What are those dire scenarios? The report gives a list of eight “Black Swan” scenarios — a reference to Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book “Black Swan,” which posits that history is built on unforeseeable, surprise events.
Global Trends 2030’s potential Black Swans
1. Severe Pandemic
2. Much More Rapid Climate ChangeSponsored Ads
3. Euro/EU collapse
4. A Democratic or Collapsed China
5. A Reformed Iran
6. Nuclear War or WMD/ Cyber Attack
7. Solar Geomagnetic Storms
8. U.S. Disengagement
A report by the National Intelligence Council predicts that the United States will lose its superpower status by 2030, but that no country — including China — will be a hegemonic power.
Instead, the report says, power will shift to “networks and coalitions in a multipolar world.”
The council, which wrote Global Trends 2030, was established in 1979. It supports the U.S. director of National Intelligence and is the intelligence community’s center for long-term strategic analysis.
The council’s intelligence officers are drawn from government, academia and the private sector.
FULL REPORT: Global Trends 2030
“The world of 2030 will be radically transformed from our world today,” the report concludes. “By 2030, no country — whether the U.S., China, or any other large country — will be a hegemonic power.”
So there is going to be a radical transformation from the world today, and this is all going to go smoothly, right? What if something goes wrong?
Haunted by these and other shortcomings, the U.S. intelligence community is now engaged in long-term comprehensive research projects such as Global Trends 2030, a large strategic forecasting report the National Intelligence Council will release later this year. Global Trends 2025, released in November 2008, described long-term demographic, economic, environmental, and institutional trends and discussed their implications. With money increasingly short, policymakers will be under pressure to prioritize defense spending, and they will look to the intelligence community to help them identify the threats that matter and those they can safely ignore. However, the Global Trends reports show the cultural gap between policymakers and intelligence analysts; while the report was undoubtedly insightful to its authors, it is hard to find any connection between reports such as Global Trends and changes policymakers have made to actual policies and programs.
… According to the Pentagon’s 2011 report on China’s military power, China’s military doctrine emphasizes surprise, deception, and offensive operations. …
The murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand is credited with sparking the war, though a battle was inevitable. In Part 1 of our series on WWI, http://www.WatchMojo.com explores how and why the First World War began.
We have a catalyst event in the murder of Archduke Ferdinand. But it was tension between alliances over the decades leading up to that time that was the ultimate cause of the calamity. In other words, there was a positive feedback loop raising tension until the two alliances reached a pre-collapse state.
The decline of an empire is one sign of transition, the possibility that a pre-collapse state exists and may move to a collapse state – war. Abdul Hamid II was the 34th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. He oversaw a period of decline in the power and extent of the Empire, ruling from 31 August 1876 until he was deposed on 27 April 1909. The decline of the Ottoman empire left a vacuum in the Balkans. The British empire was also in decline.
Entering the Age of Upheaval
Today we can see a major world transition taking place with the decline of the US and the massive wealth transfer from the West to the East. We can see the rise of China, and the reemergence of Russia as an ally of China and antagonist of the US. At the same time the US is disarming its nuclear arsenal and has a weakened alliance with Europe through NATO. Finally, there is the great potential for a clash of civilizations between Syria (Backed by Russia, China and Iran) and its rebels (Backed by the West), and Iran (Backed by Russia, China and Israel’s neighbors) and Israel (Backed by the US). One false move could easily put Russia and China into direct conflict with the US.
The Global Trends 2025 report suggests that the international system as we know it today – created out of the ashes of World War II – “will be almost unrecognizable by 2025″. The last international system broke-down during World War I – 1914 to 1918. Trends in place today suggest major discontinuities, shocks, and surprises. In other words, we should not be surprised by great upheaval to everything we know.
In order to understand what is coming, one must assume that they cannot read the minds of leaders, contrary to popular opinion. One must assume that they do not know everything, unlike the experts who think they know everything. One must assume that there will be surprises and shocks because the world is at a major transition point. One must be prepared for the worst – nuclear conflict between the major powers.
Why nuclear war now?
