The approach to research in global security from the perspective of the life sciences presents a number of challenges. NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) and ESF (European Science Foundation), aware of the importance of this endeavor, have commissioned l’Institut Français d’Analyse Stratégique (IFAS) to organize a number of activities aimed at identifying potential areas for research. This book presents the findings of these investigations.
Whilst the life sciences will of course continue their traditional activities and research, the intention is to establish an additional 'security-oriented sector' for the new generation. Each discipline will contribute knowledge and specific methodologies to achieve an innovative interdisciplinary approach: history, geography, ethnology and psychology will interact with sociology, anthropology, philosophy and many other disciplines. The life sciences, social sciences, humanities and others including theology and the arts can work together under the umbrella of security.
Since the end of the Cold War, the predominantly military security focus has been extended to include an interaction between individual and global spheres: the individual dimension (human security) and the 'planet' dimension, as well as the related perception of connections between mankind and a fragile environment.
This book takes into account the basic principles and the variables which must be considered to enable organizations worldwide, such as the EU (European Union), NATO, ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) and SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) to work together and to define areas of research for all institutes, think tanks and individuals willing to integrate into the extended security research network which is already being built.
Identifying new paths and new approaches to researching global security through the life sciences in the years to come is indeed a daunting challenge, for two major reasons. The first is a shift in the perception of security. The second is related to the recent involvement of new disciplines in this field, while, at the same time, it has also been necessary to adapt traditional security research to the new perception.
Aware of the importance of that endeavor, NATO and ESF (European Science Foundation) have created a joint program aimed at identifying the various areas for research. L'Institut Français d'Analyse Stratégique (IFAS) has been commissioned to organize a number of activities for that purpose, the findings of which result in the present report.
Our task is - and will continue to be - to identify all the paths for security research for the next generation. Of course, the life sciences will continue with their ordinary activities and research according to their own nature and goals, but it is the intention to create an additional security-oriented sector. Creating such a sector suggests that each discipline will contribute its own knowledge and specific methodologies, bearing in mind that a security orientation will help to create an innovative, cross-disciplinary approach. History should collaborate with geography, ethnology needs psychology, and vice-versa. Together they will interact with sociology, anthropology, philosophy and many other disciplines under the umbrella of security.
Having recognized that general proposition as the fundamental principle of our activity, we need to consider several adjustment variables related to the general transformation of a post Cold War world.
The Cold War was characterized by an ambiguity in the field of security and defense studies. Military studies were clearly limited to large-scale operations and tactics, sometimes they could reach strategic level, but they were all about war: conduct, preparation, planning. The nuclear dimension was a major area of study, and technology was seen as a crucial factor for more efficient, more lethal, weapons systems.
In parallel, some countries, particularly in the northern part of Europe, developed specific security studies for arms control and peacekeeping operations, according to their culture and national interests. Those nations were more inclined to consider a broader if not softer concept of security, military concerns being only part of it. For example, in the former Federal Republic of Germany, the notion of Sicherheit competed with defense studies in the context of the Ostpolitk initiated by Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. Several institutes emerged with the sole purpose of establishing knowledge, data and analysis which differed from the bipolar sources of information. Therefore, security studies developed in the civilian academic world, but they hardly acquired full recognition as an autonomous discipline. One of the main reasons for this was the traditional existence of specific military training dedicated to the development of high-ranking officers and including training specific to their role. A second major reason is related to the desire of existing disciplines to maintain a security component: law, history, sociology, psychology and others traditionally dealt with war, peace and security and were very reluctant to allow security studies to attain full autonomy. That situation still prevails to some extent. However, there are strong incentives for structural reform.
Such trends have been paralleled by the evolution of NATO as a military organization. WMD, energy security and communications security have evolved a higher profile far beyond the traditional concern about logistics and supply for military operations.
Non-conventional security issues, including human security, have expanded the notion of security, creating an interaction between individual and global spheres. Many companies which traditionally were purely oriented towards military business have reoriented their activities towards security, or created new units aimed at satisfying the new security needs of counter terrorism. Many of those approaches were, locally, based upon technology as the main, if not the only, response to security concerns.
A major shift in the relationship between security and defense includes two key factors: first, the individual dimension (human security), second the ‘planet dimension’ of the ‘global village’ or ‘Earth Security’, and the related perception of connections between mankind and a fragile environment.
