From Cassandra’s Curse to the Pythia’s Success

(Art design: Jean-Dominique Lavoix-Carli) When delivering warnings, are we doomed to never be believed, sharing the same fate as Cassandra, the tragic character of Greek mythology? Or, on the contrary, can we hope to become as successful as the Pythia, the oracle priestess of Apollo at Delphi? Her gift of prophecy becoming a curse, Cassandra …

Expressing and Understanding Estimative Language

When dealing with the future, we use a language that includes specific notions such as the expression of probability and of impacts. In terms of probability, for example, we use words such as “likely” and for impacts terms such as “severe”. Furthermore, to be truly complete, we should add a confidence judgement. As explained by …

The Kurds in Syria – State-Building, New Model and War

This article focuses on state-building in Syria’s Kurdish area, i.e. the Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria, also locally called Rojava, and potential impacts. Indeed, we saw previously that the Kurds’ capacity to build a viable polity in Northern Syria was one crucial element for evaluating not only the outcome of the battle of Raqqa against the Islamic State, but also the way Turkey could become further and more intensely embroiled in the conflict (see Helene Lavoix, “The Battle of Raqqa, the Kurds and Turkey“,  The Red (Team) Analysis Society, 2 May 2017). Extreme cases scenarios ☔  Scenario War with Turkey escalates ⛵ Directly Impacted Actors: All Eurasian + Middle East states, U.S. (military, diplo); NGOs (for Syria/Iraq/Turkey); Businesses in Turkey, Trade & exchanges with Turkey; Airlines; Maritime activities; Religious institutions… ⛅ Scenario Kurdish …

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The Chinese New Silk Road in East Africa

The Popular Republic of China (PRC) is building a naval base in Djibouti, which should be completed during 2017, alongside the already existing French and American military naval bases (“China’s base in Djibouti means more than an attribute of “global power”, Sputnik, 7/12/2016). This move is a crucial global development for China, for East Africa as …

The Impact of the Islamic State Terrorist Attacks – Geopolitics, Uncertainties and Business (5)

Since the Islamic State declared a Khilafah on 29 June 2014, it carried out, worldwide, 6 attacks or series of attacks in 2014, which killed 2 and wounded 12 people, 23 in 2015, which killed 1020 and wounded more than 2171, 36 in 2016, which killed more than 1455 and wounded more than 3505 and so far 3 in 2017, which killed more than 109 and wounded more than 169 people, assuming all attacks are known and referenced as such (Wikipedia “List of terrorist incidents linked to ISIL“). As a whole, we thus faced 68 attacks, during which more than 2586 people lost their lives and more than 5857 were injured. Prospects for the near future look no less grim as reminded …

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Impacts of the Conflict in Ukraine – Geopolitics, Uncertainties and Business (3)

With this article and the next one, we use the instability and conflict in Ukraine and the related impacts on businesses to continue enhancing our understanding of the way businesses and the corporate world could usefully anticipate or foresee geopolitical and political risks and uncertainties. Information Warfare and the War in Ukraine The Red Team Analysis Weekly – 19 May 2022 War in Ukraine, Megadrought and the Coming Global Food Crisis – Anthropocene Wars (3) Advanced Training in Early Warning Systems & Indicators – ESFSI in Tunisia Nuclear Battlefields in Ukraine – Anthropocene Wars (2) The East Seas Security Sigils From the Diaoyu Islands, with Warning We review two major impacts of the war in Ukraine. First we look at the “surprising” cost of sanctions …

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Assessing End of Year Predictions: How Did they Fare? (2)

The evaluation of our 2012 predictions’ sample underlines notably a widespread conventional view of national security, novel issues being ignored; a relative inability to assess timing whilst our understanding of issues fares relatively well; the existence of major biases, notably regarding China, Russia, and the U.S; the difficulty of prediction for novel issues and old issues in new context.

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An Experiment in Assessing End of Year Predictions (1)

This post will present the experiment – assessing a sample of open source predictions for the year 2012 – address the methodological problems encountered while creating the evaluation itself, and underline the lessons learned. The second part (forthcoming) will discuss results.

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2218 – 2223 EVT – From Grievances to Political Mobilisation (Mamominarch)

Last weeks’ summary: In 2012 EVT, Everstate (the ideal-type corresponding to our very real countries created to foresee the future of governance and of the modern nation-state) knows a rising dissatisfaction of its population. To face the various difficulties and widespread discontent, in a first scenario, Everstate’s governing bodies implement the Mamominarch programme of drastic reduction of state spending over five years through devolution, privatisation and outsourcing. By 2018 EVT, the result is involution, with a fragilised governance including and implying the rise of lawlessness domestically, an abandoned mastery over international security, an inefficient economy and, as consequence, a rising insecurity for most Everstatans. The first set of tragic events – a tornadoes outbreak followed by a heat wave – that hits the West of Everstate soon becomes a complex catastrophe with dramatic …

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2218 – 2223 EVT – Complex Catastrophes (Mamominarch)

(update 14 Feb 2014) Any type of similar natural events and catastrophes can be imagined to strike countries, as, for example, storms and floods in Western Europe or snow storms in the U.S. during the Winter 2013-2014. Last weeks’ summary: In 2012 EVT, Everstate (the ideal-type corresponding to our very real countries created to foresee the future of governance and of the modern nation-state) knows a rising dissatisfaction of its population. To face the various difficulties and widespread discontent, in a first scenario, Everstate’s governing bodies implement as policies the conclusions of the Mamominarch Commission: a programme of drastic reduction of state spending over five years through devolution, privatisation and outsourcing. By 2018 EVT,  the result is involution, with a fragilised governance including and implying the rise of lawlessness domestically, an abandoned mastery over …

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