Unless global responses are made to the current economic crisis, the biggest threat to international security will be the impoverishment of hundreds of millions of people, leading to radical and violent social movements that will be met with force, resulting in still greater conflict.
Oxford Research Group’s 2008 International Security Report, The Tipping Point?, published on 13 November, points to some improvements in security in Iraq in the past year as well as the potential for major changes in US policy in South West Asia with an incoming Obama administration. It also finds that the recent deterioration in East West relations after the Russian intervention in Georgia in August can be reversed, but its main conclusion is that it is the global financial crisis that is now the most dangerous threat to international security.
With the G20 meeting due in Washington on 15 November, all the indications are that the response to the crisis of the most powerful states will be to focus narrowly on immediate issues, with calls for improvements in international financial cooperation involving:
• An effective early warning system.
• A more effective framework for transnational responses.
• An independent “college of supervisors” to provide systematic monitoring of the world’s major companies and financial institutions.