The political, economic and military influence of the United States will substantially decline over the next two decades, according to the country’s leading intelligence organisation.
By Alex Spillius
The Telegraph (UK)
The National Intelligence Council analysis Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World will serve as a sobering reminder to President-Elect Barack Obama of the challenges he faces leading a country that might no longer be able to “call the shots alone”.
The use of nuclear weapons will grow increasingly likely by 2025, the report found, forecasting a tense, unstable world shadowed by war.
“The world of the near future will be subject to an increased likelihood of conflict over scarce resources, including food and water, and will be haunted by the persistence of rogue states and terrorist groups with greater access to nuclear weapons.”
Mr Obama will assume power in January with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a resurgent Russia, an Iran determined to build a nuclear bomb and instability over the Palestinian territories.
The report also predicted that some African and South Asian states may wither away altogether, and organised crime could take over at least one state in central Europe.
Struggling to find a bright spot, researchers concluded that terrorism could decline if “economic growth continues in the Middle East and youth unemployment is reduced”.