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The wars of the future will be at sea
Material posted: Publication date: 29-11-2016

Experts PricewaterhouseCoopers has predicted the military-political trends in the next 50 years.

A fierce struggle for sea communications, the arms race, the war in the cities and more large-scale battles with terrorists these challenges, according to analysts PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which prepared the report, "Five global trends and their impact on defence and security" are the mankind the Megatrends in the coming 50 years.

PwC known to the public primarily as an auditing company, but it has units specializing in the provision of Advisory services to government departments, services, security and defense-sector enterprises. Recently was presented the new edition of the PwC annual report on the Megatrends. Its main task is to help clients PwC to formulate a long-term strategy, taking into account changes in the global economy, the demographic situation, natural conditions and technology.

The report was done by experts from the London-based international division of PwC's provision of services to the enterprises of the defense industry and security services. On the basis of open statistical data, they analyzed the challenges in the field of defence and security that could result from five main global Megatrends. The document is intended primarily for top management of companies and government officials, but it will be interesting to anyone who wants to understand the world in which humanity lives in a few decades.

Big game at sea

Already a shift in production to Asia means, first and foremost, the increasing importance of transport routes (because the goods must still be delivered to consumers in developed countries), most of which is by sea. Control of transportation arteries will be in the coming decades is more important than ever because of the freedom of movement of goods will depend on the well-being of many countries. Hence, there is increased demand not just for weapons and systems designed for the Navy and the air force. АналитикиPWC note that the arms race on the seas worsen the shift of economic power to Asia, which will lead to the emergence there of new political players with resources that they can invest in building military capabilities.

The struggle for sea route has already begun. This is clearly seen in the South China sea, where China is building artificial Islands to control the waters, and his neighbors are frantically buying weapons for the fleets.

Chief editor of the magazine "arms Export" Andrey Frolov told "Izvestia" that the United States, China, Russia and many other countries are actively building up their Navy.

— Trump, for example, promised to increase the American fleet by 20%, plus there are ambitious plans in China, actively update their fleets, India and Russia — said the expert. — Now there is a change of generations of ships. In parallel, the renewal of anti-submarine aircraft. Australia, India, UK buy American "Poseidon", we update the complex "Novella", China is working to strengthen its patrol aircraft. As for the complexes of coastal defense, it intensified even small producers, even the Swedish company.

The coming decades will be a hot time for firms producing ships and other weapons for the Navy.

Domestic shipbuilding company will benefit even without orders from abroad, because the Navy planned to spend 20-25% of the State armaments programme — adds Frolov.

PWC experts expect that in the next 50 years, China regional powers will become global and will increasingly project power around the world. It may not like its neighbours. Now brewing friction with ASEAN, very cautious behaves in India.

City under martial law

A megatrend of the coming decades will be rapid urbanization. By 2050, 50 to 72% of the population will live in cities. From a military point of view, this means the inevitable move of combat operations (especially against terrorist and guerrilla movements) in the city. The conflicts in Syria and Iraq confirm the validity of these predictions. The struggle is not over square, namely the city of Aleppo in Syria and Mosul in Iraq.

Due to the high concentration of the city's population represent a favorable environment for terrorists and insurgents — density development and abundance of civilians complicate the work of the intelligence and actions of the regular army. Consequently, when the military will be the rate on the preparation for urban combat, will be formed a special unit will be purchased the corresponding equipment and equipment.

There is also the question of formation in the course of urbanization the so-called grey areas, beyond the control of the authorities. This is especially common in third world countries. A typical example is the slums of Rio de Janeiro and Caracas that are only partly controlled by the authorities of the territory.

Demographics of war

PWC analysts are paying attention to this megatrend as the ageing of population in developed countries and the simultaneous increase of the share of young people in the third world.

In developed countries, population aging will reduce the mobilization of resources, so the development of the armed forces, the rate will be not on quantity but on quality. In place of armies will come in compact, but equipped with the most high-tech weapons. Will increase demand for expensive and complicated systems — armored vehicles, aircraft, drones (already starts their mass adoption). This process goes on, which is especially noticeable on the example of the US army, where combat drones have become the norm, the cost of some weapons systems reaches several hundred million dollars.

In developing countries, where economic growth has often not kept pace with population growth, there is another problem — will increase the proportion of socially handicapped, unemployed youth, providing a fertile environment for radical ideologies that promise social justice and world reconstruction. This situation has been observed for some time in many Arab countries, which has provided fertile ground for numerous coups.

Technology as a threat

New challenges in the field of defense and security and is fraught with the development of technology. We will see the rise of cyber warfare, since the dependence of the infrastructure of the computer systems will create a strong temptation from the military and the terrorists to strike the first blow it was on him, crippling the enemy before the start of physical clashes.

The development of information technology will provide new opportunities for terrorists and other non-state entities that can use them for coordination or advocacy. Banned in Russia ISIS recruit new fighters via social media and the "Arab spring" brought this technology as a "Facebook revolution", when mass protests participants used instant messaging as their main communication medium.

Finally, the more pronounced will become a megatrend, as the depletion of resources and global warming. Of course, the war for resources is not a new phenomenon, but now will fight not for gold or oil, but over far more "trivial" things, predicts PWC. For example, soon more than 50 countries (in Africa, Asia and Latin America) can be involved in conflicts over drinking water. This is good news for arms dealers, but very disturbing for everyone else, since, as shown by the mass Exodus of refugees from Syria, in today's globalized world major conflict in one part of the world responds to problems in many other regions.

Nikolay Surkov


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