How to face a more dangerous world…

(To Giuseppe Morabito)

In the world of geopolitics and in the "media" there is increasingly talk of possible connections between the war against Hamas terrorists in the Gaza region, the missile attacks by Huoti terrorists in the Red Sea and global supply chains.
For some experts this situation is explained by creation connections that don't actually exist or are really weak.

Today's world is clearly more dangerous than it was at the end of the previous millennium, especially if we consider the Middle East which appears as the apparent center of gravitation where local, regional and geopolitical conflicts occur.

What is clear is that, although all the most powerful states in the world are involved in some way, they are all equally careful to avoid escalating the conflict in Gaza, triggered by the massacre carried out by Hamas terrorists, to the point of entering into further friction/conflict between them. Iran clearly does not want a war with either Israel or the United States and supports its proxy wars. Russia is focused on Ukraine, while China seems mainly concerned with preserving the global supply routes that have made it rich and powerful (including the Red Sea), while the Europeans simply want/would like to remain calm.

Unfortunately, however, a global war is underway, which is not fought directly but rather intensifies by proxy (Iran docet). The complex of conflicts could almost be defined as a "systemic" war, that is, a non-obvious world war that extends from Europe through the Middle East to the Indo-Pacific. It is a war with state and non-state threats to the West in which great powers use smaller “terrorist powers” ​​to probe vulnerabilities in the societies and systems they have identified as their enemies. It is also often a technological war, because for example, the fake news and cyber attacks are the simple and inexpensive weapons designed to exploit the weaknesses of democracies.

Using the latest cyberware, the factories of troll they constantly seek to disrupt and distract powerful adversaries and threaten critical digital nodes and infrastructures that democratic societies rely on. Consequently, deterring such threats no longer simply depends on the demonstrable capability of conventional and nuclear armed forces, but also on a proven ability to respond to information and cyber domains, many of which would also depend on space systems as demonstrated by the current "great fervor" in space itself.

There are those who suggest that it is a conflict between autocracies and democracies whose best feature would be to see the clash as a confrontation between those who benefit from the current status quo and those who believe they have lost ground. This is leading to a series of coalitions and understandings, none of them particularly stable. In the Middle East, through the Agreements of Abraham, Israel has entered into an anti-Iran agreement with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. Russia and Iran are part of an anti-Israel and, by extension, anti-American coalition and seek to use it to weaken US resolve in Ukraine and across Europe. Iran is using, by proxy, terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and the Houthis (in Yemen) to force Israel into a war on two or more fronts. China tacitly supports Western efforts to maintain freedom; of movement on global supply lines across the Red Sea, even as it stubbornly seeks to keep the United States out of the South China Sea to isolate the democracy of the Republic of China - Taiwan.

The European countries simply hope that this does not create further problems, although Frontex (European Border and Coast Guard Agency) announced last week that there was a 17% increase in the flow of irregular/illegal migrants into Europe in 2022-2023, the highest number since 2016.

Unfortunately, it seems clear that the ongoing conflicts are turning into an undeclared war that makes the international system increasingly fragile and that the future will depend on the ability of the United States to act after the elections, by the ability of Europeans to move together, PRC's expansionist trade strategy and whether Moscow and Tehran will stop recklessly provoking their neighbors.

What is needed, for leading analysts, is, as always, a coherent Western strategy in the face of such complexity to preserve the rules-based order (which is now under attack) and separate one conflict from another. Any such strategy would in turn require transcontinental economic solidarity and, where no one is trying to act yet, both a constant commitment to resolving any conflict and the replacement of highly efficient but fragile supply chains with more resilient and redundant trade networks. .

It seems essential that Western access to microchips is ensured (protecting the democracy of the island of Taiwan is central) and rare earth minerals, all with the support of ever-increasing military capacity (adequate to the ongoing threats) and a consequent European desire to make its united and determined voice heard.

Ultimately, the West should seek to divide China from Russia, isolate Iran from its region and from terrorists, and contain Russia by exploiting its apparent weaknesses. First of all, diplomacy should be used effectively and it should be supported by the economic/banking system and by a cohesive and, above all, coercive military instrument.