[...] Mumbai, Mexico City and Jakarta, saying they had become partially ungovernable. He noted the rise of private security firms to protect wealthier residents in sealed communities or to support the army, as in Iraq. “The increasing privatisation of core state responsibilities in the military and security areas carries with it the danger – even in Western states – of the erosion of the state’s monopoly on the use of force,” Uhrlau said.
[...] “Some states are now only partially able to carry out their original core responsibilities – protecting their people from violence,” Uhrlau said. This could lead to the destabilisation of entire regions and promote international terrorism, he warned. Afghanistan provided a good example of how a “failed state” had provided a base for the al-Qaeda network, Uhrlau said. Europe had its own problems, particularly in the Balkans, where the causes of conflict were “far from overcome.”
Sounds like someone bought him a copy of Brave New War. I’ve discussed ungoverned spaces before here at Coming Anarchy, and said they are defined as “a physical or non-physical area where there is an absence of state capacity or political will to exercise control.” While the post focuses on failed and failing states, cities are no less relevant. Indeed, ungoverned spaces exist in every ghetto around the globe whether in Los Angeles, Paris or Lagos. As militaries focus more on urban combat, it is indeed time for our intelligence agencies to focus more on urban intel collection and that means focusing more on HUMINT and less on fancy new toys.