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Riesgo geopolítico, las constricciones que condicionan el futuro

[Marko Papic, Geopolitical Alpha. An Investment Framework for Predicting the Future (Hoboken, Nueva Jersey: Wiley, 2021), 286 páginas]

RESEÑA Emili J. Blasco

«En la era post-Trump y post-Bréxit la geopolítica es todo lo que cuenta», asegura Marko Papic en Geopolitical Alpha, un libro sobre riesgo político cuyo propósito es aportar un método o marco de trabajo para quienes se dedican al análisis de prospectiva. Consultor en fondos de inversión, Papic condensa aquí su experiencia en una profesión que ha ganado atención en los últimos años por la creciente inestabilidad política nacional e internacional. Si los factores de riesgo antes se concentraban en los países en desarrollo o emergentes, ahora también se dan en el mundo avanzado.

Con el título del libro, Papic designa un proceso de análisis en el que la geopolítica propiamente dicha, en su acepción más vinculada a la geografía, es solo una parte de las consideraciones a tener en cuenta, pues el autor sostiene que primero importan los condicionantes políticos y luego los económicos (y financieros). Para el conjunto del análisis y las estimaciones a las que este da lugar, Papic utiliza el calificativo «alfa geopolítica» (o «geopolítica alfa»), como refiriéndose a una geopolítica plus o reforzada: una que tiene en cuenta las constricciones políticas o macroeconómicas además de los tradicionales imperativos geopolíticos.

En el fondo se trata de una cuestión nominalista, en una batalla colateral en la que el autor se enreda innecesariamente. Diríase que es un ajuste de cuentas con su anterior empleador, el Stratfor dirigido por George Friedman, a quien Papic alaba en sus páginas, pero que soterradamente parece criticar por basar gran parte de su prospectiva en la geografía de las naciones. Sin embargo, sugerir eso es hacer una caricatura del sólido análisis de Friedman. En cualquier caso, Papic ciertamente ha reforzado su formación con estudios financieros y saca un útil e interesante partido de ellos.

La idea central del libro, dejando ya al margen esa rivalidad anecdótica, es que para poder determinar qué actuaciones harán los gobiernos no hay que atender a las intenciones que proclaman, sino a aquello que les constriñe y les obliga a actuar de determinada manera. «Los inversores (y cualquiera interesado en pronóstico político) debería focalizarse en las constricciones materiales, no en las preferencias de los políticos», dice Papic, y añade una frase que repite, escrita en cursiva, en varios capítulos: «Las preferencias son opcionales y están sujetas a constricciones, mientras que las constricciones no son opcionales ni están sujetas a preferencias».

Esas constricciones materiales, según el orden de importancia que establece Papic, son los condicionamientos políticos (la mayoría con la que se cuenta, qué opina el votante medio, el nivel de popularidad del gobierno o del mandatario, el tiempo en el poder o el contexto nacional e internacional, entre otros factores), los macroeconómicos y financieros (margen de maniobra presupuestaria, niveles de déficit, inflación y deuda, valor de bonos y moneda...) y los geopolíticos (los imperativos que, derivados inicialmente de la geografía –el particular lugar que los países ocupan en tablero del mundo–, marcan la política exterior de las naciones). A esa lista, añade los asuntos constitucionales y legales, pero solo a tener en cuenta si los factores mencionados previamente no suponen ninguna constricción, pues conocido es que los políticos no tienen mucho problema en circunvalar las leyes.

El autor, que presenta todo esto como un método o marco de trabajo, considera que el hecho de que pueda haber políticos irracionales que de entrada no se sometan a constricciones materiales objetivas no hace descarrilar el planteamiento, pues esa situación se acaba venciendo porque «no hay irracionalidad que pueda alterar la realidad». No obstante, admite como posible objeción que, así como la opinión del votante medio condiciona la actuación del político, pueda darse una «sociedad histérica» que condicione al político y que ella misma no se vea afectada a corto plazo por constricciones objetivas que le hagan plegarse a la realidad. «El tiempo que toda una sociedad tarda en volver a la cordura es un pronóstico desconocido e imposible», reconoce.

Papic propone un proceso de análisis razonable, en líneas generales seguido por otros analistas, por eso sobra cierta jactancia inicial, algo petulante, sobre sus personales dotes prospectivas indispensables para inversores. No obstante, la obra tiene el mérito de una exposición sistematizada y rigurosa.

El texto está jalonado de casos específicos, cuyo análisis está no solo bien documentado sino además convenientemente ilustrado con tablas de notable interés. Entre ellas la que presenta la evolución de la opinión favorable al euro en Alemania y la creciente posición eurófila del votante medio alemán, sin lo que Merkel no habría llegado al punto, antes impensable, de aceptar la mutualización de la deuda en la UE. O las que constatan cómo el comercio de Inglaterra, Francia y Rusia con Alemania aumentó antes de la Primera Guerra Mundial, o el de Estados Unidos con Japón antes de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, lo que ejemplifica que la rivalidad entre naciones normalmente no afecta a sus transacciones comerciales.

Otros aspectos interesantes de la obra son su advertencia de que «la clase media forzará a China a salir de la excitación geopolítica», porque la inestabilidad y el riesgo internacional pone en peligro el progreso económico chino, y «mantener feliz a su clase media toma precedencia a la dominación sobre el mundo». «Mi marco basado en constricciones sugiere que Pekín está mucho más constreñido de lo que los políticos estadounidenses parecen pensar (...) Si Estados Unidos empuja demasiado fuerte sobre el comercio y la economía, amenazará la directiva primaria para China: escapar de la trampa del ingreso medio. Y ahí es cuando Pekín respondería con agresión», afirma Papic.

En relación con la UE, el autor no ve riesgos para la integración europea en la próxima década. «El imperativo geopolítico es claro: integrarse o perecer en la irrelevancia. Europa no se está integrando por cierta fantasía utópica fuera de lugar. Sus estados soberanos se están integrando por debilidad y miedo. Uniones por debilidad son a menudo más sostenibles a largo plazo. Después de todo, las trece colonias originales de Estados Unidos se integraron por miedo a que el Reino Unido pudiera finalmente invadirles de nuevo».

Otra aportación sugerente es etiquetar como “Consenso de Buenos Aires” la nueva política económica en la que parece estar adentrándose el mundo, alejándose del Consenso de Washington que ha regido los estándares económicos internacionales desde la década de 1980. Papic indica que estamos permutando la era de «laissez faire» por otra de cierto dirigismo económico.

US reorganizes its financial aid to developing countries to compete with China

The inclusion of private investment and the requirement of efficient credits differ from the overwhelming amount of loans from Chinese state banks

The active role of China as lender to an increasing number of countries has forced the United States to try to compete in this area of “soft power”. Until last decade the US was clearly ahead of China in official development assistance, but Beijing has used its state-controlled banks to pour loans into ambitious projects worldwide. In order to better compete with China, Washington has created the US International Development Finance Corporation (USIDFC), combining the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and with USAID’s Development Credit Authority (DCA).

▲ The US agency helped to provide clean, safe, and reliable sanitation for more than 100,000 people in Nairobi, at the end of 2020 [USIDFC]

ARTICLE /  Alexandria Casarano

It is not easy to know the complete amount of the international loans given by China in recent years, which skyrocketed from the middle of last decade. Some estimations say that the Chinese state and its subsidiaries have lent about US$ 1.5 trillion in direct loans and trade credits to more than 150 countries around the globe, turning China into the world's largest official creditor.

The two main Chinese foreign investment banks, the Export-Import Bank of China and the China Development Bank, were both established in 1994. The banks have been criticized for their lack of transparency and for blurring the lines between official development assistance (ODA) and commercial financial arrangements. To address this issue, Beijing founded the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) in April of 2018. The CIDCA will oversee all Chinese ODA activity, and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce will oversee all commercial financial arrangements going forward.

An additional complaint about Chinese foreign investment concerns “debt-trap diplomacy.” Since the PRC first announced its “One Belt One Road” initiative in 2013, the Chinese government has steadily increased its investment in the developing world even more dramatically than it had in the early 2000’s (when Chinese foreign aid was increasing annually by approximately 14%). At the 2018 China-Africa Convention Forum, the PCR pledged to invest US$ 60 billion in Africa that year alone. The Wall Street Journal said of the PRC in 2018 that it was “expanding its investments at a pace some consider reckless.” Ray Washburn, president of the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), called the Chinese One Belt One Road initiative a “loan-to-own” program. In 2018, this was certainly the case with the Chinese funded Sri Lankan port project, which led the Sri Lankan government to lease the port to Beijing for a 99-year period as a result of falling behind on payments.

OPIC, founded in 1971 under the Nixon administration, was recommended for elimination in the Trump administration’s 2017 budget. However, following the beginning of the US-China trade war in 2018, Washington reversed course completely. President Trump’s February 2018 budget recommended increasing OPIC’s funding and combining it with other government programs. These recommendations manifested themselves in the Better Utilization of Investment Leading to Development (BUILD) Act, which was passed by Congress on October 5, 2018. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) called the BUILD Act “the most important piece of U.S. soft power legislation in more than a decade.”

The US International Development Finance Corporation

The principal achievement of the BUILD Act was the creation of the US International Development Finance Corporation (USIDFC), which began operation as an independent agency on December 20, 2019. The BUILD Act combined OPIC with USAID’s Development Credit Authority to form the USIDFC and established an annual budget of US$ 60 billion for the new organization, which is more than double OPIC’s 2018 budget of US$ 29 billion.