Besides the transition in world power from the West to the East, there is a transition in nuclear safety. The US has eliminated the overwhelming vast majority of its nuclear weapons. The nuclear weapons that have kept us safe in the past are gone. The nuclear equation has changed. In the past enemy leaders could never be sure if multiple nuclear strikes from the US over several years would eliminate the leaders themselves. Now the leaders and their military personnel know the US can only retaliate one time, and they can survive that.
With western power and safety in transition, only the ability to read minds will save you. You know that Russian and Chinese leaders would never sacrifice their people in order to take out the US. You know this because you can read the minds of the leaders. Everybody else who cannot read minds should be very worried.
Is it a good idea for people who have never gone through a real crisis to challenge the wisdom of the people who have? By real crisis I mean the existence of the country is at risk. By wisdom I mean in terms of keeping the country safe. In Japan there were markers saying – do not build below this level. These were ignored by later generations who then suffered as a result of Fukushima.
I try to apply these rules to myself:
You don’t know everything.
You can’t read minds.
Somebody else is always smarter than you on a particular topic. Seek out wisdom.
Vladimir Putin’s new presidential term is just beginning, but it increasingly looks like the beginning of the end. Whenever Russia’s people pour into the streets en masse, as they currently are doing, from that point on things never work out well for the authorities.
In 1917, Russian Emperor Nicholas II had to abdicate in the wake of mass street protests, clearing the way for the Bolshevik Revolution. In 1991, the Soviet Union – then seemingly an unbreakable monolith – collapsed in just a few months. Hundreds of thousands went into the streets to confront the hardline coup against Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika.
Now it is Putin’s turn. …
The global financial crisis of 2008 has caused us to enter the age of upheaval. Big changes are coming. These changes may include revolution in both Russia and China.These signs and the global financial crisis indicate that the world has entered a pre-collapse state. Small events are now capable of causing massive changes to the world we know.
The Global Trends 2025 reports says we should expect discontinuities, shocks and surprises before 2025. The international system we know today “will be almost unrecognizable by 2025″. The transition to a new system will be fraught with risks, the report says.
The turmoil in the Middle East are quite logical. The reason is that the Arab world lags behind the global trends in social and political structure. Today, individual states are no longer able to resist the international oligarchy and transnational community. Therefore, they are united in the ethno-cultural civilizations, such as Europe, Latin America, China or India. However, the Islamic world is divided, and its Arab core and even more so – by 21 states, which are essentially not covered by a single political, social and economic space. Every Arab state is using its economic model, but the overall situation is catastrophic. The combined GDP of the Arab world’s GDP is approximately equal to Spain, not the richest country in Europe. The Arab States annually invest in its own region of about 10-12 billion dollars. And outside, especially in Western countries, appears to resource and a half trillion dollars. That is, the Arab world into a service area. And if before they are only serving the West, still today, and the East.
Social niches clogged. Thirty-forty-year reign and the same person creates a pyramid on top of which the next of kin, and under them long, then relatives of relatives and so on. Gaddafi has eight sons, and each has its own such a pyramid. If you do not get into this clan, the clan or Mubarek, then before you have no prospects. Add to this backwardness in education, culture and science – for example, scientists per one million inhabitants in the Arab world is three times lower than in the West and the East. Therefore, a strategic gap requires revolutionary intervention, to give impetus to the unification and development of the Arab world.
In Russia the situation is more complicated. The revolution is inevitable. It will attempt to find its future and course of development, which will keep Russia as a unified state, while the Russian and other indigenous peoples – as a national social formation. At the current rate and mode, there is no future in Russia. Looming disaster – split and disintegrate, leaving the Russian world from the historical arena. This objective data – when you look today, even the state statistics, the hair rise on end. About a hundred million Russian, with 23 million alcoholics, 6 million drug addicts, 6 million AIDS patients, 4 million prostitutes. We have the highest percentage of dysfunctional families, a thousand marriages 640 divorces. Revolutionary changes are essential. Just let God to pass over peacefully.
