The world of the coming decade: translation forecast Stratfor on 2015-2025


American private intelligence analysis company Stratfor (founded in 1996)

The world began to change even in 2008, when Russia invaded Georgia and in the wake of the financial crisis. Since then, three patterns became apparent. Firstly, the EU has entered into a crisis that is not able to resolve and intensity of which continues to grow. We believe that the European Union will never return to unity, and that if he could survive, the next decade will be more limited and fragmented form. We do not believe that a free trade zone will remain unchanged, without protectionism. We expect difficult economic problems in Germany, and, as a consequence, increase the role of Poland in the region.

The current conflict with Russia over Ukraine will remain at the Centre of the international system in the next few years, but we don't think that the Russian Federation is able to survive in its current form for another ten years. The overwhelming dependence on hydrocarbon exports and the unpredictability of oil prices would not allow Moscow to support public institutions throughout the vast territory of the Russian Federation. We expect a noticeable weakening of Moscow authorities, leading to formal and non-formal fragmentation of Russia. The security of Russia's nuclear arsenal will be an increasingly important issue as this process will start to accelerate towards the end of the Decade.

We have entered the era of decline of nation States created Europe in North Africa and the Middle East. Power in many of these countries no longer belongs to the State and passed to the armed parties that fail to win each other. This led to a tense internal struggle. United States are prepared to participate in such conflicts by using aviation and limited intervention on the ground, but cannot and do not want to ensure their lasting resolution. Turkey, whose southern boundary of these wars make vulnerable, will slowly be drawn into the conflict. By the end of the Decade, Turkey will become a major regional power, and as a result will increase competition between Turkey and Iran.

China ceased to be a country of fast growth and low wages, and entered a new phase, which will become the new norm. This phase involves much slower growth and an increasingly tight dictatorship, moderating multidirectional forces caused by slow growth. China will continue to be a major economic force, but will cease to be an engine for global growth. That role goes to group disparate countries that we define the term "post-16 Chinese countries": a large part of South-East Asia, East Africa and parts of Latin America. In addition, China will not be a source of military aggression. The main contender for dominance in East Asia remains Japan, thanks to geography and simultaneously a huge Japanese economy needs to import.

The United States will continue to be a major economic, political and military force, but their intervention will be less active than before. The low level of exports, increasing energy independence and the experience of the past ten years will lead to a more cautious attitude towards economic and military intervention in the Affairs of the world. Americans clearly saw what was happening with active exporters, when buyers can't or don't want to buy their products. United States realize that North America enough for prosperity, provided electoral interventions in other parts of the world. Major strategic threat to America will meet appropriate strength, but abandon the role of global fire brigade.

It will be a chaotic world, where many regions are waiting for the changing of the guard. Unchanged will only power of the United States, a more mature form of power, which will be less on the mind, because in the next decade it will use is not as active as before.


The European Union does not seem to be able to solve its fundamental problem, and it's not the eurozone, and the free trade area. Germany is the Centre of attraction of the European Union; the Germans are exporting more than half of its GDP, and half of these exports are accounted for by other EU countries. Germany has established a production base, which is many times greater than its own needs, even if stimulating the national economy. From exports are growth, full employment and social stability. The structures of the European Union, including an assessment of the euro and many internal European rules only reinforce this dependence on exports.

This splits the already fragmented Europe in at least two parts. From Mediterranean Europe and countries such as Germany or Austria totally different behavioural patterns and needs. There is no single policy that suited all over Europe. This was the main problem, but now is approaching a tipping point. That goes for the benefit of one part of Europe, hurting another.

Nationalism has already increased significantly. It exacerbates the Ukrainian crisis and concern about Eastern European countries expected threat from Russia. Eastern Europe fear the Russians poses another Europe — all these separate Europes four, if you select the Scandinavian countries in private. Given the growing popularity of evroskeptikov left and right at the same time, the increasing legitimization network parties and the growing popularity of European separatists, fragmentation and nationalistic upsurge, which we predicted in the year 2005 and earlier, are obvious.

This trend will continue. The European Union can survive in some form, but the European economy, politics and military cooperation will be managed primarily by bilateral or limited multilateral partnerships, which have a narrow focus and are not binding on participants. Some States may retain residual membership in heavily modified the European Union, but by itself it will not determine the nature of European politics.

Instead, Europe will determine the return of the nation-State as a basic form of political life on the continent. Number of national States, probably will increase as various separatist movements will succeed — the Division of countries into constituent parts, or outright secession. This is particularly evident in the next few years, because the European crisis will strengthen the political and economic pressure.

Germany from this mass of nation States to be the most influential and politically and economically. But Germany is extremely vulnerable. This is the fourth economy in the world, however, this situation is due to exports. Exporters have always had a natural vulnerability: they depend on the ability and willingness of customers to consume their products. In other words, Germany is held hostage by the economic well-being of their surroundings.