▲ USIDFC‘s investment commitments by region for the FY 2020. The US$ 29.9 billion is only a fraction of the agency's budget [USIDFC]

According to the Wall Street Journal, OPIC “has been profitable every year for the last 40 years and has contributed US$ 8.5 billion to deficit reduction,” a financial success which can primarily be attributed to project management fees. As of 2018, OPIC managed a portfolio valued at US$ 23 billion. OPIC’s strong fiscal track record, combined with both the concept of government program streamlining and the larger context of geopolitical competition with China, generated bipartisan support for the BUILD Act and the USIDFC.

The USIDFC has several key new capacities which OPIC lacked. OPIC’s business was limited to “loan guarantees, direct lending and political-risk insurance,” and suffered under a “congressional cap on its portfolio size and a prohibition on owning equity stakes in projects.” The USIDFC, however, is permitted under the BUILD Act to “acquire equity or financial interests in entities as a minority investor.”

Both the USIDFC currently and OPIC before its incorporation are classified as Development Finance Institutions (DFIs). DFIs seek to “crowd-in” private investment, that is, attracting private investment that would not occur otherwise. This differs from the Chinese model of state-to-state lending and falls in line with traditional American political and economic philosophy. According to the CSIS, “The USIDFC offers [...] a private sector, market-based solution. Moreover, it fills a clear void that Chinese financing is not filling. China does not support lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and it rarely helps local companies in places like Africa or Afghanistan grow.”

In the fiscal year of 2020, the most USIDFC’s investments were made in Latin America (US$ 8.5 billion) and Sub-Saharan Africa (US$ 8 billion). Lesser but still significant investments were made in the Indo-Pacific region (US$ 5.4 billion), Eurasia (US$ 3.2 billion), and Middle East (US$ 3 billion). This falls in line with the USIDFC’s goal to invest more in lower and lower-middle income countries, as opposed to upper middle countries. OPIC previously had fallen into the pattern of investing predominantly in upper-middle countries, and while the USIDFC is still authorized legally to invest in upper-middle income countries for national security or developmental motives.

These investments serve to further US national interests abroad. According to the USIDFC webpage, “by generating economic opportunities for citizens in developing countries, challenges such as refugees, drug-financed gangs, terrorist organizations, and human trafficking can all be addressed more effectively.” Between 2002 and 2014, financial commitments in the DFI sector have increased sevenfold, from US$ 10 billion to US$ 70 billion. In our increasingly globalized world, international interests increasingly overlap with national interests, and public interests increasingly overlap with private interests.

Ongoing USIDFC initiatives

The USIDFC has five ongoing initiatives to further its national interests abroad: 2X Women’s Initiative, Connect Africa, Portfolio for Impact and Innovation, Health and Prosperity, and Blue Dot Network. In 2020, the USIDFC "commited to catalyzing an additional US$ 6 billion of private sector investment in global women's economic empowerment" uner the 2X Women's Initiative which seeks global female empowerment. About US$1 billion for this US$ 6 billion commitment has been specially pledged to Africa. Projects that fall under the 2X Women's Initiative include equity financing for a woman-owned feminine hygiene products online store in Rqanda, and "expanding women's access to affordable mortages in India."

Continuing the USIDFC’s special focus on Africa follows the Connect Africa initiative, under which the USIDFC has pledged US$ 1 billion to promote economic growth and connectivity in Africa. The Connect Africa initiative involves investment in telecommunications, internet access, and infrastructure.

Under the Portfolio for Impact and Innovation initiative, the USIDFC has dedicated US$ 10 million to supporting early-stage businesses. This includes sponsoring the Indian company Varthana, which offers affordable online learning for children whose schools have been shut down due to the Covid-19 crisis.

The Health and Prosperity initiative focuses on “bolstering health systems” and “expanding access to clean water, sanitation, and nutrition.” Under the Health and Prosperity initiative, the USIDFC has dedicated US$ 2 billion to projects such as financing a 200+ mile drinking water pipeline in Jordan.

The Blue Dot Network initiative, like the Connect Africa initiative, also invests in infrastructure, but on a global scale. The Blue Dot Network initiative differs from the aforementioned initiatives in being a network. Launched in November 2019, the Blue Dot Network seeks to align the interests of government, private enterprise, and civil society to facilitate the successful development of infrastructure around the globe.

It is important to note that these five initiatives are not entirely separate. Many projects fall under several initiatives at once. The Rwandan feminine products e-store project, for example, falls under both the 2X Women’s initiative and the Health and Prosperity initiative.

Have tanks died? A reflection

A Challenger 2 tank on Castlemartin Ranges in Pembrokeshire, Wales, fires a ‘Squash-Head’ practice round [UK MoD]

▲ A Challenger 2 tank on Castlemartin Ranges in Pembrokeshire, Wales, fires a ‘Squash-Head’ practice round [UK MoD]

COMMENTARYJairo Císcar Ruiz

At the end of last summer, two news pieces appeared in the forums and specialized magazines of the military field in the Anglo-Saxon world. The first of them was the forecast of the continuity (and worsening due to the current pandemic) of the spending cuts suffered in the UK Defense budget since 2010. The second, linked to the first, was the growing rumors of a possible withdrawal of the Challenger 2 tanks, which were already reduced to a quarter of their original strength. At a time of great economic instability, it seemed that the UK's strategic vision had decided to focus on its main assets to maintain its deterrent power and its projection of force: the very expensive nuclear arsenal and the maintenance and expansion of new naval groups in order to host the F-35B.

However, both pieces of news have been quickly overtaken by the announcement of the Boris Johnson executive to inject about 22 billion dollars over 4 years to take British power back to the levels of 30 years ago. Also, the decommissioning of battle tanks was dismissed by ministerial sources, who argued that it was simply a possibility raised in the "Integrated Review" that is being carried out by the British Ministry of Defense.

Although the waters have calmed down, the debate that has arisen as a result of these controversies seems extremely interesting, as well as the role that armored units will have on the battlefield of the future. This article aims to make a brief reflection, identifying possible scenarios and their implications.

The first of them It is a reality: the United Kingdom must improve its armored forces, which run the risk of becoming obsolete, not only in the face of threats (Russia has had since 2015 the T-14 Armata, a 5th generation tank; and recently the modernized version of the mythical T-90, Proryv-3), but also in front of their allies, such as France or Germany, which are already starting the project to replace their respective armor with the future European Main Battle Tank. It is not only a matter of improving their operational capabilities, but also of evolving their survival on the battlefield.

At a time when military technology is advancing by leaps and bounds (hypersonic projectiles; battlefield dominated by technology; extensive use of drones ...), it is necessary to rethink the traditional way of waging war. In the last Nagorno-Karabakh crisis, images and evidence of the effectiveness of the use of Israeli “suicide” drones could be seen against groups of infantry, but also against armored vehicles and tanks. Despite Foreign Policy accusing poor training and the complex terrain as the main factors for these casualties, the question is still up in the air: does the "classic" tank as we know it still have a place on the battlefield?

Experience tells us yes[1].  The tank is vital in large military operations, although, as noted above, new threats must be countered with new defenses. To this day, the tank remains the best vehicle to provide direct fire quickly and efficiently, against other armor, infantry, and reinforced enemy positions. By itself it is an exceptional striking force, although it must always act in accordance with the rest of the deployed troops, especially with Intelligence, Logistics units and the Infantry. It should not be forgotten that in a battlefield characterized by hybrid warfare, it is necessary to consider the increasingly changing environment of threats.

Sensors and detection systems on the battlefield are persistently more innovative and revolutionary, capable of detecting armored vehicles, even if they are camouflaged; when integrated with lethal precision firing systems, they make concealing and wearing heavy armor a challenge. There are technical responses to these threats, from countering electronic direction finding through spoofing and interference, to mounting active protection systems on vehicle hulls.

Despite the above, obviously, the battle tank continues to be a great investment in terms of money that must be made, questionable in front of the taxpayer in an environment of economic crisis, although at the strategic level it may not be.

There are also those who broke a spear in favor of withdrawing the tanks from their inventories, and it seems that today they regret having made this decision. The United Kingdom has the example of the army of the Netherlands, which in 2011 withdrew and sold to Finland 100 of its 120 Leopard 2A6s as a means of saving money and changing military doctrine. However, with Russia's entry into Ukraine and its increasing threats to NATO's eastern flank, they soon began to miss the armored forces' unique capabilities: penetrating power, high mobility that enables turning movements to engulf the enemy, maneuverability, speed, protection, and firepower. In the end, in 2015, they handed over their last 20 tanks (crews and mechanics included) to the German army, which since then has a contingent of a hundred Dutch, forming the Panzerbataillon 414. Knowing how important the concept of “lessons learned” is in military planning, perhaps the UK should pay attention to this case and consider its needs and the capabilities required to meet them.

A roadmap to the middle position would be to move towards an “army of specialization”, abandoning its armored units and specializing in other areas such as cyber or aviation; but this would only be possible within the framework of a defense organization more integrated than NATO. Although it is only a distant possibility, the hypothetical and much mentioned European Army -of which the United Kingdom would most likely be excluded after the Brexit- could lead to the creation of national armed forces that would be specialized in a specific weapon, relying on other countries to fulfill other tasks. However, this possibility belongs right now to the pure terrain of reverie and futurology, since it would require greater integration at all levels in Europe to be able to consider this possibility.

