Those contributing to international peace and stability act in an ever-changing, increasingly complex and inter-connected global environment. The international security landscape has changed considerably during the last twenty years, with important power shifts in international affairs, an acceleration of globalization dynamics, the spread of modern information technologies, and a diversification of powerful actors in world politics. In addition, a multitude of transnational security challenges—ranging from the proliferation of weapons to organized crime, including the trafficking of human beings, the security implications of migration, and the challenges of information and cyber security—are on the agenda.
Global governance, which is understood here as cooperative arrangements between various international actors—states, international and regional organizations, as well as actors from the private sector and civil society communities—to manage global processes under conditions of globalization and in the absence of a world government, is still weak when it comes to adapting to these developments. Significant deficits in global governance with respect to issues of peace and international security exist today, and will most likely continue to exist in the future. A key consequence is the continuous presence of insecurity and disorder. In such situations of uncertainty, there is a need for leadership and close cooperation among partners. Education will be crucial in enabling the armed forces to fulfill their role in this environment. Thus, leadership skills, political awareness, and versatility will all be important elements of defense education.
The global governance deficit requires us to better understand and deal with the changes in the international security landscape, including changing patterns of armed conflict and other forms of violence, the increasing threat to our financial and economic security, and the development and spread of new technologies. All these factors determine our security and defense thinking.