When modern scholars and strategists discuss trends as a hook to some larger observation or policy argument, they typically do so with an eye to trends at the global level — the global diffusion of power, rise of non-state actors, urbanization, and climate change are typical examples. To the extent that regional trends are considered, they come in the form of how global trends particularize in a regional context, or of how localized phenomena constitute part of a global phenomenon. Often overlooked are organic trends occurring specifically at the regional or local level. A crucial basis for strategy inheres not simply in pattern recognition, but in separating strong or meaningful patterns from weak or irrelevant ones.
Read the full op-ed at War On The Rocks.