Intelligence Council Releases ‘Global Trends 2040: A More Contested World’

The National Intelligence Council recently published the 7th edition of their Global Trends report: ‘Global Trends 2040: A More Contested World.’  This intelligence assessment is “designed to provide an analytic framework for policymakers early in each administration as they craft national security strategy and navigate an uncertain future. The goal is not to offer a specific prediction of the world in 2040; instead, our intent is to help policymakers and citizens see what may lie beyond the horizon and prepare for an array of possible futures.”

Some Key Takeaways From the Document Include:

  • The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic marks the most significant, singular global disruption since World War II, with health, economic, political, and security implications that will ripple for years to come.

  • Newly prominent identities, resurgent established allegiances, and a siloed information environment are exposing fault lines within communities and states, undermining civic nationalism, and increasing volatility. Populations are more informed and have greater ability to express their demands.

  • Climate change will increasingly exacerbate risks to human and national security and force states to make hard choices and tradeoffs. The burdens will be unevenly distributed, heightening competition, contributing to instability, straining military readiness, and encouraging political movements.

  • The international system is directionless, chaotic, and volatile as international rules and institutions are largely ignored. OECD countries are plagued by slower economic growth, widening societal divisions, and political paralysis. China is taking advantage of the West’s troubles to expand its international influence.


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