African Conflicts in the Early 21st Century; Strategic Insights, v. 10, Special issue (October 2011), 99-104. Topic: Global Trends and Future Warfare ; Part III: New Actors and Belligerents
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In this essay we will be placing ourselves in a perspective where, out of the four possibilities outlined in the NIC's Tomorrow's Security Challenges: The Defense Implications of Emerging Global Trends report, we will consider a combination of two of the global trends presented: a rise in non-state networks and a fragmented international system. The one scenario we cannot see as relevant overall is the concert of powers, a choice it would take too long to justify within the framework of such a short paper. As for the possibility of seeing a return to great power confrontation, even though it may be a more realistic systemic possibility than the emergence of a global concern, it is hard to foresee significant great power confrontation arising in Africa. The emerging powers, particularly China, will not fight for Africa. Even if this trend occurs - and we cannot see it dominate - it will most probably create conditions similar to those of the 19th century. The Soviet Union's Vladimir Lenin was sure that an inter-imperialist war would come out of colonial competition in Africa.1 It did not, and when the great inter-imperialist war came, it came out of a European confrontation. If renewed great power rivalry were to bring about a major military confrontation in the 21st century, the trigger is much more likely to be found in the Middle Eastern or Asia than in Africa.
This article appeared in Strategic Insights, v.10, Special issue (October 2011), 99-104. Topic: Global Trends and Future Warfare ; Part III: New Actors and Belligerents
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