The recent report published by the National Information Council, which functions in the CIA’s headquarters, identified the possible security threats to the USA in the medium-term future. Named “Global Trends 2015: a Dialogue on the Future with Non-Governmental Experts”, this report studies the next fifteen years. The results of the report were generally optimistic: until 2015, the USA “will not have a rival” in the areas of military power, technology, diplomatic force and the economy. The USA “will remain in the vanguard of the revolution in technology, information and biotechnology”. The report states that the threat of a nuclear attack or one using chemical or biological weapons against the USA is greater now than at any time during the cold war and is due to increase in the period in question but goes on to say that international terrorism is the main threat to the USA’s security: “Terrorist attacks will become more and more sophisticated and their aim will be to provoke a great number of deaths: the trend will be towards an increase in their lethal capacity”. Areas of uncertainty were named as being Russia, India, China, Japan and the Middle East. This area merits special attention in the report. It is stated that one of the USA’s greatest challenges will be to deal with a globalisation of the world economy, in which certain states may feel they have been left behind “especially in regions such as the Middle East”. Russia is mentioned as being in the area of eight hypothetical “meaningful discontinuities”, which are considered as possible, but improbable: A strategic alliance between Russia, China and India would be regarded as extremely dangerous to the interests of the USA A collapse in the USA’s relationship with the European Union, over international issues. The formation of an international terrorist alliance with access to chemical, biological or nuclear weapons Great instability in the Middle east, stimulated by decreasing standards of living in Arab countries and a failure to achieve lasting peace. The report also predicts that Japan will lose its economic influence and that Russia will be involved in a fight on all fronts, which will see this country “slide” into authoritarianism. The USA will not be the only country under threat from terrorist attacks, according to the report: “Some terrorists or rebels could try to use these types of weapons against American interests – against the USA itself, its forces or premises abroad – or against its allies”.

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey, Pravda.Ru, Lisbon

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