The age of instability

Time to go off-grid
The world is becoming increasingly dangerous a bleak report from US spy agencies warns President-elect Obama. In the next 20 years global warming could spark biological and nuclear warfare over the dwindling supplies of water, food and energy.

It also warned that the current financial crisis on Wall Street is just the first phase of a global economic reordering.

There was a greater, but still small, risk of nuclear attack, based on spreading technologies and the weakening of international non-proliferation systems, the report said.

The risk that militant groups would use biological weapons was greater than the risk of nuclear terrorism. Survivalists will take note of that.

The report said: ‘Strategic rivalries are most likely to revolve around trade, investments and technological innovation and acquisition, but we cannot rule out a 19th century-like scenario of arms races, territorial expansion and military rivalries.’

‘Types of conflict we have not seen for a while – such as over resources – could reemerge,’ it said.

If Iran were to acquire nuclear weapons, that could set off an arms race in the Middle East, which is considered in the report as an ‘arc of instability.’


The report said that the U.S is likely to see its economic and political clout decline over the next two decades.

China and India were likely to join the U.S in competing for global influence, the report said.

The U.S. dollar’s role as the world’s major currency would weaken to become a ‘first among equals,’ the report said.

America’s military and financial clout is likely to lessen during the next two decades as more ‘superpowers’ assert their dominance, a report suggests


Thomas Fingar, chairman of the intelligence council and deputy national director of intelligence for analysis, said harmful outcomes were not inevitable.


The U.S. dollar’s role as the world’s major currency would weaken to become a ‘first among equals,’ the report said. ‘The next 20 years of transition to a new system are fraught with risks,’ said the report, which was more pessimistic about U.S. influence and the potential for conflict than the last outlook for 2020.


‘It is not beyond the mind of human beings, or political systems, (or) in some cases (the) working of market mechanisms to address and alleviate if not solve these problems,’ Fingar told reporters. ‘We could have a better world in 2025.’

A reordering of the world financial system was happening faster than the report’s authors envisioned, Fingar said.

A shift away from an oil-based energy system will be underway or complete by 2025. Better renewable technologies such as solar and wind power offer the best opportunity for a quick and low-cost transition, the report said.

The appeal of terrorism could decline over the next two decades, particularly if Middle Eastern countries provide productive education and opportunities for their young people, the report said.

But with a growing population, the pool of potential terrorism recruits is likely to be larger, and access to dangerous weapons will rise.

The National Intelligence Council report ‘Global Trends 2025’ was published to give incoming US president Barack Obama a snapshot of the state of the world challenges he is likely to face.

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