Paul Rogers, Irregular War, 2016
„This book will argue that although ISIS is certainly a major security problem, the real drivers of current global insecurity are quite different: deepening socio-economic divisions, which lead to the relative marginalisation of most people across the world, and the prospect of profound and lasting environmental constraints, caused by climate change.“ 5
„’What should be expected is that new social movements will develop that are essentially anti-elite in nature and draw their support from people on the margins. (…) the most common feature is an opposition to existing centres of power. (…) anti-elite action will be a core feature of the next 30 years – not so much a clash of civilisations, more an age of insurgencies.’ (Paul Rogers, 2000)“ 9
This book argues against identifying Islam as the core problem
„’the coming years represent a period of fundamental challenge and potential transformation. The early decades of the twenty-first century could be an era in which deep divisions in the world community lead to instability and violence that will transcend boundaries and affect rich and poor alike. They could also be an era of substantial progress in developing a more sociall just and environmentally sustainable world order.’“
„From this position, which is still prevalent across global elite communities, it is a matter of business as usual, with little or nor credence given to the possibility that an unstable global system might stem from a dangerous combination of a deeply unequal economy and an increasingly constrained world, factors that disproportionately damage the lives of the marginalised majority.“ 19
- global economy is failing to fulfil human needs and must undergo a fundamental transformation
- this must includ radical decarbonisation
- is this possible without the use of force
„In June 2014 a force of barely 1,000 paramilitary jihadists easily overran Iraq’s second city of Mosul, driving out a far larger Iraqi Army force and taking control of a huge quantity of vehicles, weapons and ammunition. Much of this was rapidly moved … to the centre of ISIS’s power – the city of Raqqa. The rapidity of the advance caught almost every analyst and intelligence specialist by surprise“ 121
„By July 2014 ISIS controlled land similar in size to the island of Britain and with a population of around 6 million.“ 121
heaven for smuggling 122
„Western states have recently fought three disastrous wars – in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya – and then embarked on a fourth in Syria and Iraq. (…) The overall loss of life has been huge – at least 100 times greater than that in the 9/11 attacks … and the displacement of peoples across the Middle East and south-western Asia runs into many millions.
Even so, there is still a belief that traditional means of control work.“ 178 f.
„the majority of the world’s people are relatively marginalised and the indications are that the gap is not narrowing but more likely widening.“ 181
„we are dealing … more with a transnational elite of around 1.5 billion people, which is drawin away from the remaining 6 billion“ 182
„’one-fifth of America’s children live in poverty; the average wage of male high-school leavers has declined by 12 per cent in the past 25 years; and the pay of CEOs has swelled from 30 times the avverage worker’s wage to 300 times.’“ 182
„relative poverty rate in high-income countries has increased, and has more than doubled in the developing world“ 183
„the neo-Maoist Naxalite rebellion in India, scarcely covered in the Western media but seen within the Indian security establishment as the greatest threat to the internal security establishment as the greatest threat to the internal security of the world’s most populous state. The Naxalites were initially focused on the town of Naxalbari in the north of West Bengal in 1967, and the movement was assumed to have been largely suppressed following prime minister Indira Ghandi’s launching of ‘Operation Steeplechase’ four years later. Instead the movement took root and spread south across eastern India.“ 184
„Much of the support for the Naxlites has come from the Adivasis, the tribal peoples of India, especially in those districts affected by mining and new industries, but more generally in reaction to their perceived long-term amrginalisation.“ 184
„In the context of international security, there are three key points to consider. One is that the rate of climate change appears to be accelerating, especially in some religions such as the Arctic and the northern subtropics. The second is that the entire process is proving to be markedly asymmetric.“ 189
„The most important impact of climate change will be the reduction in the carrying capacity of some of the world’s most important croplands, especially in the Global South. This, in turn, will mean a decrease in food production, both for local consumption and for export. (…) poorer communities will not be able to produce enough; nor will they have the money to buy it. This will progressively add greatly to domestic economic and social pressures etc.“ 191
„the problem is made worse by the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, and the inability of poorer states to cope with them.“ 191
„what cannot be predicted is whether we will ever face a coordinated international movement of opposition, the potential ‘Southern Army of the Poor’ described by Ronald Higgins in the 1970s“ 193
„It appears to be very difficult for security establishments to embrace the idea that sub-state movement might be beyond their control, in spite of the exceedingly difficult experiences since 9/11 in the three failed and tragic wars iin Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. This is made even more problematic by the extent, power and influence of those establishments, which are part of a global military-industrial complex that consumes around $1,700 billion each year. For the component corporations, military spending provides for eminently profitabel endeavours. Futhermore, the develoment of the ‘military-industrial-academic-bureaucratic-[financial] complex’ over many years, and its embedding in society, may make it impossible to comprehend the idea of the obsolescence of established forms of war.“ 194 f.
Instead, the primary concern is with maintaining military budgets
„It is as though the development of irregular warfare has not been happening, and the very idea of elite centres of power losing control is unthinkable.“ 195
„The three major challenges we are facing are climate change, the wealth-poverty divide and the persistence of the control paradigm in military thinking despite multiple failed wars.“ 209 f.
„there is some impressive new thinking and a great deal of good practice already out there, with many people in many countries addressing the need for change. It may be that a further serious shock, rather like an extreme weather event, will produce a tipping point, especially if its main effect is on elite communities.
That leaves the matter of the control paraidgm, the outlook that permeates military thinking and practice and is hugely resistant to change. (…) the whole military-industrial-academic-bureaucratic complex is comparably resistant to facing up to reality. (…) This is going to be the hardest nut of all to crack, and there are not many pointrs as to how it can be done.“ 210 f.