Global Trends 2025, a new report written by the US National Intelligence Council (NIC) ahead of President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration, envisages a future world marked by diminished US power, dwindling resources, and more people.
The current trend of global wealth and economic power shifting roughly from West to East, described as “without precedent in modern history”, will continue.
US global dominance ‘set to wane’
US economic, military and political dominance is likely to decline over the next two decades, according to a new US intelligence report on global trends.
21 Nov 08 | Americas
02 Oct 08 | Europe
23 Sep 05 | Europe
[Updated March 19, 2012] Nuclear warfare in or around 2012 is very possible given, well, the threats of nuclear war (atomic war) coming out of Russia and China concerning Iran. Let’s look at what they have to say.
Attacking Iran: Putin Says Consequences Would be ‘Truly Catastrophic’ with Unimaginable Scale
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Russia is concerned about the “growing threat” of an attack on Iran over its nuclear program, warning that the consequences would be “truly catastrophic.”
In an article on foreign policy for publication on Monday, six days before a March 4 presidential election he is almost certain to win, Putin also warned Western and Arab nations against military intervention in Syria.
On Iran, Putin said that “the growing threat of a military strike on this country alarms Russia, no doubt. If this occurs, the consequences will be truly catastrophic. It is impossible to imagine their real scale.”
What does “truly catastrophic” mean?
What does – “It is impossible to imagine their real scale” – mean?
We can use statements by other Russian leaders to fill in the gaps:
Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, warned Wednesday that outside encouragement of antigovernment uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa could lead to “a very big war that will cause suffering not only to countries in the region, but also to states far beyond its boundaries.”
Mr. Lavrov’s annual news conference was largely devoted to a critique of Western policies in Iran and Syria, which he said could lead to a spiral of violence.
All these coded messages coming from Russian leadership are telling us that Russia will nuke America if Iran is attacked. Putin is up to the task: Signs Russia Would Have No Problem Nuking America.
Of course, these are not the only threats of nuclear coming out of Russia: Russian Threats of Nuclear War Grow Louder. Some of these threats are implied, and some direct, but they are getting louder.
Is Russia bluffing?
A lot of people think the recent implied threats are related to Putin’s reelection. He’s only pandering to the nationalist crowd. But there is a problem. This reelection is becoming difficult. There are a lot of unhappy people. There is a real risk of revolution in the next few years. If Putin loses the support of the nationalist crowd, then that could mean the country tips into revolution. And revolution means death or prison for Putin and his cronies. So Putin might be forced to follow through on his nuclear war threats for his own regime survival if the west crosses the line he has drawn in the sand – western interference in the Middle East and North Africa. It is fairly common for autocratic regimes to put regime security above national security. In this case leading to disaster for Russia and America.
It is likely that the US and Europe will not test Russia’s nuclear threats, but what about Israel? An article in the New York Times Magazine comes to the chilling conclusion that Israel will attack Iran on 2012. The Atlantic magazine put together a panel of experts to predict the probability of an attack in 2012:
War or peace in the Middle East amounts to a coin toss. The probability that the United States or Israel will strike Iran in the next year is 48 percent according to a new project that predicts the chances of conflict–the Iran War Clock. And as a result, the clock is set to 10 minutes to midnight.
How does the Iran War Clock work?
We’ve assembled a high-profile panel of experts from the policy world, academia, and journalism to periodically predict the odds of conflict. They include: Daniel Byman, Shahram Chubin, Golnaz Esfandiari, Azar Gat, Jeffrey Goldberg, Amos Harel, Ephraim Kam, Dalia Dassa Kaye, Matthew Kroenig, John Limbert, Valerie Lincy, James Lindsay, Marc Lynch, Gary Milhollin, Trita Parsi, Paul Pillar, Barry Rubin, Karim Sadjadpour, Kenneth Timmerman, Shibley Telhami, Stephen Walt, and Robin Wright.
Just in case you don’t believe me, two generals tell us that Russia and China will defend Iran even if it means World War III:
1. Fmr. Russian Joint Chiefs of Staff: Russia Is Ready to Use Military Power to Defend Iran and Syria
2. Implied Nuclear Threat from Russia: Russia says would be threatened by Iran military action | Reuters. This post also has a video on a Chinese general threatening war over Iran.