Those two topics are becoming more and more interdependent and interactive. As a result, non-traditional security studies are on the increase all over the world. These mutations, which are a combination of long-term and short-term concerns history, geopolitics, ideologies and the related mutations in the balance of power, need to be addressed through a variety of structures.
Since the end of the Cold War, the concept of security has made a great leap forward which can be divided into two periods.
First, the impact of the Balkan wars (1991-1999). New responsibilities arose for the EU as it addressed a new kind of security matter: peace building through civilian/military cooperation, and the step by step introduction of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defense Policy (ESDP).
Second, 9/11/2001 and the subsequent terrorist atrocities in London (2003) and Madrid (2004), generated a major and irreversible shift. The strategic concept of the EU put forward by Mr. Solana, former Secretary General of NATO and elaborated by a team chaired by General Naumann, former Chief of Staff and head of the NATO Military Committee, addressed the new challenges, bringing together security and defense. In countries like France, new white papers addressed defense and security as deeply interwoven topics in order to create a continuum which can meet the challenges of another continuum: risk, threat and danger.
EU, NATO, ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations), SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization), etc. have modified, or are in the process of modifying, their missions according to new questions and concerns of various natures, with international terrorism, pandemics and natural disasters being on the list.
Some organizations approach security from a different perspective. The background of NATO is military defense, and it is considering security in a new way, giving priority to ‘hard security’, i.e. WMD and terrorism. Other organizations, like the EU, have gradually integrated security as a new dimension to their activities because of terrorism and the need to address all forms of disaster. As a new regional body, the SCO has its own agenda, subject to many adjustments.
In addition, we must take into account the significant gap between those who belong to the ‘defense and security’ community because they have made their entire career in that field, and those coming from the outside, who have a new interest in this field. They discover that things have been in motion for sometime.
Most, if not all, of the members of our committee must recognize that they belong to the Cold War or immediate post Cold War generation.
The new generation (45 years old and younger) have a different perception, but are ignorant of some fundamentals of security and need to be educated – at the same time we must also learn from them.
Most of the nations belonging to NATO and the EU share the same history. Although Western Europe and Eastern Europe see their security interests differently, they share a common and sometimes painful legacy.
But cultural perceptions remain strikingly different, if not divergent, when it comes to the different domains of security. Those variables have shaped our approach in terms of security research.
We must take into account what has been achieved - what has become or is the state of the art - but at the same time we are obliged to consider all the variables and address them as properly as we can.
Taking into account the basic principle and the variables, we should work together in order to define bold new paths and areas for research for all the institutes, think-tanks and individuals who are willing to join us and to integrate the research network we have already begun to build.
Such a network should not be restricted to EU and NATO members. It should encompass other areas in the world - notably the emerging countries - and/or connect with existing networks already operating in different parts of the world, for example in South East Asia (through ASEAN).
There are five inter-related dimensions to global security. Unless all of them are attended to security will not ensue. Human nature is moulded by three factors, only one of which- ‘amorality’- can realistically be shaped for the better. Ten non-traditional areas of further research are adduced.
In today's ever more complex and interdependent world some ‘intangibles' of security are actually quite ‘tangible’. Understanding a wide range of relevant factors is essential if security is to be achieved and maintained. Whereas NATO's role is sometimes stated to be responding to conflicts it would surely be helpful if it also had a role in foreseeing and preventing conflicts. A good example of this would be an effort to curtail the selling (on the part of under paid soldiers) of surplus small arms in former Soviet states, which the author has herself witnessed. Networks of various parties- governmental, military, NGOs, etc.- can aid in this, and are indeed required for these efforts to be successful.
The financial problems in the region in the late 1990s caused political turmoil but that is now resolved. China's continuing rapid economic growth will have major consequences, including a massive rearmament programme- for what ultimate purpose? Though no two democracies have ever gone to war with each other, the transition to democracy is a very dangerous process (e.g. Iraq), which most of the states in this region have yet to experience. What will the results be-especially considering that two of them (China and North Korea) have nuclear capabilities?
Global trends in violence over recent decades vary greatly by region and conflict-type. Coups have become less frequent, as have wars between states. Intrastate conflicts have become more common, particularly since the end of the Cold War, but fortunately they tend to be less deadly. Another trend is an increase in the proportion of wars which end in negotiated settlements rather than military victory for one side. There is a strong negative correlation between the level of democracy in a region and the number of conflicts it experiences (and vice versa).
François Gere, Denis Hadjovic, David Rodin, JL Samaan
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Because security is central to humankind, societies and other organized groups, the notion has different meanings, depending on history, geography, culture and the nature of governments. Therefore it would be presumptuous and vain to pretend to lock the notion of security into a single dogmatic definition which would be immediately challenged by many others. A universal definition could be provided only by hard science which in that realm seems to be irrelevant or by a universal agreement among all the parties involved, still in limbo. Therefore, we will consider security from two empirical points of view linked by the notion of contract: political and economic. Security is not a scholarly discipline in itself with full recognition and a systematic presence in the traditional academic community. As a domain, security needs to be expanded far beyond the military and law enforcement domains, not just in order to counter current international terrorist activities in-depth but also to meet all the other requirements. Here we need historians, anthropologists, and others to do research and offer usable conclusions for a better understanding of security. If indeed we may assume that the demand for security has always existed, it is clear that it has dramatically expanded along with the evolution of human societies and the globalization of human activities. Modeling, elaboration of new models and the combining of models are needed. The initial exploratory workshop was dedicated to those matters. As a first step for further inquiry, we have limited ourselves to a general descriptive statement, not a normative definition. Security appears as “the ability to live, work and prosper on a daily basis. It is the main duty of the State to provide security both internal and external to each member of the collectivity/community of citizens”. Conversely, individuals who have agreed to enter into a society should assume their responsibility in order to contribute to their own security, the organization of which is provided by the State.
China provides a useful case-study for the changing face of security. The governments of Imperial China, Nationalist China and Communist China all had very different views of and approaches to security. As the country has moved towards a form of capitalism in recent times its approach has changed once more; whereas before there were six principal challenges in this area there are today six entirely different principal challenges. While today the Chinese military is extremely strong, no doubt primarily to dissuade foreign aggression, Chinese participation in international peace-keeping is also now an important factor.
The human mind has evolved over millions of years to survive in conditions of scarcity. In recent decades however, as a result of technological developments, the environment, political and social, has changed significantly. We are inundated with information, with access to material goods and to hyper-stimulation. The effect has been to overwhelm the delicate balances in the brain's decision-making areas as we struggle to make sense of everything. Resilience to cope with the changes is low. There is an increase in the perception of, or ‘feelings’ of, insecurity and fear. This is manifesting at the personal level with chronic stress and addictions, at societal level with a breakdown of hierarchies and institutions and at an international level with more sophisticated serious organised crime and the growth of religious extremism. A model of education based on an understanding of the human being as a whole person, physical, mental, moral and relational is required to help us adapt to the changes. The model would include lessons on how we actually learn; how the reward circuitry (temptation centre) of the brain operates and how imbalances reflect moral choice; conflict management skills based on integrative complexity; applied psychological skills that are compatible with spiritual practices and which strengthen mental resilience, ethical behaviour, promote creativity and social engagement. With such a model of education, peace, cooperation and security at both the individual and community levels could be enhanced. Research into these proven techniques for wider scale application is required.
Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) is a good example of a state which has successfully pulled itself away from a state of total insecurity to relative security. After the brutal wars of the 1990s the region has managed, with international help, to maintain a peaceful and increasingly secure and prosperous future. Militias have been disarmed, the armed forces have been depoliticised and some regional states (including BiH) have been allowed to join international security groups like NATO. This is a long process that is far from completely fulfilled, but the increase in national security in BiH has allowed individual human security to flourish, and vice versa- the security of nations and the individuals who live in them are inextricably linked.
Being Muslim Being British is a primary prevention initiative that raises participants' levels of integrative complexity (IC) as a means of preventing violent extremism and promoting social cohesion. The approach is based on changing ‘us-vs.-them’ perceptions of social reality by improving the quality of people's information processesing – achieving high Integrative Complexity (Suedfeld 2003), particularly in the domain of values, and is reputedly one of the first prevention programmes with empirically measurable outcomes benchmarked against extremist violence. Assessment research based on seven pilot courses around the UK (each course comprising eight modules) shows that IC rises significantly by the end of the course, in comparison with IC levels before the course, and that high IC significantly correlates with participants' choosing of pro-social activism rather than violent mobilisation. This chapter discusses the theoretical background for the intervention, and describes how the eight module course works, with illustrations from participant's verbalisations. Finally, the chapter positions this intervention with other forms of prevention in use around the world and details next steps in this work.
