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Thomas Homer-Dixon, in his fascinating The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of civilization (Knopf, 2006) reflected upon the fall of Rome and its civilization and other disasters to identify how and why a society could break down and how to avoid such a fate. In a nutshell, he shows that five tectonic stresses (population, energy, environment, climate and economy) accumulate, which then combine with two multipliers (the rising speed and global connectivity, and the escalating destructive power of small groups) “to make breakdown more likely, widespread, and severe.” Among these five tectonic stresses, he underlines that energy is particularly important because it is a master resource. Indeed, energy is embedded in every parcel of our contemporary lives, from every step of the food chain, to transportation, industry, trade and availability of goods, defense, etc.

Considering the crucial importance of energy for our civilization and the impact of its use on the environment, it is necessary to understand the issue at hand, and to keep abreast of developments in this area to be able to anticipate potential evolutions and how they will affect us and more generally all actors.

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During March 2017, King Salman of Saudi Arabia ended a six weeks tour in Asia with a state visit in China and a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. This visit included the opportunity to start the negotiations about the integration of Saudi Arabia to the Chinese New Silk Road Grand strategy (Michael Tanchum, “Saudi Arabia … Continue reading Saudi Arabia and the Chinese New Silk Road

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and China are negotiating, at the highest level, the integration of the UAE into the Chinese New Silk Road (NSR) initiative, also called the “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) initiative (Sarah Townsend, “UAE and China “working to restore silk road trading route””, Arabian, 13 December 2015). This move corresponds … Continue reading The UAE and the Chinese New Silk Road

This article looks at the way the current militarization of maritime segments of the Chinese New Silk Road is implemented in the Arabian Sea, and related consequences on geopolitics, including for businesses. It is the second part of a series, the first one focusing on militarization in the South China Sea (Jean-Michel Valantin, “Militarizing the … Continue reading Militarizing the Maritime New Silk Road (2) – In the Arabian Sea

There are (more and more) missiles on the road. What we call here “the great roads” are created as answers to the necessity for Russia and China to connect Asian countries with resources from and markets of Russia and Europe. After having seen the ways the Russian are militarizing their Northern Sea Route (Jean-Michel Valantin, “Militarizing … Continue reading Militarizing the Chinese New Silk Road (part 1)

There are (Russian) missiles on the roads. In this new series, we are going to focus on the militarization of the Russian Northern Sea Route and along segments of the Chinese New Silk Road and envision the political, military, industrial and business consequences for Russia, China, and their partners, notably through the installation of Russian … Continue reading Militarizing the Great Resource Roads – 1 – Russia

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 … Continue reading The Chinese New Silk Road in East Africa

This series of two articles focuses on the current development of the Russian Arctic region, while explaining and demonstrating the importance of using strategic thinking for governments as well as for business actors. Indeed, the international dynamics of geopolitical and environmental changes, including their interactions, are becoming so rapid and powerful that political and business actors have … Continue reading Strategic Thinking in the Russian Arctic: When Threats Become Opportunities (1)

In this new article about the current development of the warming Russian Arctic, The Red (Team) Analysis Society studies how Russia is currently devising an industrial and business grand strategy. This strategy is created through new oil and gas exploitations and the constant opening of the Siberian Northern Sea Route. These new activities are made … Continue reading The Warming Russian Arctic: Where Russian and Asian Business and Strategies Converge?

In this article on the development of the energy, business and military nexus of the Arctic by Russia, the Red (Team) Analysis Society studies how the Russian Arctic is becoming a new crucial business and strategic “centre” in the world, through the creation of numerous energy and infrastructure projects and operations, which attract Chinese companies … Continue reading The Russian Arctic meets the Chinese New Silk Road

This article is the second of our series on the Anthropocene and security. Previously, we presented the larger dimensions and general elements framing the new (in)security. Here, we shall focus on latest developments regarding Russian Arctic oil. Between April and July 2016, the current Russian energy conquest of the Arctic led to the shipment of more … Continue reading Russian Arctic oil: a New Economic & Strategic Paradigm?