We are facing a changing world that is also doing so at an ever-increasing speed, where polemology are concentrated on very sensitive scenarios, both geographical and elements of projection of power (technology, control of strategic minerals, access to fundamental reserves), as well as the questioning of the model that was built after World War II and that seemed called to be transformed for authors such as Fukuyama in the 1990s into a model of peace and unipolarity.

Therefore it is already frequent in some analyses to speak of the following great power conflict. Still, many analysts and planners hope that such conflict will remain in the so-called "grey zone" or in cyberspace. We can already see clearer traces of this conflict in scenarios such as the Caribbean, the MENA region, Europe, Asia-Pacific-Indian, America, the Arctic and the Antarctic region... even the spatial dimension. But we must also remember what Shaun Riordan states in his book Cyberdiplomacy: Managing Security and Governance Online, and that is that cyberspace is becoming so serious that it should be left to the technicians, who end up exerting a great and growing influence in matters such as security, defence and geopolitics, and of which the disruptive technology of 5G and everything we call the Internet of things and the industrial revolution 4.0. China has been quicker to understand the dimension of the issue, and as proof the Chinese delegations in the meetings that would serve to try to set the new industrial standards for 5G have given proof of this. These cyberspace conflicts are increasingly political and geopolitical, encompassing cybersecurity, cyberconflict and Internet governance. Also in cyberspace there is a tendency for the relative hegemony of the United States to diminish, ascending a multipolar world and in conflict with a manifestation of a struggle between great powers. All these aspects have already been discussed in this platform and the interested reader will find reason for reflection and analysis[1].

All this could make us think that [2]a "black swan" could be flying over our heads. That's why Emma Moore's essay, Attrition and the Will to Fight a Great Power War is a relevant and interesting reading of the American perspective at the present time in the face of the will to fight such a conflict.

For Emma Moore[3] it is likely that political leaders will follow Franklin D. Roosevelt's lines in the face of these challenges, and she recalls that the greatest motivating factor for the American population is the correct and clear identification of what they could identify as their contender, aggressor or enemy. The author also rightly points out that the nation's confidence in government agencies has a downward trend and is historically low, pointing to the contrast with the studied speech that President Roosevelt gave after Pearl Harbor to gain public support to go to war with the Axis powers. Also the use of fake, and even deepfake, makes all civilian populations see that the discourse of descending action, of power towards citizens is increasingly easy to confuse, obscure, condition or sabotage.

Emma Moore believes that the involvement of NATO and Europe's allies in general in a scenario such as the Indo-Pacific would be more nuanced, not to mention some reticence, and she could find Australia's most likely support[4]. And the economic and even technological links that China has with other nations and regional policy in the Indo-Pacific region must be considered in order to see who really would be willing and have the real capacity to wage war on China in a scenario such as the one proposed.

The author also points out that perhaps the latest actions taken by President Trump could lead some allies to doubt entering a conflict of this nature, in addition to the scenarios left in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A constant reference in the author throughout her contribution is the document prepared by Michael McNerney et al., National Will to Fight: Why Some States Keep Fighting and Others Don't, for the RAND Corporation, which the interested reader can read carefully.


Emma Moore, Attrition and the Will to Fight a Great Power War, STRATEGIC STUDIES QUARTERLY, WINTER 2019, 10 to 17.  https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/Portals/10/SSQ/documents/Volume-13_Issue-4/Moore.pdf 

Michael McNerney et al., National Will to Fight: Why Some States Keep Fighting and Others Don’t (Santa Monica, Ca: RAND Corporation, 2018). VER: https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2477.html

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, Penguin, 2008.

Shaun Riordan, Cyberdiplomacy: Managing Security and Governance Online, Polity Press, 2019.


[2] The Black Swan, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, reminds us that sometimes an event that we consider improbable, with consequences of great importance, and whose explanations that can be given a posteriori do not take into account a series of random effects and with a chain of consequences and reactions. What would be discussed later would be to find a way to fit the unpredictable into a perfect logical explanation. World War I, 9/11 or Google's success could be cited as examples.

[3] https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/Portals/10/SSQ/documents/Volume-13_Issue-4/Moore.pdf


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