Emerging Threats: Creation of a Regional Foresight Matrix by Mathew Maavak


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Using Foresight to predict and preempt multiple security-related crisis expected in the 2nd decade of the new millennium

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  • [1] 2011 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics[2] Global Employment Trends 2011
  • [3] Revolution, flashmobs, and brain chips. A grim vision of the future(Guardian, April 9, 2007)
  • * Definition synopsis from Wikipedia.
  • http://www.news.com.au/world/indonesia-nabs-16-in-cyanide-plot/story-fn6sb9br-1226074623148
  • NOTE: There are various foresight methodologies but the above represent the recommended steps in a Security Foresight model.[4] Terrorist CBRN: Materials and Effects (cia.gov)[5] "http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/toxicagents/ricin.html". Ansci.cornell.edu.
  • [6] How to Grow Castor Bean Plant (RicinusCommunis) (Garden Guides)
  • [4] Information Awareness Office (Wikipedia)
  • [7] Wikipedia/Pentagon folds bets on terror (CNN, July 29, 2003)
  • Emerging Threats: Creation of a Regional Foresight Matrix by Mathew Maavak

    1. 1. Emerging Threats: Creation of a Regional Foresight MatrixInternational Industrial Security Seminar, July 25-26, 2011. Venue: G Hotel, Penang, Malaysia By Mathew Maavak mathew@maavak.net
    2. 2. Section 1: Causative Factors to Emerging ThreatsSection 2: Introducing Security ForesightSection 3: Creation of a Regional Foresight Matrix
    3. 3. Section 1: Causative Factors to Emerging Threats
    4. 4. Emerging Threats – Understanding Basic Human Needs (Maslow’s Hirearchy) Any disruption to “physiological” and “safety” needs at the bottom rungs of Maslow’s Hierarchy will disrupt social order, creating enough street-by-street mayhem and thereby incapacitate so-called higher chain of activities. After all, a society is only 9 meals (3 days) away from anarchy. Notice that “safety” means “security” and it lies at the penultimate Self Actualization foundation of Maslow’s Hierarchy. Esteem “Safety” underpins higher forms of Love/belonging human activity. What if safety was removed? Safety Physiological Source: Wikipedia
    5. 5. What are the emerging threats? Is it this? Great Depression? Riots DroughtEpidemic Famine
    6. 6. Or is it this?
    7. 7. The answer is both! Remember….Terrorism, revolutions and other human evils are the spawns of hopelessness; they are the culminations ofsocial breakdowns.
    8. 8. The Grim Stats• Our global society is undergoing multiple interconnected crises. These are converging to affect our societies, our industries and ourselves. The future of the security industry lies not in combating terrorism or militant activities per se but in anticipating the rage – and its fallouts – of an increasingly demoralized population. These are due to:• 1) Rising unemployment /hyperinflation/ homelessness• 2) Deteriorating food security• 3) Deteriorating primary health care• 4) Corruption, nepotism, cronyism and autocracy. (incidentally the four grouses succinctly captured on a Cairo placard)• 5) Ascendency of regional criminal syndicates/militant networks• 6) Rise in the number of failed/failing states• 7) Disastrous Capital Flight from failed/failing states.• 8) Failure of Western laissez-faire capitalist ideologyMore StatsThere were 925 million people living in hunger in 2010. That’s 1/7 of humanity. [1] This figure will get worse thisyear, and aggravate further next year.There are close to 2 billion people who are either unemployed or poorly employed, representing youths or the mostproductive working-age segment. [2] For the first time ever, a significant proportion of them will be educated.Our society is now a fertile ground for every conceivable anti-social activity, and emerging threats will be highlyasymmetric vis-a-vis traditional notions of “security”
    9. 9. The Stark RealityIn 2007, The UK’s Ministry of Defence has predicted a global middle class revolt by 2040. [3] This mayprove extremely sanguine as we are already living through some of the MOD’s distant projections. TheMarch 2011 London riots is a precocious manifestation of a growing middle class rage.Project Horizon, which was recently conceived and led by the US State Department, brought together USGnational security and global affairs agencies for a joint, scenario-based strategic planning based onalternative scenarios at the year 2025Guess where does terrorism stand in this strategic calculus? (See next slide)
