Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals… We present below some of the most interesting or relevant features for each section.
World (all matters related to war, international and national security) – This week, the Israel Defence Forces warns – unsurprisingly – about the inevitability of war in Lebanon, while previous suspicions of linkages between Al-Qaeda and Indian Mujahideen seem to be resurfacing, after having been first denied as alarmist. Meanwhile, one article in the New York Times – the start of a new trend or an isolated article? – seems to be trying to develop a new thesis according to which “all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds” because, actually, the Islamic State is not that dangerous and that it is soon to be vanquished, even if it has not only suffered setback, to hardly caricature the argument. Considering the situation on the ground, as relayed by so many articles, we may wonder if this is not plain wishful thinking, or, more worrying, a sign of the incapacity of our (Western) societies to think seriously about war, and the change it will bring.
Ebola – One of the most important indicators to monitor right now is the progress of vaccine and there are so far some good news regarding the ongoing testing in Mali. Also a very interesting – albeit potentially pessimistic – article applying complexity theory to some of the current scientific understanding on quarantine, for example… with interesting implications in terms of policy.
Technology and armaments – The fascinating test of a drone equipped with AI (Artifical Intelligence), developed by DARPA-funded researchers, brings us closer to future types of warfare. Meanwhile in intelligence, UK GCHQ Chief, asks for more support from social networks in fighting notably the Islamic State, which begs very interesting questions in terms of focus on means rather than on causes, on technology and capabilities rather than on intention (or both), on the adaptation of the states and its agencies to contemporary means of communication and, of course, on liberalism during wartimes, among others.
Energy and environment security – Read notably another article questioning the possibility of a continuing US oil boom, notably under conditions of relatively low energy prices. A question that can be applied to all shale projects, notably, for example, in Ukraine.
Science – Among others, an interesting novel process found by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) to form, as well as blend, nanoparticles.
Economy (look here for issues related to economic crises, monetary policy, inequality, or budget deficit for example) – Note a very interesting note on a research article published by the PNAS showing the impact of increased pollution on Indian crops. Grains yields could have been reduced by half and easy mitigations policies should be implemented.
The Weekly is the scan of The Red (Team) Analysis Society and it focuses on national and international security issues. It was started as an experiment with Paper.li as a way to collect ideas, notably through Twitter. Its success and its usefulness led to its continuation.
The information collected (crowdsourced) does not mean endorsement but points to new, emerging, escalating or stabilizing problems and issues.
If you wish to consult the scan after the end of the week period, use the “archives” directly on The Weekly.
Featured image: “C-band Radar-dish Antenna”. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons