This book examines the future of the United States, the People’s Republic of China, and Iran. Specifically, it reviews how important domestic trends—such as changes in the economy, demographics, and the environment—may influence the priorities of these three nations in the future. This research is the second in a series of strategic studies the RAND Corporation conducted for the U.S. Navy’s Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Assessment Division (N81). The initial research was conducted in the summer and fall of 2006. Entitled “Evolving Strategic Trends, Implications for the U.S. Navy,” that first study was intended for a select Navy audience. It identified likely major global strategic trends in the next decade and how they might influence Navy planning. Although the present book focuses primarily on domestic trends, it also explores how events in the so-called near abroad of each nation may influence how the three principal nations view their strategic situation. Based on the insights gained during their research, the authors provide conclusions and recommendations that will be of interest not only to the study’s sponsor, the U.S. Navy, but also to a wider range of policymakers and academics in the United States and elsewhere.
This research was sponsored by the U.S. Navy’s Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Assessment Division (N81), and conducted within the International Security and Defense Policy Center (ISDP) of the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands,