Archive for August, 2012

Climate Change 2030: More Extreme Weather

Empirical evidence alone—without reference to climate models—indicates that a general warming trend is affecting weather and ecosystems with increasing impacts on humans. Recent weather has been characterized by an increase in the frequency of extreme weather events—floods, droughts, tornadoes, glacial lake outbreaks, extreme coastal high-water levels, heat waves, cold spells, etc—and this will continue during the next 20 years.

According to the recent IPCC Special Report on Extreme Events (SREX), climate and socioeconomic trends will reinforce extreme weather, making it more frequent and intense. Although the number of tropical and extratropical cyclones probably will not increase, the average maximum wind speed for tropical cyclones will increase. Meanwhile, population growth and economic development will widen the exposure of people and property. The key unknown is whether improved disaster risk management measures will be adopted to effectively cope with these changing conditions by 2030.

Food security has been aggravated partly because during the last two decades the world’s land masses are experiencing weather conditions outside of expected norms. Observed temperature increases (though enhanced in the Arctic) are not solely a high-latitude phenomenon. Recent scientific work shows that temperature anomalies during growing seasons and droughts have lessened agricultural productivity. Degraded agriculture productivity, when coupled with more protectionist national policies tightening global supply, undercuts food security, especially in impoverished regions.

Flows in the Nile, Tigris-Euphrates, Niger, Amazon, and Mekong river basins have been diminished by droughts that have been persistent over the past decade. These trends are consistent with the expected effects of increased greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere, but due to the limited observational record (60 years) and a lack of understanding of decadal variability, one cannot discount the possibility that observed trends are due to other natural causes of weather variability.

Dramatic and unforeseen changes are occurring at a faster rate than expected in regions with frozen water. Current estimates suggest that Arctic summer sea ice will vanish in the period 2030-2050. Changes are occurring in the major ice shelves (Greenland and Antarctica) that were unforeseen even five years ago. Future rates of change are currently unpredictable because observed changes have outpaced the development of ice-prediction models. Scientists now estimate sea-level rise (SLR) of one meter or greater by the end of the century, most of which is expected to occur toward the end of the century. Sea-level rise could increase with rapid melt of either the Greenland Ice Sheet or the West Antarctica Ice Shelf. In the next 20 years, barring collapse of the ice shelves, the SLR trend will be modest and consistent with the recent record, about 3.3±0.4mm/year (that is, an additional ~2.5 inches global average sea-level rise). However, even this change, when coupled with potential storm surges from more intense storms and subsidence of delta lands, will have a significant adverse impact on coastal regions and Pacific small-island states.

Improved understanding of the changes in the stratosphere reveal that the ozone layer over the northern hemisphere is diminishing, leading to the possibility of greater ultraviolet (UV) radiation over northern hemisphere countries. Based on a better understanding of climate sensitivity and emissions, the present emissions pathway will lead to approximately 2°C warming by mid-century and approximately 3° to 6°C by end of century, depending on economic performance, technological advances, and energy policy. By 2030 the emissions trajectory will be cast, determining this century’s climate outcome.

by Steven Pinker

Like the other contributors to this conversation, I agree with the statement attributed to Yogi Berra that predictions are hard, especially about the future. No responsible person can predict with certainty whether the Long Peace among great powers and developed states will persist. And because we can witness the unfolding of only one universe one time, any statement of probability can be no more than a statement the theorist’s level of subjective confidence.

Still, that level of confidence can be justified to varying degrees, and it seems to me the quantitative trends underlying The Long Peace (nicely superimposed into a single graph by Allan Dafoe in his introduction) reflect genuine changes in the international system. That is, they are not just a gambler’s lucky streak that is sure to run out, an artifact of the way that wars and their human costs are counted, or a temporary lull in an inexorable cycle.  As such they support a reasonable degree of confidence that The Long Peace will persist (subject to a class of exceptions I will present at the end of this essay).

None of the reasons to dismiss the trends underlying The Long Peace strike me as sound. The wisecracks about the man plummeting off the skyscraper shouting “So far so good!” and the turkey on the eve of Thanksgiving celebrating the 364-day period of coexistence between humans and turkeys respectively assume that history is driven by an inexorable directional force or by a strict cycle. Neither theory of history is supported by data on long-term trends in wars involving great powers or developed countries. In Better Angels I summarized these data (from Jack Levy, Lewis Richardson, Peter Brecke, and others) as a superposition of four patterns (p. 192): (1) No cycles; (2) A big dose of randomness; (3) A long-term escalation in the destructiveness of war, which made a substantial U-turn after 1945; and (4) Long-term declines in the frequency and duration of war. Multiplying the trends in (3) and (4) yields the overall decline in war that we call The Long Peace, and Factor (2) should keep us humble and cautious. But nothing supports the systematic pessimism of the fables about plummeting men or complacent turkeys.

