modern nation-state

Mapping risk and uncertainty is the second step of a proper process to correctly anticipate and manage risks and uncertainties. This stage starts with building a model, which, once completed, will describe and explain the issue or question at hand, while allowing for anticipation or foresight. In other words, with the end of the first step, you have selected a risk, an uncertainty, or a series of risks and uncertainties, or an issue of concern, with its proper time frame and scope, for example, what are the risks and uncertainties to my investment portfolio within the next 18 months to 3 years, or what will be the future of the emerging artificial intelligence world over the next twenty years, or what are the risks and uncertainties to my activity within the next fiver years as a result of China’s rise.

Once this initial question is defined, the second stage is about constructing our underlying model for understanding, i.e. mapping our risk or issue.

As Professor Joshua Epstein underlines, constructing a model – i.e. modeling – is nothing more, actually, than making explicit the hidden, implicit, model we, as human beings, are using when thinking. Epstein lists 16 advantages that result from this explicit modeling, to which we can add a couple more. Among these, we can notably highlight that, in terms of intelligence and anticipation analysis, making the model explicit will help identifying various cognitive, normative and emotional biases, thus allowing for their mitigation. Thanks to this modeling we can think out of the box and overcome silos. Then, the model and its construction will help defining areas of uncertain understanding, which can then be marked for further study, inquiry and research. Meanwhile, an explicit model will also help us working collaboratively, while communication will be greatly eased and enhanced, notably by using tools developed for big data analytics.

How are we thus to transform our inner implicit and imperfect model about the risk and uncertainty of concern into a proper and efficient explicit model to assess correctly risks and uncertainties, design critical responses and communicate about both risks and the decisions taken to manage them?

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The dreadful burning alive of the captive Jordanian pilot by the Islamic State and its video broadcast by Al-Furqan Media Foundation, as well as the reactions it succeeded in eliciting, such as Jordan’s retaliations (e.g. ISIS Study Group, 3 Feb 2015; BBC News, 6 February 2015), show once more the crucial importance to fully consider the Islamic State psyops as they are completely part of the war it wages and of the order it thus aims at establishing. These psyops, beyond the influence they aim at generating (see “A Framework“), offer us a way inside the Islamic State and its Khilafah’s worldview.  Understanding the latter is crucial is we want to fight the Islamic State victoriously, because its belief system and induced actions impact all other actors, be … Continue reading The Islamic State Psyops – Ultimate War

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The war in Syria has now become fully internationalized, after its expected regionalization, notably favoured by the failure to stabilize Iraq after its state was destroyed by the 2003 US-led Iraq war. The two, initially unrelated wars have morphed into a war against one of the fighting actors on the Syrian battlefield, the Islamic State, … Continue reading Monitoring the War against the Islamic State or against a Terrorist Group?

What are the numerous movies, novels, TV series and video games declining the implacable struggle between human survivors and proliferating populations of zombies really about? These “chronicles” of the worldwide zombie invasion are so pervasive in our twenty-first century global culture, and they have reached a status of such importance that they have even inspired an actual training plan by the US Department of Defence in 2014, as well as a very real military training session in 2012. What is the strategic issue played out through the very complex zombie charade in our contemporary framework, when socio-environmental changes are also strategic changes? In other terms, what are the existential, political, geopolitical and military dimensions of the zombie invasion? Furthermore, is … Continue reading Invasion Z: Zombie Wars or Resource Wars?

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Editorial – Gilman’s Plutocratic Criminal Insurgency and Current Wars – We have been monitoring and analyzing how the current paradigm is shifting, while wondering what could be the future of political authorities, both elements being absolutely crucial if we are to provide pertinent strategic foresight and warning analyses. … Continue reading The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly 158 – Gilman’s Plutocratic Criminal Insurgency and War

Editorial – Narratives at war: There is a fascinating discrepancy at work between narratives found in the news. They vary according to the type of actors upon which one focuses. Actually the difference between some of them is so huge that one wonders if they describe the same world. Furthermore, if those narratives are rooted in the conflict in Ukraine they do not stop there but interact with and impact other areas and dimensions. Narrative One originates from the U.S. and Europe, with slightly varying emphases according to American or European origin. It runs somehow as follows: The conflict in Ukraine is (almost) over, thanks to legitimate democratic elections and the new Ukrainian President elect Poroshenko, who has outlined his peace plan. The next step is … Continue reading The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly 155 – Narratives at War: EU-US vs Russia vs Crowdsourced?

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This article is the second of the series on the conflict in Ukraine and starts a review of the various domestic actors. It focuses on the oligarchic system, its dynamics and challenges. On 15 May 2014, steelworkers working for oligarch Rinat Akhmetov took over the city of Mariupol in the Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, as reported by Andrew Kramer for the New York Times, even if the People’s Republic of Donetsk seems to have kept power (e.g. Roza Kazan, 18 May 2014), after Akhmetov released a first statement video (see original 14 May, with subtitles). Meanwhile, Kim Sengupta for The Independent, writing on the 9 May attack on Mariupol mentions that “An assortment took part in the assault, including a private army supposedly bankrolled by an oligarch – the “men in black”. … Continue reading Conflict in Ukraine – State of Play – The Oligarchic System

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During the Autumn 2013 and Winter 2014, we witnessed a major reconfiguration of forces in Syria, as seen previously, including with the rise of Salafi-Nationalists. This article looks at the evolution that took place in Western Kurdistan, notably the birth of novel political institutions, Rojava, and how and why the Kurds relate to the Geneva conference that took place in early 2014. Creating Rojava We recall that on 10 July 2013, the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) declared starting making plans to move towards some degree of autonomy for Rojava or the Syrian part of Kurdistan (see for detail 4 Nov 2013 update, 2.1.). News about Rojava and its “project” can be followed on its own website, created in August 2013. The PYD moved forward on 11 November 2013 … Continue reading The Kurds and Rojava, State-Building in the Syrian War

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The Red (team) Analysis Weekly No123, 24 October 2013

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 in the Fukushima continuing tragedy, … Continue reading The Red (team) Analysis Weekly No123, 24 October 2013

The Red (team) Analysis Weekly No119, 26 September 2013

Horizon Scanning for National Security – Batman’s Gotham City with an international twist? The world is being profoundly reshaped: China’s global land grab, the battle for the Arctic and the importance of extreme environments for resources, a fast changing unsettled Middle-East, the importance of Central Asia, the return of a pre-World War I type of capitalist world, … Continue reading The Red (team) Analysis Weekly No119, 26 September 2013