In this sense, several forces acting against Germany. Firstly, the growing European nationalism will increasingly favor protectionism in economy and in the labour market. Weak countries may resort to various mechanisms of control over the capital, and the strong start to limit the intersection of foreigners, including EU citizens — their borders. We assume that the current protectionist measures current in European economies in areas such as agriculture, would in future be complemented by trade barriers created by weak southern European countries in need of restoring national economies after current depression. In global terms, we expect that European exports will face increasingly fierce competition and volatile demand. Thus, we anticipate a long economic downturn in Germany, that would lead to domestic social and political crisis and weaken in the coming 10 years the influence of Germany in Europe.

The Centre of economic growth and increasing political influence would be Poland. All this time, Poland has maintained impressive growth rates — perhaps the most impressive after Germany and Austria. In addition, although the population of Poland, and probably will begin to shrink, but not as much as in Germany or Austria. As Germany will shake global economic and population shifts, Poland diversify its foreign trade and eventually turn into a dominant force on the North European plain. Moreover, we expect that Poland would become the leader of a new anti-Russian Coalition, to which in the first half of the Decade to connect Romania. In the second half of the Decade, this Alliance will play a leading role in the revision of the Russian borders and the return of the lost territories of the formal and informal way. As Moscow would weaken this Alliance will hold sway not only over Belarus and Ukraine, but also further East. All of this will enhance the economic and political situation of Poland and its allies.

Poland will continue to benefit from a strategic partnership with the United States. When global power comes into this strategic partnership, it always seeks as much as possible to strengthen and revitalize the economy of the partner to stabilize society and allow the construction of a powerful army. With Poland and Romania this is what will happen. Washington did not hide his interest in the region.


It is unlikely that the Russian Federation in its present form could survive. Russia's inability to turn a profit from exports of energy resources in a sustainable economy makes it vulnerable to fluctuations in the prices of hydrocarbons. RUSSIA have no way to protect against these market processes. Given the structure of the Federation, in which profits from exports first comes to Moscow, and then forwarded to local governments, regions will get very different numbers of this profit. This will lead to a repetition of the 1980 Soviet experience-x and-x 1990, when Moscow has lost the ability to maintain public infrastructure. All this makes regions escape from problems independently, creating formal and informal autonomous associations. Economic ties between Moscow and the periphery will diminish.

Russia has historically solved these problems by using the secret services KGB-and its successor FSB. But, as in the 1980 's, the secret service will not be able to contain the centrifugal forces, otryvaûŝie regions from the Center. Specifically in this case, the possibility of the FSB involvement in the national economy. Without genuine horror inspired the FSB Russian fragmentation cannot be prevented.

To the West of Russia, Poland, Hungary and Romania will try to reclaim the regions lost once in the fight against the Russians. They will try to join Ukraine and Belarus. In the South of the RUSSIAN FEDERATION will lose the ability to control the North Caucasus, in Central Asia will begin destabilization. In Northwest Republic of Karelia will try to return a part of Finland. In the far East will begin to conduct an independent policy coastal regions, more associated with Japan, China and the United States than with Moscow. Other regions will not necessarily seek autonomy but can get it against their will. The basic idea: revolt against Moscow would not, on the contrary, weakening Moscow will leave behind a vacuum. In this vacuum, there will be some fragments of the former Russian Federation.

This would lead to the biggest crisis of the next decade. Russia has a huge nuclear arsenal, scattered across the country. The decline of the Moscow authorities will put the question of the control of these missiles and on how to ensure the rejection of their application. For the United States, it will be a huge challenge. Washington is the only force that can solve this problem, but the Americans will not be able to physically take control of huge number of missile bases purely military way, so that no missile was not in the process of running. The United States will have to develop a military decision that seriously now clearly imagine, come to terms with the threat of accidental launches or create the nuclear regions of stable and sustainable Government, then eventually neutralize the missiles non-military means. Now it is hard to say how the situation would evolve. But given our forecast is the breakup of Russia, in the next ten years this problem one way or another, will have to decide.

The issue of the first half of the Decade will be territory which spreads new Baltic-Black Sea Union. It would be logical to extend it to Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea. Whether this will happen depends on the things that we touch in the forecast for Turkey and the Middle East.

Middle East and North Africa

Middle East — especially the area between the Levant and North Africa and Iran is going through an era of scrapping the national States. We have in mind the national State by the European powers in the 19th and 20th centuries, which now have crumbled, giving way to the factions based on kinship, religion or volatile economic interests. In such countries, such as Libya, Syria and Iraq; we see nation-State in conglomerate of the warring factions, pay little attention to the increasingly sensitive national borders of their own countries.