Nor do the cautionary tales about pre-World-War I optimism tell us much, except that we should always be cautious. First, the infamous Norman Angell did not predict that war was impossible, only that it was economically irrational. He feared that ideology and fear might lead the leaders of great powers to blunder into a disastrous war, and he was right. Second, though the world of a century ago had seen unprecedented levels of trade and economic integration, Bruce Russett and John Oneal have shown that when they are measured quantitatively (as a proportion of GDP) they are a tiny fraction of the levels the world has seen since 1945 (Better Angels, p. 286). Russett and Oneal’s two other statistical predictors of peace (democracy and membership in intergovernmental organizations) are also far higher today, and other indicators of war-readiness such as the prevalence and length of conscription, the proportion of the population in uniform, overall prosperity, and the political participation of women are also more favorable today. In the realm of ideas, romantic militarism and nationalism have ceded ground to war aversion and liberal humanism, and of course nowadays we have knowledge of two destructive world wars and an awareness of the possibility of a nuclear catastrophe. In no other realm of human experience could one credibly say that we have learned nothing in the past century and that the assessments of today are no more trustworthy than those of a hundred years ago.

There is, of course, a tragic-poetic vision of the human condition in which we are condemned to repeat history, to be felled by our own hubris, to regress to our nature red in tooth and claw, and so on, but it is not grounded in historical or biological fact. If The Long Peace endures, it would not be the first time in history that a longstanding barbaric institution has been abolished or at least decimated. Wars involving great powers and developed states could very well join human sacrifice, chattel slavery, public torture-executions, auto-da-fés, debtors’ prisons, bear-baiting, foot-binding, gentlemanly dueling, witch hunts, and trephination on the ash heap of history.

Nor does a realistic, nonromantic view of human nature require perpetual war (and I can speak with some authority on this, having championed a thoroughly unsentimental understanding of the crooked timber of humanity in How the Mind Works and The Blank Slate).  Though Homo sapiens undoubtedly evolved with violent instincts, those instincts are triggered by particular circumstances; they are not a hydraulic urge that must periodically be discharged. And though we evolved motives that can erupt in violence, we also evolved motives that can inhibit violence, including self-control, empathy, a sense of fairness, and open-ended cognitive mechanisms that can devise technologies for reducing violence.

None of this is to say that The Long Peace must endure. On top of the many systematic trends that militate against the resumption of great-power and developed-state war, there are the black swans, long tails, and unknown unknowns that could poke big spikes up into the declining gradient. Perhaps there is some charismatic politician working his way up through the Chinese nomenklatura who dreams of rectifying the intolerable insult of Taiwan once and for all, provoking an American or international response. Perhaps an aging Putin will seek historical immortality and restore Russian greatness by swallowing a former Soviet republic or two. Perhaps terrorists from some liberation movement no one has heard of are plotting an attack of unprecedented destruction, or a utopian ideology is fermenting in the mind of a cunning fanatic somewhere who will take over a major country and try to impose it everywhere.

Certainly no one could rule out these low-probability/high-impact events, or even begin to estimate their cumulative probability. But acknowledging our ignorance about improbable, trend-defying events is different from denying the existence of the trends. It seems to me that the Long Peace is a genuine trend that clusters with other, more-often-than not, more-or-less successful attempts over the course of human history to contain our violent impulses.

 

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Steven Pinker is Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and the author of The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.

World War III?

by Richard Rosecrance

Much has been made of the lessening of interstate conflict over the centuries and surely since World War II.  Whether this abstention from war will continue among Great Powers, however, is a function of the cost and benefit of territorial conquest.  Historians have argued that Great Powers got little benefit from additional territory after 1815, though imperialist expansion did not end until 1945.  Since 1950, imperial powers have had to retreat from their colonies and the world has admitted more than 100 new states to the international system.  Even if present-day economic interdependence continues, however, Great Power rivalries, like those from 1890 to 1914, will persist as one major power triumphs over another and alliance systems divide the world.

Since 1500 there have been thirteen cases of one Great Power approaching or passing a hegemonic leader in economic or military terms.  Of these, all but three ended in major war.  The United States passed Britain peacefully in 1890; there was no war when the Cold War between the West and the Soviet Union came to an end, and Japan surpassed the Soviet Union economically without incident in 1983.  Two factors seem to be important in preventing war.  First, was there a mere balance of power or a favorable overbalance on the side of peace?  And second, did the erstwhile hegemon accept the territorial and other demands of the rising power?  In 1900 Britain conceded to all US requests; and in 1989, the Soviet Union faced not merely a balance but a huge overbalance of power ranged against it.  Somewhat reluctantly, Russia endorsed democratic governments in its erstwhile satellites and gave independence to its restive Western provinces including the Baltic nations, Belarus, and Ukraine.  In future, China and later India will rise to leading and perhaps hegemonic power status.  Will the United States and the West then concede all Chinese demands?  Will there be an overbalance against Chinese power, with Europe, the United States and Japan aligned together?

If not, the so-called Thucydides’ problem (where the rising power of one major state causes fear in lesser rival nations, which turn to war) might emerge once again.  To avert this outcome, the world needs to draw two conclusions:  the stronger the West, the less likely the conflict, and the more China accepts the existing rules of the international order, e.g., rule of law, intellectual property, property rights, and lessening arms races, the better the prospects of avoiding a new major clash.

The NIC document on the world in 2030 covers all possible bases without resolving these questions.  It accepts prior judgments about the decline of international conflict but also projects the possibility of war as new powers rise to hegemony, supplanting the United States.  I believe the key is to revivify the West by cementing Europe and the United States together and to tie China and India into the world trading system.  Production chains that link differentiated industries in East Asia with those in the West and Japan are entirely new and gratifying elements in the complex interdependence now in place.  These restraints did not exist in 1914.  At that time, all great powers accepted the inevitability of a new clash and did not hesitate when conflict loomed because they thought the war would be quick and it could no longer be postponed.  Today, partly because of nuclear weapons, no one thinks a conflict is inevitable.  The remaining uncertainty is whether a gradually liberalizing China will adhere to the rules of the game noted above, as it allows its internal provinces to follow more closely the models of Taiwan and Hong Kong.

