2 and the start of a new phase in the Syrian war. This will allow us, next, to finally turn to an evaluation of our scenarios and indicators. The National Coalition and the Supreme Military Council The last alliance to emerge over the Autumn has been Syria Revolutionaries Front (SRF), created on 9 December 2013 (see Youtube video), which is composed of moderate or non-ideologically motivated groups, as detailed by Lund (13 Dec 2013) and mapped below (click on the image for a larger picture). It is a reaction to the Salafi-Nationalist …

The remaining part of this article is for our members. Make sure you get real analysis and not opinion, or, worse, fake news. Become one of our members and access this article. Log in if you are a member.

The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly No140 – A new strategic configuration in the Far East and globally?

Editorial – Towards a new strategic configuration in the Far East and globally? Japan, China, the U.S. and Russia – As so many are focusing on the last round of global protests, now in Ukraine, in Venezuela, and in Thailand (although the situation there is much less emphasized in crowdsourced news), or on the seemingly …

Afghanistan at a New Crossroad: Resource Curse or Asian integration?

The first sentence of the 2006 US Quadrennial Defence Review is “The United States is a nation engaged in what will be a long war”. Any civilian, military or factious leader in Afghanistan, could have written almost exactly the same after thirty-five years of war. And this war still goes on, but it now faces a strange strategic, ecological and economic transition, that could be dominated by a new “Afghan resource and climate curse”. Failed state-building, climate and war From 1969 to 1972, Afghanistan went through a terrible drought and a harsh winter. A terrible famine followed, which ravaged the populations of central Afghanistan. The titanic scale of incompetence, mismanagement and corruption of the Kabul government aggravated it, and maybe …

The remaining part of this article is for our members. Make sure you get real analysis and not opinion, or, worse, fake news. Become one of our members and access this article. Log in if you are a member.

EN