Japan, an exemplary case for a complex world? The situation of Japan can be seen as a perfect case that exemplifies the complex dynamics into which we are taken. Absence of foresight and warning as well as refusal to consider the reality of environmental risk – and to act accordingly – plays a large part […]
Besides other issues, the agreement between the U.S. and Japan to modernize their security cooperation, implying among others a larger role for Japan, is most likely to have ripple effects, notably considering the tense situation with China and unhealed regional wounds stemming from World War II. Energy security then is very much to the fore, […]
Horizon Scanning for National Security No118: If the situation in the Middle East definitely requires to be paid attention to, the East and the Far East deserve no less, as Japan seeks to change its constitution, India continues to try asserting and expanding its role, and Central Asia is increasingly entrenched as a crucial geopolitical node. Meanwhile, news and studies regarding the adverse impact of climate change are at odds with some trends in energy security and with the tale according to which “rich countries” will be less hurt, while monetary policies, notably quantitative easing, remain controversial.
Horizon Scanning for National Security No 102 – Cognitive shift? Interestingly, compared with only a few months ago, the signals are increasingly linked to geo-strategy, war, geopolitics. The other issues remain crucial and did not disappear, but we can start seeing the overall global system changing, in terms of preeminence given to types of challenges too.
Horizon Scanning for National Security No101 – Uncertainties: Which alliances and partnerships will hold, which one will fail, which ones will emerge, and for how long? Will the Syrian peace conference occur and will it be successful, at which cost and with which geo-strategic impact? Is the European crisis over or not at all? Will Europeans continue to withstand the pressure, and for how long, and what will be next? Will the mammoth monetary experiment endeavoured by Japan be lethal or was it the right daring move? And what if the global financial and economic crisis was not at all over? Is climate change enhancing the likelihood of mega-tornadoes or not? How will the world face the various environmental pressures and the unintended consequences of the remedies pushed forward? Those rising and spreading uncertainties could show that we are now fully moving on a path fraught with multiple systemic shifts., with more dangers and threats, but also with more space for human liberty, if we are wise enough to take the measure of the challenges ahead.
Horizon Scanning for National Security No100 – Redrawing the global strategic and geopolitical map: From the Syrian civil war and its impact on the region and beyond, with its many uncertainties, moving alliances and dilemmas, to the China-Japan unrelenting tension over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, through the rush for the Arctic, without forgetting the European quagmire and its multi-faceted apparently slow-moving polarization, this is actually the global political and strategic map that is being redrawn. How it will look like is still shrouded in the fog of war … or rather of wars, crises, and battles, present and, unfortunately, to come.
Our own worst enemies – One major lesson that can be learned for the Boston tragedy is that efforts at improving systems and alertness can never stop in times of heightened tension and threats multiplication, at least not as long as problems have not been properly analyzed, causes courageously tackled, and real solutions imagined and […]
Horizon Scanning for National Security No92 – Global Experiment and Fog of Transition: Those two labels – the first borrowed from Paul Krugman’s now famous interview, and the second from Global Trends 2030, among others, itself adapted from von Clausewitz’s fog of war – seem to describe most aptly the current period, and the short (to medium?) term future.
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 No89 – Look East: Indicators are turning red! The possibility of war – between China and Japan… and the US (security treaties can also have an escalating effect) and ? – is now very much on the agenda, despite all wishful thinking and previous disbelief. The dire financial situation of Japan, which everyone tries so hard to ignore, while US potential sequestration shockwaves nears and Europe polarizes, are not the most stabilizing context and factors. We had a window of opportunity, at the beginning of February, it closed. Shall we see another opening up of “the funnel of choices” (Nye, 1993: 68-69)?