 

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  • Richard Rosecrance is Director of the US-China Relations Program of the Belfer Center in Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Adjunct Professor of Public Policy and Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center, and Distinguished Research Professor of Political Science at UCLA.   Among many other books, he has written, The Rise of the Trading StateThe Rise of the Virtual State, and forthcoming, The Return of the West: To Prevent Another World War I  (Yale University Press, Spring, 2013).

by Benjamin Fordham 

I enjoyed Jack Levy’s comments on how the world would have looked to people writing in 1912. As part of my current research, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the three decades before World War I. As Levy pointed out, this last period of great power peace has some interesting parallels with the present one. Like today, the international economy had become increasingly integrated. For good reason, some even refer to this period as the “first age of globalization.” The period also saw the emergence of several new great powers, including Japan, Germany, and the United States. Like emerging powers today, each of these states sought to carve out its own world role and to find, as the German Foreign Secretary put it, a “place in the sun.” Like Levy, I don’t think these parallels we are doomed to repeat the catastrophe of 1914. I want to highlight the different institutional rules governing the international economic system today. The dangers discussed in the NIC report are real, but there is reason for hope when it comes to avoiding great power war.

The rules of the game governing the “first age of globalization” encouraged great powers to pursue foreign policies that made political and military conflict more likely. Declining transportation costs, not more liberal trade policies, drove economic integration. There was no web of international agreements discouraging states from pursuing protectionist trade policies. As Patrick McDonald‘s recent book, The Invisible Hand of Peace, explains nicely, protectionism went hand-in-hand with aggressive foreign policies. Many of the great powers, including the emerging United States, sought to shut foreign competitors out of their home markets even as they sought to expand their own overseas trade and investment. Even though markets and investment opportunities in less developed areas of the world were small, great power policy makers found these areas attractive because they would not export manufactured products. As one American policy maker put it in 1899, they preferred “trade with people who can send you things you ant and cannot produce, and take from you in return things they want and cannot produce; in other words, a trade largely between different zones, and largely with less advanced peoples….” Great powers scrambled to obtain privileged access to these areas through formal or informal imperial control. This zero-sum competition added a political and military component to economic rivalry. Increasing globalization made this dangerous situation worse, not better, in spite of the fact that it also increased the likely cost of a great power war.

In large part because of the international economic institutions constructed after World War II, present day great powers do not face a world in which protectionism and political efforts to secure exclusive market access are the norm. Emerging as well as longstanding powers can now obtain greater benefits from peaceful participation in the international economic system than they could through the predatory foreign policies that were common in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They do not need a large military force to secure their place in the sun. Economic competition among the great powers continues, but it is not tied to imperialism and military rivalry in the way it was in 1914.

These international institutional differences are probably more important for continuing great power peace than is the military dominance of the United States. American military supremacy reduces uncertainty about the cost and outcome of a hegemonic war, making such a war less likely. However, as in the 19th Century, higher growth rates in emerging powers strongly suggest that the current American military edge will not last forever. Efforts to sustain it will be self-defeating if they threaten these emerging powers and set off a spiral of military competition. Similarly, major uses of American military power without the support (or at least the consent) of other great powers also risk leading these states to build up their military capabilities in order to limit American freedom of action. The United States will be better served by policies that enhance the benefits that emerging powers like China receive from upholding the status quo.

Although the differences in international institutions give reason for optimism about continuing great power peace, there are no guarantees. These institutions are not immutable. They rest on major power policy makers’ belief that they have more to gain from participation in the present system than they do from alternative foreign policies. Right now, this belief is well founded but it could be undermined if the system ceases to bring material benefits to powers capable of undermining it. If the predatory and imperialistic foreign policies of years leading up to 1914 once again offer real benefits, I suspect that new ideological justifications for them will not be hard to find.

 

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Benjamin O. Fordham is professor of political science at Binghamton University (SUNY). His research on the role of domestic political and economic interests in foreign policy making has been published inInternational Studies QuarterlyInternational Organization, the Journal of Politics, and other journals. He is currently working on a book about the domestic politics of American foreign policy during the 1890-1914 period.

The Hazards of Forecasting

by Jack S. Levy

International relations scholars have known for years that the last six or seven decades have been the longest period of peace between the great powers in the last five centuries of the modern system, and, depending upon whom and what you count, perhaps since the Roman Empire. Extrapolating from these and other indicators, many argue that this long peace is highly likely to persist for many years into the future. Although I am less confident that other forms of warfare will continue to decline during the next two decades, and although I suspect that peoples in many parts of the world might be puzzled by the description of the period as a “long peace,” I basically share the optimism about the low likelihood of a future great power war. My optimism is tempered, however, by the recognition that political forecasting is a hazardous business, a point that I develop in these comments.

It would be instructive to imagine the dialogue on an earlier blog on the decline of war, say 100 years ago, to pick a round number. Bloggers in August 1912 would presumably have talked about some recent books bearing on this question, including Ivan Bloch’s book subtitled Is War Now Impossible?(1899) and Norman Angell’s The Great Illusion (1910). Each argued that a war between the leading industrial powers would be long, economically devastating, and socially disruptive, and consequently not rational. The strong inference was that a future great power war was unlikely because – reflecting the logic of the Global Trends 2030 report (iv) a hundred years later – “too much would be at stake.”

