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August 1st, 2008, 16:23
By the way, when puttering around the Net on this topic, I came across a rather an interesting document: a paper by the National Intelligence Council of the CIA, from 2005, charting out scenarios of how the world looks in 2020. It's in the public domain; you can download it here: [ http://www.foia.cia.gov/2020/2020.pdf ]

Among other things, it sketches out four alternative scenarios: "Davos World," "Pax Americana," "A New Caliphate," and "A Cycle Of Fear." What struck me was that "Davos World" was pretty much an extension of current trends — and very similar to the scenario sketched out in Khanna's book.

The other three all involved some major and IMO somewhat unlikely trend shifts: in Pax Americana, a string of megaterrorist attacks inside the EU that drive the EU into America's arms, in A New Caliphate the emergence of a hugely charismatic Muslim religious leader with enormously broad and deep appeal across the entire Islamic world (something that hasn't happened since… well, the Prophet, basically), and in A Cycle Of Fear, another string of mega-terrorist attacks and NBC weapon proliferation that causes a global security clampdown that rolls back globalization by decades.

They cynical reading is that the only thing that could save American hegemony from the rise of Asia (and the EU) are massive terrorist attacks, pandemics, and other plagues hitting American and the countries most like it.

And, of course, it's rather interesting that this is a CIA document, not something funded by George Soros (like Khanna).
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