.
R

eleased every four years, the National Intelligence Council (NIC)’s Global Trends report is a deep look at the trends that will affect American policy over the next two decades. It aims not to provide predictions about the future, but rather an analytical framework for policymakers to understand trends, developments, and possible scenarios; all of which could affect the security of the United States and the international order. The key takeaway from the latest Global Trends report is that the future is likely to be contentious and driven by fractious divisions, all exacerbated by climate change, technology, and population demographics.

To these changes, the Global Trends report cannot offer solutions or recommendations, as the intelligence community is proscribed from offering recommendations on policy, and is only able to provide information and analysis on a rapidly changing world.

And rapidly changing it most certainly is. This time last year, the uncertainty surrounding the severity and extent of the COVID-19 pandemic had people hoarding toilet paper, state and local governments issuing lockdown orders, and the federal government offering unclear and often contradictory guidance. In one year, the world radically changed in ways unforeseen and unexpected, and likely irreversibly so.

Indeed, previous Global Trends reports, including the one released shortly after President Obama’s election, forecasted a global pandemic, but the authors noted that even they underappreciated the full scope of such an event’s disruption, its impact on the international system, national governance, economics, and more. The COVID-19 pandemic is, in their view, the single greatest disruption since World War II. At first glance this view may appear hyperbolic, but it is not far from the truth. No element of global life has been left untouched by COVID-19, and we will undoubtedly be dealing with the effects for years, if not decades, to come.

Throughout the report, five key themes continue to appear: global challenges, fragmentation, disequilibrium, contestation, and adaptation. It is the interplay of these themes that defines the 20-year time horizon, and whether and how states and the international order adapt to these themes will dictate the course of history.

The challenges of climate change and pandemic disease will test the ability of society to adapt to the global challenges, often yielding a considerable gap between needs and capabilities. This yawning gap will, itself, lead to greater friction, reinforcing the negative trends already underway. In essence, the increasing demands of populations on their political systems will outstrip the ability of those systems to respond to their demands, leading to great instability and conflict. Put succinctly: there will be a growing mismatch between public expectations and the ability of states and the international system to meet and support those expectations, and this will lead to increased systemic and state-level instability.

Increasing urbanization will only increase the demands of populations, and already strained social systems will be put under even greater strain as the majority of population growth will come from impoverished areas in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and to a decreasing degree the Middle East—areas all particularly affected by climate change. “The costs and challenges will disproportionately fall on the developing world, intersecting with environmental degradation to intensify risks to food, water, health, and energy security.”

Population flows from these areas of the global south to the north will exacerbate tensions in developed countries, preludes already seen in countries like Germany, France, Belgium, and elsewhere. This migration and the associated integration will undoubtedly prompt domestic and internal struggles within countries, and exacerbate the drive toward parochialism and nationalism, potentially leading to greater internal conflict and division. With older and aging populations, the integration of these new entrants (or the lack thereof) will define future stability in Europe and elsewhere. This is to say nothing of the international implications of these population movements, such as the ability of countries like Libya, Turkey, Syria and Russia to be able to weaponize migratory populations when it suits their interests.

The international system will become increasingly competitive as a rising China seeks to supplant a weakening, or inward-looking, United States, one which focuses on domestic issues to the exclusion of international commitments and alliances. It is worth quoting the report, here, at length: “Accelerating shifts in military power, demographics, economic growth, environmental conditions, and technology, as well as hardening divisions over governance models, are likely to further ratchet up competition between China and a Western coalition led by the United States.”

This drive towards on-shoring interplays with increasingly disruptive economic conditions. Rising debt burdens, increased pressure on social systems, as well as “a more complex and fragmented trading environment, the global spread of trade-in services, new employment disruptions, and the continued rise of powerful firms, are likely to shape conditions within and between states.”

Here, there is an undercurrent, if not explicitly stated, of the decreasing ability of Washington to affect change on the international stage and a lessening of the efficacy of the tools in its arsenal. The proliferation of actors and the unintended devolution of power leads to a more chaotic and unrestrained international order. Whereas in the past the United States could affect greater change on the international stage—perceived or actually—that reality is severely degraded and is only likely to continue to do so in the future.

