DigiMag Glacier_Q4_2017 - Page 9

The fourth is the growing restrictions in the field of international travel on such activities as carrying laptops onto planes and obtaining entry visas. This is a cloudy flag with extreme scenarios flowing out of it, such as nuclear or dirty-bomb terrorism and a possible showdown between Saudi Arabia and Iran. There are no signs that this flag will come down any time soon, although in its present form it doesn’t represent an existential threat to the West. The red flag immigration policies, which has probably divided America more than any other issue since slavery triggered the American Civil War. The third is intelligence-gathering and the game of war generally, where the West has to fight a highly dispersed enemy unified only by ideology, but with the ability to create havoc through lone-wolf attacks on civilian targets. This cloudy flag first went up with the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014, after which Russia was thrown out of the G8 and had heavy economic sanctions imposed on it. Yet Russia supplies one quarter of Europe’s energy. Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump are uneasy colleagues whose relationship could change overnight if there’s any military incident in Syria or elsewhere involving Russian and American military forces. Meanwhile, China overtook America to become the world’s largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity. The Asian giant is building a sophisticated defence system and international trading network to protect its number one position, having regained it after 300 years in the shadows. North Korea, the third component of this flag, is a wild card with the potential to start a se cond Korean War, given the unpredictability of its relationship with America and the impulsive nature of both countries’ leaders. No amount of sanctions will make it drop its missile and nuclear programme. However, in the event of war, South Korea will be the country to suffer most and China will be severely disrupted.