Thursday, December 11, 2008

Report: U.S. Global Power Will Diminish By 2025


The National Intelligence Council (NIC) has a thought-provoking outlook for the the global geopolitical future in a report released last month. (A .pdf of the report can be downloaded here.)

In the report titled, "Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World", it predicts the United States will continue to sit atop world leadership, but with diminishing returns and "where power will be dispersed with newer player with new rules to the game."

Along with Russia and China, one of these new players will be India, which was the subject of a four-person panel last night at The Commonwealth Club.

The assessment sees both China and India regaining economic power not seen in those countries in two centuries and predicting both will rival the U.S. and Japan in Gross Domestic Product by 2025. Here are some of the other points the report makes regarding India:

-States such as India and other nascent countries may not espouse the Western-developed modes of governing, but are more likely to drift toward methods of "state capitalism" used in China.

-Rapidly modernizing nations like India will likely usher in a new sense of stability as their economic livelihoods will depend on it. It cautions, though, that Russian aggression may be an outlier to that situation.

-The report also imagines the Middle East and Asia without Western intervention as potentially a stumbling block to globalization. If the West and the United States, specifically, find the region a burden to their interests, a scenario could arise where China and Russia, despite differences, come to a tacit union, leaving Iran and India with no choice but to support them in the absence of Western support.

As Michael T. Klare wrote in The Nation, "Not only will the United States be weaker in 2025 because of the hubris of Bush and Cheney; it will face a world of multiplied dangers, emboldened challengers and a paucity of reliable allies."

If you don't want to read the 130-page report, that's the conclusion in a nutshell.


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