Saturday, January 29, 2005

American Decline:

Here's an article about a fascinating and underreported CIA report predicting the relative decline of American power over the next 15 years. The central conclusion of the report is the following claim:

The likely emergence of China and India ... as new major global players—similar to the advent of a united Germany in the 19th century and a powerful United States in the early 20th century—will transform the geopolitical landscape with impacts potentially as dramatic as those in the previous two centuries.
The report goes on to claim that the new "arriviste powers" will not necessarilly be friendly to America, but will likely pursue "strategies designed to exclude or isolate the United States" in order to "force or cajole" us into playing by their rules. These changes, along with the continued globalization of the world economy, will have financial as well as geopolitical consequences for the US:
The transition will not be painless and will hit the middle classes of the developed world in particular, bringing more rapid job turnover and requiring professional retooling. Outsourcing on a large scale would strengthen the antiglobalization movement. Where these pressures lead will depend on how political leaders respond, how flexible labor markets become, and whether overall economic growth is ufficiently robust to absorb a growing number of displaced workers.
The article also predicts that Islamic fundamentalism will continue to be a potent force in the coming decades. Read the whole article and take a look at the report. You may also want to look at my recent posts "Why do Muslims Hate Us?" and "America Is Not the Church" (discussing the unprecedented assertion of America's moral vision in the president's Inaugural Address).

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