The report makes it abundantly clear that the international system, as it exists today, is ill-equipped to handle the current global challenges, let alone the added trends identified in the report. Unless substantial changes are made to the system, it risks fracture at a time when increased cooperation and integration is critical to addressing the very challenges undermining the system’s foundation.

The COVID-19 pandemic is illustrative and indicative of the splittist and schismatic trends highlighted by the NIC. The response to the pandemic has exacerbated domestic and international partisanship, leading to increased nationalist rhetoric, elevating those voices that are most inwardly looking. At a time when the global economy is already experiencing disruptions and segments of the population are being left behind, there has been an increased drive towards more familiar and insular communities. Here, at multiple levels, the pandemic exacerbated existing and lingering sentiments of nationalism and parochialism, which are now playing out within states and the international system. Increasingly marginalized populations are flocking to nationalist voices or voices espousing a narrow view of their interests—witness Brexit as well as the rise of far-right voices in the West.

Internationally, there are growing calls for the roll-back of or adjustment of the parameters of globalization. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the limitations of the just-in-time delivery system as states in crisis sought to support their beleaguered populations before servicing foreign orders. This occurred alongside increasing tensions over the role of China in the global supply chain and fears of potential penetration of 5G networks and global communications.

This drive towards on-shoring interplays with increasingly disruptive economic conditions. Rising debt burdens, increased pressure on social systems, as well as “a more complex and fragmented trading environment, the global spread of trade-in services, new employment disruptions, and the continued rise of powerful firms, are likely to shape conditions within and between states.”

The ability of states to cope with rapidly developing economic conditions and resulting policy implications like those from bitcoin, cross-border data privacy and others will be severely affected. Simply put, the pace of economic development is outstripping the ability of policymakers to adapt and cope with such a rapidly changing system. This is to say nothing of their decreasing ability to act or maneuver in and amongst markets or control their public expenditures due to existing obligations and limited tax bases.

The financial burden of responding to COVID-19 is likely to leave a massive legacy on national coffers and, in the United States, proposed multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure investments will demand some sort of fiduciary reckoning. Many of the gains made in recent years were simply wiped out in less than a year—the population in the middle class or lifted out of poverty took a significant step back.

A near-term post-COVID-19 recovery is expected but it is unlikely to cover the losses incurred or obligations laid out by Western capitals in the near term. This debt burden will severely limit future growth and social safety nets at a time when technology is set to potentially upend the labor market and as the Western population continues to age, unreplaced by younger workers from domestic populations. Here again, is the risk of internal strife and struggle as the needed workers migrate north and meet environments that may be increasingly unwelcome of the new arrivals.

The impact of technology will be significant as the increasingly “hyper connected” world offers both promise and peril. Unsurprisingly, the report discusses how the pace and impact of technology will increase—Moore’s Law in action—and the ability of states to cope with this change will, concomitantly, decrease. While there is, of course, promise in technology to address global issues, its application and adoption will be uneven, and the second and third order effects are far from understood. Geo-engineering may well help staunch the effects of climate change, but how will it affect local biomes or ecosystems? CRISPR-enabled gene-editing is already here, but is wholesale genetic modification ethical and what happens when there are gaps in the international norms?

Countries well-positioned to seize upon the promise of technology will flourish but the demand for workers and talent will increase. At the same time, the benefits of technology will lead to increased economic dislocation within and between societies. Aging workers ill-equipped to adjust to new technologies will see their jobs simply vanish. Jobs once thought to be immune to technology, such as “white collar” jobs, will also be affected as automation and artificial intelligence creep into these once “protected’ categories. Here again, economic dislocation and disequilibrium emerge. How states and societies adjust to these technologies and their impact will define how the future plays out.

Policymakers and national capitals will be fundamentally ill-equipped to adapt to these rapid changes—changes that will simply accelerate. We’ve already seen the shortcomings of legislatures as they struggle to come to grips with the effects of social media, autonomous vehicles, and AI-enabled weapons systems. How will they adapt to innovations when the time from development to market is measured in perhaps weeks, and not months or years? Moreover, how will governments cope when there are unforeseen second and third-order effects of integrated technologies?

We’ve already seen the shortcomings of legislatures as they struggle to come to grips with the effects of social media, autonomous vehicles, and AI-enabled weapons systems. How will they adapt to innovations when the time from development to market is measured in perhaps weeks, and not months or years? Moreover, how will governments cope when there are unforeseen second and third-order effects of integrated technologies?

