The 21st Century Phenomenon

– 2025


The National Intelligence Council (NIC) is a part of USA intelligence community. Its role is to estimate the major directions and developments on the glob in the longer term of between 15 to 20 years ahead and the major challenges for USA in the longer term. The National Intelligence Council (NIC) publishes a special report during the transition time in USA, between early November to the swearing in of the new elected president in USA in 20 January next year, every four years.

On Thursday 11/20/2008, NIC issued its report on global trends designated for the newly elected president Barack Obama. The report evaluates the main foreseeable developments in the world and in USA up to 2025. 

The main direction according to the report is a significant and substantial decline of USA position as the only world’s superpower and the leader of the so called ‘Free World”

A. USA will lose its position as the only super-power and will became just the first among several equal  world powers such as China, the European Union, India, Russia and may be even Brazil. As result USA will not be able to act alone, despite the international community but will be forced into compromises and grater international cooperation and coordination with the other powers. China will merge as the main adversary of USA with the world’s second largest economy by 2025.  


B. Washington will retain its considerable military advantages, but scientific and technological advances; the use of “irregular warfare tactics”; the proliferation of long-range precision weapons; and the growing use of cyber warfare “increasingly will constrict US freedom of action”, the report claims.  


C. The EU is predicted to become a “hobbled giant”, unable to turn its economic power into diplomatic or military muscle. But rising economies such as China, India, Russia and Brazil will offer the US more competition at the top of a multi-polar international system. The dollar may no longer, therefore, be the world’s major currency.


D. Global warming, along with rising populations and economic growth will put additional strains on natural resources, it warns, fuelling conflict around the globe as countries compete for them, especially in Africa and Pacific Asia . Food and water shortages will fuel conflicts and destabilized the international political relations.


E. The analysts draw attention to an already escalating nuclear arms race in the Middle East and anticipate that a growing number of rogue states will be prepared to share their destructive technology with terror groups (see – NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION ).


F. The democratic system suffers from functioning problems and is facing growing difficulties to address main issues such as organized crime and social polarization. That conclusion is the most disturbing for the Western Democracies.  

Summary – 

* The general direction of developments were already marked with the globalization, internet and outsourcing of industrial production, which served as a world wide equalizer that pushed new powers into the front of the global arena. Another factor is the rising economies, especially China, but also of India and the “Asian Tigers”, which began already in the 60s’. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the reckless economic behavior of USA, which led to the current economic crisis, only accelerated the process. 

* The report does not refer enough to the dramatic changes in the energy and technological economy. Safe nuclear energy, bio fuel of second generation and other sources of energy as well as water desalination are already available. There is no reason for water or energy shortage. The usage of electric energy, produced by nuclear power will have a dramatic impact, for the worst, on all oil producers such as Russia, Arab Countries etc….

* Such reports have the tendency not to materialize. The world is facing tremendous changes but what will be the changes is still an enigma. History has its own way to fool the Human race.


* Related topics  – 




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