Published time: 30 Jul, 2016 14:30
In just 20 years, the US and its allies will live in a world where shaping a global order the way they have since the end of the Cold War would be increasingly difficult, if not impossible, Pentagon’s research division, the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC), warned in a new foresight report.
“The future world order will see a number of states with the political will, economic capacity, and military capabilities to compel change at the expense of others,” reads the paper entitled “The Joint Force in a Contested and Disordered World.”
“Rising powers including for example, China, Russia, India, Iran, or Brazil have increasingly expressed dissatisfaction with their roles, access, and authorities within the current international system,” it states.
“Russia will modernize its land, air, and sea-based intercontinental nuclear forces” and make use of deterrent operations such as “snap nuclear exercises, bomber flights, and strategic reconnaissance overflights into US territory,” the Pentagon’s researchers predict.
The report admits Russia and China are among countries dissatisfied “with the current Western-derived notion of international order.”
Russia, China, India, and others, labeled “revisionist states” in the report, would promote alternate international alliances, while the West’s shrinking resources would also have an impact on Washington’s dominance across the globe.
“Although seemingly insignificant today, organizations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Eurasian Economic Union could grow as China, Russia, India, and others turn to these multinational groups to reorder international rules in their favor.”
“Demographic and fiscal pressures will continue to challenge NATO’s capacity and capability,” the paper warns. “In Asia, perceptions of reduced US commitment may encourage current allies and partners to pursue unilateral military modernization efforts or explore alternative alliances and partnerships.”
However, though the Pentagon’s report states that “no power or coalition of powers has yet emerged to openly oppose US global influence and reach,” it claims “the United States will operate in a world in which its overall economic and military power, and that of its allies and partners, may not grow as quickly as potential competitors.”
A number of states “can generate military advantages locally in ways that match or even exceed that of the Joint Force and its partners,” while American technological superiority “will be met by asymmetric, unconventional, and hybrid responses from adversaries.”
Offering a vision of the world in 2035, the paper says in conclusion it is unclear if the US “can be simultaneously proficient at addressing contested norms and persistent disorder with currently projected capabilities, operational approaches, and fiscal resources.”
“There may be times when it is more appropriate to manage global security problems as opposed to undertaking expensive efforts to comprehensively solve them.”
Moscow has repeatedly denied allegations of it harboring global ambitions as opposed to that of the US.
Russia “is not aspiring for hegemony or any ephemeral status of a superpower,” President Vladimir Putin said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum last year, adding: “We do not act aggressively. We have started to defend our interests more persistently and consistently.”
Earlier this year, Russia adopted a new edition of its foreign policy doctrine, which mentions a shift towards a multipolar and a “polycentric” world.
“A transition to polycentric architecture should be ideally based on the interaction of leading centers of power,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in April. He added however, that he was not sure if that was achievable.
Original post @rt.com
The Joint Force in a Contested and Disordered World PDF: Here
Future Superpowers – The World To 2100
Most projections of future trends in national power fail to appreciate the importance of three crucial factors: (1) the declining EROEI of energy resources (including, but not limited to, “peak oil”); (2) the importance of human capital to economic growth, especially in developing countries’ attempts to “catch up” to the advanced world; and (3) the impacts of climate change, which are projected to be more and more catastrophic with every passing year. Disregarding these trends produces predictions such as George Friedman’s (STRATFOR) argument that Mexico – a low human capital country experiencing plummeting oil production and growing water stress – will become a superpower by 2100.
Using my current estimates of Comprehensive National Power as a base (an index of power that attempts to express a nation’s economic, military, and cultural power in a single number), I will specially stress the above factors in my analysis of future global power trends. Some results will look plausible and familiar (e.g. Chinaovertaking the US as a superpower by the 2020’s); others will appear utterly bizarre (e.g. Canada becoming a major Great Power in by the end of the century, while India and Brazil plummet back into obscurity). But they are nonetheless all plausible and even likely outcomes, derived from bringing together worlds that all too often are considered independently of each other: the economy; human capital; geopolitics; energetics; and climate change.
