Revisiting Timeliness for Strategic Foresight and Warning and Risk Management

[Fully rewritten version v3] To exist, risk and foresight products as well as warnings must be delivered to those who must act upon them, the customers, clients or users. These anticipation analyses must also be actionable, which means that they need to include the right information necessary to see action taken. Yet, if you deliver […]

Afghanistan at a New Crossroad: Resource Curse or Asian integration?

The first sentence of the 2006 US Quadrennial Defence Review is “The United States is a nation engaged in what will be a long war”. Any civilian, military or factious leader in Afghanistan, could have written almost exactly the same after thirty-five years of war. And this war still goes on, but it now faces a strange strategic, ecological and economic transition, that could be dominated by a new “Afghan resource and climate curse”. Failed state-building, climate and war From 1969 to 1972, Afghanistan went through a terrible drought and a harsh winter. A terrible famine followed, which ravaged the populations of central Afghanistan. The titanic scale of incompetence, mismanagement and corruption of the Kabul government aggravated it, and maybe […]

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Beyond Fear of Near-Earth Objects: Mining Resources from Space?

In February 2013, the fall of a meteor in Russia’s Urals (e.g. “Meteorite hits Russian Urals: Fireball explosion wreaks havoc, up to 1,200 injured“, RT, 15 Feb 2013), added to the close fly-by of Asteroid 2012 DA14, and to reports of a meteorite sighted over Cuba, reignited a renewed interest for near-earth objects (NEOs), notably because of the threat they may constitute to the earth and its inhabitants. Yet, NEOs are not only about dangers and Armageddon scenarios, they may also well be an opportunity.  The possibility to use resources from space also exists and may be seen as a major wild card, which could completely upset most scenarios on resources and energy issues, thus constituting a “grey swan,” to use Taleb’s terminology. From dream […]

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The Coal Sigils

The Coal Sigils, is the first of The Sigils dedicated to energy security, a series of daily papers scanning the horizon for weak signals related to various issues relevant to the security of societies, polities, nations and citizens. Why a Sigils focused on coal? According to a release by the IEA, “As of March 2012, […]

The Shale Oil and Gas Security Sigils

Shale fuels, a potential game changer, remain controversial, notably considering the various environmental risks, the social opposition and distrust, the uncertainty regarding recoverable reserves, the evolution of technology and regulations, and the opposite interests of different actors. It is thus crucial to scan and monitor…

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The Space Resources Sigils

The Space Resources Sigils is part of The Sigils, a series of daily papers scanning the horizon for weak signals related to various issues relevant to the security of societies, polities, nations and citizens. An opening article on the importance of space resources as their use should be a reality in the relatively near future (middle of next […]

The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly 153 – The Paradox of Change?

Editorial – The paradox of change? Reading through the multiple crowd-sourced articles of the Weekly, what stands out is a perception of an acceleration of change. In itself, each flashpoint or problem is not new, and has been either underlined or monitored for months and even for years for some of them. Yet, when we look at all of them […]

Energy Security: a Bibliography for Strategic Foresight and Warning

A Bibliography Bibliography on energy security for strategic foresight and warning (not exhaustive) built while working on energy issues, notably as senior scientific adviser for the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the Deputy Director for Energy/Environmental Security (2008-2010). Energy security and foresight Bray, David A., Sean Costigan, Keith A. Daum, Helene Lavoix, Elizabeth L. Malone, and Chris Pallaris, “Perspective: Cultivating Strategic Foresight for Energy and Environmental Security,” Cambridge Journals, Environmental Practice, volume 11, issue 03, Septembre 2009. Lavoix, Helene, Why Strategic Foresight and Warning? The case of Energy Security, (slides), RSIS, Public lecture, NTU, Singapore, 19th April 2010 Millennium Project, 2020 Global Energy Scenarios, 2008. Shell Scenarios, Looking ahead. Energy Demand Bartis, James T. and Lawrence Van Bibber, Alternative Fuels for […]

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Egypt, Climate Change and the Long Resource Civil Warfare

Since the “Arab spring” reached Egypt in January 2011, the political situation has evolved quite quickly (Georges Corm, Le Proche-Orient éclaté, 2012). Many observers analyse the Egyptian political landscape as a battlefield between the Army, the Muslim Brotherhood, and a growing number of people wanting to experience democracy, while the whole situation is being put under pressure by a very degraded economic situation (Seumas Milne, The Revenge of History, 2013). Moreover, those different actors are participating in the political tensions between Arab countries, especially Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and between these countries and the U.S. (Corm, ibid). Egypt has tremendous political importance in the Middle East, in Africa, and at the international and global level. Since the antiquity, this very singular […]

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The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly 182 – The U.S. under Threats?

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) – Besides developments in the Islamic State War, and on the broader Jihadi front, continuing tensions between NATO and Russia, and related uncertainties for the situation in Ukraine, what stands out this week is, potentially, how much the U.S. and their supremacy are under threats and how they could fight back, or not. Interestingly, this perception of multiple threats to the U.S. only emerges if one considers various sections together, namely, world (of course), technology and armaments, energy and economy. We thus have together the decline of oil prices […]

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