The next problem is that the historical signs of war are present today. Historian Niall Ferguson found three key signs present before major 20th century war: Empires in decline, economic volatility and ethnic conflict. These are the three Es. Niall goes on to explain that the three Es are present today, and the age of upheaval has started.
Historical signs suggesting that a US-China war may be on the horizon.
Great power rivalries in history:
1. Spain versus Holland in the 16th century. [War]
2. Holland versus England in the 17th century. [War]
3. Britain versus France in both the 18th and 19th centuries. [War]
4. France and Britain versus Germany in the 20th century. [War]
5. Germany versus Russia in 1914. [War]
6. Germany versus Russia (Soviet Union) in 1941. [War]
7. Soviet Union versus the US and its allies in the Cold War after 1945. [No War]
The rise of China almost certainly means conflict with America. There is a good chance this conflict will lead to war. Historically, when an empire runs into conflict with a rising power, then war has occurred 6 out of 7 times.
What about Bible prophecy? It points in the same direction – big problems ahead. Check out this article: Three Biblical Signs of Impending Doom on America
This video explains how 9/11 represents a harbinger of doom:
The Foundation for War
The reason you should be worried about threats of nuclear attack is that the world is now in a pre-collapse state after a long period of peace and stability. This is like a giant sandpile that is ready to collapse after a long period of time but is just waiting for one more grain of sand to land in the right spot.
Another way to look at the world is like a forest. The world moves into the future just like a forest (or sandpile) moves into the future. What happens to a forest after a long time of no (or small) fires? Does it mean a big fire will never happen, or does it mean that a catastrophic fire is coming? Later I explain why societies move into the future like a forest.
It is during the time of peace and stability that the seeds of collapse are sown. An example of this is the economic collapse of 2008. The government suppression of economic collapses (recessions) since 1945 sowed the seeds (bad decisions and corruption) of economic collapse. Not trying to suppress collapses would have burned out much of the bad decisions and corruption. Instead, they were allowed to build until the resulting economic collapse was unstoppable. This collapse is not finished.
A forest becomes susceptible to a major forest fire if a lot of dead wood and dead bushes build up. This happens when there are no fires to clear them out – during peace and stability. You can see the signs that a major collapse is possible by looking for the same signs present before historical collapses.
Historian Niall Ferguson talks about the historian signs present before 20th century war:
“Economic volatility, plus ethnic disintegration, plus an empire in decline: That combination is about the most lethal in geopolitics. We now have all three. The age of upheaval starts now.”
The above quote comes from the March/April 2009 edition of Foreign Policy magazine on page 58. The author had earlier explained how the three E’s described the reason for conflict in the 20th century. The three E’s being: economic volatility, ethnic conflict or disintegration and empires in decline.
Building upon his previously acclaimed volumes on empire, economics, and financial history, Professor Ferguson argues that three things seem necessary to explain the extreme violence of the twentieth century: ethnic conflict, economic volatility, and the decline of empires. He argues that the confluence of these factors helps us to understand why so much happened at certain times, especially between the years 1904 and 1953, and why this savagery was so heavily concentrated in certain places. Professor Ferguson uses these themes to reinterpret and resolve the central paradox of why extraordinary progress in science and technology coincided with unprecedented violence, and why the seeming triumph of the West in reality planted the seeds for the decline of Western dominance over Asia, which he believes is leading towards an inexorable shift in the global balance of power towards the East.
A large part of the world has moved to a pre-collapse state. Russia and China are in danger of collapse. America, Europe and Japan are in danger of economic collapse. The Middle East is now in the state of collapse. The UN predicts “global social crisis” stemming from the 2008-2009 economic downturn. If the world is a big sandpile, then it’s coming down soon.
The decline of America is real this time, says Foreign Policy magazine. The decline of an empire is a sign of bad things to come, like war. The Congressional Budget Offfice says the US could face a European-style debt crisis.