Algeria is a state where Islamism has been culturally dominant for several decades. It began as a feature of the nationalist movement that grew up to resist French colonialism. (It is not, as is sometimes claimed, due to foreign influences.) From 1989 onwards Islamism has been politically dominant too, and this has resulted in both legal and extra-legal attempts to stymie research into the sociological aspects of religion in the country since the government sees such work as ‘un-Islamic’. Such a climate does, of course, make academic study in this area very difficult.
To foster a more in-depth understanding of the psychological processes leading to terrorism, the author conceptualizes the terrorist act as the final step on a narrowing staircase. Although the vast majority of people, even when feeling deprived and unfairly treated, remain on the ground floor, some individuals climb up and are eventually recruited into terrorist organizations. These individuals believe they have no effective voice in society, are encouraged by leaders to displace aggression onto out-groups, and become socialized to see terrorist organizations as legitimate and out-group members as evil. The current policy of focusing on individuals already at the top of the staircase brings only short-term gains. The best long-term policy against terrorism is prevention, which is made possible by nourishing contextualized democracy on the ground floor.
It has become fashionable to seek technical solutions to terrorist threats, but this is only part of the answer. More important are seeking security for the intangible human practices that make us all what we are: citizens, tax-payers, workers, church-goers, etc.- i.e. members of civil society. If this is lost then we lose something more important than mere material goods or infrastructure (as is typical in terrorist attacks)- we lose our very selves. History shows that if populations feel they are well governed and have a just common cause they will cheerfully put up with even great hardships (e.g. the ‘Blitz Spirit’), but will not do so if they distrust what their government is doing in response to a threat (e.g. the US after 9/11). Five suggestions for further research in this area are offered.
The findings of neuroscience in respect of organization of social life need to be more widely known and acted upon. The use of neuroactive drugs, even those medically prescribed, can be harmful as well as beneficial in a number of ways. A systems approach to the human brain/mind and behaviour (i.e. taking into account all genetic, physical, mental and external factors) is more useful in making the mentally unwell better and in improving their behaviour. Removing violent factors from the environment of children is particularly important in this regard. ‘Intangible security’ will be greatly aided by researching what the optimal environment for healthy human minds might be; by finding non-damaging substitutes for dangerous psychoactive drugs; and by stopping the distortion of neuromorality (i.e. the in-built basic ethical ‘module’ shared by all normal humans) by political and other powerful social interests.
Proposed types of responses to various kinds of disaster, both natural and man-made. The importance of listening to groups who are generally ignored, particularly women. A number of areas for future study are identfied which should lead to better preparation for disasters on the part of both experts and (the widest possible number of) stakeholders.
The traditional notion of national and international security as basically avoiding war between and preventing invasion of/by other states has, perforce, been superseded in recent years. In the post-Cold War period ‘human security’ has become extremely important, particularly since 9/11, and in light of subsequent Islamist attacks on the West. To provide all human beings with such personal ‘securities’ as a secure food supply, human and civil rights, a clean and safe environment, etc.. has become recognised both by researchers in the field and by international bodies such as the UN as of paramount importance. A more integrated approach to studying this area is required to achieve the desired results of integrated security- i.e. from the human to the international level.
Multi-disciplinary research is needed on the human aspects of disaster management. Sociological research has been prominent in this field in recent decades Furthermore the tools available to do it have multiplied and improved in that time. There is a problem, however, with data access. Much of the data from these studies has yet to be digitized. Better organization and integration of researchers and technology is needed so as to maximize the outcomes of disaster research and minimize duplication of work.
Disasters that strike over a large area- such as large power blackouts-are especially hard to tackle since they preclude simply utilizing the resources of nearby unaffected areas. The number of such outages has been steadily rising in the US for decades, due to accidents and natural causes, but the possibility of relevant terrorist attacks must be considered too. Such events have cascading effects in a modern, technologically inter-connected state- transport, telecoms, water, and other infrastructure networks are soon affected by loss of power. These problems, and their solutions are multi-faceted and involve a number of agencies and institutions. Not only must electrical infrastructure be made more resilient so as to reduce the likelihood of large-scale failure, but procedures must be developed to make affected systems run again as soon as possible.
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