    10. 10. Project Horizon – Forces for ChangeMost frequently mentioned forces for change expected to drive thelandscape of challenges and opportunities through 2025 1. Global Interdependence 9. Advances in Science and Technology 2. Science & (S&T) Competition 10. Globalization, Poverty, and 3. China and India Development 4. Natural 11. Demographics Resources/Energy 12. Religion 5. Global Perceptions of the U.S. 13. Sovereignty and the Role of the Nation-state 6. Changes in Military Power 14. Terrorism 7. Environmental Change 15. Interagency Issues 8. Global Health and Disease Source: US State Department
    11. 11. Is there a method to anticipate emerging threats? Yes, it’s called Foresight.Foresight entails:Futures (forecasting, forward thinking etc)Planning (strategic analysis, priority setting etc), andNetworking (participatory, dialogic etc) tools and orientations.*Security firms and professionals who fail to anticipate emerging trends will be reduced to being sub-vendorsin a future security landscape.A new Maslow’s Hierarchy (of sorts) will emerge, where super generalists will dictate workload to thesuper specialists! In other words, security firms that apply Foresight will beat specialist securityprofessionals to the clientele race and sub-contract relevant skills and hardware sourcing to all of you here.Foresight should therefore be central to your business and operations models.
    12. 12. Section 2: Introducing Security Foresight
    13. 13. Case study 1: Indonesia nabs 16 in a plot to mass poison policemen with cyanide – June 14, 2011This is a new model of terror attack” - Indonesian police. Do we react like this?
    14. 14. Or do we Anticipate in Advance?Do we want to be forewarned and forearmed, or do we react to threats as they emerge?
    15. 15. SECURITY FORESIGHTSecurity Foresight tracks multiple trends – beyond the scope of one’s professional gamut or training – andapply the subsequent collated data into a more integrated scenario planning structure. It follows thesesimple steps: Drug, weapons Working with relevant trafficking? Authorities/ Clientele Horizon Foresight Project Execution Scanning (with Delphic Supervision) News, information, Chemical Threat Applying Threat trends, networking Elimination? Elimination SolutionsForesight avoids the cat and mouse modus operandiFor instance: If the cyanide threat is eliminated, then terrorists might try botulinum toxin. If this is in turn iseliminated, then terrorists might import poison dart frogs from the Dendrobatidae family, and use an exoticrestaurant as a ruse. Now, if that fails, then mushroom delicacies could be tried. Ricin?“Ricin is a plant toxin that is 30 times more potent than the nerve agent VXby weight and is readily obtainable by extraction from common castor beans.” *4+Despite this, more than 1 million tonnes of castor beans are processed each year,and approximately 5% of the total is rendered into a waste containing highconcentrations of ricin toxin. [5] Isn’t Ricin a more cost- Castor beans
    16. 16. Do we want to play catch up in the toxic threat area alone? What about the weapons, nuclear material,human and drug trafficking areas? Without proper foresight, incoming information would be simplyoverwhelming.Where Poor Foresight Leads: Rising food prices were the cause of the ongoing Arab Revolt today. The Arab leaders were looking for threats elsewhere. Their strategic intelligence apparatus failed. Failure to anticipate unconventional weaponry led to 9/11. It was a systemic failure of the US strategic intelligence apparatus. Failure to anticipate economic consequences today have led to a mushrooming or resurrection of terrorist organizations worldwide, including in Northern Ireland. Failure to anticipate socio-economic undercurrents have led to a regional Naxalite (Maoist) insurgency across eastern India, costing billions to the Indian economy. Up to ¼ of the Indian land mass is either Naxal-controlled, troubled or infiltrated. Failure to regard wildlife trafficking as a serious security threat may result in new modes of terror attacks i.e. improvised mass ricin poisoning, emanating from the same trafficking networks.
    17. 17. Show me a demonstration of “Security Foresight”!!!!Why Not? Let’s conduct a brief foresight study on “ImprovisedMass Ricin Poisoning” in Country X (an Asean nation). Thefollowing slide was extemporaneously prepared withinminutes. Tell me what I had missed?