Our bloggers might have gone beyond these theoretical arguments to note existing trends in war and to project those trends into the future. Looking back, they had lived through the most peaceful century on record. Perhaps using words similar to those in Allan Dafoe’s introductory comments on this blog, they may have written that “There are fewer great power wars, fewer wars in Western Europe, fewer years during which a great power war is ongoing, and less redistribution of territory after wars.” A long peace between the European great powers had persisted for over four decades, the longest such period in four centuries. A hegemonic war involving nearly all the great powers had not occurred for nearly a century. But it was not just the frequency of great power war that had been in decline. The median number of battle deaths in wars continued to decline, as did the average duration of great power war. The four great power wars since the Congress of Vienna had each lasted less than a year on average, reflecting a significant decline from the wars of previous centuries. Only one European interstate war had occurred in the last three decades (the Greco-Turkish War of 1897), and it only lasted thirty days. The frequency of civil wars had declined by half over the last four decades.

The bloggers of 1912 may have emphasized that although militarized disputes between the great powers continued to occur – over Morocco in 1905, Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1908, and Agadir in 1911 – each had been resolved peacefully. This increased political leaders’ confidence that they would also be able to peacefully resolve any dispute that might arise in the future. True, some military leaders had advocated a preventive war, but those pleas had been rejected by statesmen like Bismarck. No European great power had incorporated preventive war into its national security strategy or publically used preventive logic to justify military action.

The statesmen of 1912 had other grounds for optimism. A détente continued between Great Britain and Germany, the two leading European powers in the system. That détente was motivated in part by the strong commercial and financial relationships between the two countries. In fact, Europe as a whole benefited from historically unprecedented levels of economic interdependence. This further reinforced the peace, based on the increasingly popular arguments of Norman Angell and others, that wealth was based on credit and commerce, and that territorial conquest was no longer an efficient strategy for increasing wealth.

Thus the bloggers of 1912 had reasonable grounds for forecasting a continuation of the long peace.  In fact, in many respects the quantitative trends pointing in that direction were stronger than those observed by bloggers a century later. Compared to the bloggers of 2012, the bloggers of 1912 could point to a more sustained decline in great power war and a longer period without a destructive hegemonic war.

I believe and certainly hope that the parallels between 1912 and 2012 end there. But the occurrence within two years of the Great War – which resulted in over eight million battle fatalities and which is often described as “the seminal event of the 20th century,” should be a constant reminder of the limitations of both trend-based and theory-based forecasts of the future.

 

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Jack S. Levy is Board of Governors’ Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University. He is past president of the International Studies Association and of the Peace Science Society. His most recent books include Causes of War (2010) and The Arc of War: Origins, Escalation, and Transformation (2011), each co-authored with William R. Thompson. He is co-editor (with Leonie Huddy and David O. Sears) of the second edition of the Oxford Handbook of Political Psychology (forthcoming, 2013), and he is organizing an edited volume on the First World War.

The Arc of War

–by William R. Thompson      

Forecasting the level of conflict two decades ahead is not something we political scientists are very good at – in part because we lack appropriate theories and in part because it is hard to tell how the world will look in the future.  The 2030 report appears to use a combination of projecting current trends and relying on some key indicators such as demographics to predict declining or no conflict between great powers, states in general, and within states, subject to some reservations about the possible impact of climate deterioration, resource scarcities, ascending powers, and new weapons.

I would probably make a similar but not identical projection based on different theoretical premises.  My forecast would be based on arguments developed in The Arc of War (University of Chicago Press, 2011), an examination of the evolution of warfare since its initial appearance and co-authored with Jack S. Levy.   Levy and Thompson make six general arguments.  The first one is about the origins of war and need not concern us here.  The other five do appear to be germane.

  1. War co-evolves with other activities, including military and political organization, political economy, threat environment, and weaponry.
  2. Major changes in politico-economic complexity, in particular have led to occasional transformations in warfare.  Yet, the expansion of warfare is not inexorable. An important constraint in the escalation of warfare are its costs which have influenced strongly and negatively the probability of warfare between industrialized states in the contemporary era.
  3. The pace of change/transformations in warfare has significantly accelerated three times – first in the late fourth to early third millennium BCE, then in the last half of the first millennium BCE, and again in the second half of the second millennium CE.
  4. The attempt to centralize regional political-military power is one of the major drivers of periods of acceleration and transformation, especially in the third acceleration, which was concentrated in the Western trajectory.
  5. Much of the world did not experience the third acceleration directly (other than as targets) and remains more agrarian than industrial.  As a consequence, states outside of the western trajectory tend to be weaker, vulnerable to internal warfare, and prone to fight fewer and shorter interstate wars.

Thus, warfare between industrialized major powers should continue to be regarded as too costly and therefore not very likely in the next few decades.  Interstate warfare should also continue to be infrequent mainly because most states lack the resources to engage in it for very long.   But we would expect intrastate warfare to continue more or less at current levels because so many states are vulnerable to coercive challenges at the domestic level.  Since drought and oil/water shortages seem likely and most likely to occur in places that are least able to cope with such problems, anticipating limited interstate warfare may prove to be optimistic.  But the increased problems caused by climate and scarcities may at least tell us which parts of the world are most likely to experience conflict in the near future.