In the end we find the main problem when organizing and maintaining an army, which is none other than money. On many occasions this aspect, which is undoubtedly vital, completely overshadows any other consideration. And in the case of a nation’s armed forces, this is very dangerous. It would be counterproductive to ignore the tactical and strategic aspects to favor just the purely pecuniary ones. The reality is that Western armed forces, whether from the United Kingdom or any other NATO country, face not only IEDs and insurgent infantry in the mountainous regions of the Middle East, but also may have to confront peer rivals equipped with huge armored forces. Russia itself has about 2,000 battle tanks (that is, not counting other armored vehicles, whether they are capable of shooting rounds or not). China increases that figure up to 6,900 (more than half are completely out of date, although they are embarking on a total remodeling of the Chinese People's Army in all its forces). NATO does not forget the challenges, hence the mission "Enhanced Forward Presence" in Poland and the Baltic Republics, in which Spain contributes a Tactical Group that includes 6 Leopardo 2A6 Main Battle Tanks, 14 Pizarro Infantry Fighting Vehicles, and other armored infantry transports.

Certainly, war is changing. We can't even imagine how technology will change the battlefield in the next decade. Sometimes, though, it is better not to get ahead of time. Taking all aspects into account, perhaps the best decision the UK Ministry of Defense could make would be to modernize its tank battalions to adapt them to the current environment, and thus maintain a balanced military with full operational capabilities. It is plausible to predict that the tank still has a journey in its great and long history on the battlefield, from the Somme, to the war of the future. Time (and money) will tell what ends up happening.


[1] Doubts have existed since the very "birth" of the battle tank during the First World War. In each great war scene of the twentieth century that has contributed significant technological innovations (World War I; Spanish Civil War; World War II; Cold War; Gulf ...) it seemed that the tank was going to disappear under new weapons and technologies (first reliability problems, then anti-tank weapons and mines, aviation, RPG's and IED's…) However, armies have learned how to evolve battle tanks in line with the times. Even more valuable, today's tanks are the product of more than 100 years of battles, with many lessons learned and incorporated into its development, not only on a purely material level, but also in tactics and training.

International contracting on cluster bombs

A B-1B Lancer unleashes cluster munitions [USAF]

▲ A B-1B Lancer unleashes cluster munitions [USAF]

ESSAYAna Salas

The aim of this paper is to study the international contracts on cluster bombs. Before going deeper into this issue, it is important to understand the concept of international contract and cluster bomb. “A contract is a voluntary, deliberate, legally binding, and enforceable agreement creating mutual obligations between two or more parties and a contract is international when it has certain links with more than one State.”[1]

A cluster bomb is a free-fall or directed bomb that can be dropped from land, sea, or air. Cluster bombs contain a device that releases many small bombs when opened. These submunitions can cause different damages, they are used against various targets, including people, armored vehicles, and different types of material. It is an explosive charge designed to burst after that separation, in most cases when impacting the ground. But often large numbers of the submunitions fail to function as designed, and instead land on the ground without exploding, where they remain as very dangerous duds.

The main problem with these types of weapons is that they may cause serious collateral damage such as the death of thousands of civilians. Because of that, the legality of this type of weapon is controversial. Out of concern for the civilians affected by artifacts of this type, the Cluster Bomb Convention was held in Dublin, Ireland in 2008. There, a treaty was signed that prohibited the use of these weapons. Not all countries, though, signed the treaty; major arms producers, such as the United States, Russia and China, are not parties in the convention.

Among other things, the Convention proposed a total ban on cluster munitions, the promotion of the destruction of stocks in a period of 8 years, the cleaning of contaminated areas in 10 years, and assistance to the victims of these weapons.   

Convention on Cluster Munitions: geopolitical background  

The antecedents of this convention are in the recognition of the damage produced by the multiple attacks that have been carried out with cluster munitions. The International Handicap Organization has produced a report that offers concrete and documented data on the victims of cluster bombs around the world. In Laos[2], the attacks were designed to prevent enemy convoys make use of dense vegetation to camouflage among the trees. Furthermore, in this way it was not necessary to use ground troops. In Kosovo (1999), the targets were military posts, road vehicles, troop concentrations, armored units, and telecommunications centers. In Iraq cluster bombs have been used several times. During Operation “Desert Storm” in 1991, US forces dropped almost 50,000 bombs with more than 13 million submunitions on Iraq in air operations alone (not taking into account those dropped from the sea or by artillery). Estimates suggest that a third did not explode, and were found on roads, bridges and other civil infrastructure.

Pressure for an international ban on cluster bombs has recently intensified, following Israel's bombardments with these weapons in southern Lebanon in the summer of 2006. Also, in Afghanistan, in 2001 and 2002, during the US offensive, more than 1,200 cluster bombs with almost 250,000 submunitions were dropped against Taliban military bases and positions. These targets were near towns and villages, whose civilian population was affected. UN demining teams estimate that around 40,000 munitions did not explode. These have been the main concern of NGOs. On the one hand, because of the large percentage of civilians who have been affected by the cluster bombs and on the other hand, due to the amount of submunitions that did not explode at the time and that are in the affected areas, being an even greater risk for the security of the civilian population or even for their agriculture in those lands.

Due to the great commotion over the death of thousands of civilians and after several attempts, a convention on such munitions was adopted in Dublin, where more than 100 countries had come together for an international agreement. The Convention on Cluster Munitions was adopted on May 30, 2008, in Dublin and signed on December 3-4, 2008 in Oslo, Norway. The Convention on Cluster Munitions entered into force on August 1, 2010.

One of the major problems addressed in the Convention was the threat posed by submunitions that do not explode as expected, and which remain in the area as a mortal danger, turning the affected area into a large minefield where the civilian population is the most vulnerable. A study indicates that 20-30% of these bombs do not explode either due to manufacturing defects, or to falls in soft areas or in trees, for example.

Articles 3 and 4 of the Convention are of great importance. Article 3 refers to the stockpile, storage, and destruction of cluster bombs. Here all Parties haves the obligation of making sure to destroy their stored cluster bombs no later than 8 years. Article 4, on the cleaning and destroying of cluster munition remnants and education on risk reduction, is intended to protect possible victims from the danger of bombs that have not exploded. Article 5 reinforces the obligation of the signatory parties to assist the victims of cluster bombs.

After the convention there is a double deal on cluster bombs. Since the destruction of the entire arsenal of these ammunitions and submunitions was approved, the affected companies and the countries involved will have a new challenge in hiring companies that carry out the extinction of these reserves.

Producers

The main manufacturers of cluster bombs are the United States, Russia, China, Israel, Pakistan, and India. Approximately 16 states are the largest producers of this ammunition and submunition worldwide, and none of these countries adhered to the convention on cluster munitions. Some of the countries involved are Greece, South Korea, North Korea, Egypt, Iran, Poland, Turkey, Brazil, Singapore, Romania, and Poland. The date on which the cluster munitions were produced is not clear because of the lack of transparency and the data available.

A total of 85 companies have produced, along history, cluster bombs or their essential parts. Many of these companies are headquartered in the United States or Europe, but others are state-owned industries located in developing countries. Cluster munition production involves the manufacturing and integration of a large number of parts, including metal parts, explosives, fuses, and packaging materials. All components are seldom produced by a single company in the same state. This makes difficult to determine the true extent of the international trade in cluster munitions.

International trade on cluster bomb has slackened. As the cluster munition monitor of 2017 states, the US company Textron Systems Corporation, for example, has slowed production of the CBU-105[3] weapon due to “reduced orders, and claimed that the current political environment has made it difficult to obtain sales approvals from the executive branch.”

Manufactures are also adapting their production to international regulations. Following a study by Pax[4] on “Worlwide Investments in cluster munitions,” Avibras (Brazil), Bharat Dynamics Limited (India), China Aerospace Science and Industry (China) or Hanwha (South Korea) are some of the companies that develop or produce cluster bombs according to the definition given by the Dublin Convention in 2008.

It is important to warn about the existing sensitivity regarding the production of cluster bombs. Undoubtedly, they pose a serious problem from the point of view of civil protection, but many companies engaged in the production and the funders of this kind of weapons have a high interest in keeping them legal.

There are very controversial weapons. Many countries insist on that cluster munitions are legal weapons, that, although not essential, have great military use. Some states believe that submunitions can be accurately targeted to reduce damage to civilians, meaning that military purposes can be isolated in densely populated areas. On the other hand, others believe that the ability of cluster munitions to destroy targets just as effectively throughout the attack area can cause those using them to neglect the target, thus increasing the risk of civilian casualties.

The future of International contracting on cluster bombs

As Jorge Heine defines the "New Diplomacy", it requires the negotiation of a wide range of relationships with the state, NGOs and commercial actors. “As middle powers have demonstrated, through joining forces with NGOs, they have actually succeeded in augmenting their power to project their interests into the international arena.”[5] Cluster munition is an example of this case.

Because of this, parties forming international contracts for the purchase and financing of cluster bombs are forced to change the object of the cluster bomb business. As mentioned earlier, the new business will be the destruction of these weapons, rather than their production. Especially munitions with high submunition failure rates. For this reason, countries such as Argentina, Canada, France, UK, Denmark, Norway, Spain and more have promoted a new business on the destruction of the storage of cluster bombs. As a result, cluster munitions move away from their useful life and have more chances of being destroyed than of being sold for profit.

By financing companies that produce cluster munitions, financial institutions (in many cases states themselves) help these companies to produce the weapon. But to achieve an effective elimination of cluster bombs, more than a convention is needed. The effort requires national legislation that reflects that purpose. Domestic governments must provide clear guidelines by introducing and enforcing legislation that prohibits investment in cluster munitions producers.  

