Technical experts, policymakers, and defense planners are continually faced with the challenge of anticipating the impact of emerging security challenges. New frameworks are therefore needed to understand both the benefits and risks associated with emerging developments and the different forces at work that will determine if and how they will be realized.
To that end, FAS Adjunct Fellow for Emerging Technologies and High-end Threats, Michael Edward Walsh, participated in the second Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes (PfPC) Emerging Security Challenges Working Group Workshop at the National Defence University in Warsaw, Poland from July 8-10, 2013.
This workshop was aimed at bringing together experts on emerging and future security threats from across the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council community to discuss current developments and trends. They then worked to apply different analytical models through stress testing around case studies.
The aim of the stress tests was to help design frameworks for describing specific known challenges and their potential implications as well as to demonstrate these frameworks’ usefulness when applied to emerging security challenges. It is also hoped that these frameworks will help with modeling scenarios and identifying trends around particular emerging security issues and thereby uncover wider political, economic, social, and strategic implications for stakeholders in industry, government, academia, civil society, and the military.
Out of the workshop, the experts expect to produce brief reports that include a “check-list” of policy implications, analysis of aforementioned framework, and scenarios that detail the implications of one or more emerging security issues and corresponding trends. These will be released in due course over the next year.
Future workshops are currently being planned for the 2014 budget year. We look forward to continued involvement in this important initiative.
In the words of Mr. Walsh, “The PfPC ESC Working Group fills a glaring gap in the current discourse on emerging security challenges. There remains no comparable initiative aimed at bringing together relevant voices from government, military, academia, think tanks, and industry to a single table to discuss how best to address emerging security issues.”
In fact, that is exactly what Mr. Walsh is trying to do over at the Emerging Science and Technology Centre (ESTPC). As President and Chairman of the Board, he is working to establish four similar bilateral Track II initiatives on emerging security challenges between U.S. organizations and their counterparts in Australia, Germany, Japan, and Australia next year. The Federation of American Scientists hopes to play a direct role in these initiatives as it has on the ESTPC Young Leaders on Disarmament Programme.