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Global Security Issues & Concerns

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  • 0:01 The Modern World
  • 0:33 Global Security Issues
  • 3:13 Maintaining Global Security
  • 4:25 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

In this lesson, you'll explore both the modern security issues of the global community and the efforts to prevent problems and maintain security. Then, test your understanding with a brief quiz.

The Modern World

Is anybody out there worried about identity theft? It's a major concern and something that we hear about all the time. You see, along with new technologies come new problems; yes, the Internet is great, but it also gives people access to your identity. Right now, the world is full of new security concerns that have arisen from the increasing globalization of national cultures, governments and economies. A new world means new threats, and that just means we'll have to find new solutions.

Global Security Issues

There are many security issues that the world will have to face as a global community, from drug trafficking to border disputes, but let's start with one of the most obvious and most talked about: terrorism. Terrorism is defined as an act of violence to spread fear to support an ideological goal. It's something that most of us are aware of, because it is one of the most talked-about security issues in this world.

Terrorist groups are not formally affiliated with a specific nation. This means that they can be very hard to track down, are able to act without fear of national laws, and often play off the tensions of various foreign nations. Modern terrorist organizations are mostly centered around the Middle East, and nations there are the ones most at risk. However, terrorist groups have introduced significant threats around the world by exploiting security gaps. Nations in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas, including the United States, have all been victims of terrorist attacks.

While terrorism is an alarming threat, it is not the only threat. Another major issue that has become a recent source of controversy is the possession of nuclear weapons. During the Cold War of the 20th century, the world came close to complete nuclear war. Since then, many nations have been concerned with limiting the potential for nuclear devastation. Most major powers, including both the United States and Russia, have committed to stop testing nuclear weapons.

However, everyone is reluctant to get rid of their weapons in case somebody else declares war. So far, South Africa is the only nation to completely disarm its nuclear weapons. To make the matters more complicated, potentially aggressive nations, like North Korea, have expressed a commitment to continue making nuclear weapons, and Iran has expressed a strong desire to develop a nuclear program to ensure its own safety.

Not all global security threats involve the potential end of humanity. One of the other major concerns for modern nations is a growing culture of social unrest around the world. In some places, such as Brazil and Istanbul, this has meant massive protests against the government. In several Arab and African nations, massive protests and revolutions overturned governments during 2010. Protests in Europe, the United States, and Mexico, as well as significantly decreased voter turnout, have indicated a growing attitude that governments are not meeting the needs of the people. There is a general concern among world leaders that unless something changes, rebellions could become a major trend in the near future.

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