The World in 2040
Currently, the United States insults its allies; it is run by big corporations who care only about profit; big pharmaceutical and insurance companies take billions out of the healthcare system for shareholders; armament companies suppress gun control legislation, which should remove assault weapons from the streets; lobbyists corrupt the political process; women's reproductive rights are threatened; children arriving in the US are taken illegally from their parents and held in cages. Most crucially, policy is determined by the 0.1% i.e. (315,000000x0.1% = 351,000) who have appropriated all the benefits of the growing economy for themselves. 'The US is great for those with money.'
Putin's Russia enjoys the turmoil of its cyber interventions in the West, his illiberal regime with journalists assassinated, and with a failing economy cannot challenge western liberalism. China, with its president for life, Xi Jinping, suppresses all internal dissent - rule of law and property rights are the pathway for long term prosperity, denied many Chinese citizens.
Between November 2010 and January 2011, Wikileaks released c.2,000 US embassy cables replete with scurrilous comments about national leaders from Argentina to Zimbabwe, fully presaging pro-democracy protests in the Middle East against their autocratic leaders, who were close US allies. These leaders were revealed as aristocrats, autocrats and uniformed thugs. In September 2011, Wikileaks released, accidentally, its entire cache of c.250,000 confidential cables from c.270 US embassies and consulates worldwide fully revealing the often inexplicable US foreign policy choices since WW2. Bradley Manning suffered in prison, Julian Assange became a fugitive. In March 2013, the US Intelligence Chief, assured the US Congress, under oath, that the NSA did not collect 'any type of data at all on millions of Americans.' That obvious lie, under oath, was so disconcerting to Edward Snowden, that in May 2013, he fled to Hong Kong and began leaking thousands of classified documents to the world's press, exposing the alarming extent of the NSA's surveillance both domestic and international. The extent of US worldwide surveillance and potential for cyberwarfare is overwhelming.
Every significant trend indicates a dramatic decline in American global power by 2030. US president Bush's disastrous wars commencing, 2003 in Iraq and continuing in Afghanistan cost trillions of dollars which can never be recovered. Until 2005, the core advantage of the US economy was the peculiar role of the US currency, whereby it kept thousands of troops overseas, importing goods cheaply and enjoying limitless spending power funded by its twin deficits (fiscal and trade). In 2015 the IMF allowed China's currency to join the US dollar as a global reserve currency, used to store national assets and or settle international debts. Torture and surveillance has weakened US moral authority. Washington is losing its grip on the means of exercising its dominance - loyal subordinate elites, lethal covert operations, technological innovation and geopolitical dominion over Eurasia. Facing China's rise, ensures maintaining 800 overseas bases will become politically and economically unsustainable. The race between the US and China, to weaponise space and cyberspace ensures military conflict by 2030 inevitable. In one scenario, the US economy, too weak to impose sanctions, deploys six of its eight carrier groups to the South China Sea, China buzzes 2 US aircraft carriers on patrol. A collision involving two opposing ships leads to cyber warfare with US missile systems disabled by China's People's Liberation Army hackers. Endgame.
By 2020, US military overstretched from North Africa to Japan, and with tensions rising in Israel and Syria and in both Koreas lead to a second possible scenario: OPEC leaders, incensed by anti-Muslim diatribes broadcast daily from the White House, impose a harsh new oil embargo aimed at the US and its allies. Rapidly, oil refineries in the US and Japan run dry, the world economy faces recession, the US flails about for a solution, NATO is dysfunctional due to 4 years of Donny from Queen's erratic diplomacy. The usual 'Send in the Marines' default policy is applied. US Special Forces seize oil ports in the Persian Gulf, specifically Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq. A carrier task force seizes the main oil refinery in Abu Dhabi. This latter seizure fails miserably because Iranian Revolutionary Guard speedboats, ready for this type of operation since the US reneged on the Nuclear Accord, storm ashore with remote controlled charges and fully destroy the refinery. A similar attack this time with 300 Iranian speedboats swarming around a US aircraft carrier ensures one boat crew attach a magnetic charge to the hull of the ship, crippling the carrier, the Pentagon withdraws its ships fro the Persian Gulf. The US becomes a pariah state.
As natural disasters limit government capacity worldwide, local conflicts erupt over scarcities of water and food. Countless millions of rural residents are displaced by drought and flooded lowlands, overburdening Third World cities, sending millions of refugees out of the dry zones of North Africa and the Middle East to the lush lands of Europe. While states weaken across the Greater Middle East, insurgents seize power by organising tribes and ethnic groups to fight for what water and food remains available.
Obama's geopolitical vision with the two trade pacts, TTP and TTIP, promised to redirect Eurasia's economies towards America soon encountered formidable domestic political opposition on both continents from both left and right. Obama faced a populist reaction to globalisation led by Donny from Queens. Obama's long promised military move to Asia was slowed by competing American committments to the Middle East, particularly with Syria and the rise of ISIS and of course Afghanistan. Obama understood the connection between present actions and often distant results, unfortunately, his accomplishments were buried under an avalanche of criticism. His well planned tricontinental strategy to check Beijing's inexorable rise could have succeeded
The personal attack on US Democrat Senator Ihlan Omar, the US abandoning the UK when their tanker was captured by Iran; the installation of 'Circus Act' in Whitehall UK July 24 2019; the fractious nature of western democracy is now in question.
Kim il Jung has not yielded any concessions on North Korea's nuclear missiles and the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) between the US and Russia will not be ratified by the current US president. watch this space before December 2020.
The two scenarios mentioned, are currently and at some future time quite likely events. The US, a constant force for stability in world affairs is currently governed on impulse by a man with a phone in an almost empty White House.It is not too late for this situation to change. Quo vadis?
Source: In the Shadows of the American Century, Alfred M McCoy, One World, 2017