Skip to main content

Environment and Security in an International Context: Executive Summary Report, by the NATO/Committee on The Challenges of Modern Society Pilot Study

NATO, its Member States, and other security organizations are increasingly concerned with non-traditional threats to security, including the consequences of environmental change. This report addresses the relationship between environmental change and security at the regional, international and global levels. To support the development of these conclusions and recommendations, the Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society Pilot Study developed methodologies and approaches for analyzing the relationship of environmental change and security and prioritizing its key elements. The interdisciplinary nature of the Pilot Study has provided a multilateral forum for  cooperation, exchange and dialogue among the environmental, development, foreign and security policy communities.

State Failure Task Force Report: Phase II Findings, prepared by Daniel C. Esty, Jack A. Goldstone, Ted Robert Gurr, Barbara Harff, Marc Levy, Geoffrey D. Dabelko, Pamela T. Surko, and Alan N. Unger

In response to a request from Vice President Al Gore in 1994, the CIA established “The State Failure Task Force,” a group of independent researchers to examine comprehensively the factors and forces that have affected the stability of the post-Cold War world. The Task Force’s goal was to identify the factors or combinations of factors that distinguish states that failed from those, which averted crises over the last 40 years. The study represents the first empirical effort to identify factors associated with state failure by examining a broad range of demographic, societal, economic, environmental, and political indicators influencing state stability. The Task Force found that three clusters of variables had significant correlation with subsequent state failures: (1) quality of life; (2) openness to international trade; and (3) the level of democracy. However, it is the interaction among these variables that provided the most important insights. Following are excepts from Phase II of the State Failure Task Force findings.