For page upon page the [Global Trends 2015] report lists the features of years to come, most of the predictions entirely reasonable and unsurprising (“Ukraine’s path to the West will be constrained by widespread corruption, the power of criminal organizations, and lingering questions over its commitment to the rule of law”). Some of them, if read with the benefit of hindsight, do seem vaguely prophetic, if unremarkable (“Linear trend analysis shows little positive change in [the Middle East], raising the prospects for increased demographic pressures, social unrest, religious and ideological extremism, and terrorism directed both at the regimes and at their Western supporters”). But the committee of authors links dozens of trends in a great bureaucratic string. There is no central thesis, nothing to focus the attention, nothing that would help a President or a citizen decide whether or not to seek regime change in Iraq, or predict how the rest of the world would react to such an event, or really understand the nature of al Qaeda, the Arab masses, the French elite, or any other players in the world.
It’s a lengthy article, but well worth your time.
(Thanks to reader Karl Gallagher for the heads up.)