Uncertainty Today – Uncertainty Tomorrow – Uncertainty Forever
The Reality of Uncertainty
Uncertainty is a certainty for individuals and nation states. Individuals in the military are concerned about what online military colleges will support finding veteran jobs in the future, as well as what education will enhance a military career. Nation-states instruct intelligence services to collect and analyze a wide range of information to mitigate the potential adverse consequences of uncertainty. The intelligence community produces intelligence studies that discuss strategic threats, economic problems, political events, plus other issues that relate to the security and well-being of the nation state. Human intelligence is an information source that goes back to the dawn of history as a critical source to frame and mitigate uncertainty. Contemporary examples of strategic uncertainty resonate around the globe with the consequent needs for human intelligence information to support accurately and timely intelligence studies.
The world is reeling as the equivalent of geopolitical tectonic plates shift causing tremors of uncertainty around the globe. China is projecting power in ways unknown since the Mongols conquered vast areas of Asia and Europe. China is exerting a military presence in the South China Sea that confronts the interests of neighboring countries. China has invested money and political capital in Africa, South America, and southwest Asia to extend and strengthen Chinese influence. Russia is active as a world power after the days of political and economic weakness in the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union. Under President Putin, Russia is behaving like the “old” Russia/USSR as the Russians reassert influence in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, despite western sanctions and low oil prices. The Middle East is in chaos as the nations of Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen do a political humpty-dumpty fragmenting along religious, ethnic, and cultural fault lines.1 The al Qaeda threat remains but is overshadowed by a more violent and more radical entity in ISIS and radical groups allied with ISIS. Iran pursues nuclear weapons as the specter of a Shia-Sunni sectarian war looms over the region.
The global economic condition offers little respite from the political uncertainties; in fact, economic conditions bode massive problems that would exacerbate the negative political conditions. The levels of debt for sovereign, business, and personal accounts have soared to unprecedented levels with highly uncertain consequences.2 Greece is one example of a situation where the national debt of a small nation poses a threat to the political integrity of the European Union. Economists debate the ramifications of rolling global defaults and a currency crisis.
As new technologies emerge, new problems enter the political, economic, and security calculations. The world has experienced great gains in productivity and communications through the digital revolution, even as the dependence on digital processes and the internet has created a potentially existential threat from cyber warfare. Russia, China, and terrorist groups are proficient in hacking private and government communications. The progress in “artificial intelligence” introduces new concerns of automation in jobs that render the human component obsolete, with the result being unemployment and struggle to secure new job skills. The potential for autonomous military “killer drones” generates philosophical and security arguments. Even medical advances to extend lifespans raise questions about how an aging world population is economically sustained. Uncertainty was an accompaniment to the concerns of the early tribes in maintaining life (food, safety, shelter). The “modern tribes” of the 21st century still require these life-necessities, but the complexity and magnitude of the uncertainties that accompany these concerns have expanded exponentially.
Mitigating Uncertainty by Effective Intelligence
Human intelligence is one element of All Source intelligence that can reveal the "intent" of the enemy. This "intent" then relates to the enemy capabilities to support intelligence studies which assuage uncertainties and provide effective policy options. Select online schools are a critical resource to provide the education base for analysts and intelligence operatives to deal with the modern challenges of “uncertainty.” New analysis techniques are being developed to provide additional capabilities beyond the validated techniques in use. The top online schools lead the way in intelligence, counterterrorism, and strategic security education teaching the advanced new creative analysis techniques. The top schools provide a forward looking curriculum and a faculty that has practical experience to match academic credentials.
1. Friedman, G. (2015). A Net Assessment of the Middle East. Retrieved: www.stratfo.com
2. World Record debt of $199 Trillion. (2015). Retrieved: www.rt.com/business
3. Joseph, R. (2015). Modernizing Analytical Training for the 21st Century. Retrieved: www.isn.ethz.ch