Starting from Arab society’s rejection of governance that has become unacceptable, the author takes us on a retrospective tour of intolerable behaviour over the past century. He demonstrates that while collective red lines have ended up by preventing outbreaks of hostilities, the opposition to change, egotism and corruption of the privileged always lead to the unacceptable, and to uprisings.
In order to cope with uncertain times and confront new adversaries in faraway places, we need to diversify our approaches to conflict. A fresh look at Sun Tzu can help to prepare us, by the search for ways of thinking which may lead us to alternatives to the use of brute force and material superiority.
The permanent structured cooperation set out in the EU treaty is the subject of much speculation. This instrument of the Common Security and Defence Policy is currently unexploited; the author believes that it could be put into force in a progressive and pragmatic way, taking account of the specificities of member states. He sketches out some specific ways of doing this.
Although perceptions of the relationship between Russia and the West within the Euro-Atlantic community vary, NATO-Russia relations are still essential to that community’s security. In this article the author takes up the idea expressed by NATO’s Secretary General that the time has come to take matters forward. He suggests that ambitious and proactive solutions are now needed.