We’ve already seen the shortcomings of legislatures as they struggle to come to grips with the effects of social media, autonomous vehicles, and AI-enabled weapons systems. How will they adapt to innovations when the time from development to market is measured in perhaps weeks, and not months or years? Moreover, how will governments cope when there are unforeseen second and third-order effects of integrated technologies?

For example, there is a fundamental risk that these trends could well be weaponized by foreign and domestic actors. Synthetic media could well be used to create false images, videos, and recordings to exploit existing societal fissures, raise tensions, and stir-up conflict. The so-called deep fakes, very much in existence today, will only worsen in the future. How major powers will cope with this challenge very much remains to be seen.

Here, we see the contest for norms and standards playing out as China and the West, led by the United States, seek to define the rules of the road for everything from 5G to outer space activity. Whether the world is governed by a Western-led liberal international order or some form of authoritarian capitalism led by China is being decided today and will have considerable effects well into the future. This geo-technological competition is about much more than internet protocol standards and about what system replaces the post-World War II international order and the post-Cold War peace dividend.

There is absolutely value in the so-called “fictional intelligence” but it is more about the thought process and intellectual exercise that leads to these conclusions than the conclusions themselves. It is a merging of two phrases: to borrow a phrase from Yogi Berra, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future”, and one attributed to Dwight Eisenhower, “Peace-time plans are of no particular value, but peace-time planning is indispensable.”

The reality is that the international system and order lags behind emerging technologies, rising pressures, and the changing (and growing) constellation of actors, leading to increased volatility, disequilibrium, uncertainty, and the potential for conflict. In one telling graphic, the factors that increase the likelihood of conflict outweigh the factors limiting conflict by double. Again, it is worth quoting the report directly: “Geopolitical trends and technology changes are increasing the risk of major power kinetic conflict through 2040. Non-kinetic actions could escalate—possibly unintentionally—to active shooting wars among major powers because of weaker rules, greater speed of engagement, murkier information environment, and new technologies.”

The report closes with a series of scenarios (before shifting to regional analyses) that are not atypical of government reports—two extreme possibilities, representing the best-case and worst-case scenarios, two slightly better-case options, and one middle ground, which is the more likely option. What is interesting about these scenarios is not their content, but how they reflect the trends outlined by the NIC  in the body of the report. There is absolutely value in the so-called “fictional intelligence” but it is more about the thought process and intellectual exercise that leads to these conclusions than the conclusions themselves. It is a merging of two phrases: to borrow a phrase from Yogi Berra, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future”, and one attributed to Dwight Eisenhower, “Peace-time plans are of no particular value, but peace-time planning is indispensable.”

In sum, the forecasted vision of the NIC  is quite simply pessimistic on the whole, but with some positive trends. The world will become increasingly competitive, increasingly parochial, and increasingly challenged by global issues such as climate change, pandemic disease, and rapidly expanding and changing technologies. This is a decidedly uncomfortable position for Washington policymakers on the whole. What we are seeing is disaggregation and devolution of power away from the halls of Congress and the corridors of the White House and towards Beijing, Delhi, and African and Middle Eastern capitals. Where Washington once was able to set the agenda—if not the outcome—other actors and dynamics will force Washington to respond.

While this may have been the case for some time, it is a slow and dawning realization for the leader of the free world. How Washington responds to this dynamic will set the tone for the next twenty years. Will it simply accept its fate and fade into the background as it appeared that President Obama wanted to do? Will it step out aggressively, if unevenly (and chaotically) as it did under President Trump? Will President Biden or his successor, whoever he or she may be, chart a third path that leads to an American renaissance? Will it even matter what the occupant of the Oval Office does with global trends simply too large for the office of the president?

The Global Trends report doesn’t have these answers and doesn’t try to offer suggestions and that is the report’s greatest strength. It is as close as we can get to a crystal ball. What we do with that information or those predictions matters more than the predictions themselves.

About
Joshua Huminski
:
Joshua C. Huminski is Director of the Mike Rogers Center for Intelligence & Global Affairs at the Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress. He can be found on Twitter @joshuachuminski.
The views presented in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of any other organization.

a global affairs media network

www.diplomaticourier.com

Global Trends 2040: A More Contested World

Photo by Pixabay.

