Patterns in war dynamics, Part XI. Building blocks for a new theory (8): Prediction

(8) Prediction of war dynamics is possible. This study demonstrates that during the period 1495-1945, the System produced four accelerating war cycles, with each cycle consisting of a relatively stable period that allowed for international orders to be (at least temporarily) effective and a systemic war (critical period) that was instrumental for an upgrade and re-alignment of the System: the implementation of a new international order.

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Figure 13: Schematic representation of the first finite-time singularity dynamic that was accompanied by four accelerating cycles (1495-1945), and caused a ‘collapse’ of the European core of the System (1939-1945). The fourth systemic war (the Second World War, 1939-1945), constituted a phase transition that led to the simultaneous implementation of non-anarchistic structures in Europe and the first international order (the United Nations) at a global scale of the System. Data shows that the (now) global System is producing a fifth cycle, that could well be the first cycle of a second (now global) finite-time singularity dynamic.

When the core of the System reached the singularity in finite time in 1939 – the critical connectivity threshold – unsustainable amounts of tension were produced in the core of the System (Europe), and caused its collapse. In response, the System produced a phase transition that resulted in the merging of the core (Europe) and non-core of the now globalized System.

The patterns that can be identified in the development of certain properties of cycles, and of systemic and non-systemic wars themselves, are consistent, and provide clues for the identification of early warning signals and probably also for prediction of war dynamics.

Analysis of war data from the period 1945-2016 suggests that the System is producing a second – but now global – singularity dynamic. Presently, the System is still in the relatively stable period of the first cycle. The analysis suggests that the current relative stability has passed the tipping point and is charging. Current, developments in the System, including the dysfunctionality of the United Nations, a number of increasingly related but unresolvable issues, increasing tensions between Great Powers, increasing instability of the European order (the European Union), and increasingly volatile and erratic political and social developments with states, are – I assume – indicative of the increasing tensions that are accumulating in the System but cannot be released through non-systemic wars, as a consequence of the earlier mentioned effect.

If the basic conditions of the System are unchanged, prediction of certain properties of the System, including the likelihood and approximate timing of a new critical period, should be possible.

End of article.