From 1 to 28 September 2019, 3000 men and women of the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps are participating in the “Arctic Expeditionary Capabilities Exercise”. The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command leads this exercise. The exercise takes place in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska and Southern California (“Navy, Marine Corps conduct Arctic expeditionary capabilities exercise in Alaska”, […]
The warming Arctic is the stage of an ongoing maritime, geopolitical and geo-economic revolution.
For example, end of August 2018, the Danish Maersk Company, one of the major ship owners in the world and the world’s largest container shipping company by both fleet size and cargo capacity, sent a first container ship using this route, in order to test its commercial use. The ship went from Vladivostok to Saint Petersburg, through the Bering Strait, following the northern coast of Siberia (Tom Embury-Morris, “Container Ship Crosses Arctic Route for First Time in History Due to Melting Sea Ice”, The Independent, 18 September, 2018).
Since 2013, each year, the number the number of Chinese cargo convoys using the Russian Northern Sea Route, also known as the North East passage, increases thanks to the rapid warming of the region, which transforms
Nato has released its latest 2017 Strategic Foresight Analysis Report. According to General Denis Mercier, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) interviewed by Reuters, the report will be used with a SACT “companion report that maps out what NATO should do to respond to these trends in the spring” … “to inform the 2019 NATO political guidance”. […]
Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals… —– Each section of the scan below focuses on signals related to a specific theme: world (international politics and geopolitics); economy; science; analysis, strategy and futures; technology and weapons; energy and environment. However, in a complex world, categories are merely a convenient way to present […]
Since August 19 2014 and the broadcast of American James Foley murder at the hands of the Islamic State (Ackerman, 20 August 2014, The Guardian), Western media regularly feature grim videos where the Islamic State beheads individuals belonging to the groups it perceives as enemies and opposing its Caliphate. The gruesome, ghastly and shocking character of the videos and of […]
Editorial – Towards the 19th century or a darker, more remote past? (Nota: The map above depicts a 1903 vision of Europe and the Mediterranean Sea in 1190) Last week we underlined that we should be looking beyond the current Ukraine crisis and estimate what it may mean in terms of changing the world order. This week we find a string of signals that continue pointing in this direction, including weak data of growth for the US that would be the new norm, questioning the supremacy of the US Dollar, and consequences for American power, on all fronts. while tension over Ukraine and Crimea does not abate. Meanwhile, the Middle East is in the throes of transition with even more tension, and […]
Editorial – Risks on the US Dollar Supremacy? Among the flurry of articles part of the violent “battle for hearts and minds” regarding Ukraine and opposing directly Russia on the one hand, the U.S and Europe on the other, continues emerging, quite loudly this week, an interrogation regarding the international order, this time in its monetary guise. Put bluntly, the question is as follows: “Are we seeing the beginning of the end of the US dollar based international monetary order?” The question is related to oil because of the importance of petrodollars. We may thus wonder if a potential U.S. strategy, assuming it could work (read Steve LeVine article “How the US might persuade the Saudis to co-conspire in unleashing an oil […]
Editorial – A case study in escalation: NATO, the U.S. and Russia. If we very coldly look at how the situation is evolving between NATO, the U.S. and Russia, then it seems undeniable that we are in the case of a serious escalation, which is also getting larger and deeper. The hope for de-escalation the Kerry-Lavrov meeting had created, followed by the start of a removal of the Russian troops from the Russian territory close to the Ukraine border, as observed by Reuters and noted by the BBC (see Jonathan Marcus, first question, Doorstep statement by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, 1 April – video) stopped with NATO’s series of declarations, starting with “Unfortunately, I cannot confirm that Russia is withdrawing […]
Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals… Read the 5 March scan → World – This week featured article is Seumas Milne’s “The demonisation of Russia risks paving the way for war” for The Guardian. Milne, by emphasising how “Politicians and the media are using Vladimir Putin and Ukraine to justify military expansionism” and stressing how it is “a dangerous folly” – which we borrowed as title, perfectly summarises the tragic escalation towards war we are currently living. The anti-Russian sentiment has reached such a paroxysm, supported by analysts, who never use evidence, nor anymore footnotes to substantiate their claims or judgement, and mix good analysis with convenient ones, where inconvenient facts are forgotten, that any attempt to try coming back to better researched […]
This post is the second of a series that deals with the core of the foresight and warning analytical process. The first post explained the mapping process and how to move from factors to variables. Here we focus on the second challenge analysts and participants to workshops face: how to include actors relevant to the question as objectively as possible. The process we use to map an issue or a foresight and warning question seems simple enough, especially once one understands what is a variable and how to specify it, as we saw and explained in detail previously. However, when done, notably within a workshop setting, when different participants brainstorm to map as well and as quickly as possible variables […]