April 26, 2021

In one year, the world radically changed in ways unforeseen and unexpected, and likely irreversibly so.

R

eleased every four years, the National Intelligence Council (NIC)’s Global Trends report is a deep look at the trends that will affect American policy over the next two decades. It aims not to provide predictions about the future, but rather an analytical framework for policymakers to understand trends, developments, and possible scenarios; all of which could affect the security of the United States and the international order. The key takeaway from the latest Global Trends report is that the future is likely to be contentious and driven by fractious divisions, all exacerbated by climate change, technology, and population demographics.

To these changes, the Global Trends report cannot offer solutions or recommendations, as the intelligence community is proscribed from offering recommendations on policy, and is only able to provide information and analysis on a rapidly changing world.

And rapidly changing it most certainly is. This time last year, the uncertainty surrounding the severity and extent of the COVID-19 pandemic had people hoarding toilet paper, state and local governments issuing lockdown orders, and the federal government offering unclear and often contradictory guidance. In one year, the world radically changed in ways unforeseen and unexpected, and likely irreversibly so.

Indeed, previous Global Trends reports, including the one released shortly after President Obama’s election, forecasted a global pandemic, but the authors noted that even they underappreciated the full scope of such an event’s disruption, its impact on the international system, national governance, economics, and more. The COVID-19 pandemic is, in their view, the single greatest disruption since World War II. At first glance this view may appear hyperbolic, but it is not far from the truth. No element of global life has been left untouched by COVID-19, and we will undoubtedly be dealing with the effects for years, if not decades, to come.

Throughout the report, five key themes continue to appear: global challenges, fragmentation, disequilibrium, contestation, and adaptation. It is the interplay of these themes that defines the 20-year time horizon, and whether and how states and the international order adapt to these themes will dictate the course of history.

The challenges of climate change and pandemic disease will test the ability of society to adapt to the global challenges, often yielding a considerable gap between needs and capabilities. This yawning gap will, itself, lead to greater friction, reinforcing the negative trends already underway. In essence, the increasing demands of populations on their political systems will outstrip the ability of those systems to respond to their demands, leading to great instability and conflict. Put succinctly: there will be a growing mismatch between public expectations and the ability of states and the international system to meet and support those expectations, and this will lead to increased systemic and state-level instability.

Increasing urbanization will only increase the demands of populations, and already strained social systems will be put under even greater strain as the majority of population growth will come from impoverished areas in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and to a decreasing degree the Middle East—areas all particularly affected by climate change. “The costs and challenges will disproportionately fall on the developing world, intersecting with environmental degradation to intensify risks to food, water, health, and energy security.”

Population flows from these areas of the global south to the north will exacerbate tensions in developed countries, preludes already seen in countries like Germany, France, Belgium, and elsewhere. This migration and the associated integration will undoubtedly prompt domestic and internal struggles within countries, and exacerbate the drive toward parochialism and nationalism, potentially leading to greater internal conflict and division. With older and aging populations, the integration of these new entrants (or the lack thereof) will define future stability in Europe and elsewhere. This is to say nothing of the international implications of these population movements, such as the ability of countries like Libya, Turkey, Syria and Russia to be able to weaponize migratory populations when it suits their interests.

The international system will become increasingly competitive as a rising China seeks to supplant a weakening, or inward-looking, United States, one which focuses on domestic issues to the exclusion of international commitments and alliances. It is worth quoting the report, here, at length: “Accelerating shifts in military power, demographics, economic growth, environmental conditions, and technology, as well as hardening divisions over governance models, are likely to further ratchet up competition between China and a Western coalition led by the United States.”

This drive towards on-shoring interplays with increasingly disruptive economic conditions. Rising debt burdens, increased pressure on social systems, as well as “a more complex and fragmented trading environment, the global spread of trade-in services, new employment disruptions, and the continued rise of powerful firms, are likely to shape conditions within and between states.”

Here, there is an undercurrent, if not explicitly stated, of the decreasing ability of Washington to affect change on the international stage and a lessening of the efficacy of the tools in its arsenal. The proliferation of actors and the unintended devolution of power leads to a more chaotic and unrestrained international order. Whereas in the past the United States could affect greater change on the international stage—perceived or actually—that reality is severely degraded and is only likely to continue to do so in the future.

