This post opens a new series dealing with the Arctic, its environmental change and its evolving geopolitics and security. The Arctic death spiral, or “Melting is coming” Thanks to the widespread rapid melting of Arctic sea ice during the 2013 summer season, a Chinese freighter crossed the famous Northwest passage, shortening its journey from Dalian, China, to Rotterdam, by more than two weeks in August 2013. Between 22 and 26 September, the Nordic Orion, a bulk freighter going from Vancouver, Pacific Canada, to Finland, used the same passageway. It was transporting coal. The opening of this mythical passageway in summer over the last few years is the result of the way global warming is massively impacting the whole Arctic region…. Read More
Editorial – Russia, the Arctic and … Syrian uncertainties – If you were looking for a new tense area to monitor, here it is: the Arctic. We had known it was coming for a few years, but now it is definitely on the agenda, besides, mainly, the Middle East, North East Asia and a struggle for… Read More
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)?
As expected last week the situation in Egypt did not stabilize and many other issues escalate. Also, of particular interest this week as weak signal, we find the importance of religion in times of hardship, when all hopes seem to be lost. Considering the power of mobilisation and radicalisation of religion, this factor is to be kept in mind.
Human societies currently face dwindling resources and rising competition for them in the contemporary “resources order.” Thus, besides and in accordance with other ways to handle this challenge, new types and sources of resources are increasingly valuable and can make a strategic difference for polities, as well as for humanity as a whole. Meanwhile, if we are to ever learn from our worrying present, we must also, continuously, make sure that the extraction and use of those new potential resources will not have any unfavourable impact on the planet and its ecosystem, including this biodiversity to which we belong.* As has now been known since the end of the nineteenth century (Ifremer, les Nodules, 2012), mineral resources lie on the… Read More
2012 predictions (2) ZeroHedge, Globalization, The Decade Ahead, And Asymmetric Returns, 12/26/2011 ZeroHedge, Jim Rogers 2012 Outlook: Pessimism With Scattered Crises, 12/26/2011 Derek Abma on 2012 predictions by Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist with BMO Capital Markets, “Canada to avoid recession next year despite Europe,” The Vancouver Sun, Financial Post, December 26, 2011 Ryan Mauro, Top 12 Threats to Watch in 2012, Family Security Matters, December 27, 2011 Tony Karon, “If 2011 Was a Turbulent Year for Obama’s Foreign Policy, 2012 Looks Set to Be Worse,” (Survey of the top ten global crisis issues facing the U.S. in the new year), Time.com Global Spin, December 27, 2011. Moneycontrol bureau, “Keep your coats on! It’s going to be a stormy 2012,” (summary of financial and eco… Read More