As underlined when we started the series on Syria, one of the analytical challenges we face, in terms of strategic foresight and warning, is the fog of war. The, at time, rapid evolution of the situation, fits badly with any static mean to deliver analysis. We need, of course, to monitor what is happening, but also to regularly integrate this surveillance in our strategic analysis and finally to make it known to concerned audience (readers, decision-makers, policy-makers). After having outlined the methodological difficulties and presented the solution chosen, we shall focus on the updates themselves. Methodology: challenges and imperfect solutions First, in terms of periodicity and content of publication (delivery in SF&W jargon), a right balance must be found between […]
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 – 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, […]
In this post we shall finish investigating the second level of analysis of the Kantian framework, i.e. how states in their relationships with one another and also with their citizens should behave in their pursuit of democracy and if this leads to war or not, as could happen in the case of Syria, and finally look at the third level, humankind.
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.
In the Kantian framework, different kinds of agents pursue democracy at three levels: the individuals within a nation, the states in their relationships with one another and also with their citizens, and humankind. In this article, we shall look at how individuals within a nation should behave if they want to truly abide by democratic principles.
Should they rebel and when? Should they support war, and which type of war if any?
This article is the second part of a series reflecting upon Democracy, especially its link to war, in the framework of events, notably regarding Syria, Egypt and the “Arab Awakening” but also the 2010s European and American opposition movements. The first article can be read here, and the next and final one here.
While a violent battle to win the minds through information, misinformation, manipulation, and deception is at work around Syria, the international order is changing out of the interactions between players. Will the post-1945 order prove resilient enough or are we heading towards a system that will look more like a 19th century Europe, or shall […]
The summer 2013 has been fertile in upheavals and violent events, surrounded by heated controversies and very often by an absence of neutrality in the media. The international community is divided. As a result, informed and balanced judgements are difficult to achieve. Taking political decisions is thus even harsher than usual, bringing to the fore […]
This report presents three main scenarios (leading to ten sub-scenarios) for the future of Syria and prospects for peace within the next five years, after describing the state of play and the actors on the Syrian battlefield. To consider the fog of war, it identifies indicators to monitor that impact the likelihood of each scenario and sees the scenarios as a dynamic set, where one potential future can morph into another out of an evolving state of play.
Having an idea of the forces present on the battlefield in Syria is crucial to understand the state of play, to follow the course of the war, to evaluate the impact of the decisions taken by external players, and to estimate the likelihood to see one scenario (or one of its variations) happening. Here is a synthesis of the various estimates found for each warring group…