There may of course be unexpected discontinuities – popularized as Black Swans by Nassim Taleb – that unravel these projections (the probability of their happening increasing exponentially over time). This will be covered in greater depth below. In the meantime, bear this caveat in mind as you read the rest of the post.
[Graph shows CNP of the greatest Powers 1980-2100; the “superpower” is always at 100 and all other Great Powers are shown relative to it. Click to enlarge.]
Phase 1: The End of Pax Americana (1980-2025)
The US is the current superpower, but China is rapidly making up ground. Its real GDP is now at $10 trillion, though according to some estimates it has already overtaken the $14.5 trillion American economy.
Some critics claim that nominal GDP is a better measure of power, even using these figures to claim that even at 10% growth it will be decades before China surpasses the US. This is a product of economic illiteracy, because it doesn’t take into account the convergence of Chinese price levels to those of developed countries (its nominal GDP has been expanding at more than 20% in the last 5 years).
There are a number of other factors that are often quoted to predict the doom of China’s rise, such as: (1) Growing regional disparities; (2) Income inequality; (3) Environmental degradation; (4) Bad loans and financial collapse, aka Japan; (5) Aging population; (6) Excessive export dependency; (7) Social unrest; (8) Authoritarian nature of its Marxist-Leninist political model.
Suffice to say that they are either common to most industrializing countries (1-3, 7); will only seriously affect it by the time its already developed (4-5); are overestimated (4, 6); or it is unclear why they should derail its economic ascent for long even if they lead to a democratizing revolution (7-8). I address all these points in detail here.
In any case, most of these are factors have yet to be realized, whereas many of the same trends undermining US power are already in evidence. You can point out the accumulating weight of China’s bad loans, but it is the Western financial system that had to be bailed out in 2008 at social expense; you can argue that the aging of China’s population will bankrupt its (minimal) social net, but it is the US that is facing a budget deficit of >10% of GDP and a national debt soaring into the stratosphere.
China is already the world’s largest manufacturing power. On current trends, it is due to overtake the US economy by the mid-2010’s (followed in nominal terms sometime in the 2020’s, as restrictions on the yuan are lifted and it appreciates). Since China produces its own military hardware, real GDP is what matters; consequently, it will take less relative effort for the PLA to match and overtake the US (especially in the crucial East Asian region and the Indian Ocean). As Paul Kennedy noted in The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (of which, incidentally, the Chinese are great fans) military and political power follows naturally in the wake of economic power, whereas trying to achieve results from the opposite directions leads to the “imperial overstretch” that contributed to Soviet collapse and is now undermining American power.
Which brings us to the last point. China’s population is four times bigger than America’s, and human capital among the youngest generations is now as good as the US average. This makes its per capita convergence – and consequently, its ascent to economic primacy – almost inevitable.
But rather than assessing the situation dispassionately and preparing for a strategic retreat, the US is digging in all fronts: foreign wars, deficit spending, oil dependence, political gridlock, etc. This increases the probability that US decline will take the form of a sudden collapse, as of Argentina’s in 1999-2002, instead of fading away like the British Empire after 1945.
Phase 2: The Return of the Middle Kingdom (2020-2075)
The cultural decline will be slower. It took Latin more than a millennium after the collapse of the Roman Empire to lose its status as a lingua franca. Needless to say, the US will still retain a great deal of power by virtue of its large population and developed economy, it will remain in second place, almost no matter what, well into the 21st century. Furthermore, it will retain its deep ties – economic, cultural, etc. – with the Anglo-Saxon world (the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) and, to a lesser extent, Europe. Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and the Ivy League will remain staples of global culture and technology.
However, there’s only so much power you can exercise through the English language, Google, or even Chuck Norris. For everything else there’s China – after a two hundred year break (a mere blip in its millennial history), the Middle Kingdom will have returned to its rightful place at the center of the world.
China is now roughly where South Korea was in 1990. A similar growth profile will by 2030 leave its economic power equal to 25 of today’s Koreas. Imagine that!
