A lot has changed in the last century. And, these changes don´t show any signs of slowing down.
Goverments paying inmigrants to come in? World War III? Mexico as a superpower? These are just a handful of predictions from George Friedman´s bestselling book ¨The Next 100 Years¨. Friedman is the Texan founder and CEO of STRATFOR, the world´s leading private intelligence company. So with a clear mind and open eyes, let´s take a glimpse at what the future might have in store.
Highlights of the Next Century
There is one basic principle in which Friedman bases his book on… The United States of America ¨superpower¨ status isn´t fading anytime soon. The Americans have merely hit a rough patch, but will continue being a superpower for decades to come. Trying to maintan it´s status as the #1 country in the world will be a task the US goverment will take very seriously.
2010s – USA / Islamic War
Whether United States is defeated or Iraq/Afghanistan remains a stalemate, that really won´t matter. As long as the Muslim world remains ethnically divided and fighting between themselves, it won´t pose a real threat to the US.
2020 – China´s expiration date
China´s current economical growth is the result of the country opening it´s market to capitalism. Such tremendous economical growth is causing stark differences between the rich coastal cities and poor central goverment. The coastal cities will eventually want more liberty. This in turn will leave the central chinese goverment two options: let the coastal cities drift away weakening the union or impose a more control over them. Both outcomes will cripple China´s economic power as a country.
2025 – Labor Force Crisis
Are you 18 and worried about finding a job? Don´t worry. By 2025, the ¨job crisis¨ will turn into a ¨labor force crisis¨.
With birth rate´s falling through out developed countries: a new laborforce will be needed to sustain the big, retiring ¨baby-boomer¨ generation. Currently, the birth rate of Europe and Japan is below the 2.1 child/woman ¨replacement level¨. This means that in a couple decades, developed countries are going to be filled with old people and lacking young ones.
European and japanese goverment´s will have to compete over inmigrants by offering them money and medical care packages. For the USA, whose birth rate level is higher, more lenient and open inmigration laws will solve the crisis. This increased flow of inmigration and future innovations on robotics will help solve the 2025´s labor shortage.
2030 – Third Fall of Russia
Oh, yes! The Russians are back for a rematch. This next decade we will see Russia get economically stronger. This economic strength will in turn lead them to expand their military branches. With a strong military, the Russian goverment will then be interested in re-establishing the Soviet Union´s former sphere of influence in the Balkans and Eastern Europe.
Western Europe won´t help Eastern Europe, because Germany (EUs key player) depends too much on Russian gas. Thus Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe will turn to the USA for support. The United States will gladly ¨contain¨ Russia through its support of Eastern Europe (west), Turkey (south) and Japan (east).
The resulting ¨Cold War¨ will be very much like the last one, but shorter. This time a non-direct confrontation, alternative energy sources, a declining population: will all play agains´t Russia. Their economy will collapse, followed by their military. And once again Russia will disintegrate into an even weaker nation.
2050 – World War III
With Russia and China out of the picture, by 2050 the most powerful nations in order of strength will be
- Turkey: with a sphere of influence over the Middle East and lower Russia.
- Japan: with a sphere of influence over the Pacific and western China.
- European Union
- Poland: with a sphere of influence over Eastern Europe and Russia.
The Americans will see that its spot as the #1 country is being challenged by its former allies Turkey and Japan. The USA will do all it can to ¨contain¨ the expansion of these two countries. Turkey and Japan won´t enjoy feeling ¨contained¨ and will become secret war-allies. Japan will then stage a ¨Pearl Harbor¨ in space, taking down as many U.S satellites as it can. Then in less than 15 minutes, most of the US Airforce will be destroyed.
With Poland, China, and Britain as allies, the USA will strike back with it´s reserve forces. The result of the war will be determined by whoever controls the air and space. No nuclear devices will be employed (as they would be seen undesired by all). The European Union will remain mostly neutral.
After almost 2 years of war, by 2052 the USA will be able to take full control of space (high ground) and win. The war won´t be a ¨total war¨ of societies destroying societies. Instead a peace treaty will be drafted in which the defeated nations won´t lose much and the USA (and allies) are allowed military control of space.
2060/2070 – Golden Decades for the US
Years of economic, technological and social prosperity.
2080 – Mexico´s Rise to Power
To be continued on next week´s post – ¨Mexico, a Superpower?¨