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The Arab Winter - did SDSR forsee this?

#1
Revolutions have turned into festering sicknesses, whether they bleed from all orifices as in Syria, or just show occasional, violently hued pustules, as in Libya. Even in countries which overthrew their dictators without resorting to civil war, like Tunisia and Egypt, the practice of democracy has concealed social divides that are yet to be healed.

However, just as the 2011 glass was never entirely full, nor is the 2012 one altogether empty. In everywhere but Syria, things could be worse: voters in Egypt still go to the polls, Libyans have an elected parliament and a government, and in Yemen territory is being regained from al-Qaeda for the first time for years.
From: Middle East review of 2012: the Arab Winter - Telegraph

Yet defence policy is looked into five year cycles of not being reviewed. So much for the OODA concept.
 
#2
From: Middle East review of 2012: the Arab Winter - Telegraph

Yet defence policy is looked into five year cycles of not being reviewed. So much for the OODA concept.
Perhaps the biggest weakness in UK National thinking, if you are talking OODA loops, is the the lack of "Understand". Our standing capacity to Orientate in advance of future crises is poor. This is compounded by an over-reliance on the views of National Agencies, who are in essence short-term collectors rather than long term trend analysts. This leads to more of an "ODA" loop along the lines of: Observe that something in the World has gone pear-shaped and it now affects us, Decide "something must be done", Act and reap the consequences. In short, a reactive cycle.....

UK is not alone in this, most states are weak in the same area. To take but two areas that will fundamentally affect us in the coming years - shale oil and the unravelling of the Middle East, both could have been factored into the strategic calculus, but in general, weren't. Indeed, history holds surprisingly few examples of states that successfully anchored their foreign policy on pre-emptive Understanding - Elizabethan England is perhaps one...
 

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