Interconnected 21st Century and the Decline of Traditional National Security System

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 4:00 PM
Room: Booth 50
Oral Presentation
Uros SVETE , Chair of Defense Studies, Universitiy of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Traditional national security system has been definitely one of the crucial pillars for Western statecraft paradigm since Westphalia Peace agreement in 1648. Especially in last two centuries the main task of sovereign state was how to protect own citizens and territory from foreign (military) threats with strategic concepts like deterrence and retaliation are. It was very clear the national power was based on physical and natural resources, industrial production as well military capabilities. The national state was practically the only reputable actor in international relations. Although for many scholars like Fukuyama this historic development was ended with the end of Cold War, I think the crucial revolution began with modern information and communication technology already mid of former century. Consequently till the end of millennium we got interconnected society with borderless, lightly regulated and largely anonymous online environment which has been rising to new strategic domain. At the same time security as a concept was changed by possible interconnection and new non-state actors like individuals, corporations, (cyber) terrorists, organized crime and autonomous actors appeared as important international players. That makes traditional national-based security system incapable to prevent all security incidents occurring in cyber as well physical space. In spite of the merits of measures to protect society against new kinds of security threats, national security policy makers therefore have to accept a certain level of vulnerability and redirect their focus to recovery and resilience, the ability to restore a state of normalcy after disruption. The primary security objective is effectively mitigating the impact and quickly restoring the original situation. For that purpose traditional very rigid national security should be redesigned into more flexible crisis management and knowledge integrating system with capability to collect all societal skills and potential convenient for ensuring security in interconnected semi-transparent world