Archive for the ‘International Conflict, Terrorism & Security’ Category

MULTILATERALISMO Y DESORDEN GLOBAL: El orden multipolar al que se dirige el mundo podría alejarse aún más del multilateralismo. ¿Cómo evitarlo?
Por Borja Lasheras y Antonio Ortiz

El presidente francés, Nicolás Sarkozy, y el primer ministro británico, David Cameron, firmando un acuerdo bilateral de defensa, noviembre de 2010


Para los aficionados a la pintura, el mundo actual se asemejaría a un cuadro impresionista, con figuras borrosas, o incluso a una obra surrealista que rechaza criterios racionales y donde predominan sorpresa y desorden. No sería una obra clásica, de formas nítidas, como desearon Wilson o Roosevelt para remediar el caos posterior a las dos guerras mundiales. 

Pero no hay mucho arte en el sistema internacional contemporáneo. Ni mucha estrategia. Más que el Gran Juego decimonónico, la política internacional es un juego de póquer donde se utilizan cartas como la política monetaria o la energía, y se guardan otras a la espera de la siguiente mano. Pocos socios, menos aliados y muchos rivales. Los sofisticados esquemas académicos y designios estratégicos ideados en los laboratorios políticos casan mal con la enrevesada realidad de las relaciones internacionales modernas.

Lo cierto es que, más allá de que asistimos a cambios geopolíticos de envergadura, no sabemos mucho del futuro orden internacional. Sí podemos aventurar que será un mundo multipolar o no polar, donde coexistirán, aún de forma desordenada, varios poderes de influencia dispar, muy vulnerables ante factores no estatales (desde emergencias civiles, shocks financieros hasta acciones de grupos terroristas). Un mundo donde lo doméstico se entremezcla de forma confusa con lo internacional; fenómenos aparentemente locales, como nacionalismos y xenofobia, tienen serias implicaciones geopolíticas. Imprevisibilidad e incertidumbre son palabras que reflejan nuestra perplejidad ante el orden internacional que se avecina.

Seguir leyendo en: Foreign Policy (edición española), Octubre-Noviembre 2010



US, Allies Look to take NATO from Cold War Relic to Relevance Now

With the Cold War behind them, NATO members gathering here in Lisbon for a summit on Friday will seek to assert their continued relevance. The future of the Afghan war effort will be a key part of the meeting’s agenda, and the nations will also deal with missile defense of NATO territory. The alliance will also adopt a new mission statement or “strategic concept.”

The strategic concept will aim to reinvigorate the NATO alliance 20 years after the end of the Cold War. Calling Lisbon, “one of the most important summits in the history of our alliance,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen hopes the new global outlook will prove the organization is still relevant.

“No other organization can marshal, deploy and sustain NATO’s military power,” Rasmussen said last month. “There will be other missions in future for which only NATO can fit the bill. We will have to be ready.” Read more…

Want to learn more about NATO’s New Strategic Concept? Check out this video.

As published in


The future of NATO: Fewer dragons, more snakes

NEXT week’s NATO summit in Lisbon is likely to be one of the most crucial in the 61-year history of the military alliance. Officially, the 28 members are meeting mostly to approve a new “strategic concept” that frames the threats NATO faces and the ways in which it should defend against them over the next decade.

It is 11 years since the last such concept was adopted. In that period, both the world and NATO itself have changed greatly. But attention will focus on more immediate worries: above all, the prospects for the long war in Afghanistan, the response to Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the need to “reset” NATO’s ambiguous relations with its old enemy, Russia, after the chill caused by the invasion of Georgia in 2008. All this comes at a time of tumbling European defence spending and fears that America, preoccupied by strategic competition with China and by global terrorism, sees NATO as less vital to its security than in the past.

The new strategic concept itself should be easy to agree to. It is a sensible document, the result of a report drafted by a “group of experts” led by a former American secretary of state, Madeleine Albright. Last month NATO officials were claiming that it was “98% there”, and although members continue to differ on some issues, such as the alliance’s future nuclear posture (of which more later), those will be papered over in Lisbon.

At the heart of the document is a restatement of NATO’s core commitment to collective defence, enshrined in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. However, it recognises that there is little likelihood of an orthodox military assault across the alliance’s borders. Most of the threats NATO faces are of the unconventional kind: from terrorism, rogue states with weapons of mass destruction, disruption of global supply lines, or cyber attacks on critical infrastructure such as power grids. Read more…

As published in (November 11, 2010 – From The Economist print edition)


“Long Live Lady Luck”

Thomas L. Friedman

One of the most striking things about our recent midterm elections is that foreign policy played absolutely no part in the voting — and for that we have Lady Luck, and some good intelligence work, to thank. In fact, in the past year we’ve won the lottery five times in row. How often does that happen?

Let’s review: We got incredibly lucky that the Al Qaeda-inspired Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was unable to detonate the explosives sewn into his underpants, as his Delta airliner, with 278 passengers, was approaching the Detroit airport last Christmas Day. Ditto for Faisal Shahzad, whose homemade bomb packed into a 1993 Nissan Pathfinder failed to go off after he detonated it in a crowded Times Square on May 1. In February, thanks to good intelligence work, Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan immigrant, pleaded guilty in a New York courtroom to plotting with Al Qaeda to kill himself — and as many other people as possible — by setting off a bomb in a New York City subway near the anniversary of 9/11. Read more…

As published in

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