VP and Scowcroft Center Director Barry Pavel writes for Defense News on why the United States should adopt a “dynamic security” strategy for adapting to a “Westphalian-plus” world:
We are in a new era of world history, but no one has noticed.
As pundits lament a world in which nation-states’ relative power is in flux, they’ve missed the new set of actors on the global stage: individuals. The popular protests that have inflamed the Middle East since 2011 are spreading across the globe, albeit in different forms, to places such as Venezuela, Thailand and elsewhere. Pundits and US government officials still see the nation-state system that was birthed by the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia. They are wrong.
We now are in a new era in which nation-states are joined on the global stage by powerful individuals, groups and others who can and are taking actions that are disrupting the traditional world order. While these actors have operated for some time, their ability to effect decisive global and regional change is about to grow exponentially. We now can call this a “Westphalian-Plus” world.