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UFPPC ( Digging Deeper LXIII: December 1, 2008, 7:00 p.m.

Global Trends 2025—A World Transformed (National Intelligence Council,

November 2008).
The 2025 Global Landscape. Secondary and higher education
Relatively, U.S. power is declining. constitute a “key determinant of
Technology will “be key to outcomes.” countries’ economic performance and
“Key uncertainties” include global potential” (17).
“energy transition,” climate change, Iran-
Ch. 2: The Demographics of Discord.
driven arms race, stability in the Middle
World population will grow to 8bn, with
East, European and Japanese economic
most growth in India and China, but the
and social development, and the future
rate of growth will slow (19). Aging
of multilateral institutions (iv-v).
populations will lead to higher
Executive Summary. A multipolar percentages of minorities in Western
world is emerging; such processes tend Europe, heightening social tensions (21).
to be unstable (vi). Power is shifting in a Latin America, the Middle East, and
discontinuous, shock-filled way from northern South Asia will have “persistent
West to East as BRICs use state youth bulges” (21-22). Migration will
capitalism to develop, most population strain identity (23-24). Population growth
growth is non-Western, resource issues of Muslims in Western Europe will
trump ideology, and a more complex increase attention to them (25). Russia’s
international system emerges in which population will drop to 130m (24-25).
the U.S. is “less dominant” and there is China will grow to 1.4bn (25-26). India
“overall potential for greater conflict”; will see high growth in the north and low
four “fictionalized scenarios” are growth in the south (26). Iran will grow
imagined (vi-xiii). to about 77m, and its demographics will
change dramatically as its youth bulge
Introduction: A Transformed World.
dissipates (26).
Reprise of above. Global Trends 2020 did
not assume a multipolar future and Ch. 3: The New Players. Relatively,
energy scarcity; Global Trends 2025 does other powers will be more important in
(2). Leadership, economic volatility, and 2025 (29). China will rise to be the
geopolitical rivalries are fertile sources of number-two power, but it may not be
unpredictable discontinuities (5). politically stable (29-30). India will
become more powerful, but could
Ch. 1: The Globalizing Economy.
become more “fragmented and fractious”
China and India are restoring the relative
(30-31). Russia will face great difficulties
position in the world that they held two
in remaining as powerful as it is at
centuries ago (7-8). A larger global
present (31-32). Europe is unlikely to be
middle class is developing, but in 2025
able to translate “economic clout into
65% of the population will still be poor,
global influence” (32-33). Japan, caught
and in relative terms this poverty will
between the U.S. and China, faces an
increase (8). Developing nations are
uncertain future but there will probably
adopting a state capitalist model (8-12).
be rapprochement with China (33-35).
The U.S. still has a “stronger innovation
Brazil is well placed for regional
system” than China or India (13). China
leadership (35). Indonesia, Turkey, and
is more likely to democratize than Russia
“a post-clerically run Iran” are likely to be
(14). Latin America will “continue to play
rising powers (35-36). Scenario I: the
a marginal role” (15). Women will play a
West is supplanted as the Shanghai
greater role in Asia and Latin America,
Cooperation Organization becomes more
with geopolitical effects (16-17).
important than NATO (37-39).
millions (75). Global Scenario III:
Ch. 4: Scarcity in the Midst of
Conflict between China and India (76-78).
Plenty? Technological developments will
be a key factor in determining how well Ch. 6: Will the International System
the world adapts to “growing resource Be Up to the Challenges? The power
constraints” (41). 2025 will see the of states will decline relatively, and that
world “in the midst of a fundamental of “businesses, tribes, religious
energy transition” which is likely to be organizations, and even criminal
very difficult (41-45). High or low energy networks” will grow, which may produce
prices will determine different a “patchwork” of shifting coalitions and
geopolitical scenarios (45-46, 51). A two- greater “regionalism” (81-84). But most
page chart of “technology breakthroughs observers do not expect rising powers to
by 2025” identifies ubiquitous challenge the international system (84).
computing, clean water technologies, Networks around issues will develop,
energy storage technologies, including religion-based networks (84-
biogerontechnology, clean coal 87). There will be backsliding and doubts
technologies, human strength about democracy (87). Organized crime
augmentation technologies, biofuels threatens to establish a ‘shadow’
technology, service robotics, and human international system (88). Scenario IV:
cognitive augmentation technologies as Cooperation through networks of NGOs
“game-changers” (47, 49). Thirty-six “bubble’s up from the grassroots” (89-
countries with 1.4bn people will be short 90).
of food and water, stimulating “climate
Ch. 7: Power-Sharing in a Multipolar
migration” (51-54). Chart of global water
World. The U.S. will still be strongest,
scarcity (55). Sub-Saharan Africa the
but will be much more constrained (93-
globe’s “most vulnerable region” (56).
