The Developing Global Crisis: What Security Practitioners and Policy Makers Need to Know

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The Developing Global Crisis: What Security Practitioners and Policy Makers Need to Know

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The Developing Global Crisis: What Security Practitioners and Policy Makers Need to Know Abstract (d7, for “Global Security and Intelligence Studies” of American Military University.) General Michael Flynn asks why we don’t win wars anymore. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper claims we cannot fix the problems in the Middle East where so many of our troops and related forces have been deployed for so long. This essay attempts to explain why. We have been addressing mainly symptoms instead of causes, and since the causes continue, the wars don’t stop. The “Developing Global Crisis” involves at least six factors that are difficult for anyone to deal with. Each has military consequences, but few respond well to military force. The result is hundreds of millions of poorly educated teen aged males maturing into desperate circumstances of failed or failing states where they encounter demagogues and WMDs instead of opportunities. The factors I allude to include: 1) population growth and population pressure (not the same things) , 2) corruptions of governance that prevent solutions, 3) growing income inequalities within and between nations, 4) militant religion(s), 5) rising authoritarianism in politics worldwide, and 6) global warming. Bombing global warming cools nothing and brings no rain, but global warming can definitely contribute to the collapse of states like Syria, which then export millions of their desperate people into neighbors like Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey that are in turn destabilized to some degree. Even Europe feels the stress of a million sudden immigrants, so we will consider the case of Syria in particular. But what is happening there is happening in far too many other desert states today. Keywords: demographics, failed states, terrorism, intelligence, corruption


This paper was written for the American Military University journal "Global Security and Intelligence Studies" at the encouragement of one of their professors, but in the end the editors thought it was too radical for their readership. It was a close call. A certain amount of tension between pointing toward long-term, strategic causes of conflicts and downplaying the importance of tactical, temporary advantages is inevitable. I have certainly encountered this hundreds if not thousands of times in large and small ways, so it is very familiar. So it was never ultimately published by them, but is a polished, finished paper appropriate for a collection like this. As the title suggests, it also focuses on some of those practical implications for intelligence professionals, that are often lacking in theoretical papers.

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Andregg, Michael M.. (2016). The Developing Global Crisis: What Security Practitioners and Policy Makers Need to Know. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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