Forum, Futuribles Journal n° 272


L'après-11 septembre. Retour à la prospective


After reminding us of three scenarios outlined barely a month after the attacks of September 11th, as a "minor event", as an invitation to the US to play a greater role in world governance, and as the start of general upheaval and decline in the economic situation, Jacques Lesourne continues to reflect on the foreseeable consequences of these acts of terrorism.
Five months after the events, Lesourne takes several observations, the overthrow of the Taliban regime, the tenacity of the Pakistan government, the relatively minor impact on the world economy, the strengthening of America's leadership, as the basis for redefining the new geopolitical state of the world. This depends on about a dozen active countries, of very different kinds and rank. He examines their strengths and weaknesses, their economic interests and their strategic positions.
Having noted the underlying economic and political issues, Jacques Lesourne sketches two scenarios :
- in the first, the events of September 11th continue to have a minor impact, "shaped by Europe's lack of involvement, the rapprochement between the Americans and Russians, the highly pragmatic policy of the US towards Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians", with little overall effect on the world economy;
- in the second, the emphasis is on political crises (in Kashmir, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Afghanistan) and tensions, leading among other things to interruptions of oil supplies to Europe and Japan, and then to military interventions and ultimately to
clashes of civilizations.
Shortly after the events, many commentators argued that the attacks on the US marked the end of an era. The scenarios outlined here show that the reality may be somewhat different.

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