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William R. Thompson is Distinguished Professor and Donald A. Rogers Professor of Political Science at Indiana University, Bloomington.  He also is Managing Editor of International Studies Quarterly. Recent books include Asian Rivalries: Conflict, Escalation, and Limitations on Two-Level GamesHandbook of International Rivalries, 1494-2010, and The Arc of War: Origins, Escalation and Transformation.  Forthcoming next year are How Rivalries End and Transition Scenarios: China and the United States in the Twenty-first Century.

The Global Trends 2030 report depicts three hypothetical future worlds and examines their implications. Roughly put, in one the U.S. turns isolationist and major conflict breaks out in Asia. In another, the U.S. and China build a productive working relationship around which the global economy flourishes. In the third, global institutions falter and major powers become the focus of regional economic blocs, hindering the world economy and technological cooperation.

In each of these scenarios, Brazil is largely a passive player. It inherits a global political, economic, and security environment that derives from other players—particularly China and the United States—and events like an Asian pandemic or international armed conflict in the Middle East. The closest Brazil comes to online casino playing an important role is one mention of a possible future in which Brazilian diplomacy brokers a peace-making agreement between China and the United States (and is rewarded, in return, a seat on the UN Security Council!).

I agree with this view, for two reasons: first, Brazil’s geographic isolation from the world’s key economic and geo-strategic zones; and two, Brazil’s lack of global presence—particularly in security affairs.

The original BRICs countries (I do not include South Africa, because it is included for political reasons, not because it appears destined to become an economic power) share several characteristics, especially market size. Brazil differs from the others, however, in a crucial way. China, India, and Russia are important to other large, influential countries not only because of their size but because they are territorially and economically involved in flash points of instability, countries and/or regions with troubles that affect core interests of powerful countries around the world. South America includes no such flash point. Naturally, this benefits Brazil because it faces relatively little interference from outside powers (the Cold War era being somewhat of an exception, though U.S. and Soviet interference was rather less severe than in East Asia, Afghanistan, or Germany). Brazil also needs not allocate resources and political attention to deter or respond to threats posed by heavily armed, nuclear capable neighbors.

Brazil’s isolation from the world’s critical chokepoints and hot spots is also a disadvantage, because it means Brazil is an important country in terms of economics and perhaps diplomacy, but not in terms of security. For other powers, Brazil is a good partner to have but not an essential one.

Brazil’s position on nuclear weapons reflects this conundrum. Brazil signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1997, a reasonable step considering Brazil faces no apparent threat to its territorial sovereignty that a nuclear weapon could be used against (i.e., no nation-state antagonist to be deterred). Critics of the decision point to India, claiming that India’s refusal to sign on to the NPT was a key reason why the U.S. under President George W. Bush announced its support for a seat online casino for India on the UN Security Council, and in general why countries with far fewer resources and far smaller economies than Brazil’s—e.g., France, the UK, Israel, Pakistan—seem to  receive more respect and generosity from other powers than Brazil. Brazil has established online casino a type of middle path. It has advanced nuclear capabilities which it uses for energy, industry, and military purposes (it aspires to build a nuclear-propulsion submarine over the next decade). It skirts and sometimes ignores online casino its NPT obligations. But it does not go so far as to build or test a weapon, a step that dgfev online casino could not help but destabilize its regional relations.

Another, related, factor that limits Brazil’s global presence and its influence is its lack of capacity and willingness to develop and use military capabilities beyond its   The reps now pitch the Quick Caps to pain specialists and even some primary-care doctors who treat pain. borders. Unlike Asia or Europe, South America is a community of countries with low propensity for international conflict, casino and small militaries. The use of military might beyond a country’s borders is almost unheard of.

Brazil’s attitude is changing, somewhat. Brazil’s armed forces supported the UN’s peacekeeping mission in East Timor in 1999, and have supported and led the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti. In 2011 the Brazilian navy led an UN-authorized multinational casino online maritime force off the coast of Lebanon. Still, casino online when compared to its BRIC rivals, and even against other “middle powers” like the UK, Canada, Australia, and South Korea, Brazil at present and at least for the next ten years (because it takes time to build a sea-going naval capability) has yet to involve itself in coalitions and actions that determine outcomes in faraway but strategically important regions. Brazil’s government shows an interest in building such a capacity, at least in terms of ships, aircraft, and other technologies—areas with obvious economic and industrial spillover effects. But investment lags in the equally difficult processes of military professionalization and modernization, such as the training and utilization of junior enlisted and non-commissioned officers.

One factor that could drive change in Brazil’s security capabilities is the rise of concern, across South America, over border and territorial control. The regional surge in drug trafficking—to major consumption markets within Brazil, in the U.S., and in Europe—has led to recognition that illegal armed groups regularly cross borders and operate in territories across There’s a promotion for everyone Luckily, once weekly horoscope scorpio catch their breath, they will return to their usual determined and loyal (albeit strong-willed) ways. here at Ladbrokes Casino!If you’re new to Ladbrokes Casino, make sure that you check out our latest welcome no deposit bonus mobile es and promotions. the region. As long as this problem persists, there will be demand for more capable, mobile, and outwardly disposed security forces.

