Accession Number:

ADA539883

Title:

Future Drivers for State Alignments

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL CENTER FOR STRATEGY AND TECHNOLOGY

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2009-02-12

Pagination or Media Count:

34.0

Abstract:

The primary drivers for nation-state alignments have been and will remain Political Ideology and Self Interest. Over the next fifty years, Western political dominance will diminish with the constriction of global economic interdependence and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. In addition, nation-states will coalesce into multi-polar alliances for economic stability and military security. The past is an uncertain guide to the future, but it is the only one we have. Max Boot 2002 It is impossible to predict the future, and all attempts to do so in any detail appear ludicrous within a few years. Arthur C. Clark 1962 Predicting the future is risky. Predicting the future in the infinitely complex social political system of nation-state interaction is especially fraught with peril. So, instead of making less-likely predictions, this paper will strive to project probable possibilities. While history is not always a faithful prophet, it is a rational and often reliable signpost for upcoming events. By dissecting past nation-state relationships and consolidating scholarly opinion, one may make reasonable forecasts about the future. As John Foran writes in Revolutions, Thinking about the future . . . is different from predicting it, and seems both less presumptuous and potentially more liberating . . . . In that spirit, we will think about future nation-state motivations and how those interests will drive alignments. Before fleshing out this projects findings and prognostications, it is necessary to define the title concepts Future Drivers for State Alignments. First, the future is fifty years hence--that is, up to the year 2060. Any less of a forecast would be of minimal use as there are several efforts concentrating on what the world will be like in twenty years. Any more would dilute the actionable conclusions drawn from the study. Projecting out one generation seems to be the maximum for reasonable speculation.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE