The recently released National Intelligence Council (NIC) “Global Trends” report, which is “it’s analysis of the future in several stages.” goes into the predictions business, as NIC members “envision five plausible scenarios for the distant future in 2040.”
In a world where software applications have a life of 12-18 months and hardware technology roughly two years, one can only marvel at the amazing prescience of the NIC prophets. As Liberty Nation has reported accurately, the Intelligence Community (IC) does not exactly have a racker stellar record. Nonetheless, Jonathan Landay and Mark Hosenball writing for Reuters, explained:
“The report by top U.S. intelligence analysts, which is produced every four years, assessed the political, economic, societal and other trends that likely will shape the national security environment in the next 20 years. ‘Our intent is to help policymakers and citizens … prepare for an array of possible futures,’ the authors wrote, noting they make no specific predictions and included input from diverse groups, from American students to African civil society activists.”
The last sentence above presents a problem. When analyzing the events and circumstances that may be two decades from now, the report’s view is apparently, that anyone’s view is as good as anyone else’s, and diverse opinions are a plus these days. Yet, the deception here is that those diverse opinions, when compiled in a document with the imprimatur of the “top U.S. intelligence analysts,” give the content more credence than it would ever otherwise get.
Everybody Has an Opinion
Reading the report’s foreword, we find out that views swept up from “American students” weren’t just any “American students,” these were high school students in Washington DC. Never was there a demographic with a more representative point of view of Americana than high school students in perhaps the country’s most far-left city. Alright, there is San Francisco.
Besides the somewhat silly use of views from people of diverse backgrounds that may or may not be relevant, two major flaws are inherent in the report. First, the message is a globalist view. This perspective is defined by the belief that the geopolitical momentum of the worldwide community of nations is unyielding to any single country’s impact moving toward some divergent end state. And the aspirations of a “world united” are more significant than any one sovereign state.
For example, this global momentum will happen despite any focused impact of the United States, the most powerful nation in history, moving in another direction for its own ends. With the Biden administration’s policy of placing identity politics and social justice goals above national security, globalism may be a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Second, the authors rest the credibility of their conclusions on assumptions that may or may not be valid. The authors state emphatically: “Climate change is here and intensifying.” From that position, the report predicts “[m]ore extreme storms, droughts, and floods; melting glaciers and ice caps; and rising sea levels will accompany rising temperatures.”
The assertion is that there is a causal relationship, but assertions aren’t proofs. Other unanticipated intervening events, like a catastrophic global military clash, will suddenly and dramatically change whatever outcomes might be expected from a changing climate.
Whether climate change is a reasonable assumption or not, it is consistent with the Biden administration’s Interim National Security Strategy Guidance, which has climate change as the number one national security concern.
China is Going to Solve Climate Change?
When the IC authors discuss possible future scenarios in 2040, they take a significant detour from current reality. In what the authors designate as “Scenario 5: Tragedy and Mobilization,” they project “a global coalition, led by the European Union and China in coordination with non-governmental organizations” and others will implement “far-reaching changes designed to address climate change (of course), resource depletion, and poverty following a global food catastrophe.”
With 184 coal-fired electric power plants under construction and helping other countries build hundreds more, the notion that China will be a useful helpmate in eliminating coal power plants and the greenhouse gases that attend them in the next 20 years is ludicrous. This alternative future is at significant variance with the current trend.
Edward Cunningham, a specialist on China and its energy markets at Harvard University, told National Public Radio: “When you put money down and put steel into the ground for a coal-fired power plant, it’s a 40- or 50-year commitment.” China will seek and preserve its self-interest, regardless of what the rest of the world thinks – and it will behave that way for decades to come.
As is the case with many attempts to look into the future for events and circumstances that will allow for some level of policy preparation, the report suffers from fundamental assumptions that rely too heavily on questionable assertions that the reader must take at face value.
Regardless, the “Global Trends 2040” report is worth reading as a current apology for the “globalist” perspective. Globalism is not a fait accompli and is the antithesis to former President Trump’s elevating the U.S.’s unique value and importance in shaping the world’s future.
“Global Trends 2040: A More Contested World” can be found here.
The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.
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