Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals… Each section focuses on signals related to a specific theme: world (international politics and geopolitics); economy; science; analysis, strategy and futures; technology and weapons; energy and environment. However, in a complex world, categories are merely a convenient way to present information, when facts and events… Read More
Three seemingly unrelated events occurred in April 2014. The IPCC, the international body of scientists tasked with monitoring climate change, released its fifth report, assessing that, between today and 2100, climate change could induce a rise of one metre of the sea level, and the radical necessity to start adaptation policies (IPCC, fifth report, 2014). Meanwhile, in Dubai, the immense beach, which has become the support for a gigantic tourist and real estate industry, welcomed the first open water swimming championships on 18 and 19 April 2014 (1st Dubai International Open Water Swimming Championships). While this sportive event was taking place, a gigantic iceberg, six times the size of Manhattan, was breaking off from an Antarctic glacier into the open ocean (Will… Read More
As the noose seems to be slowly tightening around the Islamic State in Mesopotamia, it is even more important to consider the global dimension of the Khilafah. It is indeed likely that all geographical components will be used by the Islamic State in its will to counter-attack and survive. A strong indication confirming the global… Read More
Even though the capabilities of the Islamic State have now, in November 2017, changed and been seriously reduced , the understanding and fundamental underlying dynamics at work are still valid and must be considered. Lately, the world has been shaken by large attacks carried out by the Islamic State. On 31 October 2015, Islamic State’s fighters destroyed a Russian plane over the Sinai: “According to our experts, on board an aircraft in flight, an improvised bomb exploded capacity of up to 1 kg of TNT, resulting in an explosion of the aircraft in the air, which explains the spread parts of the fuselage of the aircraft at a distance. We can definitely say that this is a terrorist act” stated officially Alexander Bortnikov, director of Russia’s… Read More
Editorial – Storms and floods, harbinger of multifaceted changes: While the US knows a very cold winter, Western Europe is hit by the ninth storm since 17 December 2013, each bringing destruction and floods in its wake. This shows first, in a somehow novel way, that so-called “rich and developed”countries can be relentlessly hit by what is most probably a consequence of climate change. Here we are faced with storms and related floods, but other types of extreme weather events could also occur. Second, these storms start giving us an idea of how this vulnerability will most probably have multifaceted and mammoth impacts. Actually, this issue is far from being completely new. We have already underlined the high likelihood to see… Read More
“Winter is coming” This is the motto of the Starks, the eminent feudal family depicted in “Game of Thrones”, the fantasy novel series, by George R.R. Martin . Its members are involved in numerous and interlocking power struggles between the different Houses of a kingdom, whose ruler is weak ( and meets a sad fate). This continent is dominated by a strange climate, divided in two seasons, a summer and a winter, each potentially lasting several years. Winters can be fearfully cold and snowy, induce mass starvation for a very long time, as well as terrible conflicts, and decide, by their harshness, like war, of the destiny of nations. When “Winter is coming”, the moment has come to get prepared for times dominated by cold, despair and… Read More
Horizon Scanning for National Security No91: The Actors and the System: Powerlessness? If we were to estimate the power of the actors by their ability to stabilize the system, they would not fare very well, and this, in itself, is a signal that tensions will most probably continue to rise and escalate in intensity as well as widen in scope. One of the interesting question would thus be: How long can this system withstand the pressure until it breaks?
Horizon Scanning for National Security – No78: Political decisions in Greece and Ireland (see videos) question two fundamental norms ruling statehood in the international system: sovereignty and territoriality, while the third one, independence fares not much better under conditions of globalized financial pressure and crisis. What will be the impact of those deep changes in a world where threats abound, some of them conventional, other much newer but no less damaging (as Sandy)?