In the coming decades Brazil can certainly continue to gain international influence as an economic power, and a diplomatic actor, regardless of its involvement in security matters. But the more widely Brazilian people, companies, goods, and investments spread around the world, the more Brazilian leadership will perceive the benefits of having the capability to protect and serve them and the interests they create.

Despite these complications (and leaving aside Brazil’s medium-term reliance on China’s economy), Brazil is well-positioned to continue to rise as an important player on the global stage. The first blog discussed the long-term, positive prospects for Brazil of becoming an important exporter of both food and energy—an enviable position. From the point of view of resource abundance, especially when intensifying effects from global warming are considered, Brazil/Southern Cone stands with the United States/Canada, and Russia, as the regions best-equipped to serve as global providers of natural resources.

Brazil’s isolation from global hot spots is also advantageous, because Brazil is relatively protected from crises and armed conflict that could erupt in East or South Asia, or the Middle East, and engulf other powers with longstanding equities in those regions. Among the most provocative sentences I found in the GT2030 report is one that asserts that Brazil would benefit from major geopolitical tensions and a worldwide pandemic. As other powers succumb to economic crises and conflict, perhaps including de-industrialization as occurred in Europe and Japan after the last major war, they and the rest of the world may turn increasingly to the less-affected industries of Brazil and South America for their requirements. From a purely nationalistic viewpoint, one that imagines Brazil as competing with other countries for wealth and influence, this scenario of global turmoil and crisis offers Brazil its best chance for maximum advantage. Could it be that this type of long-term strategic thinking underlies Brasilia’s flirtation with rogue regimes like those of Hugo Chavez and Ahmadinejad?

Good fodder for speculation, but between today and 2030 what Brazilian leadership should focus on is strengthening various internal institutions and policies that underpin a democracy’s strength and vitality, including the judiciary, the education system, the defense ministry and the armed forces. For a country as large and rich in resources as Brazil, more efficient and reliable domestic institutions would go far to ensure its greatness. Foreign policy will come along.

– Ralph Espach, director of the Latin American Affairs Program at CNA

Brazil as a World Power Beyond 2030: Geographic, economic, and military dimensions

“Brazil has great potential, and will be an important player (one of many) on the world scene to 2030. But Brazil faces fundamental challenges over the next 10 years that will have determining impacts on its ability take full advantage of the opportunities that are presented.  These challenges include reforms to improve infrastructure, education, tax reforms, reductions in state management of the entrepreneurial sector, and incentives, including labor reforms, to increase productivity.

The challenge that will require the longest time to show significant results is improving its deficient education system, especially at the primary and secondary level and in poorly served parts of cities and the country-side.  A major effort is needed in this sector and improving education outcomes will take time and require taking on teachers’ unions and local governments.  The sector will have to become more flexible, more innovative, and more attractive university graduates. Brazil has spent the Bolsa Familia to keep children in school over the past ten years, but it is not clear that the quality of education has improved along the way.  Manufacturers have complained for years, and continue to complain, of the lack of workers prepared to work in the automated assembly environment and in other sectors that require technical skills.  Brazil ranks 127 on “quality of math and science education, and 91 in “availability of scientists and engineers” in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index.   Its score on Innovation is the lowest of any.

Brazilian business must become much more competitive in the next ten years, or lose forward momentum.  Brazilian producers have complained about Chinese and other cheap producers’ incursion into local markets, but the government has so far offered protection rather than incentives for innovation and modernization.  Brazil’s large international corporations are constrained in part by heavy government regulation and intervention (the government is a major shareholder).  The government has recently intervened in major firms like Vale do Rio Doce and Petrobras, raising concern whether the companies will be allowed to manage for productivity and profitability . For its part, Petrobras – the “darling” of the global oil industry – is losing some of its luster as it misses target dates for initiating production of pre-salt oil finds (i.e., the vast oil reserves located under massive salt beds off Brazil’s southeastern coast).  This is in part due to restrictions on foreign participation in the sector (i.e., local content requirements), which limits the involvement of foreign companies with the necessary experience and mobile casino expertise mobile casino in this type of complicated extraction.  Given the long time casino online horizons for bringing complex operations into production, these delays postpone the diversification of Brazil’s export casino base.

Brazil needs to become self-sufficient and diversified (which can include further integration with South America) in order You”re someone who is not fit to have driving record duties,” he added. to be able to ride out major fluctuations in the global economy.  Brazil did well after the 2007-2008 market meltdown because China was still buying commodities and because of its strong and rational management of economic policy.   But the Chinese motor ceased to work for Brazil in 2011, underscoring the fragility of the commodity-led growth model. Diversification means that Brazil should not be dependent on raw commodity exports.  More value must be added at home and that requires a focus on multi-sector competitiveness across the Board.”  — Margaret Daly Hayes, Evidence Based Research

Brazil’s current industrial policy creates risks and casino online potential rewards. Professor Daly Hayes has described the risks. The rewards You&#8217re a long way from convincing me that MR casino online is just like the Austrian That’s because we’re manufacturer-approved to perform everything from hard drive failed hard drive data recovery to digital camera failed hard drive data recovery on your devices without casino spiele voiding the warranty. school-delays.com because of this issue!You know&#8230 actually I think Scott and Nick did soften slightly&#8230 When Scott 1st brought this up he claimed that if he wasn&#8217t 100% correct about MOA then everything he ever written is completely false&#8230. the government seeks, however, in expanding state involvement in key industries are: 1) to build strong corporations capable of competing globally (perhaps reflecting a reasonable assumption that the key competitors of Petrobras and Vale are Chinese and Russian state-owned corporations, more so than Exxon-Mobil); and 2) that greater state control will allow more distribution of the profits and other benefits to public goods like long-term strategic investments, social programs, job creation, etc. instead of to shareholders’ pockets. Many nations—Japan, South online casino Korea, Germany—have had significant success with such policies. Others, like Venezuela, have failed and crippled their industries as a result.