The report makes it abundantly clear that the international system, as it exists today, is ill-equipped to handle the current global challenges, let alone the added trends identified in the report. Unless substantial changes are made to the system, it risks fracture at a time when increased cooperation and integration is critical to addressing the very challenges undermining the system’s foundation.

The COVID-19 pandemic is illustrative and indicative of the splittist and schismatic trends highlighted by the NIC. The response to the pandemic has exacerbated domestic and international partisanship, leading to increased nationalist rhetoric, elevating those voices that are most inwardly looking. At a time when the global economy is already experiencing disruptions and segments of the population are being left behind, there has been an increased drive towards more familiar and insular communities. Here, at multiple levels, the pandemic exacerbated existing and lingering sentiments of nationalism and parochialism, which are now playing out within states and the international system. Increasingly marginalized populations are flocking to nationalist voices or voices espousing a narrow view of their interests—witness Brexit as well as the rise of far-right voices in the West.

Internationally, there are growing calls for the roll-back of or adjustment of the parameters of globalization. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the limitations of the just-in-time delivery system as states in crisis sought to support their beleaguered populations before servicing foreign orders. This occurred alongside increasing tensions over the role of China in the global supply chain and fears of potential penetration of 5G networks and global communications.

This drive towards on-shoring interplays with increasingly disruptive economic conditions. Rising debt burdens, increased pressure on social systems, as well as “a more complex and fragmented trading environment, the global spread of trade-in services, new employment disruptions, and the continued rise of powerful firms, are likely to shape conditions within and between states.”

The ability of states to cope with rapidly developing economic conditions and resulting policy implications like those from bitcoin, cross-border data privacy and others will be severely affected. Simply put, the pace of economic development is outstripping the ability of policymakers to adapt and cope with such a rapidly changing system. This is to say nothing of their decreasing ability to act or maneuver in and amongst markets or control their public expenditures due to existing obligations and limited tax bases.

The financial burden of responding to COVID-19 is likely to leave a massive legacy on national coffers and, in the United States, proposed multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure investments will demand some sort of fiduciary reckoning. Many of the gains made in recent years were simply wiped out in less than a year—the population in the middle class or lifted out of poverty took a significant step back.

A near-term post-COVID-19 recovery is expected but it is unlikely to cover the losses incurred or obligations laid out by Western capitals in the near term. This debt burden will severely limit future growth and social safety nets at a time when technology is set to potentially upend the labor market and as the Western population continues to age, unreplaced by younger workers from domestic populations. Here again, is the risk of internal strife and struggle as the needed workers migrate north and meet environments that may be increasingly unwelcome of the new arrivals.

The impact of technology will be significant as the increasingly “hyper connected” world offers both promise and peril. Unsurprisingly, the report discusses how the pace and impact of technology will increase—Moore’s Law in action—and the ability of states to cope with this change will, concomitantly, decrease. While there is, of course, promise in technology to address global issues, its application and adoption will be uneven, and the second and third order effects are far from understood. Geo-engineering may well help staunch the effects of climate change, but how will it affect local biomes or ecosystems? CRISPR-enabled gene-editing is already here, but is wholesale genetic modification ethical and what happens when there are gaps in the international norms?

Countries well-positioned to seize upon the promise of technology will flourish but the demand for workers and talent will increase. At the same time, the benefits of technology will lead to increased economic dislocation within and between societies. Aging workers ill-equipped to adjust to new technologies will see their jobs simply vanish. Jobs once thought to be immune to technology, such as “white collar” jobs, will also be affected as automation and artificial intelligence creep into these once “protected’ categories. Here again, economic dislocation and disequilibrium emerge. How states and societies adjust to these technologies and their impact will define how the future plays out.

Policymakers and national capitals will be fundamentally ill-equipped to adapt to these rapid changes—changes that will simply accelerate. We’ve already seen the shortcomings of legislatures as they struggle to come to grips with the effects of social media, autonomous vehicles, and AI-enabled weapons systems. How will they adapt to innovations when the time from development to market is measured in perhaps weeks, and not months or years? Moreover, how will governments cope when there are unforeseen second and third-order effects of integrated technologies?

