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News | Feb. 7, 2023

The near crisis project: Why what you don’t know can hurt you

By Steven Lobell

On January 27, 2023, Dr. Fiona Butcher, UK Exchange Officer and Interim Minerva Program Manager participated in a closed session with senior representatives from OSD(Policy), United States Military Academy at West Point, National  Defense University, National War College, and the Atlantic Council to discuss how the University of Utah's Near-Crisis Project report recommendations can inform the implementation of DoD’s 2022 National Defense Strategy.

"Why do some near-crises escalate to crises and others defuse? How can policy makers in Washington DC and beyond manage the risk of escalation? And how can the United States and its allies predict when a crisis could—or will—occur? In a new research initiative, a multi-university team advance the concept of ‘near crisis.’ When there is a perceived threat to basic values and a finite time to respond (though no large-scale military hostilities for the moment), the dispute has not yet tipped into a full-blown crisis. At a time when the United States and its allies are faced with Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, an increasingly aggressive China, and North Korea’s launch of missiles over Japan, these researchers provide new tools and insights to help policymakers identify and de-escalate potential flashpoints around the globe. By studying the crises of the past, this research team identifies potential crises and paints a broader picture of the full escalation cycle." 

To view the live recording, click here