21 December 2018


Sergiu Medar

Image source: Mediafax

In a series of articles that we are going to publish in Defence and Security Monitor, we will be presenting you the perspective of our team about the possible political and security evolutions around the world, for the following year. Without being exhaustive, these estimations will be based on the data collected from opened sources, on 2018’s reality analysis, in their dynamic and, not least, on authors analytical experience. After a general analysis of global security’s possible evolutions in 2019, we will be presenting the political and security foresights for the main geographical areas and for the main geopolitical actors.

Chapter I

The global political and security situation-2019 forecast

At the beginning of 2018, Antonio Guterres, UN’s General Secretary, was saying: “At the beginning of this new year, 2018, I do not make a warning, but I am announcing a red code for the entire world”.

His estimation proved to be right as, at a global level, were opened many other new insecurity chapters and none of the existent ones was closed. This means that none of world’s conflictual situation found its solution. Hence, we can say that 2019 will the most complicated year since the end of the World War II.

In an interview held on 19th of July 2018 for the Financial Times, Henry Kissinger was mentioning that “We are in a very, very grave period”, underlining world’s changing uncontrolled process.

2019 will have to find solutions for world’s multiple political and security issues, which remained unsolved in 2018, but also for the new ones to come. This difficult challenge must be solved given the disadvantageous environment, due to some new economic and political conditions, but also to some important paradigm changes.

Firstly, we must realize that we have passed to world’s fourth industrial transformation. The first industrial transformation of the world was happening between 18-19 centuries, in Europe and US. It included society’s transformation from an agrarian form to one based on urbanization and industrialization. Iron’s manufacturing industries, the textile ones, as well as the steam engine have played an important role in the first industrial revolution.

The second industrial revolution took place between 1870-1914, before the World War I. It was developed because of steel’s industry development, the use of oil and electric energy. There were made major technological changes, as the phone, light bulb, phonograph and the internal combustion engine discovery.

The third industrial revolution was called the digital revolution. It started in 1980 and continues to be developed these days too. It refers to the transition from electronics and analogical mechanisms to the digital ones. A world without a personal computer, interned and intelligence technology and communication is, at the moment, inconceivable.

The fourth industrial revolution started in 2016 and it was confirmed through the Economic Forum from Davor, from the same year. It is about the implementation of the 3D printers or autonomous vehicles in the society and the biological system of the new technological achievements in robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnologies, biotechnologies, “Internet of Things”.

2019 is the year wherein this fourth revolution will become more and more integrated in social life, with society’s fundamental elements, but also with the ones which are supporting some states’ aggressivity.  There are already applied fourth generation elements of the war, the hybrid war being considered as its extension, with terrorist and organized crimes elements.  Through the possible use of the cosmic space for conflicts, the discussions and projects about concrete features, with mostly aggressive purposes, have started. There are more and more talks about fourth generation espionage and counterespionage.

The large-scale profiling and brains’ manipulation are fourth generation’s war well-known features. The new year will be the year wherein these new ways and means will be materialized. Their use will be part of any electoral campaign from all interested states over the world.

2019 is the year wherein the New International Order, started in 2017 and extended in 2018, will reach its climax. It is hard to predict if this order will have positive or negative effects. Globalism is a new concept that many states of the world are abandoning. The collective interest is not a desideratum anymore for the states to aim at. Globalism’s positive valence is the one by which states are trying to find mechanism to reach their national interests with and especially not to bother to much on to another in reaching their purposes. It is remarkable that the main confrontation in the dialogue between world’s main actors, from 2018, were about reaching their national interests, and not the collective ones. Reaching wealth, as a national interest, was a goal aimed at with pragmatism and, sometimes, with cynicism and with no collective interest.

The globalism concept, as an official paradigm, was abandoned by many states which passed to multilateralism, suggesting that the pathway to collective interest passes through the national one, and not vice versa. Furthermore, some important international actors are applying, officially or not, unilateralism, pragmatically following only their economic growth.

According to some analysts from the economic field, of the famous magazine The Economist, capitalism, as society’s political and economic development form, seems to be at its wit’s end. Passing to another economic and social organization form could be made through “creative destruction”. The same concept, “constructive destruction through war?” was debated also last year, in autumn, under Putin’s mediation, at the Valdai group conference. 2019 will probably allow the clarification of this way of thinking and the featuring of the direction towards world’s economy is heading.

Between 1990-2019 the western states, hoping that Russia is becoming a democratic state, did not want to bother it, not even with a negative affirmation about its evolution, denying any warning coming from the East European states according to which it was only an evanescent quiet. Unfortunately, states turned out to be right and Russia rebecame the aggressive state that history already met. The sanctions applied to Russia in 2018 will be extended in 2019 also, through the December decision. All of this aside, Russia continued to get armed and threat the limitrophe states.  As consequence, NATO, which is now aware of the Russian danger, is dislocating weaponry and other capabilities in East European states to discourage Russia’s potential aggressive intention. This tendency will be amplified more in 2019, so that the danger of a regional conflict close to Russia’s West border to be, at any moment, combated.

History’s grey times, wherein political, social, economic changes have been made in the world, generated instability in this three fields. Thee produced confusions, generated contradictions between the states which had good relations before, led to negative evolutions, economically speaking, for the states wherein the financial crisis and the economic one was a more and more accentuated threat. When all of these were associated with armed forces arming and dislocations, as methods of coercive diplomacy, all the conditions for major conflicts were complete.

The tolerance which should create an efficient dialogue does not exist for the moment. Although summoned up by many specialists, world’s new international order, though unofficial, can provoke imbalances and unexpected and unacceptable changes which can start a conflict. 2019 has everything to create such a condition.