25 April, 2011

Reconceptualizing security

From the NATO Parliamentary Assembly--General Hans Klauman, former chairman of the North Atlantic military council, had some interesting comments:
“Globally, the struggle for water will be the primary source of conflict in the future, since at present 40% of mankind gets water from extraterritorial sources” said General Naumann, speaking to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Edinburgh.  He also issued a warning on the impact of demographic shifts on geopolitical power structures.  The shrinking, aging European population will put “tremendous pressure” on their societies, compounded by migration trends.  These trends are in turn likely to intensify, partly as a result of the effects of climate change on poorer countries.  General Naumann also predicted a decline of the Russian population to “perhaps less than 100 million”, and pointed out the strategic significance of the four million illegal Chinese immigrants living and working in the resource rich parts of Siberia.

“The twenty-first century will be an unsettled century” said the general, whose presentation went on to discuss cyberwar and other emerging threats.  He supported the role of NATO on the world security stage, but said that the alliance “must be refashioned in accordance with a duly expanded concept of security”, to incorporate “all the instruments of crisis management, including, above all, non-military components, and which seeks cooperation with other organisations.”
I think he needs to distinguish between levels of causation when talking about resource wars.  As for the expansion of the concept of security, he's right that it needs to be expanded, so long as we don't forget the difference between intended and unintended threats.

1 comment:

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