Assessing the “Strategic” in Surprise

Practically applying the idea of “strategic surprise” when anticipating new threats is difficult as soon as one moves away from the general idea, and tries to be more specific about the strategic impact a surprise could have. The surprise part of the concept is relatively easily understood and envisioned. When imagining a threat or danger occurring, we don’t have any problem identifying and explaining the many reasons why this event could happen unexpectedly and find us unprepared. Assessing, estimating and understanding these incriminated causes, then remedying them, is more complex, indeed the raison d’être of strategic foresight and warning and risk management, and the topic of many studies. The strategic dimension, for its part, is more elusive and far less […]

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The Red (team) Analysis Weekly No69, 11 October 2012

No69 – 11 October 2012 Potential stabilisation in the East China Sea, with a move from Japan, still uncertain improvement considering Japanese domestic tensions. Meanwhile the situation in the Middle East and in Europe deteriorates. Most notably, the participation of reservists to the demonstrations yesterday in Greece could be a weak signal of potential escalation. […]

The Red (team) Analysis Weekly No43, 12 April 2012

No43 – 12 April 2012 Click on the image below to read on Paper.Li (best with mobiles & tablets)

Global Water Security: a US Intelligence Community Assessment

The ODNI has released the unclassified version of the latest US Intelligence Community Assessment on Global Water Security (Feb 2012). Very interesting! For thoughts on the ICA see Building upon the 2012 “Global Water Security” IC Assessment. Click on the image below to download the ICA in pdf.

The Red (team) Analysis Weekly No37, 1st March 2012

No37, 1st March 2012 Horizon Scanning for National Security Click on the picture below to access No37

The Red (team) Analysis Weekly No34, 9th February 2012

No34, 9th February 2012 Not if but when? It looks like the small window of opportunity that was trying hard to open regarding Iran is closing, while weak signals are a warning of a revival of the global crisis throughout all countries, with China still cast as potential winner. Click on the picture below to access […]

The Red (team) Analysis Weekly No33, 2nd February 2012

No33, 2nd February 2012 Convergence? As an opportunity to see tension appeased with Iran, although not shared by all, appears, as beliefs in financial and economic recovery emerge, convergence of heavy threats could also take place in the background, with now a heavy cyber-security component in terms of ways and means. Click on the picture below […]

The Red (team) Analysis Weekly No27, 22d December 2011

No27, 22d December 2011 Weak signals of polarisation are emerging regarding the interactions between the new opposition nexus and political authorities, and prospects for further and more widespread instability rise, notably in India – no need to mention Europe anymore. In the meantime, international tension does not abate with Iran, and now a transition going […]

Delivery of Strategic Foresight and Warning products: learning from the social and mobile web?

As Cynthia Grabo underlines, a warning does not exist if it is not delivered. Similarly, a foresight product – or risk assessment or horizon scan – has to be delivered. Furthermore, if foresight and warning are to be actionable, then clients or customers – those to whom the product has been delivered – must pay heed to the foresight, or warning. What they decide to do with those is another story. Yet, from the point of view of SF&W, they must receive them, know they have received them and, as much as possible, consider them.

by Philip Devere, FAL, via Wikimedia Commons

Strategic foresight and futures’ efforts, as well as related literature, with a few exceptions, have rarely focused explicitly on this specific part of the overall process. Yet, it is crucial. As a first step, it has much to learn from the warning part of the activity. Then, both strategic foresight and warning may also have much to learn from the mobile and social networking approach, as it is being …

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