Analysts from U.S. spy services predict a darker world to come over the next five years, with rising populations, falling incomes, and ever more technology to spread anger at the speed of a tweet—all trends that helped catapult Trump to victory—only set to increase.
The Global Trends Report, authored by the same intelligence community that concluded Russia tried to interfere with the U.S. elections, portrays a dystopian future of increasingly divided haves and have-nots, with climate change drying up resources and driving migrants into already stressed Western nations, only increasing competition. It further predicts governments or would-be leaders will play to their people’s worst fears, blaming “outsiders” or other nations for the calamities to come, so they don’t get the blame for their people’s declining state.
The National Intelligence Council—the “think tank” of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper—also warns that Russia and China might stumble accidentally into a “hot war” with the U.S. or another nation as they try to expand their power and influence, by, say, pushing for more territory, à la Moscow’s annexation of Crimea or Beijing’s construction of a military “island” in the South China Sea.
It further warns that Russia continues to see the U.S. as a competitor that must be checked on the world stage.