As growing populations and economies increase the drain on natural resources and cause environmental degradation, social tensions are expected to increase, triggering complex interactions of old ethnic and religious conflicts, civil unrest, indigenous protests, terrorism, and crime. In local areas where political, environmental, and economic conditions worsen, increasing migrations can be expected, which in turn can create new conflicts.
- The new security paradigm is mostly about fighting among ideologies, with increasingly diversified actors and more powerful and undetectable weapons.
- When fighting an ideology, there has to be another acceptable one to replace it, respecting complex cultural, religious, ideological and ethical aspects.
- Since hybrid threats are transnational in nature, they can only be adequately addressed by collaboration among countries and all stakeholders. This implies a high level of trust along with willingness to engage in the conversation and action.
- AI algorithms are increasingly impacting all aspects of life and add another layer to the governance and security systems. Hence, the codes of ethics that rule algorithms-writing, the level of democracy of the digital world and the general way we address AI will have a determining impact on our future.
- Foresight mechanisms and early warning systems should be developed to improve detection and analytical capabilities.
- Treaties, conventions and defense policies should be adapted to take into account emerging technologies as future potential sources of threats.
- New industry standards, more resilient networking and increased cyber-protection mechansms need to be defined and developed to protect critical infrastructure and increased defence against hybrid threats.
- AI, IoT, robotics and related systems and their future synergies for prevention should be re-thought, re-constructed so that they don’t become more of a threat to civilization than the conflict or violent actions they are designed to prevent.
- Technological transfer to emerging geopolitical powers (e.g. China) should be conditioned by respect of peaceful-use requirements.
- An international audit system should be established for each weapon type, the existing stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons destroyed, and a tracking systems created for potential bioweapons.
- Networks of CDC-like centers should be created to counter impacts of bioterrorism, and agreement should be reached on enforcement mechanisms for the Biological Weapons Convention.
- Lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) should be included under the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) to avoid their misuse and the third revolution in warfare.
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- While terrorism is not a new phenomenon, future terrorists groups in general and lone wolf terrorists in particular will rise the security threats and challenges at new levels.
- Pre-detection of single individuals potentially massively destructive requires certain technological means and administrative measures developed and managed by the state, as well as a new social contract for engaging the general public to help in the early detection of such individuals.
- Since organized crime and terrorism are increasingly interlinked, strategies to counter terrorism should be linked with those fighting organized crime as well.
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- Treaties and conventions regarding counter-terrorism should be adapted to take into account emerging technologies as future potential sources of threats.
- Anticipation and thwarting of terrorist acts will likely become increasingly difficult but also more urgent, since would-be terrorists have easier access to new tools that will enable them to develop massively destructive weapons (such as using CRISPR and synthetic biology to create new infectious viruses; and the creation of digital viruses in cyberspace to cause disruption of vital services). Many of these weapons will be very difficult to pre-detect.
- Foresight and creativity methods should be used in assessments and dialogues with technology experts, young people, and former terrorists to think ahead of future potential terrorists’ means.
Cyber blitzkrieg on electricity and other critical infrastructure threat reduction should include:
- compliance with unbreakability standards; theorems should no longer be partial compliance, but full compliance, to be verified by open source compliance checking programs whose tests must be passed before new software is actually used in critical power control systems;
- account for the legitimate need to be able to monitor terrorists, the compliance rules should be broadened to allow inclusion of a “black subroutine” in the system whose powers over the system are provably limited but which allow a kind of “read only” capability to report back to agencies with legal compliant warrants and codes to activate such subroutines.
- Better technological means and society's cooperation are needed to identify hybrid threats or terrorists before they act. However, the effectiveness of some measures depends on the values of society.
- A new social contract should assure civilans full cooperation for increasing security.
- Increasing threats of terrorism and hybrid warfare might lead to the emergence of a “stronger” state which will put in place measures for pre-detection and preemptive action that today are rejected by a large part of the citizens.
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- The on-going struggle between the need to improve security and the wish to limit the impact on civil liberty should be a key consideration in protection policy trying to achieve the right effective balance.
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- Education systems should explicitly promote tolerance and a culture of peace, while any extremism should be outlawed.
- The eight pillars of peace should be addressed simultaneously, as much as possible: a well-functioning government; a sound business environment; an equitable distribution of resources; an acceptance of the rights of others; good relations with neighbors; free flow of information; a high level of human capital; and low levels of corruption.
- Europe’s security strategy has to addressed all pillars of the Defence Union, including: Common capability development; Additional resources for security and defence; Strengthening Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) action; A common strategic culture and gradual framing of a common defence policy; Reinforced cooperation between Member States’ armed forces; Enhanced core partnerships, in particular with NATO and the United Nations.
- Sustainable Development Goal 16, “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels”, might help address the corruption-peace nexus.
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