Existential Battle for Western Civilisation – The detail
Here I continue discussing the analysis presented by Rear Admiral Parry of Development, Concepts, Doctrine and Centre (DCDC) as reported in several
outlets. Not surprisingly, based on a quick Factiva search, The Guardian seems to ignore this story.
In summary, the DCDC have hypothesized the following:
Parry predicts that as flood or starvation strikes, the most dangerous zones will be Africa, particularly the northern half; most of the Middle East and central Asia as far as northern China; a strip from Nepal to Indonesia; and perhaps eastern China.
He pinpoints 2012 to 2018 as the time when the current global power structure is likely to crumble. Rising nations such as China, India, Brazil and Iran will challenge America’s sole superpower status…
The subsequent mass population movements, Parry argues, could lead to the "Rome scenario". The western Roman empire collapsed in the 4th and 5th centuries as groups such as Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Suevi, Huns and Vandals surged over its borders. The process culminated in the sack of Rome in 455 by Geiseric the Lame, king of the Alans and Vandals, in an invasion from north Africa.
Well after spending a lot of time trying to find primary documents on this (via Google), I have finally found some online documentation at, surprise, the DCDC website. The analysis is delineated into to seven different dimensions: physical, social, science and technology, economic, legal, political and military.
In summary there are:
- Fourteen conclusions in the analysis of the Physical dimension
- Fifteen conclusions in the analysis of the Social dimension
- Nineteen conclusions in the analysis of the Science and Technology dimension
- Seventeen conclusions in the analysis of the Economic dimension
- Nineteen conclusions in the analysis of the Legal dimension
- Twenty-seven conclusions in the analysis of the Political dimension
- Seventeen conclusions in the analysis of the Military dimension
Some of the key points here are that the effects of global warming, ozone depletion, localised pollution, water and food scarcity will not result existential wars or “…direct threats to global security”.
The world will face greater energy strains as there will be “…little prospect of revolutionary breakthroughs in alternative supplies” and “global demand for energy will “…increase significantly”. The suppliers of energy will become increasingly concentrated as “OPEC will increase its share of world oil production to over 50% by 2015, enhancing its strategic leverage…” The result of these demand and supply powder kegs is that “…intervention abroad may be seen as increasingly legitimate if the source(s) of threat to supply are perceived to be external ones.”
Unstable regions of the world like North Africa and the Middle East will experience population explosions whilst developed, Western countries will experience the opposite. Large scale migration from North Africa and the Middle East to the developed, Western regions will possibly “…challenge social cohesion.” Importantly, “…relativism, pragmatism, multiple identities and reducing deference…” may result an inability to deal positively to this changing demographic future and make it “…more complicated…
to win and sustain national or coalition support in times of conflict…”
Fundamentalist Islamic terrorism is likely to continue for some years, both against Western and domestic targets, but Islam is not a monolithic entity and there is a considerable body of moderate Muslims open to dialogue with the West.
Science and Technology dimension
New technologies such as nanotechnology may result in innovative solutions in old technologies such as biotechnology, information technology that result in improved military capabilities. The United States and Japan will remain major players until 2015. China and India will be viable competitors by 2030. The modern battlefield will be a mix of artificial intelligence and remotely controlled weapons by 2030 for “…advanced militaries.” Asymmetric warfare will become increasingly important in an information driven battlefield.
Globalisation will discourage warfare between states with open economies. Oil spikes will wreak economic havoc a la the 1970s. The growing Chinese and Indian economies will facilitate their greater role in world affairs, whilst Russia will experience significant problems projecting power into the future as their economy experiences “…limited growth”. The US and EU will continue to protect their defence industries.
Contrary to Samuel L. Huntington’s thesis, the state will continue to be “…the principal entity in the future strategic environment in 2030.” States’ Legislative bodies will continue to maintain their political control over defence and security and maintain authoritative control over other areas. The United Nations will evolve to remain relevant.
Despite their eminence in strategy, “...state sovereignty will continue to be eroded or ceded…” The EU will not form a super-state but will remain the “…most closely integrated supranational institution until 2030” whilst the US will retain preponderance over international relations. NATO will increase its cooperation with Russia and will “…become more political and less military in its orientation.” In a cryptic reference to Islamo-facism,
Non-state actors will increasingly attract citizens into shared-interest groups that cut across state boundaries. Transnational, virtual communities and networks will require increasingly international and multilateral responses.
Terrorism is likely to become more widespread, extreme, international and autonomous. It will remain a key challenge to state power, particularly through its ability to use asymmetric attacks to by-pass military security and attack states ‘at home’.
The military will continue to have problems fighting urbanised Islamo-facism and will remain “…the principal security challenge…” Rogue regimes will have deployable (?) biological weapons by 2015. A more mobile US military is foreshadowed whilst China and some European states will obtain a global projection of force capability by 2030. Non-lethal weapons will become more utilised and Islamo-facists will “…acquire weapons of mass effect before 2015…and be much harder to deter than state proliferators…” The military will adapt to the modern battlefield by becoming more autonomous and informationally dependent through Science and Technological developments.
While the West will change significantly and be faced with new and old problems, it will remain the preponderant civilisation well into this millennia. However, it will face sporadic and costly conflicts with emerging states such as China and non-state threats such as Islamo-facism. Its ability to respond to the first threat is reliant on continue technology and economic development, whilst it will remain difficult to defend against the second threat.
This poses the question: should be adopt a defensive position to “non-state threats” or should we go on an offensive? The response of the media to offensive actions such as the Iraq War and the CIA’s rendition programs suggest that we are impeded in pursuing an offensive action by relativism and self-hating philosophy that pervades Western society. What we must do is win the culture wars to give our civilisation a hope of surviving.