94). The dollar will lose much of its
Scenario II: Sudden climate deterioration
status as global reserve currency (94,
forces evacuation of Manhattan (57-59)
97). Anti-Americanism may wane (95-
Ch. 5: Growing Potential for Conflict. 96). U.S. military superiority will be
Increased potential for conflict, especially “more limited” (97). The future holds
in “the greater Middle East,” where there more contingencies than certainties (98).
is risk of a nuclear arms race stimulated “Leadership will be key . . . human
by Iran; conflicts will also be driven by actions are likely to be the crucial
competition for resources (61-63). The determinant of outcomes” (98-99).
Muslim world may develop in two “tiers,” [About the anonymous authors. C. Thomas
“liberal” and not (64-65). Naval Fingar has been deputy director of national
competition will be spurred by concern intelligence for analysis and chairman of the
about energy supplies (66). Climate National Intelligence Council since May 2005.
change could lead to “low-level” conflicts He was formerly assistant secretary of state
(66, 68). Use of nuclear weapons (2004-2005) and has worked for the State
remains “very unlikely” (67-68). Dept. since 1986. He signed the untitled two-
page preface, describing how the report was
Terrorism “unlikely to disappear,” but produced. Fingar has a 1968 B.A. in
David C. Rapoport’s “wave of terror Government and History from Cornell and a
concept” predicts al-Qa’ida will recede 1969 M.A. and a 1977 Ph.D. from Stanford. He
(68-70). Conflict will be more IT, is an authority on Chinese policymaking and is
“irregular,” and mediatized (71). Power also fluent in German. A YouTube video can be
and authority in Afghanistan, Pakistan, seen at
and Iraq will still be contested (72-74).
ew. He attributes a leading role in producing
Ideology will decline in importance (73). Global Trends 2025 to Mathew “Mat” Burrows.
A global pandemic could kill hundreds of According to Fingar, the NIC used the Internet
to share drafts with participants around the
world to make this fourth Global Trends report “finance” and its cognates (63 times). The
the most collaborative of the series, drawing on term “human rights, on the other hand, is
the thinking of hundreds of people. The NIC’s mentioned only once, in the context of Turkish
describes its mission as providing midterm and entry to the E.U. Iran appears again and again
long-term strategic thinking. The NIC reports as a sort of bête noire in the document; “Iran”
to the director of national intelligence or its cognates appear 84 times. The rise of
(currently John McConnell), responds to China is a chief preoccupation (“China”
questions from policymakers, and acts as a appears 190 times, “Chinese” 43 times).
bridge to academia and the private sector. It “Militarism,” “materialism,” and
aspires to produce analytical judgments that “neoliberalism” go unmentioned. The word
are independent of current U.S. policy. Among “ecological” never appears, although most
those collaborating in producing Global Trends biologists view the present era as part of what
2025 were SRI International (originally founded is possibly the fastest mass extinction event
by Stanford University in 1946 as the Stanford ever, which may cause the extinction of one-
Research Institute but since 1977 a fully half of all species in the next 100 years. — Cf.
independent non-profit) and PFC Energy (a Blaise Pascal (1623-1662): “Human life is thus
global consulting firm), as well as members of only a perpetual illusion; men deceive and
many of the think tanks that have proliferated flatter each other. . . . Human society is
since Lewis F. Powell Jr. laid to the leaders of founded on mutual deceit . . . Man is, then,
the U.S. Chamber of Commerce a strategy to only disguise, falsehood, and hypocrisy, both in
change the public’s thinking about the role of himself and in regard to others. He does not
corporations in society by influencing wish anyone to tell him the truth; he avoids
education and the media in ways favorable to telling it to others, and all these dispositions,
business. Others among those involved in so removed from justice and reason, have a
producing Global Trends 2025: the Evian natural root in his heart.” (Pascal, Pensées [first
Group, Global Business Network, the Brookings published posthumously in 1670], translated by
Institution, the Wilson Center, the American W.F. Trotter. Original: “Ainsi la vie humaine
Enterprise Institute, China Institutes of n’est qu’une illusion perpétuelle ; on ne fait
Contemporary International Relations, the que s’entre-tromper et s’entre-flatter. . . .
Stockholm International Peace Research L’union qui est entre les hommes n’est fondée
Institute, and Toffler Associates.] que sur cette mutuelle tromperie . . . L’homme
n’est donc que déguisement, que mensonge et
[Critical notes. The domination of global hypocrisie, et en soi-même et à l’égard des
society by a capitalist economy run by autres. Il ne veut donc pas qu’on lui dise la
multinational corporations is the unstated vérité. Il évite de la dire aux autres ; et toutes
assumption that underlies this analysis. It was, ces dispositions, si éloignées de la justice et de
in fact, produced in large part by such la raison, ont une racine naturelle dans son
corporations and their representatives. The coeur” (Pascal, Pensées, §100 [Brunschvicg], in
concern with corporate profits is disguised, but Oeuvres completes, ed. Lafuma [Paris: Seuil,
comes out in the frequency of the use of 1963], p. 637). ]