Bleak Predictions in the ODNI Global Trends for 2025 Report

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This was recently released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence:

News Release No. 19-08
November 20, 2008

ODNI Releases Global Trends Projections

By 2025, the accelerating pace of globalization and the emergence of new powers will produce a world order vastly different from the system in place for most of the post-World War II era, according to a projection by the federal government’s top intelligence analysts.

The projection, prepared by the National Intelligence Council of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, was made public by the ODNI today.

The ODNI report, “Global Trends 2025 – A Transformed World” projects a still-preeminent U.S. joined by fast developing powers, notably India and China, atop a multipolar international system. 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, the report says. Widening gaps in birth rates and wealth-to-poverty ratios, and the uneven impact of climate change, could further exacerbate tensions, “Global Trends 2025” concludes.

The report extrapolates from current and projected trends. It is not a prediction, and the authors stress that “bad outcomes are not inevitable.”

“International leadership and cooperation will be necessary to solve the global challenges and to understand the complexities surrounding them,” the report concludes.

“By laying out some of the alternative possibilities we hope to help policymakers steer us toward more positive solutions.” Other projections in “Global Trends 2025”: include:

  • Russia’s emergence as a world power is clouded by lagging investment in its energy sector and the
  • persistence of crime and government corruption.
  • Muslim states outside the Arab core – Turkey, Indonesia, even a post-clerical Iran – could take on
  • expanded roles in the new international order.
  • A government in Eastern or Central Europe could be effectively taken over and run by organized crime.
  • In parts of Africa and South Asia, some states might wither away as governments fail to provide security
  • and other basic needs.
  • A worldwide shift to a new technology that replaces oil will be under way or accomplished by 2025.
  • Multiple financial centers will serve as ‘shock absorbers’ in the world financial system. The U.S. dollar’s
  • role will shrink to ‘first among equals’ in a basket of key world currencies.
  • The likelihood that nuclear weapons will be used will increase with expanded access to technology and a
  • widening range of options for limited strikes.
  • The impact of climate change will be uneven, with some Northern economies, notably Russia and
  • Canada, profiting from longer growing seasons and improved access to resource reserves.

The Global Trends series examines geopolitical trends and analyzes their likely outcomes, in an attempt to prompt public discussion of possible responses. The projections have covered five-year intervals, beginningwith Global Trends 2010 issued in November 1997.

A full copy of the report is available online at: http://www.dni.gov/nic/NIC_2025_project.html

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The Director of National Intelligence oversees 16 federal organizations that make up the U.S. intelligence community. The DNI also manages the implementation of the National Intelligence Program. Additionally, the DNI serves as the principal adviser to the president, the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council on intelligence issues related to national security.

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