Considering the barrage of change indicators, our GEAB team currently feels like they don’t know where to start in order to provide a coherent and complete picture of the crisis. Yet, this feeling is probably nothing compared to what our leaders and their advisers experience. A sense of loss of control of the flow of events probably characterizing the Western leadership in 2016 is what makes the rest of the year quite difficult to predict. The general feeling is that we are approaching the unwinding of a ten year paradigm shift, but the panic created by the approaching perspective of actual change among the leaders, the Western leaders in particular, is once again raising the question of the exact form this unwinding will take.
When the world sustaining a governance system disappears, but the governance system is still “in charge”, concern is justified. The leaders have certain challenges on their agendas which completely exceed their conceptual and instrumental abilities. They must now choose among a variety of “bad solutions”, meaning they will inevitably make bad decisions. Some of those decisions will have no impact whatsoever, while others will have rather dramatic consequences, but it is particularly the unpredictability of these decisions which blurs the future and reinforces the feeling of panic even more. This is a strong trend for 2016, one that also justifies the “strategic retreat” identified by our team as the keynote of the year.
In this introductory article of the GEAB 103 edition, we simply list a series of facts revealing this growing and worrying state of panic, as well as the trends which, we believe, will worsen it even more.
Worrying panic indicators among Western elites
Conspiracy theorists in the heart of NATO
Let’s begin with this incredible remark made by a US NATO official who said that “Russia and Syria are weaponizing migrants to hurt Europe”, or a NATO communications expert analyzing that “Putin is using the migrant crisis to overthrow Merkel”. For so many years, when this type of speech applied to the United States, it was granted the beautiful label of “conspiracy theory“, cutting the grass under the feet of even the most legitimate “out of the box” questioning. Yet, the heart of the official thinking wallows in the most paranoid assumptions about the occult maneuvers of the Russian-Shiite networks to destabilize Europe. These statements are all the more striking, since our team has come across the same ideas applied the United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, etc… Our readers know that we are sometimes tempted to pay some attention to these theories, but, this time, the sequence of events since the outbreak of the war in Syria, the disastrous management of the crisis by Western powers, the emergence of an army of religious fanatics in the general chaos, and bombings (from allies, to start with), are enough to explain the phenomenon. It was Ockham’s razor sharp principle saying “the simplest adequate assumptions are the most plausible”, right?
Therefore, if some NATO commanders, at the top of what is supposed to be the most powerful military institution in the world, indulge in such public conjectures, this means