Demographic trends shape international security issues. The world has become urbanized within the past sixty years. Immediately after WWII less than seventeen percent of the world population lived in cities; now, one half of the world's people are urban.
Within the next twenty years, there will be twenty-three "megacities" with populations of more than ten million. These concentrations of people - for the most part, without adequate public service resources - serve as breeding grounds for terrorism and pandemics.
Water demand is high in urban areas. However, many cities are located in water-scarce areas. Armed conflict could ignite over scarce water resources.
Massive migration creates instability in both the source and receiving countries. States with small numbers of young, unemployed males may be unable to develop and sustain military forces. A surplus of unemployed young males may provide fuel for revolutionary activity and terrorism.
Table of Contents
People, Populations, and Problems: Demographics and US National
Letter from the Publisher
Richard E. Friedman
Demographics and Destiny: Trends We Need to Understand in the 21st
There are at least ten major demographic trends that can shape
international relations and an analysis of these trends can provide an
estimated sort of timeline for the US. We know that the developed world
has to enact some type of pension reform within the next decade to avoid
a major economic crisis. We know that by 2010, most key states in the
Muslim world will be experiencing youth bulges. We know that hundreds of
millions of people will rely on and compete for the waters of the
Jordan, Tigris-Euphrates, and Indus rivers. The US must recognize the
enormity of the looming demographic issue and develop a comprehensive
demographic strategic plan.
The Demographic Challenges of the US Army
Lawrence Korb and Sean E. Duggan
The toll of the war in Iraq has created ripple effects throughout the
entire US Army. As recruiting standards loosen and waivers and bonuses
increase, the potential for misrepresentation and abuse will undoubtedly
increase. Still, reinstituting conscription does not seem to be a
politically viable option at the present time. But, as ground forces
attempt to expand by nearly 100,000 troops in the coming years, our
civilian and military leaders must ensure that higher quality standards
are not sacrificed for an increased quantity of force.
Ethics, Immigration, and US National Security
Arthur I. Cyr
Evaluating demographic dimensions of US society, past and present,
leads to positive conclusions regarding our national security. Enduring
American values and current demographic trends are both encouraging.
But, crucial to our overall national security is not American
demography, but the quality of US foreign policy.
Demography and Security in East Asia
How will demographic factors affect the nature of East Asian conflict?
How will they influence the sources of national power in the region?
And, how will demography affect the sources of regional conflict? Unlike
the Middle East, demography's effects on East Asia will be modest.
However, the implications for US policy and US intelligence are
The Demographics of Terrorists
The history of terrorism and recent terrorist incidents evidence that
there is no single, immutable "terrorist profile." Despite the
prevailing perception of a terrorist as a young, poor, uneducated Arab
Muslim male motivated by a radical ideology, hatred of the West, and
ignorance, some terrorists - from middle or upper classes, educated,
from Western democracies - just feel lonely or isolated. Is the national
security community thinking about how to make people feel less lonely?
Using demographics as a key component, the US must develop a national
security strategy that addresses both the concrete and the abstract
variables of terrorism.
Book Review: America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It
By Mark Steyn
Reviewed by John Allen Williams
Workshop Executive Summary: Civic Leaders Speak Out About Emergency
Convened by McCormick Tribune Foundation and the National Strategy