Conclusion

As a military tactic, the use of cluster bombs provides a high percentage of success. A good number of states and armies defend that they are effective weapons, sometimes even decisive ones, depending on the circumstances and the context. It is often argued that using another type of weapon to achieve the same objective would require more firepower and use more explosives, and that this would cause even greater collateral damage. At the same time, and to avoid the low reliability of these weapons, some armies have begun to modernize their arsenals and to replace older weapons with more modern and precise versions that incorporate, for example, guidance or self-destruct systems. Their main objective in developing cluster bombs is to compensate for precision failures with more munitions and, on the other hand, to allow a greater number of targets to be hit in less time.

Advances in technology can certainly reduce some of the humanitarian problems generated by the less advanced types of cluster bombs but a good number of military operations are currently peace operations, where the risk generated by these products also becomes a military concern, not just humanitarian. For example, to address the issue of unexploded ordnance, weapons are being developed that have self-destruction or, at least, self-neutralization mechanisms[6].

There is great uncertainty about how the norms of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) are interpreted and whether they are applied rigorously in the case of cluster munitions, given the lack of precision and reliability of these weapons. The Convention on Cluster Munitions gives hope, but we must consider the different current situations and how they can change. We also have to take into account that this agreement leaves open many possibilities of circumventing what has been signed. For example, guided or self-destructive cluster bombs do not fall under the umbrella of this pact.

Despite the provisions of International Humanitarian Law, existing cluster munitions have caused large numbers of civilian casualties in various conflicts. A better implementation of the IHL, including the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War, will not be able to fully address the problems caused by these weapons. There is a need for specific rules on these munitions as outlined above.

 


[1] Renzo Cavalieri and Vincenzo Salvatore, An introduction to international contract law, Torino: Giappichelli, 2018.

[2] During the years 1964 to 1973, Laos was bombed by the United States. The attacks were intended to cut off North Vietnamese supply lines and support Laotian government forces in their fight against communist rebels.

[3] CBU-105 is a free fall cluster bomb unit of the United States Air Force.

[4] Pax is a peace organization with the aim of “bringing peace, reconciliation and justice in the world”.

[5] Matthew Bolton and Thomas Nash, “The Role of Middle Powe-NGO Coalitions in Global Policy: The Case of the Cluster Munitions Ban”, Global Policy, Vol. 1, No. 2 (May 2010), pp 172-184.

[6] Some essential component for the operation of the bomb is deactivated.

Multilateralismo: infectado por COVID-19

COMENTARIO Sebastián Bruzzone

“Hemos fallado… Debimos haber actuado antes frente a la pandemia”. No son palabras de un politólogo, científico o periodista, sino de la propia canciller Angela Merkel dirigiéndose a los otros 27 líderes de la Unión Europea el 29 de octubre de 2020.

Cualquier persona que haya seguido las noticias desde marzo hasta hoy puede darse cuenta fácilmente de que ningún gobierno en el mundo ha sabido controlar la expansión del coronavirus, excepto en un país: Nueva Zelanda. Su primera ministra, la joven Jacinda Ardern, cerró las fronteras el 20 de marzo e impuso una cuarentena de 14 días para los neozelandeses que volviesen del extranjero. Su estrategia “go hard, go early” ha obtenido resultados positivos si se comparan con el resto del planeta: menos de 2.000 infectados y 25 fallecidos desde el inicio de la crisis sanitaria. Y la pregunta es: ¿cómo lo han hecho? La respuesta es relativamente sencilla: su comportamiento unilateral.

Los más escépticos a esta idea pueden pensar que “Nueva Zelanda es una isla y ha sido más fácil de controlar”. Sin embargo, es necesario saber que Japón también es una isla y tiene más de 102.000 casos confirmados, que Australia ha tenido más de 27.000 infectados, o que Reino Unido, que es incluso más pequeño que Nueva Zelanda, tiene más de un millón de contagiados. El porcentaje de casos sobre los habitantes totales de Nueva Zelanda es ínfimo, tan solo un 0,04% de su población ha sido infectada.

Mientras los Estados del mundo esperaban que la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) estableciese unas directrices para dar una respuesta común frente a la crisis mundial, Nueva Zelanda se alejó del organismo desoyendo sus recomendaciones totalmente contradictorias, que el presidente estadounidense Donald J. Trump calificó como “errores mortales” mientras suspendía la aportación americana a la organización. El viceprimer ministro japonés Taro Aro llegó a decir que la OMS debería cambiar de nombre y llamarse “Organización China de la Salud”.

El caso neozelandés es el ejemplo del debilitamiento del multilateralismo actual. Lejos queda aquel concepto de cooperación multilateral que dio origen a la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) tras la Segunda Guerra Mundial, cuyo fin era mantener la paz y la seguridad en el mundo. Los fundamentos de la gobernanza global fueron diseñados por y para Occidente. Las potencias del siglo XX ya no son las potencias del siglo XXI: países emergentes como China, India o Brasil exigen más poder en el Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU y en el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI). La falta de valores y objetivos comunes entre países desarrollados y países emergentes está minando la legitimidad y relevancia de las organizaciones multilaterales del siglo pasado. De hecho, China ya propuso en 2014 la creación del Asian Investment Infrastructure Bank (AIIB) como alternativa al FMI o al Banco Mundial.

La Unión Europea tampoco se salva del desastre multilateral porque tiene atribuida la competencia compartida en los asuntos comunes de seguridad en materia de salud pública (TFUE: art. 4.k)). El 17 de marzo, el Consejo Europeo tomó la incoherente decisión de cerrar las fronteras externas con terceros Estados cuando el virus ya estaba dentro en lugar de suspender temporal e imperativamente el Tratado de Schengen. En el aspecto económico, la desigualdad y el recelo entre los países del norte y del sur con tendencia a endeudarse ha aumentado. La negativa de Holanda, Finlandia, Austria y demás frugales frente a la ayuda incondicional requerida por un país como España que tiene más coches oficiales y políticos que el resto de Europa y Estados Unidos juntos ponía en tela de juicio uno de los principios fundamentales sobre los que se construyó la Unión Europea: la solidaridad.

Europa ha sido la tormenta perfecta en un mar de incertidumbre y España, el ojo del huracán. El fondo de recuperación económico europeo es un término que eclipsa lo que realmente es: un rescate financiero. Un total de 750.000 millones de euros repartidos principalmente entre Italia, Portugal, Francia, Grecia y España, que recibirá 140.000 millones y que devolverán los hijos de nuestros nietos. Parece una fantasía que las primeras ayudas sanitarias que recibió Italia proviniesen de terceros Estados y no de sus socios comunitarios, pero se convirtió en una realidad cuando los primeros aviones de China y Rusia aterrizaron en el aeropuerto de Fiumicino el 13 de marzo. La pandemia está resultando ser un examen de conciencia y credibilidad para la Unión Europea, un barco camino del naufragio con 28 tripulantes intentando achicar el agua que lo hunde lentamente.

Grandes académicos y políticos confirman que los Estados necesitan el multilateralismo para responder de forma conjunta y eficaz a los grandes riesgos y amenazas que han traspasado las fronteras y para mantener la paz global. Sin embargo, esta idea se derrumba al reparar en que el máximo referente del bilateralismo de hoy, Donald J. Trump, ha sido el único presidente estadounidense desde 1980 que no ha iniciado una guerra en su primer mandato, que ha acercado posturas con Corea del Norte y que ha conseguido el reconocimiento de Israel por Bahréin y los Emiratos Árabes Unidos.

Es hora de cambiar la geopolítica hacia soluciones actualizadas y propuestas en el consenso basado en una gobernanza en cooperación y no en una gobernanza global dirigida por instituciones obsoletas y realmente poderosas. El multilateralismo globalista que busca unificar la actuación de países con raíces culturales e históricas muy dispares bajo una misma entidad supranacional a la que éstos ceden soberanía puede causar grandes enfrentamientos en el seno de la entente, provocar la salida de algunos de los miembros descontentos, la posterior extinción de la organización pretendida e, incluso, una enemistad o ruptura de relaciones diplomáticas.

Sin embargo, si los Estados con valores, leyes, normas consuetudinarias o intereses similares deciden agruparse bajo un Tratado o crean una institución regulatoria, incluso cediendo la soberanía justa y necesaria, el entendimiento será mucho más productivo. Así, una red de acuerdos bilaterales entre organizaciones regionales o entre Estados tiene la posibilidad de crear objetivos más precisos y específicos, a diferencia de firmar un tratado globalista en el que las extensas letras y listas de sus artículos y miembros pueden convertirse en humo y una mera declaración de intenciones como ha ocurrido con la Convención de París contra el Cambio Climático en 2015.

Esta última idea es el verdadero y óptimo futuro de las relaciones internacionales: el bilateralismo regional. Un mundo agrupado en organizaciones regionales formadas por países con características y objetivos análogos que negocien y lleguen a acuerdos con otros grupos de regiones mediante el diálogo, el entendimiento pacífico, el arte de la diplomacia y pactos vinculantes sin la necesidad de ceder el alma de un Estado: la soberanía.

Naciones Desunidas

[Peter Zeihan, Desunited Nations. The Scramble for Power in an Ungoverned World (New York: Harper Collins, 2020) 453 pgs]

RESEÑAEmili J. Blasco

Desunited Nations. The Scramble for Power in an Ungoverned World El mundo parece caminar hacia lo que Peter Zeihan denomina «el gran desorden». La suya no es una visión catastrofista del orden internacional por el mero placer de revolcarse en el pesimismo, sino que se presenta plenamente razonada. El repliegue de Estados Unidos está dejando al orbe sin la presencia ubicua de quien aseguraba la estructura mundial que hemos conocido desde la Segunda Guerra Mundial, lo que fuerza a los demás países a un comercio intercontinental más inseguro y a buscarse la vida en un entorno de «naciones desunidas».

