“Part of the international security problem is the UN itself”



“An update of the international order’s ‘software’ is urgently required: Do not cancel this update to avoid a system crash.” We only have limited time to avoid such a crash.

Below a letter is shown, I wrote in 2008 to the Financial Times that already pointed to the (now accelerating) problems and issues in the international system, and the System’s lack of alignment (balance).

During the intermediate period (2008 – present), more issues have developed, and have become increasingly entangled.

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‘America First’, not only for Trump, but also for terrorists

i want you-1-03

Success can backfire, when not properly managed

America First’ – the central theme of Trump’s inauguration speech on January 20, 2017 – is about putting America’s interests first: The well-being of its people and its security, as defined by Trump. Other considerations are – and should be – of minor importance, according to Trump: “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first. America first”.

America’s policies and wrong track must be addressed by its allies, to stop this (self-)destructive behaviour: Europe – but also NATO – cannot limit itself to the role of submissive cheerleaders. With this article, I try to promote this much needed discussion.

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Cooperation and integration have (much) more to offer 

Warthog in path of hunngry lion

Security also is in numbers (Source)

It now seems that conflict and fragmentation are ‘stronger’ than cooperation and integration and increasingly dominate the dynamics of the System. Why this is the case, I will discuss in another article; in this article, I discuss some obvious advantages of cooperation and integration that are too often ignored, or not understood.

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The connectivity effect: Increasingly entangled in a web of issues

Indecisive 2

Too connected: Too many incoming signals complicate decision making, lead to confusion, and reluctance to take decisions (Figure: Roy Lichtenstein).

In my articles I now and then refer to the high connectivity regime of international orders, and to the connectivity effect.

In this article I explain the workings of the connectivity effect.

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The absence of an American strategy for Syria does not matter


The figure shows a lithograph of M.C. Escher with the title ‘Relative’. 

Strategies of states in the System have two things in common, (1) they do not address the core issue they – we – confront, and (2) these ‘strategies’ qualify as self fulfilling prophecies. For these reasons, a lack of strategy – as is the case for the United States regarding Syria – is not problematic.

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