Asia’s Capabilities in 2030-Scenario Building for Future
Dr. Pankaj Jha Associate Fellow,IDSA
With the common understanding developing that the ongoing phase isthe Asian century which has been rightfully justified in terms of morethan average growth in Asia, in spite of the global recession, showsand certifies the buoyancy of Asian economies. In this regard the rising Asia, more particularly India and China are seen as the harbingers of new economic order and the erosion of the Brettonwoods system. Thiswould not only be possible when the defence, strategic, trade,investment clout of Asia increases at the international level. The paper takes an overview of the developments that would be there in Asiawhich would determine the course of development as well as strugglewithin Asia. In the paper detailed analysis about defence issues and military capabilities has been purposely being left out because that would have meant greater error percentage. The issues that havebeen discussed are those of population, per capita income, aged dependence, defence expenditure and climate change. This paper isan attempt to create scenarios as well as do forecasting about the possible trends which would be prevalent in Asia in 2030.
Scenario building is a tedious process and in spite of so much knowledgeit is not feasible to decipher the scenario in a precise manner. Asia is alsowitnessing very strong and influencing factors like economic growth,globalization, liberal trade, migration, defence modernisation, climatechange, global warming, population growth, ethnic frictions, demographicchanges to list few which are supposed to change the course of future in thenext two decades. Though nobody can predict the exact future but stillpeople, decision makers, managers and strategic thinkers try to decode it,though with varying degrees of error, so as to think about the likelypossibilities. The ensuing question is why do scenarios work? The plausiblereason is that people recognize the truth in a description of future events. The story resonates in some ways with what they already know, and thenleads them from that resonance to reperceive the world. Observations fromthe real world must be built into the story. The only way they can emergethere is for the storyteller to sample evidence from the world before spinningthe tale
.The scenario building process thus involves research-skilled huntingand gathering of information. This is practiced both narrowly-to pursue factsneeded for a specific scenario-and broadly- to educate oneself, so that onewould be able to pose more significant questions
.Every scenario requires specific research. Some subjects however emergeagain and again in the work which is common in deciphering the scenario. These include:
Science and Technology
This force is one of the most important drivers of future events. Itliterally shapes the future. Politics can change, but a scientific