This article looks at the way the current militarization of maritime segments of the Chinese New Silk Road is implemented in the Arabian Sea, and related consequences on geopolitics, including for businesses. It is the second part of a series, the first one focusing on militarization in the South China Sea (Jean-Michel Valantin, “Militarizing the … Continue reading Militarizing the Maritime New Silk Road (2) – In the Arabian Sea
There are (more and more) missiles on the road. What we call here “the great roads” are created as answers to the necessity for Russia and China to connect Asian countries with resources from and markets of Russia and Europe. After having seen the ways the Russian are militarizing their Northern Sea Route (Jean-Michel Valantin, “Militarizing … Continue reading Militarizing the Chinese New Silk Road (part 1)
“Interstellar”, the 2014 global blockbuster movie by Christopher Nolan is a feat of intellectual and strategic thinking. The movie follows the adventures of three astronauts whose mission is to find a viable planet for humankind, while people on Earth are struggling with the rapid decay of the biosphere and the increasingly dangerous effects of climate change. In fact, this movie addresses the political and existential issues of what is to become of humanity once the climate change crisis, the biodiversity crisis and the energy and minerals crises will have been firmly and clearly interlocked for two dozens years from now. This nexus of “socio-bio-vital crises” is very smartly used by Christopher Nolan to elaborate a vehicle for a new kind of … Continue reading “Interstellar” – Strategic Warning and Response Alternatives for the Resource Crisis
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?
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 … Continue reading Afghanistan at a New Crossroad: Resource Curse or Asian integration?
On 15th September 2013, saboteurs blew up the pipeline linking Yemeni oil fields in the North to the Hodeidah export terminal, on the Red Sea coast. It was the third time in two months. In the meantime, the Yemeni political life was also marked by a deluge of US drone strikes against militants of “Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” (AQAP). On 18th October, a militia of armed and well-organised Islamist militants attacked a Yemeni military base in the Southeast, preceded by a car bomb suicide attack, which killed five soldiers. The two following weeks saw endless attacks and manifestations, against the government as well as sectarian violence, leaving dozens dead. In the meantime, on the other side of the Gulf of … Continue reading Surviving the Gulf of Aden: a New Strategic Paradigm for the Future of the Region
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 … Continue reading The Red (team) Analysis Weekly No97, 25 April 2013
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 … Continue reading Beyond Fear of Near-Earth Objects: Mining Resources from Space?
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 … Continue reading The Space Resources Sigils
In its Global Strategic Trends – Out to 2040, the UK Ministry of Defence, Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC), underlined that “resource and the environment” was one of the major dimensions shaping the future. Notably, the highly likely growing resource scarcity would lead to strengthened interest in what they call “Extreme Environments” – i.e. the … Continue reading Extreme Environments Security