Defense

December 12, 2012

National Intelligence Council forecasts megatrends

The American Century is drawing to a close, and the U.S. Defense Department will have to be more flexible in dealing with a faster-paced multipolar world, according to the Global Trends 2030 report released Dec. 10.

The National Intelligence Council has looked to the future to jumpstart the conversation about what U.S. policy should be, given world-wide trends.

In the annual report, the NIC makes its best guesses about several “megatrends” that will shape the world in 2030.

The first is individual empowerment. The council believes there will be a significant decrease in poverty in the world and a concomitant increase in the middle class. The council says this represents a “tectonic shift,” as for the first time in history “a majority of the world’s population will not be impoverished.”

The NIC expects the global economy to expand and the new members of the middle class will be able to harness new communications and manufacturing technologies.

The council sees this megatrend as the key to solving global challenges over the next 15 to 20 years. But the results of this expanded economy aren’t all rosy. The trend could also give individuals and small groups access to lethal and disruptive technologies and capabilities once only held by nation states.

The second megatrend NIC predicts is the diffusion of power. The council posits that by 2030, Asia will surpass the West in gross domestic production, population size, military spending and technology investment. If this occurs, China would become the world’s largest economy, with India and Brazil close behind. Other rising nations could include Colombia, Indonesia, Nigeria, South Africa and Turkey, while Russia, Europe and Japan could continue their declines.

But, according to the council, more important than who is up or down is that the nature of power will change. “Enabled by communications technologies, power will shift toward multifaceted and amorphous networks that will form to influence state and global actions,” the report says. Countries unable to understand or use these new technologies “will not be able to punch their weight.”

Demographic changes will transform the world of 2030, the report said. NIC estimates that the world population will grow from 7.1 billion today to 8.3 billion in 2030. Aging, migration and urbanization will push this megatrend. Its most noticeable manifestation will be the continued growth of cities, the report predicts, spurring economic growth, but potentially straining food and water resources.

The report said developing countries could become demographically “older,” while the demand for labor drives migration. “Owing to rapid urbanization in the developing world, the volume of urban construction … over the next 40 years could roughly equal the entire volume of such construction to date in world history,” the report says.

Finally, NIC predicts that “demand for food, water and energy will grow by approximately 35, 40 and 50 percent respectively.” The growing population and expanded middle class will trigger that growth, the report said.

At the same time, the council wrote, climate change will accelerate, amplifying existing weather patterns – meaning that wet areas become wetter and dry areas become drier. The council said this does not necessarily mean a world of scarcity, but stressed that world leaders must collaborate to tackle the problem.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Coast Guard photograph

Navy demonstrates unmanned helicopter operations aboard Coast Guard cutter

http://static.dvidshub.net/media/video/1412/DOD_102145893/DOD_102145893-512×288-442k.mp4 Coast Guard photograph An MQ-8B Fire Scout UAS is tested off the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf near Los Angeles, Dec. 5 2014. The Coast...
 
 
Boeing photograph

C-40A Clipper delivered to U.S. Naval Reserve ahead of schedule

Boeing photograph The Navy’s 13th C-40A departs Boeing facility in San Antonio, Texas, Nov. 21 and heads for Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VR) 61, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington, one month ahead of schedule....
 
 

U.S., U.K. sign framework for future naval cooperation

Leaders of the U.S. and British navies agreed on a shared vision for closer cooperation Dec. 11, the culmination of a yearlong effort that will build on a long-standing maritime partnership over the next 15 years. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert and his counterpart in the United Kingdom, First Sea Lord Sir George...
 

 
Navy photograph by PO1 Shannon D. Barnwell

Navy decommissions USS Norfolk

Navy photograph by PO1 Shannon D. Barnwell The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Norfolk (SSN 714) returns to homeport at Naval Station Norfolk after completing its final deployment. Norfolk will begin the inactivation pro...
 
 
Navy photograph by PO3 Edward Guttierrez III

Navy tests news unmanned underwater vehicle at JEBLC-FS

Navy photograph by PO3 Edward Guttierrez III The GhostSwimmer vehicle, developed by the Chief of Naval Operations Rapid Innovation Cell project Silent NEMO, undergoes testing at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek – For...
 
 
Navy photograph by JoAnna Delfin

Navy moving forward with LCS

Navy photograph by JoAnna Delfin The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) is moored at Apra Harbor on U.S. Naval Base Guam. Fort Worth is conducting its maiden 16-month rotational deployment in support of the Indo-Asia-P...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>