The reported killing of dozens of people by Islamic militants at a Kenyan mall in recent days, including several British citizens, grimly bears out that rationale. And suddenly, several Western nations are counting their casualties in a faraway land that many couldn't identify on a map. Google searches for "al-Shabaab" are skyrocketing.
So what are the recommended menu items at this year's U.N. chinwag? Any speech on Syria by French President Francois Hollande will be worth analyzing. The same goes for any reaction from Russian President Vladimir Putin. My French sources tell me there is already "fizz in the water" between the two men on a personal level. The French are drafting the resolution to cement Syria's chemical weapons handover to international control. Hollande wants to include automatic consequences for noncompliance or failure, while Russia -- likely concerned about the possibility of Assad being set up by a rogue entity -- isn't buying the idea of a trigger clause.
Hollande and the French might also provide tip-offs during the U.N. confab about some of the other potential flashpoints on the DGSE's (French foreign intelligence's) radar that could rapidly become major global conflicts -- specifically those brewing in the Central African Republic and the Congo. The reactions of other nations -- particularly the heavily invested China and its main geopolitical ally, Russia -- are key to predicting how future international conflicts in these nations might be handled.
New Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's speech to the General Assembly will be worth decrypting in the context of Iran's role of sending proxy fighters and intelligence operatives into Syria and other countries in the Middle East. Look beyond the smile and the "moderate" branding to the significance of his actual words.
If you've ever wanted to play spy, now is your chance. This is exactly what an intelligence analyst does -- and this week, you can do it from your recliner with a tasty beverage in hand.