Global Trends for the Future
After reading “Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World” choose one “Relative Certainty” and one “Key Uncertainty” and express your opinion on the topic and whether or not you agree.
Microsoft word, 1-2 pages, scholarly reviewed citations,APA Format
The 2025 Global Landscape
A global multipolar system is emerging with the rise of China, India, and others. The relative power of nonstate actors – businesses, tribes, religious organizations, and even criminal networks-also will increase.
By 2025 a single “international community” composed of nation-states will no longer exist. Power will be more dispersed with the newer players bringing new rules of the game while risks will increase that the traditional Western alliances will weaken. Rather than emulating Western models of political and economic development, more countries may be attracted to China’s alternative development model.
The unprecedented shift in relative wealth and economic power roughly from West to East now under way will continue.
As some countries become more invested in their economic well-being, incentives toward geopolitical stability could increase. However, the transfer is strengthening states like Russia that want to challenge the Western order.
The United States will remain the single most powerful country but will be less dominant.
Shrinking economic and military capabilities may force the US into a difficult set of tradeoffs between domestic versus foreign policy priorities.
Continued economic growth-coupled with 1.2 billion more people by 2025 – will put pressure on energy, food, and water resources.
The pace of technological innovation will be key to outcomes during this period. All current technologies are inadequate for replacing traditional energy architecture on the scale needed.
The number of countries with youthful populations in the “arc of instability”1 will decrease, but the populations of several youth-bulge states are projected to remain on rapid growth trajectories.
Unless employment conditions change dramatically in parlous youth-bulge states such as Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Yemen, these countries will remain ripe for continued instability and state failure.
The potential for conflict will increase owing to rapid changes in parts of the
greater Middle East and the spread of lethal capabilities.
The need for the US to act as regional balancer in the Middle East will increase, although other outside powers-Russia, China and India-will play greater roles than today.
Terrorism is unlikely to disappear by 2025, but its appeal could lessen if economic growth continues in the Middle East and youth unemployment is reduced. For those terrorists that are active the diffusion of technologies will put dangerous capabilities within their reach.
Opportunities for mass-casualty terrorist attacks using chemical, biological, or less likely, nuclear
weapons will increase as technology diffuses and nuclear power (and possibly weapons) programs
expand. The practical and psychological consequences of such attacks will intensify in an increasingly globalized world.
- Countries with youthful age structures and rapidly growing populations mark a crescent or “arc of instability” stretching from the Andean region of Latin America across Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and the Caucasus, and through the northern parts of South Asia.
Whether an energy transition away from oil and gas-supported by improved
energy storage, biofuels, and clean coal-is completed during the 2025 time frame.
With high oil and gas prices, major exporters such as Russia and Iran will substantially augment their levels of national power, with Russia’s GDP potentially approaching that of the UK and France. A sustained plunge in prices, perhaps underpinned by a fundamental switch to new energy sources, could trigger a long-term decline for producers as global and regional players.
How quickly climate change occurs and the locations where its impact is most pronounced.
Climate change is likely to exacerbate resource scarcities, particularly water scarcities.
Whether mercantilism stages a comeback and global markets recede.
Descending into a world of resource nationalism increases the risk of great power confrontations.
Whether advances toward democracy occur in China and Russia.
Political pluralism seems less likely in Russia in the absence of economic diversification. A growing middle class increases the chances of political liberalization and potentially greater nationalism in China.
Whether regional fears about a nucleararmed Iran trigger an arms race and greater militarization.
Episodes of low-intensity conflict and terrorism taking place under a nuclear umbrella could lead to an unintended escalation and broader conflict.
Whether the greater Middle East becomes more stable, especially
whether Iraq stabilizes, and whether the Arab-Israeli conflict is resolved peacefully.
Turbulence is likely to increase under most scenarios. Revival of economic growth, a more
prosperous Iraq, and resolution of the Israeli – Palestinian dispute could engender some stability as
the region deals with a strengthening Iran and global transition away from oil and gas.
Whether Europe and Japan overcome economic and social challenges caused or compounded by demography.
Successful integration of Muslim minorities in Europe could expand the size of the productive work forces and avert social crisis. Lack of efforts by Europe and Japan to mitigate demographic challenges could lead to long-term declines.
Whether global powers work with multilateral institutions to adapt their structure and performance to the transformed geopolitical landscape.
Emerging powers show ambivalence toward global institutions like the UN and IMF, but this could change as they become bigger players on the global stage. Asian integration could lead to more powerful regional institutions. NATO faces stiff challenges in meeting growing out-of-area responsibilities with declining European military capabilities. Traditional alliances will weaken.
Taken from “‘Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World’ US Director of National Intelligence” 2008, www.dni.gov