    18. 18. Case Study 2 Not at all. The beans Not at all. are edible and legal. A Extremely shipment of castor difficult at best Controlled item? beans will not raise for use as a eyebrows mass weapon Can it be easily weaponized? Castor Beans endemic to the region? Better! It can Mass be grown in your tiny Ricin balcony [6] Threat There may be a way to Surreptitious The big synthesis lethal ricin extraction of imponderable derivatives for a viable Ricin? bio-weapon How about Castor Bean Ricin processing Combine Combine plants? derivatives? Possibilities Possibilities Laboratories?
    19. 19. The “Next Next Step”Combine the possibilities of castor bean processing centres/ ricin extraction labs with that ofricin derivative experimentations.Key Routes Access all published journals on highly toxic Ricin derivatives Study all methods of synthesizing such derivatives Does Ricin potentiate with other compounds to act as a toxic force multiplier? Can Ricin be extracted from lab kits that could fit into a kitchen? Should we monitor castor bean processing plants? And so on….Wait a minute! Forget about hypothetical futures. Who would likely use Ricin in its raw form as a targetedassassination tool? Who has access to them? It is a Schedule 1 controlled substanceunder both the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention and the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention.Endless Possibilities A post-grad biochemistry researcher today and an unemployed anarchist tomorrow?
    20. 20. Foresight brings order and structure to tackling thepossibles, probables and the imponderables. It evenopens up avenues of enquiry and resolution for theoutright unthinkable!
    21. 21. Case Study 3: Operation SlambayNow let’s put our special forces thinking caps and conduct a briefforesight study a la a Red Team Exercise. Our objective is toattack a hypothetical coastal financial hub in a foreign land,called Slambay. Let us assume all of us here have been trained inthe art of close quarter combat and subversion. Mission Objective 1) To create a maximal reign of terror in shortest time period with minimal arms/logistics/personnel…in a way suicide bombings and insurgencies CAN NOT. 2) To inflict financial damage and enduring loss of investor confidence worth hundreds billions over long the term. 3) To teach those Slambattis a lesson.
    22. 22. Order of Battle: Weapons Weapons should fit 1 duffel bag and 1 knapsack Fit one Uzi & pistol each, bullets, bombs & grenades No one Airport, speaks Land route Slambatti ruled out Decoy Decoy bombs bombs Pose as Career No problem. Manner of Infiltration Sea route preferred fishermen or yacht Slambay legends assigned We pose as tourists Stealth yuppies? Decoy Decoy Submarines bombs bombs Out. Attracts Cameras We stand Naval ready out in attention Bonus: Targets appearance in close proximity. Not well guarded Intel Provided Target Layouts High Provided Profile Targets
    23. 23. From the slide above, it can be deduced that:1) Seaborne route is ideal for infiltration.2) Lugging weapons into the city should not be a problem3) Posing as tourists/backpackers provides an ideal cover4) The main targets were in close proximity to each other.5) Exfiltration was the only scenario not covered.6) One of the main objectives was to dent Slambay’s reputation as an investment hub, and inflict losses worth tens of billions over the years. (Otherwise, they could have just planted bombs and exited)This is pretty much what happened to Mumbai on Nov 26th, 2008. No private or public agencywas ever on record to have gamed out this scenario to the Indian authorities.For a historical parallel, the guns in Singapore were trained the wrong way when the Japaneselanded across Johor.Future threats to cities, industries and society will be asymmetric. The objectives will differ fromcurrent conventions. But aren’t there a host of security firms that provides strategicinformation?Yes and No. The first slide in Section 3 briefly outlines the usual focus areas of “threat analysiscentres.”
    24. 24. Section 3: Creation of a Regional Foresight Matrix
    25. 25. Conventional Threat Inadequate forAnalysis Centres: anticipatory planning. ExpandedFailed Areas Networking Virtually non- Public existent Socio- Input/ Economic Horizon Analysis Scanning Conducted in silos Monocular rather than Threat Panoramic Anticipatory Perception Planning Threat Focus Analysis Lacking ability to Centre connect the dots Intelligence Data Not Analysis Comprehensive Enough Expertise, Informant Hardware Red = Failed Network and Yellow = Inadequate Logistics Green = Existing
    26. 26. Can Security Foresight match a gargantuan effort like this one? This is just one portion of acomprehensive “track and pre-empt” counter-terrror complex developed by US Intelligence services.It was built upon FORESIGHT!! Source: Wikipedia.
