Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Quick Mid-Week Reads

Top Read goes to Nicholas Kralev of the Washington Times for a report from the National Intelligence Council (NIC) due to be released tomorrow. The report predicts a less dominate role for the United States by 2025.

"The United States will remain the single most powerful country, although less dominant," according to a "working draft" of the document obtained by The Washington Times. "Shrinking economic and military capabilities may force the U.S. into a difficult set of tradeoffs between domestic and foreign-policy priorities."

And this prediction different from the last report issued in 2004:

One major difference between the two projections is that the new report for the first time makes the "assumption of a multipolar future."

In addition to China, India and Russia, "Indonesia, Turkey and a post-clerically run Iran - states that are predominantly Islamic, but which fall outside the Arab core - appear well-suited for growing international roles," it says.

Regarding energy the prediction is:

"We believe the most likely occurrence by 2025 is a technological breakthrough that will provide an alternative to oil and natural gas, but with implementation lagging because of the necessary infrastructure costs and need for longer replacement time."

They offer this about future political systems.

The report envisions widespread appeal of "state capitalism, a loose term to describe a system of economic management that gives a prominent role of the state."
"Rather than emulate Western models of political and economic development, more countries may be attracted to Russia's and China's alternative development models," it says.

The story ends on this note:

"In the worst case, this could result in interstate conflicts if government leaders deem assured access to energy resources, for example, to be essential for maintaining domestic stability and the survival of their regimes,"

Read the whole story here:
Panel Foresees Lesser US Role

UPDATE: The report released 11/20/08: Global Trends2025

And from Thomas Barnett, a collection of stories he found on yesterday's New York Times front page is a candidate for a time capsule defining our current times.
The perfect front page for this day and age.

From Small Wars Journal, this story ISAF Campaign Plan Summary by John Nagl, who says that the International Security Assistance Force truly understands the principles of counterinsurgency warfare.

Finally, a follow up on yesterdays post about piracy. India blows up pirate boat. Now for the rest of the World's navies to follow India's lead.

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