Saturday, November 29, 2008

Good Tidings for Obama - Not

From The London Times came National Intelligence Council report: sun setting on the American century:

The next two decades will see a world living with the daily threat of nuclear war, environmental catastrophe and the decline of America as the dominant global power, according to a frighteningly bleak assessment by the US intelligence community.

“The world of the near future will be subject to an increased likelihood of conflict over resources, including food and water, and will be haunted by the persistence of rogue states and terrorist groups with greater access to nuclear weapons,” said the report by the National Intelligence Council, a body of analysts from across the US intelligence community.

The analysts said that the report had been prepared in time for Barack Obama’s entry into the Oval office on January 20, where he will be faced with some of the greatest challenges of any newly elected US president.

***

The report said that global warming will aggravate the scarcity of water, food and energy resources. Citing a British study, it said that climate change could force up to 200 million people to migrate to more temperate zones. “Widening gaps in birth rates and wealth-to-poverty ratios, and the impact of climate change, could further exacerbate tensions,” it said.

“The international system will be almost unrecognisable by 2025, owing to the rise of emerging powers, a globalising economy, a transfer of wealth from West to East, and the growing influence of nonstate actors. Although the United States is likely to remain the single most powerful actor, the United States’ relative strength – even in the military realm – will decline and US leverage will become more strained.”

Global power will be multipolar with the rise of India and China, and the Korean peninsula will be unified in some form. Turning to the current financial situation, the analysts say that the financial crisis on Wall Street is the beginning of a global economic rebalancing.

The US dollar’s role as the major world currency will weaken to the point where it becomes a “first among equals”.

But I think Obama is up to it, are we?


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