, 33 tweets, 12 min read Read on Twitter
First session: “Geopolitical realities—trends that will shape the world of 2025” #WarIn2025
“Disruptive technologies”! Drink! #WarIn2025
A theme for the conference, says @michael_ASPI, is what happens if Australia’s strategic environment deteriorates faster that the 2016 Defence White Paper envisaged. defence.gov.au/WhitePaper/Lin… #WarIn2025
@michael_ASPI DPRK could be a problem “more significantly and earlier” than our 2025 timeframe, says Jennings, and few of our world leaders may still be in place. Trump will be gone, so US will be less inward-looking. #WarIn2025
Jennings predicts a continuing decline in democracies, continuing rise in autocracies, a growing risk to political instability around the edges of autocratic states. Hong Kong, Taiwan, South China Sea, Baltic States etc, with a continuing testing of the status quo. #WarIn2025
As for technologies, 5G [Drink!}, AI, quantum computing, it’s a new Cold War. Five Eyes alliance and 5G will come down to individual choices by each country according to their needs. #WarIn2025
I may not have this quote exactly, but Jennings’ phrase was something like “the drift of weakly led and fracturing democracies who are forever looking the other way,” like in the 1930s. History doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes. #WarIn2025
Baranowski, paraphrased: Coming to Australia, I was hoping to hear a little more optimism. Looking at this from Warsaw, it’s already a hot war in Ukraine. That’s roughly the same distance as from Canberra to Adelaide. #WarIn2025
Apparently Trump just announced an additional 1000 troops into Poland. But as an aside, Russia going to war against NATO wouldn’t be sensible. But Russia might push NATO into a response... #WarIn2025
If NATO responds, it would be at a high cost. If NATO doesn’t respond, then that’s another wedge and more evidence that the democracies’ alliances are weakening. Russia is working to split the Transatlantic alliance [indeed] and Europe is not united. #WarIn2025
Baranowski is being somewhat diplomatic when describing “the quality of democracy” in Europe. So. Much. Optimism. #WarIn2025
A strong US presence in Europe post-1945 meant that Europeans could just get on with their prosperity. #WarIn2025
European countries have different views of the US. The French, for example, are just getting on with their own thing, because hey those crazy Americans. Germans are wanting to cooperate, will wait and see, but getting antsy about the US. And so on. Recipe for disaster. #WarIn2025
Buchanan: Acceleration of technologies and the global integrated digital system is still dominated by private industry, and they control information flows. #WarIn2025
The global digital commons accelerates competition, with is / will be leading to a balkanisation. We used to have a high-functioning global trade system. We have no global rules-based order for the digital economy. Nothing in the WTO, for example. #WarIn2025
Regionally, Australia and Singapore understand the importance of this. But with talks collapsing [UN process zdnet.com/article/austra…] there’s nothing to rein in the big internet players. #WarIn2025
The internet is controlled by companies, and the companies are mostly America, or Chinese in China. In commerce, we’re dependent on maybe 5 companies for the infrastructure of global commerce. #WarIn2025
In our region, 5 or 6 countries’ payment systems are totally controlled by foreign entities. This is our “geo-strategic grand bargain”. #WarIn2025
Jennings mentions China’s “recentralisation” and a more Leninist attitude to its politics. Buchanan notes the resilience and speed of change in China, and how they’re focusing on AEAN influence and infrastructure control, and not just internal stability. #WarIn2025
Baranowki says the dynamic AU etc to CN is different from EU to RU because EU’s economy doesn’t depend on RU. (RU’s economy is the same size as Italy’s.) #WarIn2025
Baranowksi: US politics was penetrated by Russia at an estimated cost of $12 million. We could probably rustle up $12 million just in this room alone! (With all the defence vendors and Microsoft, certainly.) #WarIn2025
Here’s a thought: Apple $245 billion, Google probably near that. “All told, non-financial US companies studied by Moody’s hoarded $1.84 trillion of cash at the end of 2016.” money.cnn.com/2017/07/19/inv… That’s 150,000x of what Russia spent. Imagine the possibilities! #WarIn2025
Buchanan throws ageing populations into the mix. Percentage of population that’s productive for the economy is on the decline. Another factor: the growth of the Indian economy. Also watch Japan, taking a greater global and regional role. #WarIn2025
Q from moderator: Will there be an EU in 2025? Will NATO reach its 75th birthday? Baranowski says definitely yes. Trends do not mean outcomes. We’re not just in the business of understanding trends, but bending them. Admits to being a Europhile. #WarIn2025
In MEP elections, the rise of Eurosceptic parties wasn’t as big as expected. Brexit, if it ever happens, has taken out a lot of the oxygen. #WarIn2025
Buchanan: Smaller and middling powers are better off breaking the major powers’ global norms because they get leverage that way. [All my paraphrase.] #WarIn2025
Baranowki: Transatlantic trade agreements fall apart over little things, like chlorine-washed chicken. independent.co.uk/news/uk/politi… #WarIn2025
Buchanan says organised crime and other non-state actors are becoming significant. Cites Bangladesh bank heist. #WarIn2025
Developing countries are ill-equipped to handle cyber attacks. #WarIn2025
Jennings: A big issue is opioids, and especially in relation to China. Do we accept that as the price for being able to win elsewhere? #WarIn2025
Buchanan notes that in Australia we’re focused on a small handful of international actors. We don’t have the language skill etc to think about our region. #WarIn2025
Panel ends with not a single mention of climate change. Ahem. #WarIn2025
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