Author: Stan PETRESCU

Publisher: Editura Militară, 2008

The author, expert in terrorism and intelligence, offers us a new work on the security environment becoming ever more dynamic, its characteristics in the Euro-Atlantic space, in Eurasia and in the Middle East, the risk factors to the national security, some aspects of international terrorism and of the terrorism with mass destruction weapons.

An important space is given to local and regional conflicts from Central Africa to Cyprus, from Indonesia to Northern Ireland and an analysis of the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The violent fight for an important place in the security environment is still in full progress. The fight for strategic resources, especially for oil and natural gas, has already been transformed into a political weapon if we consider the preferential access and distribution of those resources.

The author believes the main sources of insecurity are the bankrupt states and the states in difficulty because: the most serious threats for the regional and global security environment are now coming less from the powerful states and more from the failed (bankrupt) states. If in the past international leaders were concerned by the areas in which power was concentrated, now the areas in a void of power are to be observed and monitored.

What is a bankrupt state? The author appreciates that in this state the government no longer has control over its territory and it cannot be the only one using legitimate force.

Foreign interventions can be a sign as well as a premise for the bankruptcy of a state. A failed state is, usually, limited in terms of its sovereignty, subjected to political or economic sanctions or there are foreign military forces on its territory or it is subjected to other military sanctions.

The author presents analyses made by various institutions: the World Bank has identified about 30 states with low income, the British Department for International Development has found 46 fragile states and a CIA report names 20 failed states.

Using 12 economic, social, political and military indicators, the “Peace Fund”  " an independent research organization " and “Foreign Policy” have elaborated a list of 60 states vulnerable to violent domestic conflicts. The analysis shows the disorder characteristic to the new world of the 21st century and proves that the problem raised by the weak and failed states is much more serious, as approximately two billion people live in states with no security, with a high level of vulnerability to the appearance of an extended civil conflict.

We are witnessing the spreading of nationalism and extremism all over the world, and also to the ever more visible appearance of an erosion of the national sovereignty of states by the aggressive action of the ethnic element, becoming increasingly intolerant and exclusivist just like religious ideologies and doctrines. The case of Kosovo is eloquent in this respect.

The proliferation of mass destruction weapons is also a cause for concern, as it is and has been a real threat for the international security, especially since more than 30 states in the world have the necessary technologies to produce, transport and hit enemy targets.

Cornel VAIDA


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