A Scan of Critical World Developments
Pivoting after Terror: Which Scenario?
The recent acts of transnational terrorism unleashed in Paris, Beirut, and elsewhere reveal the danger that lurks in an interconnected world of a descent into a Fortress World. The proximate causes of this latest eruption—the Iraq War and the Syrian civil war, the instability caused by climate change-induced droughts, Mideast geopolitics—combine with deeper drivers—fundamentalist resistance to modernity, vast levels of inequality, thwarted ambitions of a generation—to power Daesh’s campaign of barbarity. Not surprisingly, the response in many powerful states has been an uptick in militarism and xenophobia, as well as political support for jingoist, nativist, and reactionary political streams. The dance of terrorism and reaction, if allowed to spin out of control in an already unstable world, could set us on a path to an unwelcome future. We will need enhanced global cooperation to address the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, to eradicate the manifestations and roots of terrorism, and to reaffirm humanistic and cosmopolitan values to make the world safe for a Great Transition.