This process repeats what happened in Lebanon in the 1970 's and 1980 's — the Lebanese Government collapsed, and power passed to the warring factions. The main factions cannot win a decisive victory, nor suffer final defeat — they were supported and manipulated from abroad or they could afford to self-sufficiency. Fighting between these factions turned into a civil war, now zatihšuû, but not in the full sense of the ending. In the region there is a vacuum, which is convenient to operate a jihadist groups, but these groups ultimately constrain their internal contradictions.

This situation cannot be resolved with the help of outside interference. Level and duration of required forceful intervention exceeds the capacity of the United States, even by the most daring calculations. Given the situation in other regions, especially in Russia, the United States can no longer deal exclusively with the Middle East.

At the same time, the evolution of the Arab States, especially South of Turkey, constitutes a threat to regional stability. United States will try to eliminate the threat posed by individual groups using limited intervention. United States, however, will not enter the region numerous military contingents. However, the countries of the region will continue to wait on the crucial role of the United States, even though their own eyes watched as America in the past decade failed this role. Expectations will change more slowly than reality.

As reality begins to take its toll, it turns out that on the basis of geography, only one country, truly interested in the stabilization of Iraq and Syria, has the ability to operate freely in this direction and can get to the region at least limited access. This country is Turkey. Now Turkey is surrounded on all sides by vnutriarabskimi conflicts, conflicts in the Caucasus and the Black Sea basin. Turkey is not yet ready to fully independent policy in the Middle East and willingly cooperates with the United States. This cooperation will provide an opportunity to move the containment line in Georgia and Azerbaijan.

In the next ten years we expect instability in the Arab world. In addition, we expect that Turkey would be lured into the conflict in the South, to the extent that war is warranted from the Turkish borders and political repercussions of this war. This intervention will be less active and slow, but it will gradually begin to grow and grow. Turkey, as it neither wanted to, could not afford to ignore the chaos at its borders, and no other country is able to assume this burden. Iran cannot intervene on military and geographical reasons, the same can be said about Saudi Arabia. The Turks are likely to begin to build a volatile Coalition, eventually extending its influence to North Africa, to stabilize the situation. Turkish-Iranian competition will only intensify with time, but Turkey will maintain readiness to cooperate with Iran and power, as needed. Whatever the dynamics of the situation, Turkey would in any case be in the center of what is happening.

The Middle East is not the only region that would require Turkish attention. As Russia will weaken the Europeans come in regions that have traditionally been a zone of Turkish interests, such as the northern Black Sea. Probably Turkey will project to the North mainly economic and political power, but possibly a moderate military intervention. Moreover, as the fragmentation of the European Union and individual European economies weakening, some countries might shift to the East, and Turkey will be able to strengthen its presence in the Balkans as the only major power in the region.

Before it will be possible, the Turks must find balance in domestic politics. Turkey is a secular Muslim country and at the same time. Located now, the Government is trying to bridge this gap, but so far rather repels many secularists. Soon, likely will come a new Government. This constant weak spot modern Turkish politics. As has happened with many other countries, Turkey will grow in an atmosphere of political uncertainty. Simultaneously with the domestic political conflict the Turks will have to solve the problems with the army, intelligence and diplomatic community, which will require conversion and expansion under the new needs. Be that as it may, we expect that in the coming 10 years, Turkey will become a major regional player.

East Asia

China will cease to be a transition of high growth and low wages. As the growth of the Chinese economy will slow down, you will need to create a suitable economic infrastructure to provide jobs for menial labor. In port cities, this can be done quickly, but in inland China will require a significant amount of time. China will normalize its economy as it once did Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. Grandiose expansion always comes to its logical end and structure of the economy is changing.

The main problem in China in the next ten years will be the social and economic consequences of this change. Coastal regions are now entirely on high rapid growth and links with European and American consumers. As these links will be to decline to appear political and social challenges. At the same time hopes, that the internal regions outside of more or less urbanized Yangtze Delta will grow as fast as the coast, no. The next decade will be devoted to addressing these issues.

Strengthening the dictatorship in Beijing and a large-scale anti-corruption company that actually is an attempt to centralize power, show how China will look like in the next ten years. China chose the hybrid path that involves the centralization of political and economic power strengthening the power of the party over the army and consolidate before the fragmented industries, such as coal and steel, in conjunction with the cautious market reforms in State industry and the banking sector. It is very likely that the outcome will be a stiff dictatorship with more modest than earlier economic ambitions. Another scenario less likely, but possible — political elites can coast rebellion against Beijing in protest against the redistribution of wealth in favor of the central regions to maintain political stability. So China has already happened, although it is not the most likely outcome, it should be kept in mind. Our forecast is the establishment of a Communist dictatorship, a high degree of economic and political centralization, increased nationalism.