Zeihan lleva tiempo sacando consecuencias de su idea seminal, expuesta en su primer libro, The Accidental Superpower (2014): el éxito del frácking ha dado independencia energética a Estados Unidos, por lo que ya no necesita el petróleo de Oriente Medio y progresivamente se retirará de buena parte del mundo. En su siguiente libro, The Absent Superpower (2016), detalló cómo la retirada estadounidense dejará a los demás países sin capacidad de garantizar la seguridad de las rutas del importante comercio marítimo y reducirá la proliferación de contactos desarrollados en esta era de globalización. Esto último se ha acelerado ahora con la pandemia del Covid, que llegó cuando un tercer volumen, Desunited Nations (2020), estaba a punto de publicarse. Zeihan no tuvo tiempo para incluir una referencia a los estragos del virus, pero no hacía falta porque su texto iba en cualquier caso en la misma dirección.

Zeihan, analista geopolítico que trabajó con George Friedman en Stratfor y ahora tiene su propia firma, estudia esta vez cómo las diferentes potencias van a adaptarse al «gran desorden» y cuáles de ellas cuentan con mejores perspectivas. El libro trata «de lo que ocurre cuando el orden global no solo se está desmoronando, sino cuando muchos líderes sienten que sus países saldrán mejor parados derribándolo». Y no es únicamente algo de la Administración Trump: «el empujón para el repliegue estadounidense no empezó con Trump, ni terminará con él», dice Zeihan.

El autor cree que, en el nuevo esquema, Estados Unidos se mantendrá como superpotencia, China no alcanzará una posición hegemónica y Rusia proseguirá en su decadencia. Entre otras potencias menores, Francia liderará la nueva Europa (no Alemania; mientras que los británicos «están condenados a una depresión de múltiples años»), Arabia Saudí dará más preocupación al mundo que Irán y Argentina tendrá mejor futuro que Brasil.

Por centrarnos en la rivalidad EEUU-China, estaría bien recoger algunos de los argumentos esgrimidos por Zeihan para su escepticismo sobre la consolidación del auge chino.

Para ejercer de modo efectivo de superpotencia, China necesita un mayor control de los mares. El problema no es construir una gran armada orientada al exterior, sino que, siendo ya difícil poder sostener ese enorme esfuerzo en el tiempo, debe además tener simultáneamente «una enorme armada defensiva y una enorme fuerza aérea y una enorme fuerza de seguridad interior y un enorme Ejército y un enorme sistema de inteligencia y un enorme sistema de fuerzas especiales y una capacidad de despliegue global».

Para Zeihan, la cuestión no es si China será el próximo hegemón, que «no puede serlo», sino «si China incluso puede mantenerse unida como país». Vectores que juegan en contra son la imposibilidad de alimentar por sí misma a toda su población, la falta de suficientes fuentes de energía propias, los fuertes desequilibrios territoriales o los condicionamientos demográficos, como el hecho de que haya 41 millones de hombres chinos por debajo de los 40 años que nunca podrán casarse.

No es infrecuente que haya autores estadounidenses que predigan un futuro colapso de China. Sin embargo, episodios como el coronavirus, visto inicialmente como un serio tropiezo para Pekín, nunca acaban por cercenar la marcha hacia delante del coloso asiático, por más que lógicamente las cifras de crecimiento económico chino se han ido moderando con los años. De ahí que a veces esos malos augurios de muchos cabría interpretarlos más como un deseo que como un análisis con suficientes dosis de realismo. Zeihan, ciertamente, escribe de un modo algo «suelto», con afirmaciones rotundas que buscan sacudir al lector, pero sus axiomas geopolíticos parecen estar generalmente refrendados: licuando bien lo que dice en sus tres libros, tenemos un claro aviso de por dónde se supone que va a ir el mundo; y por ahí efectivamente está yendo.

Un breve compendio sobre el mundo

[Richard Haas, The World. A Brief Introduction (New York, NY: Penguin Press, 2020), 378 p]

RESEÑASalvador Sánchez Tapia

The World. A Brief IntroductionDurante una jornada de pesca en Nantucket con un amigo y el hijo de este, a la sazón estudiante de ingeniería informática en la prestigiosa Universidad de Stanford, Richard Haass, presidente del Council on Foreign Relations entabló conversación con el joven acerca de sus estudios, y le preguntó qué asignaturas tenía, aparte de las estrictamente técnicas. Para su sorpresa, Haass constató cuán limitado era el número de éstas que había tomado. Nada de Economía, ni de Historia, ni de Política. 

Richard Haass se sirve de esta anécdota, que refiere en la introducción de The World. A Brief Introduction, para ilustrar el estado general de la educación superior en Estados Unidos –que no es, podríamos añadir, muy diferente al de otros países–, y que puede resumirse en esta realidad: muchos estudiantes en el país que tiene las mejores universidades del mundo y que, además, es el más poderoso e influyente del planeta, lo que hace que sus intereses sean globales, pueden terminar su formación de nivel universitario sin un conocimiento mínimo –no digamos ya comprensión– sobre el mundo que les rodea, y sobre su dinámica y funcionamiento.

The World. A Brief Introduction es consecuencia directa de la preocupación que suscita en el autor la gravedad que supone esta importante laguna para una nación como Estados Unidos, y en un mundo como el actual, en el que lo que él llama la “regla de Las Vegas” –lo que ocurre dentro del país se queda en el país– no funciona, dada la interconexión que resulta de una omnipresente globalización que no cabe obviar.

El libro está concebido como un manual básico destinado a educar a los lectores –cabe esperar que entre ellos se encuentre, al menos, una parte de esa plétora de estudiantes no educados– de distinta procedencia y niveles de conocimiento, en las cuestiones y conceptos básicos de uso común en el campo de las relaciones internacionales.

Por la propia naturaleza de la obra, que no espere ningún lector informado encontrar en este libro grandes hallazgos, teorías revolucionarias o planteamientos novedosos para contemplar el orden internacional desde una nueva perspectiva. En su lugar, lo que ofrece es una presentación sistemática de los conceptos esenciales de este campo del conocimiento a caballo de la Historia, la Ciencia Política, la Sociología, el Derecho, o la Geografía.

El libro huye de cualquier planteamiento teórico. Por el contrario, su objetivo es eminentemente práctico, y no es otro que el de presentar de forma ordenada y sistemática la información que un lector medio necesita saber sobre el mundo para formarse un criterio de cómo funciona y cómo está articulado. Se trata, en definitiva, de hacerle más “globalmente educado”.

Desde su atalaya como presidente de uno de los principales think-tanks a nivel global, y con la experiencia recogida de sus años de servicio como parte del establishment de seguridad de los dos presidentes Bush, Richard Haass ha hecho numerosas e importantes contribuciones al campo de las relaciones internacionales. En el caso del libro que nos ocupa ahora, el mérito del autor estriba en el esfuerzo que ha hecho para simplificar la complejidad inherente a las relaciones internacionales. En una prosa sencilla y atractiva, accesible a lectores de todo tipo, Richard Haass, demostrando una gran comprensión de cada una de las materias que trata, ha sabido destilar su esencia y plasmarla en los veintiséis capítulos de este breve compendio, cada uno de los cuales justificaría, por sí solo, una ingente producción literaria.

Aunque cada capítulo puede ser leído de forma independiente, el libro está articulado en cuatro partes en las que el autor aborda la situación del mundo actual y de las relaciones entre estados desde ángulos diferentes. En la primera de ellas, Haass introduce el marco histórico mínimo necesario para comprender la configuración del actual sistema internacional, deteniéndose de forma particular en los hitos de la Paz de Westfalia, las dos Guerras Mundiales, la Guerra Fría, y del mundo posterior a la misma.

La segunda parte dedica sendos capítulos a diferentes regiones del mundo, que son brevemente analizadas desde el punto de vista geopolítico. Para cada región, el libro describe su situación, y analiza los principales retos a que se enfrenta, concluyendo con una mirada a su futuro. El capítulo es comprehensivo, aunque la división regional que emplea para el análisis es un tanto cuestionable, y a pesar de que omita, inexplicablemente, cualquier referencia al Ártico como región con identidad geopolítica propia y llamada a jugar un papel creciente en el mundo globalizado a que alude constantemente el libro.

La tercera parte de la obra está dedicada a la globalización como fenómeno definitorio e inescapable de la época actual con enorme impacto sobre la estabilidad del orden internacional. En varios capítulos, repasa las múltiples manifestaciones de la globalización –terrorismo, proliferación nuclear, cambio climático, migraciones, ciberespacio, salud, comercio internacional, cuestiones monetarias, y desarrollo– describiendo en cada caso sus causas y consecuencias, así como las opciones disponibles a todos los niveles para tratarlas de forma que favorable a la estabilidad del orden mundial.

Finalmente, la última sección trata del orden mundial –el concepto más básico en relaciones internacionales–, que considera imprescindible dado que su ausencia se traduce en pérdida de vidas y de recursos, y en amenazas a la libertad y prosperidad a nivel global. Sobre la idea de que, en cualquier momento histórico, y a cualquier nivel, operan fuerzas que promueven la estabilidad del orden junto con otras que tienden al caos, el capítulo se ocupa de las principales fuentes de estabilidad, analizando su contribución al orden –o desorden– internacional, y concluyendo con el significado que esto tiene para la era internacional que vivimos. Aspectos como la soberanía, el equilibrio de poder, las alianzas, o la guerra, son tratados en los diferentes capítulos que comprenden esta cuarta y última parte.

De particular interés para quien desee profundizar más en estos asuntos resulta la coda del libro, titulada Where to Go for More. Este capítulo final ofrece al lector un compendio de referencias periodísticas, digitales, y literarias bastante equilibrado y autorizado cuyo uso frecuente, altamente recomendado, contribuirá, sin duda, al objetivo formativo que propone el autor.

Se trata de un libro divulgativo, escrito para mejorar la formación del público norteamericano y, más allá de ello, global, en asuntos relacionados con el orden mundial. Este carácter didáctico no es, sin embargo, óbice para que Haass, en algunos momentos, y a pesar de su promesa de proporcionar un criterio independiente y no partidista que haga al lector haga menos manipulable, tiña esos asuntos con su personal visión del orden mundial y de cómo debe ser, ni para que ejercite una crítica -un tanto velada, hay que decir- a la política internacional, poco globalista, del actual inquilino de la Casa Blanca. Pese a ello, The World. A Brief Introduction ofrece una sencilla y completa introducción al mundo de las relaciones internacionales, y resulta, casi, de lectura obligada para quien quiera iniciarse en el conocimiento del orden mundial y de los mecanismos que lo regulan.

Psicología y seguridad en tiempos de pandemia

COMENTARIO / Luis Ángel Díaz Robredo*

Puede resultar sarcástico para algunos, e incluso cruel, escuchar que estas circunstancias de pandemia mundial por COVID-19 son tiempos interesantes para la psicología social e individual. Y aún puede resultar más extraño, tener en cuenta estos tiempos difíciles a la hora de establecer relaciones con la seguridad y la defensa de los estados.

En primer lugar hay que señalar lo evidente: las actuales circunstancias son excepcionales puesto que no habíamos conocido antes una amenaza para la salud tal que trascendiera a ámbitos tan diversos y decisivos como la economía mundial, la política internacional, la geoestrategia, la industria, la demografía… Los individuos e instituciones no estábamos preparados hace unos meses y, aun a día de hoy, los solventamos con cierta improvisación. Las tasas de mortalidad y contagio se han disparado y los recursos que la administración pública ha movilizado son desconocidos hasta la fecha. Sin ir más lejos, la operación Balmis –misión de apoyo contra la pandemia, organizada y ejecutada por el Ministerio de Defensa– ha desplegado en 20.000 intervenciones, durante 98 días de estado de alarma y con un total de 188.713 militares movilizados.

Además de las labores sanitarias de desinfección, logística y apoyo sanitario, se han dado otras tareas más propias del control social, como la presencia de militares en las calles y en puntos críticos o el refuerzo en fronteras. Esta labor que a algunas personas puede desconcertar por su naturaleza poco habitual de autoridad sobre la propia población está justificada por comportamientos grupales atípicos que hemos observado desde el inicio de la pandemia. Baste citar unos pocos ejemplos españoles que reflejan cómo en algunos momentos se han dado conductas poco lógicas de imitación social, como la acumulación de bienes de primera necesidad (alimentos) o no de tan primera necesidad (papel higiénico) que vaciaban durante unas horas las estanterías de los supermercados.

Ha habido momentos también de insolidaridad e incluso de cierta tensión social ante el miedo al contagio contra colectivos vulnerables, como los ancianos con COVID-19 trasladados de una localidad a otra y que eran abucheados por el vecindario que los recibía y debían ser escoltados por la policía. También, con escasa frecuencia pero igualmente negativo e insolidario, se han conocido casos en los cuales algunos sanitarios sufrían el miedo y el rechazo por parte de sus vecinos. Y últimamente la sanción y detención de personas que no respetaban las normas de distancia social y protección individual ha sido otra actuación habitual de las autoridades y Fuerzas y Cuerpos de Seguridad del Estado. Estos hechos, que afortunadamente han sido limitados y solventados con rapidez por las autoridades, han sido sobradamente superados por muchos otros comportamientos sociales positivos de solidaridad, altruismo y generosidad entre ciudadanos.

Sin embargo, y puesto que la seguridad nacional debe contemplar no solo los escenarios ideales sino también situaciones con carencias o posibles riesgos, se debe tener en cuenta esas variables sociales a la hora de establecer una estrategia.

En segundo lugar, el flujo de información ha sido un verdadero tsunami de fuerzas e intereses que han arrollado las capacidades informativas de sociedades enteras, grupos empresariales e incluso individuos. En este juego por llegar a captar la atención del ciudadano han competido tanto medios de comunicación oficiales, como medios de comunicación privados, redes sociales e incluso grupos anónimos con intereses desestabilizadores. Si algo ha demostrado esta situación es que el exceso de información puede resultar tan incapacitante como la falta de información y que, incluso, el uso de información falsa, incompleta o de alguna forma manipulada nos
hace más influenciables frente a la manipulación de agentes exteriores o incluso vulnerables al ciberhacking, con evidentes peligros para la estabilidad social, la operatividad de servicios sanitarios, la facilitación del crimen organizado o incluso la salud mental de la población.

En tercer y último lugar, no podemos olvidar que la sociedad y nuestras instituciones –también las relacionadas con seguridad y defensa– tienen su máxima debilidad y fortaleza basadas en las personas que las forman. Si hay algo que la pandemia está poniendo a prueba es la fortaleza psicológica de los individuos debido a la circunstancia de incertidumbre hacia el presente y futuro, gestión del miedo a la enfermedad y a la muerte, y una necesidad innata de apego a las relaciones sociales. Nuestra capacidad de afrontar este nuevo escenario VUCA (del inglés Vulnerability, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) que afecta a todos y cada uno de los ambientes
sociales y profesionales exige un estilo de liderazgo fuerte, adaptado a esta situación tan exigente, auténtico y basado en los valores grupales. No existe a día de hoy una solución unilateral, si no es con el esfuerzo de muchos. No son palabras vacías el afirmar que la resiliencia de una sociedad, de unas Fuerzas Armadas o de un grupo humano, se basa en trabajar juntos, luchar juntos, sufrir juntos, con una cohesión y un trabajo en equipo convenientemente entrenados.

Dicho esto, podemos entender que las variables psicológicas –a nivel individual y de grupo– están en juego en esta situación de pandemia y que podemos y debemos usar los conocimientos que nos aporta la Psicología como ciencia seria, adaptada a las necesidades reales y con espíritu constructivo, para planificar la táctica y la estrategia de los escenarios actual y futuro derivados del Covid-19.

Sin duda, son momentos interesantes para la Psicología.

* Luis Ángel Díaz Robredo es profesor de la Facultad de Educación y Psicología de la Universidad de Navarra

¿Qué mueve a los hombres a la guerra?

[Azar Gat, War in Human Civilization. Oxford University Press. Oxford (Nueva York), 2006. 822 p.]

RESEÑA / Salvador Sánchez Tapia

War in Human CivilizationEntre las numerosas firmas que han escrito sobre el fenómeno bélico en las últimas décadas, el nombre de Azar Gat brilla con luz propia. Desde su cátedra de la Universidad de Tel-Aviv, este autor ha dedicado una importante parte de su carrera académica a teorizar desde distintos ángulos sobre la guerra, fenómeno que, por otra parte, conoce directamente por su condición de reservista en el Tsahal (Fuerzas Israelitas de Defensa).

War in Human Civilization es una obra monumental en la que el autor muestra su gran erudición, junto con su capacidad para tratar y estudiar el fenómeno bélico combinando el empleo de campos del saber tan diversos como la historia, la economía, la biología, la arqueología o la antropología, poniéndolos al servicio del objetivo de su obra, que no es otro que el de elucidar qué es lo que ha movido y mueve a los grupos humanos hacia la guerra.

A lo largo de las casi setecientas páginas de este extenso trabajo, Gat hace un estudio de la evolución histórica del fenómeno de la guerra en el que combina una aproximación cronológica que podríamos denominar como “convencional”, con otra sincrónica en la que pone en paralelo estadios similares de evolución de la guerra en diferentes civilizaciones para comparar culturas que, en un momento histórico dado, se encontraban en diferentes grados de desarrollo y mostrar cómo en todas ellas la guerra pasó por un proceso de evolución similar.

En su planteamiento inicial, Gat promete un análisis que trascienda cualquier cultura particular para considerar la evolución de la guerra de una forma general, desde su comienzo hasta la actualidad. La promesa, sin embargo, se quiebra al llegar al período medieval pues, a partir de ese momento adopta una visión netamente eurocéntrica que justifica con el argumento de que el modelo occidental de guerra ha sido exportado a otros continentes y adoptado por otras culturas lo que, sin ser totalmente falso, deja al lector con una visión un tanto incompleta del fenómeno.

Azar Gat bucea en el origen de la especie humana para tratar de dilucidar si el fenómeno de la guerra la hace diferente al resto de las especies, y para tratar de determinar si el conflicto es un fenómeno innato en la especie o si, por el contrario, se trata de una conducta aprendida.

Sobre la primera cuestión, la obra concluye que nada nos hace diferentes a otras especies pues, pese a visiones Rousseaunianas basadas en el “buen salvaje” que tan en boga estuvieron en los años sesenta, la realidad muestra que la violencia intra-especie, que se consideraba única en la humana, en realidad es algo compartido con otras especies. Respecto a la segunda cuestión, Gat adopta una postura ecléctica según la cual la agresividad sería, a la vez, innata y opcional; una opción básica de supervivencia que se ejerce, no obstante, de manera opcional, y que se desarrolla mediante el aprendizaje social.

