Politico-strategic thinking during the Cold War was dominated by a bipolar interpretive schema that described violent conflicts at the periphery of the international system as “regional conflicts”, considered to be expressions of the global confrontation of systems. In contrast, the early years following the end of the bipolar world order were characterized by a politico-strategic vacuum. Only after 11 September 2001 was a new interpretive paradigm able to take the place of the old bipolar system of co-ordinates. The security doctrines of the most important states and international organizations are now almost unanimous in defining international terrorism, the collapse of state authority, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction as the greatest threats to national and international security. The causal connection between international terrorism and state failure, in particular, is often stressed. Today, these phenomena appear as both the most important causes of conflicts and a central strategic challenge for the international community.