It’s unclear what political system China will have by then. Democratization on the Taiwanese model is not inevitable. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has studied the Soviet collapse in rigorous detail and is determined not to repeat its liberalizing mistakes. What I consider at least equally likely is an emergence of a “consultative Leninism”, in which the current NEPist model is opened up to democratic elements (e.g. competitive local elections; policy-making based on opinion polling) but under the continuing hegemony of the CCP. This could be China’s own, sovereign road to democracy.
Other possibilities are also possible, e.g. a Singaporean authoritarianism, or “managed democracy” in the style of Putin’s Russia. But short of a reversion to Maoism – which is exceedingly unlikely, given that China now has a commercial class that would strongly oppose it – it’s unclear how the widespread mantra that political change must be accompanied by a cessation of economic growth can be justified.
China’s rise will be accompanied by the flock of BRIC’s trailing in its wake: Brazil, Russia, and India. The first two will enjoy a massive resource windfall from selling their plentiful energy, mineral, and water (in the form of food) reserves to a world made increasingly ravenous by depletion elsewhere and the effects of an increasingly destructive and chaotic climate. Russia will remain a first-class Great Power, and India will join its ranks; Brazil will be the most prominent of the second-class powers, which will also include France, Canada, Germany, Japan, the UK, Turkey, and Korea.
As with China, there are many reasons cited to explain for why Russia will fail to achieve its promise, such as (1) demographic decline; (2) corruption; (3) resource-based economy; (4) crumbling infrastructure; (5) authoritarianism. All these factors are either exaggerated (1-5), typical of most middle-income countries (2, 4), or it is unclear why they are necessarily negatives at all (3, 5). But it also has great strengths. Russia combines the BRIC’s fiscal sturdiness and economic dynamism(both lacking in the West) with a GDP per capita that is almost twice that of the next richest BRIC, Brazil. Its human capital is on a par with the developed world’s,allowing for an easy convergence. Crucially, Russia is perfectly positioned for the coming age of “scarcity industrialism”, in which food, energy, and energy prices soar and global warming opens up vast regions of the country, including the Arctic, to shipping, energy production, agriculture, and habitation. Even at current growth rates of 4% per year, Russia should converge to European income levels by 2020-25 and spend the next few decades comfortably, its energy riches shielded by its nuclear umbrella.
Obviously Russia lacks the population mass, at least at this stage, to become a true superpower (even if it absorbs the other post-Soviet nations into a Eurasian union). This is not the case for India, which will overtake China to become the world’s most populous nation by 2025. But within that fast-growing population illiteracy is still rife and 47% of children remain malnourished. Though it suffers from many the usual ailments of low-income countries – creaky infrastructure, caste-based inequalities, sluggish courts and bureaucracy, etc. – it’s India’s low level of human capital that is the primary cause of its falling so far behind China (manufacturing output is an order of magnitude lower, and the poorest Chinese provinces are equal to the Indian average). Nonetheless, India has the coal to power itself, and temperatures will remain within acceptable bounds for producing stagnant grain harvests for at least the next few decades. And quantity counts. That is why India will become a first-rank Great Power, equaling Russia and approaching the US.
With its ample lands and resources (e.g. iron, oil), not to mention its successes with sugar cane-derived ethanol, Brazil is set to enjoy – much like Russia – a comfortable existence as a regional hegemon in a world of high prices for food, energy and minerals. Its military strength is paltry, but irrelevant given its distance from other Great Powers. It is also the least corrupt of the BRIC’s. However, its prospects for true superpowerdom are constrained by relatively low human capital; as its economy wasn’t distorted by a legacy of socialist mismanagement (as with China or Russia), its GDP per capita is already, more or less, “where it should be.” In the background, Canada will be getting very rich off supplying fuels and water to an increasingly parched and energy-starved US. However, for the time being its profile will remain modest.
