In this article the author has written about a survey conducted by The Center for Preventive Action which is Preventive Priorities Survey (PPS) that assess the current and all the possible conflicts which can occur in the coming years of US and how they can influence U.S. interests . The purpose of PPS is to help the U.S. policymaking community primarily to prevent conflicts and all the incentives that can erupt a conflict . In the conflict preventive survey there are many possible sources of instability and conflict around the world that the United States should try to avoid. Predicting which conflicts are more likely to occur and can pose a greater threat to U.S. interests than others helps to decide where to focus attention and resources. PPS is a qualitative evaluation that uses the informed judgement of the experts to check all the possible threats and risks that can destroy US interests by erupting a conflict. To help the experts with their estimations and cope up with the situation , the survey offered general guidelines to check the relative probability and impact of potential contingencies which a US could face.
These contingencies were categorized in different levels as high , moderate and low based on their chance of occurring and their intensity of impact on US interests. The PPS did not include the potential economic or financial crises or any natural calamity or environmental problems , PPS is primarily concerned with the discrete geopolitical contingencies .Also the PPS represents the expert’s opinion at the time the survey was conducted. Risk assessments can change rapidly and oftenly. The results, therefore, could be quite different after several months. There is a certain methodology to carry out this survey which the center for preventive actions performs in different stages of which first stage is soliciting the PPS contingencies in which CPA used a variety of social media platforms as well as its blog on CFR.org to seek suggestions for contingencies to include in the 2014 survey.
With the help of the Council on Foreign Relations’, CPA extracted hundreds of suggestions into thirty contingencies considering both ,possibility to occur over the next twelve months and potentially harmful to U.S. interests. The nest stage was polling of experts in which the survey was sent to more than 1200 government officials ,foreign policy experts and academics to evaluate the likelihood and poteintial impact of each contingency on US inetrest according to the definite criteria. Ultimately the most popular suggestions were included in the survey. Then comes the final stage that is categorizing the contingencies in which the survey results were uniformly scored and contingencies were sorted into one of three preventive priority tiers in accordance to their placement in the risk assessmemnt matrix. There are three tiers in assessing the contingencies in PPS .
In Tier 1 Contingencies judged high preventive priorities for U.S. policymakers because in tier 1 those contingencies were included which had a severe impact on US interests and their chance to occur was moderate like the Syrian civil war ,a highly disruptive cyberattack on U.S. critical infrastructure ,threat of military strikes against Iran , a mass casualty terrorist attack on the U.S. homeland ,a severe North Korean crisis caused by a military provocation, internal political instability, or threatening nuclear weapons/ ICBM-related activities. Then comes the contingencies which had moderate impact but high likelihood such as growing violence and instability in Afghanistan resulting from the drawdown of coalition forces and/or contested national elections ,increasing internal violence and political instability in Pakistan ,strengthening of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula resulting from continued political instability in Yemen and/or backlash from U.S. counterterrorism operations, civil war in Iraq ,growing political instability and civil violence in Jordan triggered by spillover from the Syrian civil war.
In Tier 2 Contingencies judged mid-level preventive priorities for U.S. policymakers as those contingencies are includedin tier 2 which had moderate effects and moderate chance to occur such as deterioration of the political situation in Egypt, increased sectarian violence and political instability in Lebanon ,continuing conflict in Somalia, political instability and growing militancy in Libya ,drug-related violence in Mexico, a severe Indo-Pakistani military confrontation due to Kashmir. Also there were contingencies which had high impact and low likelihood which are an armed confrontation in the East China Sea between China and Japan ,an armed confrontation in the South China Sea between China and Southeast Asian plaintiff to disputed mari- time areas. It also includes contingencies with low effect on US and high likelihood of occurrence like increasing sectarian violence and political instability in Nigeria ,violence and risk of mass killing in the Central African Republic .
In Tier 3 Contingencies judged low preventive priorities for U.S. policymakers as it included those contingencies which had moderate effect on US interests and their chance of occurrence was low such as a Sino-Indian clash .it also included contingencies with low impact and moderate likelihood which were destabilization of Mali, growing popular unrest and political instability in Sudan , military conflict between Sudan and South Sudan due to border resource disputes ,conflict in the Kurdish- dominated regions of Turkey and the Middle East , growing violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo , internal violence in Bangladesh surrounding the general elections. Tier 3 also included contingencies with low impact and low likelihood such as political crisis in Venezuela leading to civil violence and potential regional instability , an outbreak of military conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan . So this survey played a vital role to find out and take preventive measures for all the current and upcoming conflicts which could have any adverse effect on US interests.
This survey helped the experts to assess the contingencies and suggest those to CPA which could adversely influence US so the policymakers then worked according to the intensity of the contingencies suggested . PPS is very helpful for the center of preventive action to check the impact and likelihood of the contingencies which could occur and they carried out all their activities according to the strength of the contingencies which they measured on the risk assessing matrix and placed them in different tiers and took precautionary measures to protect the US interests and security.