A lo largo del recorrido histórico de la obra, aparece como un leitmotiv la idea, formulada en los primeros capítulos, de que las causas últimas de la guerra son de naturaleza evolutiva y tienen que ver con la lucha por la supervivencia de la especie.

Según este enfoque, el conflicto tendría su origen en la competición por recursos y por mejores oportunidades reproductivas. Aunque el desarrollo humano hacia sociedades cada vez más complejas ha terminado por oscurecerla, esta lógica seguiría guiando hoy en día el comportamiento humano, fundamentalmente a través del legado de mecanismos próximos que suponen los deseos humanos.

Un capítulo importante dentro del libro es el que el autor dedica a la disección de la teoría, adelantada por vez primera durante la Ilustración, de la Paz Democrática. Gat no refuta la teoría, pero la pone bajo una nueva luz. Si, en su original definición, esta defiende que los regímenes liberales y democráticos son reacios a la guerra y que, por tanto, la expansión del liberalismo hará avanzar la paz entre las naciones, Gat sostiene que es el crecimiento de la riqueza lo que realmente sirve a esa expansión, y que el bienestar y la interrelación que favorece el comercio son los auténticos motores de la paz democrática.

Dos son, pues, las dos principales conclusiones de la obra: que el conflicto es la norma en una naturaleza en la que la que los organismos compiten entre sí por la supervivencia y la reproducción en un ambiente de escasez de recursos, y que, recientemente, el desarrollo del liberalismo en el mundo occidental ha generado en este entorno un sentimiento de repugnancia hacia la guerra que se traduce en un casi absoluto rechazo a la misma en favor de otras estrategias basadas en la cooperación.

Azar Gat reconoce que una parte importante del género humano está todavía muy lejos de modelos liberales y democráticos, mucho más de la consecución del grado de bienestar y riqueza que, a su modo de ver, lleva de la mano al rechazo de la guerra. Aunque no lo dice abiertamente, de su discurso puede inferirse que esa es, no obstante, la dirección hacia la que se encamina la humanidad y que, el día en que ésta alcance las condiciones necesarias para ello, la guerra será finalmente erradicada de la Tierra.

Contra esta idea, cabría argumentar la posibilidad, siempre presente, de regresión del sistema liberal por efecto de la presión demográfica a que está sometido, o a causa de algún acontecimiento de orden global que la provoque; o la de que otros sistemas, igualmente ricos pero no liberales, reemplacen al mundo de las democracias en el dominio mundial.

La obra resulta una referencia obligada para cualquier estudioso o lector interesado en la naturaleza y evolución del fenómeno bélico. Escrita con gran erudición, y con una profusión de datos que, en ocasiones, la hacen un tanto áspera, War in Human Civilization supone, sin duda, una importante aportación al conocimiento de la guerra que resulta de lectura imprescindible.

Climate Refugees will raise, nations should find the way for shelter them

Flood rescue in the Afghan village of Jalalabad, in 2010 [NATO]

▲ Flood rescue in the Afghan village of Jalalabad, in 2010 [NATO]

ESSAYAlejandro J. Alfonso

In December of 2019, Madrid hosted the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP25, in an effort to raise awareness and induce action to combat the effects of climate change and global warming. COP25 is another conference in a long line of efforts to combat climate change, including the Kyoto Protocol of 2005 and the Paris Agreement in 2016. However, what the International Community has failed to do in these conferences and agreements is address the issue of those displaced by the adverse effects of Climate Change, what some call “Climate Refugees”.

Introduction

In 1951, six years after the conclusion of the Second World War and three years after the creation of the State of Israel, a young organization called the United Nations held an international convention on the status of refugees. According to Article 1 section A of this convention, the status of refugee would be given to those already recognized as refugees by earlier conventions, dating back to the League of Nations, and those who were affected “as a result of events occurring before 1 January 1951 and owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion…”. However, as this is such a narrow definition of a refugee, the UN reconvened in 1967 to remove the geographical and time restrictions found in the 1951 convention[1], thus creating the 1967 Protocol.

Since then, the United Nations General Assembly and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have worked together to promote the rights of refugees and to continue the fight against the root causes of refugee movements.[2] In 2016, the General Assembly made the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, followed by the Global Compact on Refugees in 2018, in which was established four objectives: “(i) ease pressures on host countries; (ii) enhance refugee self-reliance; (iii) expand access to third country solutions; and (iv) support conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity”.[3] Defined as ‘interlinked and interdependent objectives’, the Global Compact aims to unite the political will of the International Community and other major stakeholders in order to have ‘equitalized, sustained and predictable contributions’ towards refugee relief efforts. Taking a holistic approach, the Compact recognizes that various factors may affect refugee movements, and that several interlinked solutions are needed to combat these root causes.

While the UN and its supporting bodies have made an effort to expand international protection of refugees, the definition on the status of refugees remains largely untouched since its initial applications in 1951 and 1967. “While not in themselves causes of refugee movements, climate, environmental degradation and natural disasters increasingly interact with the drivers of refugee movements”.3 The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has found that the increase of the average temperature of the planet, commonly known as Global Warming, can lead to an increase in the intensity and occurrence of natural disasters[4]. Furthermore, this is reinforced by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, which has found that the number of those displaced by natural disasters is higher than the number of those displaced by violence or conflict on a yearly basis[5], as shown in Table 1. In an era in which there is great preoccupation and worry concerning the adverse effects of climate change and global warming, the UN has not expanded its definition of refugee to encapsulate those who are displaced due to natural disasters caused by, allegedly, climate change.

 

Table 1 / Global Internal Displacement Database, from IDMC

 

Methodology

This present paper will be focused on the study of Central America and Southeast Asia as my study subjects. The first reason for which these two regions have been selected is that both are the first and second most disaster prone areas in the world[6], respectively. Secondly, the countries found within these areas can be considered as developing states, with infrastructural, economic, and political issues that can be aggravating factors. Finally, both have been selected due to the hegemonic powers within those hemispheres: the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China. Both of these powers have an interest in how a ‘refugee’ is defined due to concerns over these two regions, and worries over becoming receiving countries to refugee flows.

Central America

As aforementioned, the intensity and frequency of natural disasters are expected to increase due to irregularities brought upon by an increase in the average temperature of the ocean. Figure 1 shows that climate driven disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean have slowly been increasing since the 1970s, along with the world average, and are expected to increase further in the years to come. In a study by Omar D. Bello, the rate of climate related disasters in Central America increased by 326% from the year 1970 to 1999, while from 2000 to 2009 the total number of climate disasters were 143 and 148 in Central America and the Caribbean respectively[7].  On the other hand, while research conducted by Holland and Bruyère has not concluded an increase in the number of hurricanes in the North Atlantic, there has been an upward trend in the proportion of Category 4-5 hurricanes in the area[8] .

 

 

This increase in natural disasters, and their intensity, can have a hard effect on those countries which have a reliance on agriculture. Agriculture as a percentage of GDP has been declining within the region in recent years due to policies of diversification of economies. However, in the countries of Honduras and Nicaragua the percentage share of agriculture is still slightly higher than 10%, while in Guatemala and Belize agriculture is slightly below 10% of GDP share[9]. Therefore, we can expect high levels of emigration from the agricultural sectors of these countries, heading toward higher elevations, such as the Central Plateau of Mexico, and the highlands of Guatemala. Furthermore, we can expect mass migration movements from Belize, which is projected to be partially submerged by 2100 due to rising sea levels[10].

 

Figure 2 / Climate Risk Index 2020, from German Watch

 

Southeast Asia

The second region of concern is Southeast Asia, the region most affected by natural disasters, according to the research by Bello, mentioned previously. The countries of Southeast Asia are ranked in the top ten countries projected to be at most risk due to climate change, shown in Figure 2 above[11]. Southeast Asia is home to over 650 million people, about 8% of total world population, with 50% living in urban areas[12]. Recently, the OECD concluded that while the share in GDP of agriculture and fisheries has declined in recent years, there is still a heavy reliance on these sectors to push economy in the future[13]. In 2014, the Asian Development Bank carried out a study analyzing the possible cost of climate change on several countries in the region. It concluded that a possible loss of 1.8% in the GDP of six countries could occur by 2050[14]. These six countries had a high reliance on agriculture as part of the GDP, for example Bangladesh with around 20% of GDP and 48% of the workforce being dedicated to agricultural goods. Therefore, those countries with a high reliance on agricultural goods or fisheries as a proportion of GDP can be expected to be the sources of large climate migration in the future, more so than in the countries of Central America.

One possible factor is the vast river system within the area, which is susceptible to yearly flooding. With an increase in average water levels, we can expect this flooding to worsen gradually throughout the years. In the case of Bangladesh, 28% of the population lives on a coastline which sits below sea level[15]. With trends of submerged areas, Bangladesh is expected to lose 11% of its territory due to rising sea levels by 2050, affecting approximately 15 million inhabitants[16][17]. Scientists have reason to believe that warmer ocean temperatures will not only lead to rising sea levels, but also an intensification and increase of frequency in typhoons and monsoons[18], such as is the case with hurricanes in the North Atlantic.

Expected Destinations

Taking into account the analysis provided above, there are two possible migration movements: internal or external. In respect to internal migration, climate migrants will begin to move towards higher elevations and temperate climates to avoid the extreme weather that forced their exodus. The World Bank report, cited above, marked two locations within Central America that fulfil these criteria: the Central Plateau of Mexico, and the highlands of Guatemala. Meanwhile, in Southeast Asia, climate migrants will move inwards in an attempt to flee the rising waters, floods, and storms.

