The World in 2015

Article excerpt

One expectation of leaders is that they take uncertainty out of an uncertain world. They must know what lies ahead and act on it - first using a crystal ball, then a tool kit.

The US government's intelligence community, working with outside experts, just issued a set of forecasts for 15 years hence called "Global Trends 2015." Their projections of current trends reveal more foresightedness than foreshadowing, more hope than dire warnings. The nation's top analysts know they have a responsibility and an opportunity to create a better future.

The report foresees a robust global economy and greater international cooperation. Economic growth rates will be close to those of the 1960s. That in turn will reduce armed conflict and ease the effects of population growth and water shortages.

But trends also point to more movement of people, driven by globalization of labor markets and political instability. Already, legal and illegal migrants account for more than 15 percent of the population in more than 50 countries.

"The very concept of 'belonging' to a particular state will probably erode," the report states. But globalization "will not lift all boats." Governments will have less control over the flows of people, arms, information, and money. …

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