Sunday Readings

Improving The Debate About Emerging Threats
Michael Eddie Walsh of the Federation of American Scientists has a bone to pick, namely with the nature of the present discourse surrounding emerging threats.

He is critical of the general neglect to discuss how commercial, educational, and non-governmental sectors play are now playing a greater role in the defense and security sector and that the “general public remains unaware of many of the emerging and future security challenges” which are talked about “behind closed doors.”

Among those challenges Walsh cites are: genetic tracking, biosphere modification, 3-D weapons printing, designer pathogens, asteroid strikes, sub-speciation, space/deep-sea mining, and space colonization.

Rather, Walsh argues the debate must begin by seeking to resolve a the foundational question: “What is an emerging security challenge?”

What Does China See As The Threats To Its Security
To better understand the threat posed by China, it is important to understand what it perceives as threats to its homeland. Rukmani Gupta of the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses takes a closer look at China’s recent Defense White Paper in an effort to grasp the thinking behind the nation’s security posture.

“Although the familiar lament about Taiwan independence as the biggest threat to cross-Straits relations remains unchanged,” says Gupta, adding that “the threats by the three evil forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism are seen to be on the rise.”

“Does this indicate a sanguine frame of mind as far as China’s restive periphery is concerned or represents an attempt to downplay ethnic problems? The domestic challenges to social harmony and stability are also seen to be escalating. In this regard, the focus on the domestic role of the PLA in peacetime and its activities in local level economic and social development are important,” he adds.

Gupta also notes a fundamental shift found in the White Paper concerning China’s international role. Evident is a change in emphasis placed on China’s activities related to humanitarian aid and disaster relief “suggests that China is seeking to legitimize its international presence.”

China Moves Troops Closer To North Korean Border
One of the threats to China is regional instability and ironically, the greatest source comes from North Korea. Despite being the one nation in the region with any sway with Pyongyang – primarily because it provides substantial aid to the rogue regime, China has refused to hold North Korea to account.

It does, however, see threats to its own security posed by recent North Korean actions and has mobilized troops along the strategically important border region with North Korea.














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