Russia has moved to a pre-collapse state similar to the one that occurred right before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The return of Putin to power is one reason that Russians are starting to leave the country in droves. The exodus is so large, “it’s comparable in numbers to the outrush in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution.”
Russia is starting to get friendly with Germany.
History is consistent on this point: Germany and Russia are not close friends. Any appearance that they are is a herald of war. Truth is, this forming Russian-German axis is one of the most significant and underrated trends on the world scene! History tells us where this will end. The formation of a peace pact between Russia and Germany is a sure sign that one or both are preparing for an imperialistic, violent mission.
In the following article, I logically walk through why the Russian leadership is mentally prepared to nuke America and accept the consequences: Signs Russia Would Have No Problem Nuking America.
Here we learn that Russia is already preparing for nuclear conflicts along its border.
China is “In Danger” of collapse according to the 2011 Failed Sates Index.
With Greece on the verge of default, and Ireland, Portugal and Spain waiting in the wings, the collapse of the Eurozone is a real possibility.
One author calls Japan a bug in search of a windshield. It’s only a matter of time before it experiences a major financial crisis.
Why would anybody want to start a nuclear war? Because they think war is inevitable anyway, and waiting will mean a much more unfavorable outcome. For example, both Russia and China are very worried about the missile defense system in the West. It is surrounding both Russia and China. Initially, it will not be much of a threat, but later it could potentially neutralize much of their second-strike capability if upgraded.
Another problem is confusing national security with regime security. Regimes will often go to great lengths to ensure their own security to the detriment of the rest of the country.
Looking into the Future
As any society moves one day into the future it is heavily influenced by history. History being all the prior days that people can remember. History provides a feedback loop for each new day. Events of each new day pile on all the prior days and provide the influence for yet another day.
It turns out that a lot of systems move into the future in the same way. For example, forests, sandpiles, earth movement, financial markets, societies and more. These types of systems exhibit Self-Organizing Criticality (SOC). They automatically go from a stable state to an unstable without any help. Then they just collapse.
If you track the collapses of forests (fires), sandpiles, financial markets, earthquakes, wars and attacks within wars, they all follow the power law distribution. Count the number of collapses of a given size within a given period, and plot the results on a log-graph. You will get an almost perfectly straight line. For example, a plot of attacks within wars is a straight line with a slope of -2.5.
What happens to a forest if you try really hard to put out every fire – you suppress all collapses? Eventually the forest builds up to a pre-collapse state that is so big that the next fire will be unstoppable.
The forest never stops growing and expanding. Because the system never stops, suppressing a collapse means that the future builds on an unstable base.
Suppressing collapses in forests, sandpiles, economies or societies (war) produces the same result – bigger collapses. Suppressing collapses makes the system unstable and prone to bigger collapses. Eventuality the system will experience a collapse so large that it is unstoppable. The policies of most countries is to suppress economic collapses (recessions). This explains why the West is in trouble now, and why China will soon be in big trouble.
The suppression of war in countries works the same way. Countries that don’t directly experience war for a long time get lulled to sleep. Eventually a country will become susceptible to defeat – the big collapse of society. The US and the West are in this boat.
If all collapses for a system are suppressed, then it should run into a major crisis at a given frequency. For example, a forest should have a massive fire every set number of years, or more likely a range of years. The forest may get wiped out every 90 to 100 years. We see this same phenomena with the US.
The US runs into a crisis period every 80 to 100 years according to “The Fourth Turning“. In 2005 we entered another 20 year crisis period. “Winter’s Coming for the Boomers” is an article that discusses the theories in “The Fourth Turning”. Each new crisis period is due to the impact of crises on the generations over an 80 to 100 year period. Each new generation increasingly forgets the lessons from the past. Since smaller collapses (recessions and wars) tend to be suppressed, eventually the country must experience a large crisis. You can read more stories here.
For more information about the signs of war please read this article: 25+ Signs That Point to Nuclear War.
When Will it Happen
Should Israel attack Iran, then I expect the US to be at risk of nuclear retaliation from Russia and China the following spring.
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