The European Union is conspicuous by its absence. Europe is no longer united by the memory of war and the Soviet threat, and each country concerned above all for its own national interests. This is not a stable foundation for a union, and as such it will likely retreat into something like a glorified free trade area by the 2020’s. Real power will be concentrated among the big European Powers, which will carve out spheres of influence and compete with each other for neo-colonial influence: e.g. France (Maghreb); Germany (East-Central Europe); Turkey (Balkans, Azerbaijan, Arab world); the Scandinavian bloc; the Visegrad bloc. Arguably there is already evidence of this in the Anglo-French effort to oust Qaddafi. Read more here.
No European Power will have the mass to become a first-rank Great Power, though it may be (marginally) possible for France and definitely possible for coalitions of European Powers. By themselves, all the European nations will be lingering near the bottom of the CNP scale.
There is no point discussing any other country or alliance. NATO is becoming more irrelevant with each passing year. Japan is technologically advanced, but reliant on the US for its security and dependent on the same oceanic supply routes as China; as soon as the latter becomes the new regional hegemon, Japan’s effective sovereignty is history. Indonesia is similar India, but five times smaller. South Africa, Mexico, Australia, Nigeria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia are all some combination of (1) too underpopulated, (2) too underdeveloped, and (3) too vulnerable to climate change.
Read rest of article: Here
Emerging Foreign Economies
The BRIC Emerging Economies
While economists consider the G8 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the US, plus the European Union) to be the most prominent economies, they also recognize certain emerging economies, collectively called the BRIC, as major upcoming market players.
The BRIC economies include the rapidly growing and emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China. The BRIC have accomplished phenomenal growth since embracing the path of global capitalism and are now predicted to be on the forefront of the world’s list of leading economies. China is already the world’s second largest economy on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP).
While the average wealth levels of individuals in developed economies will continue to surpass that of the BRIC economies in per person wealth, there will be an incremental increase in the already growing middle class population of the BRIC economies. Assuming that the governments of these nations continue to implement growth supportive policies, India and China will be seen to take the roles of dominant suppliers of manufactured goods and services, while Brazil and Russia may become dominant suppliers of raw materials.
Read rest of the paper @assembly.ca.gov
China to lead the world’s economy by 2026
27th July 2015
China is set to edge ahead of the US in just over a decade, while India is expected to move up the rankings to third place – pushing Japan out of the world’s top three economies.
China is expected to overtake the US in 2026 in nominal GDP terms to become the world’s largest economy, and will maintain this position until at least 2050 according to The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
In a new report, Long-term macroeconomic forecasts: Key Trends to 2050, which extends the EIU’s economic forecast for 82 countries up to 2050, emerging markets are expected to grow faster than developed economies, and as a result countries such as China and India are likely to overtake current global leaders such as Japan and Western Europe.
The report finds that:
• China is expected to narrowly edge ahead of the US for the first time in 2026, with a nominal GDP of US$28.6trn versus the US’s US$28.3trn.
• By 2050, China will boast a GDP of US$105.9trn, compared with the US’s US$70.9trn.
• The UK will fall out of the world’s top 5 economies by 2026.
• Indonesia and Mexico will rank among the top ten economies at market exchange rates by 2050, overtaking economies such as Italy and Russia.
• Asia will continue its rise and by 2050 will represent 53% of global GDP, compared with from 32% in 2014.
Yet in terms of individual spending power, today’s advanced economies are likely to continue to dominate. Emerging economies such as China, India and Indonesia are projected to see levels of consumer spending to rise significantly by 2050, but at best will represent 50% of the individual spending power of an American consumer. Despite their low growth outlook, advanced economies cannot be ignored, as the spending power of consumers in these regions will remain significantly higher.
Patricia Morton, Lead Economist at The Economist Intelligence Unit, comments: “Given China’s and India’s economic might, they will take on a much bigger role in addressing global issues such as climate change, international security and global economic governance. In the medium term, this will require the world’s existing powers – notably the US – to let India, and especially China, play a greater role on the world stage and adapt international institutions to allow them to exert greater influence.”
Original post @futuretimeline.net