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The Inescapable Global Security Arena

Authored by Dr. Max G. Manwaring. | April 2002

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Global political violence is clashing with global economic integration. More often than not, the causes and consequences of the resultant instabilities tend to be exploited by such destabilizers as rogue states, substate and transnational political actors, insurgents, illegal drug traffickers, organized criminals, warlords, ethnic cleansers, militant fundamentalists, and 1,000 other ?snakes with a cause??and the will to conduct terrorist and other asymmetric warfare. The intent is to impose self-determined desires for ?change? on a society, nation-state, and/or other perceived symbols of power in the global community?and, perhaps, revert to the questionable glories of the 12th century.

In these conditions?exacerbated by the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, and by the devastating U.S.-led attacks on Afghanistan subsequently?the United States has little choice but to reexamine and rethink national and global stability and security?and a peaceful and more prosperous tomorrow.

To help civilian and military leaders to come to grips analytically with the implications of the realities of the contemporary global security environment, the author attempts several things. First, he outlines the violent characteristics of the new security arena. Second, he briefly examines the relationship of the central strategic problems in the contemporary environment?terrorism and governance. Third, he describes the complex threat situation. Fourth, he presents a basic outline for a reasoned multidimensional political-economic-stability capability-building response to these problems. Finally, he enumerates some civil-military implications for playing effectively in the global security arena. His recommendations focus on implications for the military in general and the U.S. Army in particular.