Yesterday we had the unique date of 12-12-12 and now the The National Intelligence Council released a report called Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds, in which the director of national intelligence's office makes predictions about the state of the world in 2030, although making it clear that these forecasts aren't definitely how it's going to be.
The aim of the report is to give policymakers some idea of what's in store for the world to help them makes the right economic and military decisions. Among the predictions:
-) As climate change continues and the world's population grows to near 8.3 billion, food and water may be scarce in some areas, especially Africa and the Middle East.
-) The U.S. will most likely remain what the report called "first among equals" among the other leading nations. But with the rapid rise of other countries, quote, "the 'unipolar moment' is over and Pax Americana -- the era of American ascendancy in international politics that began in 1945 -- is fast winding down."
-) Asia will have passed North America and Europe combined in global power, based upon gross domestic product, population, military spending and technological investment.
-) The time of Islamist extremism may have passed, but small groups will have increasing ability to cause havoc, through biological or cyber terrorism. The report states, "With more widespread access to lethal and disruptive technologies, individuals might sell their services to the highest bidder, including terrorists who would focus less on causing mass casualties and more on creating widespread economic and financial disruptions."