We’ve already seen the shortcomings of legislatures as they struggle to come to grips with the effects of social media, autonomous vehicles, and AI-enabled weapons systems. How will they adapt to innovations when the time from development to market is measured in perhaps weeks, and not months or years? Moreover, how will governments cope when there are unforeseen second and third-order effects of integrated technologies?

We’ve already seen the shortcomings of legislatures as they struggle to come to grips with the effects of social media, autonomous vehicles, and AI-enabled weapons systems. How will they adapt to innovations when the time from development to market is measured in perhaps weeks, and not months or years? Moreover, how will governments cope when there are unforeseen second and third-order effects of integrated technologies?

For example, there is a fundamental risk that these trends could well be weaponized by foreign and domestic actors. Synthetic media could well be used to create false images, videos, and recordings to exploit existing societal fissures, raise tensions, and stir-up conflict. The so-called deep fakes, very much in existence today, will only worsen in the future. How major powers will cope with this challenge very much remains to be seen.

Here, we see the contest for norms and standards playing out as China and the West, led by the United States, seek to define the rules of the road for everything from 5G to outer space activity. Whether the world is governed by a Western-led liberal international order or some form of authoritarian capitalism led by China is being decided today and will have considerable effects well into the future. This geo-technological competition is about much more than internet protocol standards and about what system replaces the post-World War II international order and the post-Cold War peace dividend.

There is absolutely value in the so-called “fictional intelligence” but it is more about the thought process and intellectual exercise that leads to these conclusions than the conclusions themselves. It is a merging of two phrases: to borrow a phrase from Yogi Berra, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future”, and one attributed to Dwight Eisenhower, “Peace-time plans are of no particular value, but peace-time planning is indispensable.”

The reality is that the international system and order lags behind emerging technologies, rising pressures, and the changing (and growing) constellation of actors, leading to increased volatility, disequilibrium, uncertainty, and the potential for conflict. In one telling graphic, the factors that increase the likelihood of conflict outweigh the factors limiting conflict by double. Again, it is worth quoting the report directly: “Geopolitical trends and technology changes are increasing the risk of major power kinetic conflict through 2040. Non-kinetic actions could escalate—possibly unintentionally—to active shooting wars among major powers because of weaker rules, greater speed of engagement, murkier information environment, and new technologies.”

The report closes with a series of scenarios (before shifting to regional analyses) that are not atypical of government reports—two extreme possibilities, representing the best-case and worst-case scenarios, two slightly better-case options, and one middle ground, which is the more likely option. What is interesting about these scenarios is not their content, but how they reflect the trends outlined by the NIC  in the body of the report. There is absolutely value in the so-called “fictional intelligence” but it is more about the thought process and intellectual exercise that leads to these conclusions than the conclusions themselves. It is a merging of two phrases: to borrow a phrase from Yogi Berra, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future”, and one attributed to Dwight Eisenhower, “Peace-time plans are of no particular value, but peace-time planning is indispensable.”

In sum, the forecasted vision of the NIC  is quite simply pessimistic on the whole, but with some positive trends. The world will become increasingly competitive, increasingly parochial, and increasingly challenged by global issues such as climate change, pandemic disease, and rapidly expanding and changing technologies. This is a decidedly uncomfortable position for Washington policymakers on the whole. What we are seeing is disaggregation and devolution of power away from the halls of Congress and the corridors of the White House and towards Beijing, Delhi, and African and Middle Eastern capitals. Where Washington once was able to set the agenda—if not the outcome—other actors and dynamics will force Washington to respond.

While this may have been the case for some time, it is a slow and dawning realization for the leader of the free world. How Washington responds to this dynamic will set the tone for the next twenty years. Will it simply accept its fate and fade into the background as it appeared that President Obama wanted to do? Will it step out aggressively, if unevenly (and chaotically) as it did under President Trump? Will President Biden or his successor, whoever he or she may be, chart a third path that leads to an American renaissance? Will it even matter what the occupant of the Oval Office does with global trends simply too large for the office of the president?

The Global Trends report doesn’t have these answers and doesn’t try to offer suggestions and that is the report’s greatest strength. It is as close as we can get to a crystal ball. What we do with that information or those predictions matters more than the predictions themselves.

About
Joshua Huminski
:
Joshua C. Huminski is Director of the Mike Rogers Center for Intelligence & Global Affairs at the Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress. He can be found on Twitter @joshuachuminski.
The views presented in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of any other organization.