However, it is within reason to believe that there will be significant climate migration flows towards the USA and the Popular Republic of China (PRC). Both the United States and China are global powers, and as such have a political stability and economic prowess that already attracts normal migration flows. For those fleeing the effects of climate change, this stability will become even more so attractive as a future home. For those in Southeast Asia, China becomes a very desired destination. With the second largest land area of any country, and with a large central zone far from coastal waters, China provides a territorial sound destination. As the hegemon in Asia, China could easily acclimate these climate migrants, sending them to regions that could use a larger agricultural workforce, if such a place exists within China.

In the case of Central America, the United States is already a sought-after destination for migrant movements, being the first migrant destination for all Central American countries save Nicaragua, whose citizens migrate in greater number to Costa Rica[19]. With the world’s largest economy, and with the oldest democracy in the Western hemisphere, the United States is a stable destination for any refugee. In regard to relocation plans for areas affected by natural disasters, the United States also has shown it is capable of effectively moving at-risk populations, such as the Isle de Jean Charles resettlement program in the state of Louisiana[20].

Problems

While some would opine that ‘climate migrants’ and ‘climate refugees’ are interchangeable terms, they are unfortunately not. Under international law, there does not exist ‘climate refugees’. The problem with ‘climate refugees’ is that there is currently no political will to change the definition of refugee to include this new category among them. In the case of the United States, section 101(42) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the definition of a refugee follows that of the aforementioned 1951 Geneva convention[21], once again leaving out the supposed ‘climate refugees’. The Trump administration has an interest in maintaining this status quo, especially in regard to its hard stance in stopping the flow of illegal immigrants coming from Central America. If a resolution should pass the United Nations Security Council, the Trump administration would have no choice but to change section 101(42) of the INA, thus risking an increased number of asylum applicants to the US. Therefore, it can confidently be projected that the current administration, and possibly future administrations, would utilize the veto power, given to permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, on such a resolution.

China, the strongest regional actor in Asia, does not have to worry about displeasing the voter. Rather, they would not allow a redefinition of refugee to pass the UN Security Council for reasons concerning the stability and homogeneity of the country. While China does accept refugees, according to the UNHCR, the number of refugees is fairly low, especially those from the Middle East. This is mostly likely due to the animosity that the Chinese government has for the Muslim population. In fact, the Chinese government has a tense relationship with organized religion in and of itself, but mostly with Islam and Buddhism. Therefore, it is very easy to believe that China would veto a redefinition of refugee to include ‘climate refugees’, in that that would open its borders to a larger number of asylum seekers from its neighboring countries. This is especially unlikely when said neighbors have a high concentration of Muslims and Buddhists: Bangladesh is 90% Muslim, and Burma (Myanmar) is 87% Buddhist[22]. Furthermore, both countries have known religious extremist groups that cause instability in civil society, a problem the Chinese government neither needs nor wants.

On the other hand, there is also the theory that the causes of climate migration simply cannot be measured. Natural disasters have always been a part of human history and have been a cause of migration since time immemorial. Therefore, how can we know if migrations are taking place due to climate factors, or due to other aggravating factors, such as political or economic instability? According to a report by the French think tank ‘Population and Societies’, when a natural disaster occurs, the consequences remain localized, and the people will migrate only temporarily, if they leave the affected zone at all[23]. This is due to the fact that usually that society will bind together, working with familial relations to surpass the event. The report also brings to light an important issue touched upon in the studies mentioned above: there are other factors that play in a migration due to a natural disaster. Véron and Golaz in their report cite that the migration caused by the Ethiopian drought of 1984 was also due in part to bad policies by the Ethiopian government, such as tax measures or non-farming policies.

The lack of diversification of the economies of these countries, and the reliance on agriculture could be such an aggravating factor. Agriculture is very susceptible to changes in climate patterns and are affected when these climate patterns become irregular. This can relate to a change of expected rainfall, whether it be delayed, not the quantity needed, or no rainfall at all. Concerning the rising sea levels and an increase in floods, the soil of agricultural areas can be contaminated with excess salt levels, which would remain even after the flooding recedes. For example, the Sula Valley in Honduras generates 62% of GDP, and about 68% of the exports, but with its rivers and proximity to the ocean, also suffers from occasional flooding. Likewise, Bangladesh's heavy reliance on agriculture, being below sea level, could see salt contamination in its soil in the near future, damaging agricultural property.

Reliance on agriculture alone does not answer why natural disasters could cause large emigration in the region. Bello and Professor Patricia Weiss Fagen[24] find that issues concerning the funding of local relief projects, corruption in local institutions, and general mismanagement of crisis response is another aggravating factor. Usually, forced migration flows finish with a return to the country or area of origin, once the crisis has been resolved. However, when the crisis has continuing effects, such as what happened in Chernobyl, for example, or when the crisis has not been correctly dealt with, this return flow does not occur. For example, in the countries composing the Northern Triangle, there are problems of organized crime which is already a factor for migration flows from the area[25]. Likewise, the failure of Bangladesh and Myanmar to deal with extremist Buddhist movements, or the specific case of the Rohinga Muslims, could inhibit return flows and even encourage leaving the region entirely.

Recommendations and Conclusions

The definition of refugee will not be changed or modified in order to protect climate migrants. That is a political decision by countries who sit at a privileged position of not having to worry about such a crisis occurring in their own countries, nor want to be burdened by those countries who will be affected. Facing this simple reality should help to find a better alternative solution, which is the continuing efforts of the development of nations, in order that they may be self-sufficient, for their sake and the population’s sake. This fight does not have to be taken alone, but can be fought together through regional organizations who have a better understanding and grasp of the gravity of the situation, and can create holistic approaches to resolve and prevent these crises.

We should not expect the United Nations to resolve the problem of displacement due to natural disasters. The United Nations focuses on generalized and universal issues, such as that of global warming and climate change, but in my opinion is weak in resolving localized problems. Regional organizations are the correct forum to resolve this grave problem. For Central America, the Organization of American States (OAS) provides a stable forum where these countries may express their concerns with states of North and Latin America. With the re-election of Secretary General Luis Almagro, a strong and outspoken authority on issues concerning the protection of Human Rights, the OAS is the perfect forum to protect those displaced by natural disasters in the region. Furthermore, the OAS could work closely with the Inter-American Development Bank, which has the financial support of international actors who are not part of the OAS, such as Japan, Israel, Spain, and China, to establish the necessary political and structural reforms to better implement crisis management responses. This does not exclude the collusion with other international organizations, such as the UN. Interestingly, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has a project in the aforementioned Sula Valley to improve infrastructure to deal with the yearly floods[26]

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is another example of an apt regional organization to deal with the localized issues. Mostly dealing with economic issues, this forum of ten countries could carry out mutual programs in order to protect agricultural territory, or further integrate to allow a diversification of their economies to ease this reliance on agricultural goods. ASEAN could also call forth the ASEAN +3 mechanism, which incorporates China, Japan, and South Korea, to help with the management of these projects, or for financial aid. China should be interested in the latter option, seeing as it can increase its good image in the region, as well as protecting its interest of preventing possible migration flows to its territory. The Asian Development Bank, on the other hand, offers a good alternative financial source if the ASEAN countries so choose, in order to not have heavy reliance on one country or the other.

 

 

[1]https://www.unhcr.org/about-us/background/4ec262df9/1951-convention-relating-status-refugees-its-1967-protocol.html

[2]https://www.unhcr.org/

[3]https://www.unhcr.org/new-york-declaration-for-refugees-and-migrants.html

[4]https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/03/SREX_Full_Report-1.pdf

[5]https://www.internal-displacement.org/database/displacement-data

[6]https://reliefweb.int/report/world/natural-disasters-latin-america-and-caribbean-2000-2019

[7]https://repositorio.cepal.org/bitstream/handle/11362/42007/1/RVI121_Bello.pdf

[8]https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s00382-013-1713-0.pdf

[9]https://www.indexmundi.com/facts/indicators/NV.AGR.TOTL.ZS/map/central-america

[10]https://www.caribbeanclimate.bz/belize-most-vulnerable-in-central-america-to-sea-level-rise/

[11]https://germanwatch.org/en/17307

[12]https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/south-eastern-asia-population/

[13]http://www.fao.org/3/a-bt099e.pdf

[14]https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/42811/assessing-costs-climate-change-and-adaptation-south-asia.pdf

[15]https://www.nrdc.org/onearth/bangladesh-country-underwater-culture-move

[16]https://www.dw.com/en/worst-case-scenario-for-sea-level-rise-no-more-new-york-berlin-or-shanghai/a-18714345

[17]https://ejfoundation.org/reports/climate-displacement-in-bangladesh

[18]https://www.climatecentral.org/news/warming-increases-typhoon-intensity-19049

[19]https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/central-american-immigrants-united-states

[20] http://isledejeancharles.la.gov/

[21]https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title8-section1101&num=0&edition=prelim

[22]https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/

[23]https://www.ined.fr/fichier/s_rubrique/23737/population.societes.2015.522.migration.environmental.en.pdf

[24]https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/D4B04197663A2846492575FD001D9715-Full_Report.pdf

[25]https://www.refugeesinternational.org/reports/2017/11/27/displacement-and-violence-in-the-northern-triangle?gclid=CjwKCAjwmKLzBRBeEiwACCVihjauFsYr3zo1g-3g3Ry9WfQzr7wwO7cOGID1Ksdh5L5mOSSY_55GuBoCmfAQAvD_BwE

[26]https://opecfund.org/operations/list/sula-valley-flood-protection-project

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