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Global Risks 2015: Interstate conflict on the rise

Global Risks 2015: Interstate conflict on the rise
Published 22 Jan 2015   Follow @BrendanTN_

The World Economic Forum in Davos is in full grandiose swing. 

Aside from the questionable message of having Al Gore and Pharrell Williams relaunch the Live Earth concert at an event that attendees reportedly used over 1700 private flights to get to, this year's (still ongoing) summit also saw the release of the 10th Edition of the Global Risks report.

The report is meant to raise awareness about the interconnection of social, geopolitical, economic and environmental crisis. One of the interesting aspects of the report this year was its warnings that the risk of geopolitical and interstate conflict is higher than the risk of collapsing of weak or failed states.

This is the first time the risk of interstate conflict has made the list.

In terms of impact, the report rates water crises and the rapid spread of infectious diseases as the two top concerns. Weapons of mass destruction come in third. Also note the change between the risk of the 'diffusion of weapons of mass destruction' in 2013 and simply 'weapons of the mass destruction' this year. It may have something to do with the fact that even under New START, Russia has more strategic nuclear weapons deployed than it did when the treaty came into effect in February 2011. [fold]

Certainly the risk of geopolitical and interstate confrontation is on the rise, primarily due to the events in Ukraine and now also in the Middle East. If the Global Risks report is right, could we see the positive trend in the decline of interstate conflict reversed?

Photo courtesy of Flickr user World Economic Forum.

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