2014 will be remembered as a year of unpredictable crises on the world stage fuelling an atmosphere of profound uncertainty in the financial markets.
The global political situation was volatile and contentious. The outbreak of Ebola and the mobilisation of ISIS shocked many, but more surprising was the slow response of Western governments to contain them. Governments in particular failed to understand how ISIS could use social media to attract recruits, raise finance, organise itself and fight a very different war to anything we have seen before. ISIS’ recent capture of a Jordanian pilot is a tragic event and a government’s worst nightmare. In contrast, for fundamentalists capture or death represents martyrdom and glory rather than defeat. The psychological advantage that groups like Isis have is profound and to defeat them moderate Muslim governments and the West will need to be far more ready to accept the human costs of war. Indeed, the threat from Islamic State militants is considered by many to pose the biggest threat to the West since the Soviet Union. Read more.