The primary purpose of developing a forecast is to better plan. And at a more sophisticated level, to help shape a future that is conducive for ones interests. It’s an exercise to make a reasonable assessment of where matters might be heading. Smaller the variation between the trajectory of actual events, and the anticipated plan, greater the chances of success. Then there are risks, which if they were to come true, can seriously dent the expectations. Now a day, a term ‘black swan’ is more and more being used to conceptualize an unexpected and unprecedented event that can dramatically alter the present reality.
For instance, in the growing power tussles of the established and emerging powers, many nations are caught in a balancing act. While the present phase may be a transitory one, a single event could potentially end this stage and push different nations to chose between one or the other alignment. This is similar to how 9/11 dramatically altered international affairs. Anticipating what that incident could be, and how to pro-actively prevent such an eventuality, is critical.
While producing a forecast and a risk assessment, another important consideration to keep in perspective is the aspect of vantage point. Meaning, the future and the risks for one country are not the same as they may be for the other, just as is the case for individuals. Yes, there may be generalizations, but then there are always peculiarities as well. As a case in point, let’s take the example of campaign against extremism. The ramifications for the campaign that has been raging for about 13 years are different for the western nations than those regions that are inflicted by extremism.
Nonetheless, developing and understanding patterns and trends are an important ingredient and prerequisite for any forecast and plan.
Another essential distinction is the difference between local change brought upon by regional and global flux. Most often than not, global patterns are forcing a local response. Before formulating an appropriate tactical, strategic or policy level response, and for the sake of the success of the reply, it is vital to identify and understand the dynamics of global change first.
With this context, PoliTact has been working on identifying the most significant political, economic, and security patterns, from the vantage point of South Asia and Middle East. As oppose to listing them as the top ten risks or trends, as is fashionable these days, we have chosen a format that depicts how the political, economic, security and technology patterns are inter-linked. We have done so with an attempt to minimize rampant confusion and to enhance a conceptualization that helps to understand the confusion the world is presently experiencing.
The most important trend the nations of the region would have to grapple with is the changing nature of the world order.
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