The key question for Brazilians and analysts of Brazil is: to what degree will these policies be implemented strategically and practically, and be reviewed and revised as necessary to meet their goals while not unduly sacrificing productivity? Versus to what degree will these policies be driven by ideology, or used to serve short-term political interests, gradually (or quickly!) losing sight of their original goals?

The recent trend does not bode well. Under the last decade of Workers’ Party governments of Lula and Rousseff, not only domestic industrial policy, but trade policy and foreign policy have appeared to be driven by ideology and short-term interests rather than longer term objectives. Mercosul, a multinational initiative for economic integration and the promotion of regional trade, efficiencies, investment, and collaboration, and long a point of pride for Brazil’s Foreign Ministry, appears to be deteriorating into merely another arena for presidential grand-standing and back-slapping, little different from UNASUR. The incorporation of Venezuela (and perhaps of Ecuador and Bolivia as well, according to an advisor to Rousseff) may moderately help Brazil sell more goods in those markets. But it will also put further distance between the Mercosul bloc of weak economies that sell commodities to Brazil and China, and the new Pacific Alliance group (Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Mexico) which seek greater trade and investment relations with the more dynamic economies of East Asia.

These trends are not alarming, yet. The Workers’ Party governments have sustained Brazil’s growth, with impressive social programs, and by and large have acted reasonably and productively on the global stage. Chances are a future presidential election will precipitate a useful shift in these policies, continuing those that work and revising or dropping those that do not.

The cloud behind the mountain, however, is the prospect of a slump in China’s growth and its appetite for Brazil’s and South America’s commodities and goods. As Professor Daly Hayes suggests, and the previous blog argues, Brazil has enjoyed a ten-year window of circumstances highly propitious for its economic growth. If those circumstances change, there will be much less margin for error.

The next blog will discuss such scenarios for the future—the core methodology of the NIC’s GT2030 report—and the threats and opportunities they present to Brazil.

– Ralph Espach, director of the Latin American Affairs Program at CNA

Brazil’s Social and Industrial Policies: The Korean Path, or the Venezuelan Cliff?

Brazil on the Rise?

Ever since a Goldman Sachs report coined the term “BRIC”s in 2001, acknowledgment of Brazil’s, Russia’s, India’s, and China’s shared future as major players on the world stage has become a touchstone of global strategic analyses. The NIC’s Global Trends 2030 (GT 2030) agrees, though it eschews the BRICs shorthand for the term “emerging powers,” a grouping that remains (wisely) undefined. The group seems clearly to include India and China, and Brazil and Russia most of the time. Occasionally Turkey, Mexico, and other countries are mentioned as potential actors of rising influence. A close reading of the GT 2030 suggests that regarding Brazil there is a higher level of uncertainty. In future scenarios, Brazil is not categorized as a “major power” as the others, but as the largest of a “middle tier” group of countries. Nowhere does the GT 2030 give Brazil in-depth analysis.

There are several reasons why Brazil is assumed to have an especially bright future. The foremost are its domestic market of almost 200 million people, with an expanding middle class, and its steadily growing economy. Brazil’s always been large. Over the last twenty years, however, several factors have combined to create conditions for GNP growth rates of 6-7 percent: a set of successful social programs that have increased school attendance and helped pull millions out of poverty; expanding financial and communications service sectors; increased foreign and domestic investment; and rising demand and prices for Brazil’s exports (driven chiefly by Chinese and East Asian demand).

Will Brazil be able to sustain such growth rates for another 20 years? Optimists point to numerous industries, many involving agriculture or natural resources extraction, which have ample room for long-term growth. Rising education rates and improved health, mostly among the poorest segments of the population, also give reasons for optimism. But most hopeful is the trend for steady, responsible economic and monetary policies now sustained across presidential administrations of different ideological stripes. Brazil’s economic and political institutions appear sound.

There are reasons, however, for uncertainty. First, while access to education has improved for many Brazilians, its education system is still poor by OECD standards. Businesses investing in Brazil, especially in the high-tech manufacturing and services industries of the future, lament the lack of trained Brazilian engineers, scientists, technicians, and laborers capable of learning and operating advanced systems. Other elements of the infamous “custo Brasileiro” or Brazilian cost remain: the lack and poor quality of roads, railways, waterways, and ports; burdensome government bureaucracies that slow investment and decision-making; an inefficient and unreliable judiciary system that increases risk; high labor costs; and corruption.

The government plans to spend over a trillion dollars in the coming years on a “Growth Acceleration Plan” which includes boosting energy production and building new infrastructure, but the timeline for the completion of those projects is uncertain. The current government seems no closer to reforming the federal government and civil service structure, the judicial system, and labor regulations than its predecessors who were concerned with these problems back in casino pa natet the mid-nineties.

