Small Wars Journal

Global Trends 2025

Panel Foresees Lesser US Role - Nicholas Kralev, Washington Times

The top US intelligence panel this week is expected to issue a snapshot of the world in 2025, in a report that predicts fading American economic and military dominance and warns of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

The predictions come from the National Intelligence Council (NIC), part of Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell's office.

The NIC report, a draft copy of which is titled "Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World," is slated for release as early as Thursday.

The report also predicts "a unified Korea" is likely by then, and that China will be the world's second-largest economy and a major military power.

"The United States will remain the single most powerful country, although less dominant," according to a "working draft" of the document obtained by The Washington Times. "Shrinking economic and military capabilities may force the US into a difficult set of tradeoffs between domestic and foreign-policy priorities."

More at The Washington Times.


Rob Thornton

Thu, 11/20/2008 - 1:57pm

Many Thanks. One thing I do like is that the authors go back to the previous estimate and reconcile based on new information. Reading them back to back is worth the time.

Best, Rob

Rob Thornton

Wed, 11/19/2008 - 4:18pm

Ken - good link, and also the makings of a good reading list. Best, Rob

Rob Thornton

Wed, 11/19/2008 - 8:34am

The word "estimate" may be key. It reads much more like a basket of possibilities than a prognosis. Hopefully the actual document will show the logic trail and why some of these can be moved into the "probable" column.

It would also be helpful if there were marks on the wall that served as way points for reassessment. These might indicate if a forecast remained accurate, slid left or right on the time line, stalled, or simply departed.

If such estimates are going to inform policy and strategy, there needs to be a way to obtain regular feedback to see if they remain accurate.

The estimate on technology breakthroughs in the energy sector and the assumptions it could lead us seem custom made to create bias and feed speculation & emotion. 2025 is a ways off, and I'm reminded of the RBS commercial with old an young golfer, "of course in my day, that tree was only 1/2 that size". Better do our homework on this one.

Best, Rob