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10 Top Global Security Concerns For The Private Sector

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Growing European radicalism, neo-Nazis, violence, kidnapping, terrorism, electronic warfare, blossoming anti-Americanism, etc. Welcome to the New Year. Happy, happy, happy.

It will be a new year, yet another in the new millennium. The history of the past year and the outlook for the next are globally lacking in the “Happy” department however.

There are and will be so many lists (Check out BC Magazine's Best Books of 2006, Best Albums…, Best DVDs of 2006 ) and there will be: best gaudy cars, biggest spammers, stupidest celebrities, most ostentatious rich, silliest inventions, most useless gadgets, etc.; that I thought we should throw in some global threats just to keep it fair in a world sadly lacking in justice.

The latest such list is seen in the Overseas Security Advisory Council's (OSAC) report just released on the top 10 trends in global security threats affecting the private sector in 2006 with an implied prognostication of more of the same for 2007.
Increased political radicalism, rising crime and corruption, pirating of intellectual property, and military conflict were among the top security challenges of 2006 confronting U.S. businesses, nongovernmental organizations and academic institutions operating abroad…

They also note the growing menace of neo-Nazi and other right-wing groups in Europe along with a “steady increase in radicalism” on what we thought was to be the “civilized” continent. It is now a continent under-going deep divisions and threats, immigration waves and defenses, proposals and controversies much as the US is struggling with its relationships to its southern neighbors.


Crime and violence are on the rise in the world. “In Latin America and the Americas kidnapping is "evolving as a global threat". The OSAC said “abductions for profit pose a particular problem to U.S. entities in Latin America." The analysis went on to say that "In the Americas, kidnapping has now become its own cottage industry."

Private citizens, business people, investors and retirees should check out the OSAC's web-site for “security trends” world-wide before traveling for business, looking for retirement locations or planning commercial investments. The OSAC is described on the US State Department site as:

"… established in 1985 … with a U.S. Government Charter to promote security cooperation between the U.S. Department of State and American business and private sector interests worldwide." It can be accessed at OSAC


Not long ago Vice-Admiral Thomas R. Wilson, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) made an official statement to the Select Senate Committee on Intelligence (2001) on “Global Threats And Challenges Through 2015”

He emphasized the process of “globablization” which he defined as “… the increasing (and increasingly less restricted) flow of money, people, information, technology, ideas, etc. throughout the world – (which) remains an important, and perhaps even the dominant, influence.” He admits that it is and will be a “generally positive force” except for the globablization of information and technology which could “… increasingly accord smaller states, groups, and individuals destructive capabilities previously limited to major world powers.”  

Interestingly, America is seen by the world as the primary initiator of globablization and they tend to see it and “Americanization” as synonymous: “… the expansion, consolidation, and perceived dominance of US power, values, ideals, culture, and institutions.” The prejudicial monster of illogic has descended on our world in the dark beginnings of the millennium.

His predictions about Russia, China and North Korea remain to be seen. His take on Iraq is now dated and he gives Iran a dangerous role but minimizes it. He made these statements before the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"The election of President Khatemi in August 1997 marked a turning point in Iran's domestic situation. Khatemi received the bulk of his support from minorities, youths, and women (all growing segments of Iran's population), and I am hopeful that Tehran will change for the better over time. For now, however, the religious conservatives who have held power since 1979 remain in control of the security, foreign policy, intelligence, and defense institutions, and generally continue to view the US with hostility. For these reasons, I remain concerned with Teheran's deliberate (though uneven) military buildup. That effort is designed to ensure the security of the cleric-led regime, increase Iran's influence in the Middle East and Central Asia, deter Iraq or any other regional aggressor, and limit US regional influence. While Iran's forces retain significant limitations with regard to mobility, logistics infrastructure, and modern weapons systems, Tehran is attempting to compensate for these by developing (or pursuing) numerous asymmetric capabilities, to include subversion and terrorism, the deployment of air, air defense, missile, mine warfare, and naval capabilities to interdict maritime access in and around the Strait of Hormuz, and the acquisition of WMD and longer range missiles to deter the US and to intimidate Iran's neighbors."
The US plan, which does not appear to be working, was, in his words, “… the Joint Vision 2020 goal of 'full spectrum dominance' … that is, being able to dominate our adversaries across the wide spectrum of conceivable combat operations…”

American military hegemony seems to be faltering as the nature of the world situation changes – perhaps faster than does the military establishment.


A new book that accuses France of creating the climate of anti-Antisemitism and violence that have plagued it this past year and been a part of French "civilization" for far longer, Betrayal: France, the Arabs, and the Jews by David Pryce-Jones has been reviewed in the most recent Literary Review.

He reports that the riots, car burnings and student unrest are, in reality,
"… endemic and ubiquitous. In 2005, there were 110,000 incidents of urban violence, including 45,000 vehicles burnt out. This year, there has been an average of over 100 incidents a day. Since the riots supposedly subsided last January, some 3,000 police officers are reported to have been injured. France is quite deliberately being made ungovernable."

He labels it the "French Intifada" and states that many suburbs are now too dangerous for the French police to enter.

The result is a historical account of France's love affair with the Arab world and its plan to civilize the Arab masses while continuing the same, deep anti-Antisemitism that has characterized the French character. Indeed, writes Pryce-Jones, "…since Napoleon's expedition to Egypt, French diplomacy has been gripped by a delusion of grandeur: the idea of France as une puissance musulmane, 'a Muslim power'.


The OSAC 10 “winners” are:
Africa: The Niger Delta and targeting US interests.
Africa: Corruption and crime.
Asia: Piracy of intellectual property.
Asia: Natural disasters.
Europe: Radicalism.
Europe: Militant activism.
Latin America: Political violence and civil unrest.
Middle East: Persian Gulf threats.
Hizballah/Israel violence
World-wide: Kidnapping.

I may not agree with all their worries nor their suppositions. This is the Bush Administration after all.  However, the existence of flash points in the world, of natural disasters, wars and war-mongers is without question.

Lists like these only count when we can begin to check off the elements that we have solved. Or, in the case of Blogcritics Magazine's lists of the “Best of…”, we can go out and buy or rent them with some degree of certainty that we will end up with some pleasure and not a blindfold at the point of an AK-47.

HAPPY 2007!

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About hfdratch

  • Clavos

    Interesting report, Howard.

    Kidnapping for profit most definitely is, as you say, a cottage industry in Latin America; every friend I have there is concerned and alert to the possibility.

    There was an article in the Herald a few months ago about wealthy latinos who have chosen to move to Miami in part because of the kidnapping problem. In it, a Guatemalan businessman who lives on Key Biscayne and commutes to his job in Guatemala City was asked by the reporter why he went through all that hassle. His answer has stuck with me; he said:

    “Because in Guatemala, when my little girl goes to her ballet lessons, she rides in a convoy of three armored cars with armed bodyguards. Here, she rides her bicycle.”

    And Mr. Tancredo thinks Miami is a “third world city.” He has no idea…