    27. 27. The Future can be fairly predictedThe US Information Awareness Office (IAO) once ran a project called Futures MarketsApplied to Prediction (FutureMAP). FutureMap effectively allowed people to bet onwhen a terrorist attack would occur. “The bookie would have been the federalgovernment.”*7+ Another demonstration of the power of FORESIGHT!! Source: www.iwar.org.ukCan we run a scaled-down version of FutureMAP that will not entail much cost and personnel? One thatwill meet our security foresight needs? The Answer is an absolute Yes.
    28. 28. Prerequisites of a Security Foresight Centre Intelligence Intelligence Intelligence Networks Processing Actualization Mass Media Security Solutions Database Building and Formulated in Advance via Maintenance Foresight Projects NGOs Simultaneously Specialized Security Pre-empting Security Expertise Horizon Scanning Threats Academia Strategic Analysis/ Expert Native Law Enforcement Regional Security Solutions Input (Delphi) Industry/ Guild Sources Topical Foresight Projects Public Service Projects Think Tanks
    29. 29. Capabilities CheckIntelligence NetworksAll of you seated here and beyond can provide the Intelligence Networks needed for a comprehensive security foresightmatrix for little or no cost. Being involved in the Intelligence Networks phase will also expand your businesses outreachrather organically.Intelligence ProcessingWould a central hub be needed, along with a small team of nimble analysts and a dedicated office, or can it be decentralizedamong stakeholders within a regional foresight matrix? It can be either; a SWOT-type analyses should be conducted todetermine feasibility. A decentralized hub obviates funding and office space.However, one crucial element in any undertaking of this kind is the need for Super Generalistsi.e. the type of personnel who can connect the dots across a wide variety of fields (from history tosocio-economics to terrorism). Super-generalists also cut costs as they can conduct various foresightprojects that will be demanded by emerging realities and by client demands.Intelligence ActualizationThis will be a culmination of various foresight projects undertaken for the security industry, defence establishments andnational law enforcement apparatus .When all hell breaks loose, there will be solutions ready. On a regionalbasis!!!Public Service ProjectsThis is akin to Public Diplomacy on a corporate scale. Examples include security newswires(for public, professional and traveller convenience etc), CSR-type lectures/ demonstrations at schoolsand online crime prevention techniques for crime-prone neighbourhoods. It will be a natural by-productof a security foresight exercise.
    30. 30. Security Foresight streamlines disparate threats into a proper matrix Vietnam Singapore Thailand Brunei Can we track them all? Better yet, can we pre-empt them? Indonesia Malaysia Pan-Regional
    31. 31. Southeast Asian Security Foresight Centre (SEAS-FC) – A Conceptual Outline Conducted The Hub would need 5- within/Funded 6 analysts for an entire by Industry Can this be run out of region Foresight lobbies an Asean University or Projects Institution. Or from your HQ? Yes! Strategic Networks Intelligence Delphi HUB Delphi Super Generalists/ Analysts Horizon Databases Scanning Public Service (News)
    32. 32. One Nightmare ScenarioShipments of cyanide are illicitly obtained from a Papua New Guinean gold mine. Theyare then loaded aboard 2 cargo vessels, one destined for Java and the other Thailand.They bypass regular customs.A wave of hacking besets the region, incapacitating public utilities and normalmonitoring mechanisms. Blackouts are common. The cyanide gets introduced into foodprocessing plants during the attack on utilities.Weeks later, thousands of children die after consuming a popular snack. Is this possible?Who is the culprit? JI, Al Qaeda or a group of disgruntled anarchists a la Utøya,Norway?Is this possible? Will our industrial security models finally incorporate foresight?
    33. 33. Foresight projects the possibilities of tomorrow basedon the simulations of today. – Mathew Maavak Thank You