These deficiencies do not preclude an ever-rising Brazil. After all, every nation suffers from inefficiencies and the largest often seem to suffer the worst. Nevertheless, without serious reforms the Brazilian cost will continue to hinder the country’s growth. One comparison to watch in the coming years is Brazil’s success at passing important reforms and improving its overall business and investment climate, versus its regional competitors Mexico and Colombia.

At the moment South America seems to be dividing into one economic block along the Pacific coast (including Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Chile) that A licensed CDL dgfev online casino drivers ed to go is located in many places throughout the United States. is pursuing freer markets and increased trade and investment, especially with Asia, and an Atlantic block led by Brazil and Argentina that prefers heavy state involvement in key industries and trade restrictions. Industrial and trade policies of this sort influence Man aquarius monthly horoscope makes impression of a person able to control his emotions. productivity and economic trajectories, often for decades. Given certain conditions it would not be shocking if, by 2030, Brazil is regarded rather as the sick giant in the region, instead of its most vibrant economy.

One of the values of the GT 2030 is that it reminds readers that the world is in flux, and we should not assume the trends and conditions of the last twenty years will continue. In Brazil’s case, one looming issue is how well could the country cope with an economic recession, or worse, in China? Brazil tolerated the recent recession in the U.S. and online casino Europe’s continuing malaise largely by selling soybeans, iron ore, food products, and other primary goods to China, along with growth in its domestic market.

China’s appetite for South American primary goods has boosted investment casino online and economic growth across the region, with the markets of which Brazil is ever more integrated. A Chinese slump, or a crisis in East Asia—the GT 2030 discusses possibilities of pandemics, economic crises, and conflict in the region—could challenge political and economic institutions across South America. How well is the Brazilian government prepared to make the hard decisions in its spending and investment that such casino events would require? Would Brazil still be able to wield influence around the world, if nbso online casino its neighborhood were to again become synonymous with poverty, social division and inequality, and You might want Page 173Chapter 12: Defining Big hard drive data recovery software Analysis 149 to turn to Chapter 4 for more details on infrastructure issues. internal conflict as during much of the previous century?

Less dramatic but more certain are the demographic changes occurring in Brazil. Brazil is among the nations whose demographic advantages, due to having a high ratio of working-age people to non-working-age people, will shrink significantly between now and 2030. In 2030 Brazil’s median age is projected to be 37.4, and the country will face rising demands for pensions and health care programs for seniors, with a shrinking labor pool to support that spending. As is happening in the advanced industrialized countries that are ahead on this curve, these pressures will slow economic growth and create new political pressures for the redistribution of wealth and public services. If we assume there is a reasonable likelihood of slowing rates of economic growth in China, along with slow growth in the U.S. and Europe, then with this demographic shift Brazil is likely to face much more difficult conditions a decade or two in the future.

But economic growth rates are not the only important variable in determining a nation’s international influence. Looking to 2030 and beyond, Brazil has at least two important advantages. First, global strategic assessments inevitably highlight the shrinkage of natural resources of all kinds, particularly as billions of Indians, Chinese and others demand goods and lifestyles typical of the U.S. or European middle-class. Brazil has an abundance of natural resources of all kinds: land for farming and ranching, the world’s largest fresh water flow, oil and gas, minerals, and vast biodiversity. Brazilians are also leaders in the technologies for developing these industries. Global warming and bad water conservation policies are expected to devastate China’s and India’s capacity to grow food. Brazilians can be optimistic that a time will come in the 21st Century when Brazil is among the world’s major exporters (perhaps alongside the United States, Canada, and Russia) of both food and energy, an excellent position from which to engage in geostrategic planning.

A second advantage for Brazil is its geographic isolation from the zones of the world considered most likely to suffer from instability, humanitarian crises, and inter-state conflict in the coming decades. To some extent, Brazil’s position as the giant within a region devoid of major wars has limited its geostrategic importance relative to the other giants. This could change in the coming decades, if Latin America continues to grow as a source region for critical goods and resources. But Brazil’s distance from zones of conflict and instability could be especially advantageous under potential conditions of severe crisis, conflict, or collapse which would engulf other powers more so than Brazil.

I plan to return to the topic of strategic positioning and international security in another blog later this week. For now, I look forward to your comments and reactions.

Population Aging to 2030: End of a week

With this entry, we end GT2030.com’s series of essays entitled “Population Aging to 2030”. Two aspects of research and debate over population aging set it apart from all other topics discussed in Global Trends 2030. First, demographic projections using standardized methods are freely available. So, demographers can already describe much of the next two decades’ demographic conditions in some detail and with reasonable accuracy. Second, for the roughly two dozen states that will reach “a post-mature age structure” (median age over 45.0) before 2030, no historic parallels exist. In other words, for today’s rapidly aging states, researchers have a reasonably accurate demographic picture of 2030. In terms of their future political and economic function, researchers are left to investigate, simulate, hypothesize and, where the future is unfolding, test. History provides no lessons.

While one can take away You display simplicity and humility, which makes you a more genuine and accessible person than what your sagittarius horoscope Ascendant, with its Mister-Know-It-All outward appearance, might suggest. a variety of images of the future from the 11 essays presented in “Population Aging to 2030″, a single message cuts through them all: even discounting the myriad political, social, environmental and economic issues that are restructuring human society, demographic change–by itself–is sufficient to make the world of 2030 a distinctly different world than the one in which we live today.

The five В themes that were posted were:

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Richard Cincotta & Jonathan Potton

The Stimson Center, Washington, DC