China will not be able to easily turn nationalism in external aggression. Geography of China makes such attempts on land difficult, if not impossible at all. Exception here may be an attempt to take control of the Russian coast, if our prediction is correct and razdrobitsâ Russia. Here China surely will meet opposition from Japan. China is building a large fleet, but he had no experience in naval warfare and prepared Officer staff needed to challenge the more experienced fleets, including an American.

Japan have sufficient resources for the construction of much more powerful fleet and there is a naval tradition. Besides, Japan is heavily dependent on imports of raw materials from South-East Asia and the Persian Gulf. Now the Japanese need America to preserve access to this raw material. But given our forecast, assuming a more cautious attitude to the United States intervention in Foreign Affairs, as well as the independence of American imports, the reliability of the United States as an ally here in question. Thus, the Japanese will reinforce the fleet.

Wars of small islands that produce cheap energy would be unprofitable. Instead, the game will unfold in the region between the three parties. Russia, weakening the force will gradually lose the ability to protect its maritime interests. China and Japan will be interested in seeing them take hold. We assume that this conflict will become Russia's fading into the main battle in the region, and the Sino-Japanese feud.

Post centres in China

International capitalism requires regions with high growth and low wages, giving high returns from risky investments. In the 1880 's, for example, the region was United States. China is the newest of these regions, he succeeded in that as Japan. No one country, able to replace China, but we have identified 16 countries with a total population of 1.15 billion people, where production might move, leaving China. In order to identify these countries, we have reviewed the three branches. This is, firstly, the textile industry, particularly in its cheap form, such as lining for jackets. The second industry-shoe, the third Assembly of mobile phones. All three industries do not require large investments, and manufacturers quickly moves production to take advantage of low wages. This industry (e.g. production of cheap toys in Japan) usually works as the Foundation for the evolution of production and gradually turns into a more wide range of cheap and popular goods. Labour, in the beginning, women often becomes more available as new plants come into the country. By world standards, they offer low wages, but at the local level, it is very attractive.

As China in the early 1970 's, take off those countries usually politically unstable, there are problems with the State governed by the rule of law, poor infrastructure and a variety of other risks, which usually discourage industrial production. But some foreign companies thrive in such conditions and build on the existence of such countries, the entire business model.

On the map, you can see that all these countries are in the Indian Ocean. You can combine and other criteria — it's less developed regions of Asia, Eastern Africa and Latin America. We expect that in the next ten years, many of these countries — including, perhaps, some until we begin to execute-silent function in 1980-e served as China. This means that by the end of the Decade they will enter a phase of accelerated growth and will switch to the production of a much more diverse products. Mexico, whose economy is showing potential as for the lower segment, and for more complex productions, many would benefit from investment and demand of its northern neighbour.

United States

The economy of the United States still accounts for 22% of the world. America continues to dominate the sea and has the only large intercontinental army. From the 1880 's United States freely grew in economic and political terms. Even the great depression proved to be ultimately episodic nuisance. Around the growth of the American forces built the current international system, and we believe that he will continue without hindrance.

The main advantage of the United States — closed. America exports only 9 per cent of GDP and 40% of these exports go to Canada and Mexico. Only 5% of GDP are prone to fluctuations in global demand. In terms of the increasing chaos in Europe, Russia and China, America could afford to lose half of exports — a huge amount, but even such a loss would be a solvable problem.

Problems with importing United States also reserved quite reliably. Unlike the 1973 year, when the Arab oil embargo has significantly shaken the u.s. economy in the next decade the United States includes both a major producer of energy. Although some minerals have to import from outside the NAFTA, and some industrial goods country prefers import, without all this can easily do, especially given the expected increase in industrial production in Mexico after the departure of industries from China.

The world crisis left Americans win. In the United States receives global capital is the money flowing from China, Europe and Russia to settle in America, reducing interest rates and reviving the stock market. America feels some impact of the European banking crisis, but it is, first, an incomparable with what it was ten years ago, and secondly, it compensates for the inflow of capital. With regard to the eternal fear of abandonment of Chinese money from American markets, it will still happen, but slowly, as the growth of the Chinese economy will slow down and increase domestic investment. Sharp care impossible — more money to invest simply has nowhere to go. Of course, in the next ten years growth and markets will fluctuate, but the United States remains a stable Center of the global financial system.

At the same time, Americans have become less dependent on the system and encountered many challenges in the management of it and especially in its pacification. United States in the next ten years will be less willing to take on political commitments, and far more reluctantly — to arrange military intervention.

America during the century was concerned about the risk of European hegemonic, especially a possible Union between Russia and Germany or the conquest of one of these countries to another. This Union more than any other would have the possibility, through the German capital and technology, coupled with Russian resources and manpower — threaten American interests. In the first world, second world war and cold war America failed to prevent his appearance.

In world wars America joined later, and although she managed to incur fewer losses than the other parties to the conflict, the level of these losses are still not satisfied with the society. In the cold war United States came sooner, and at least in Europe did not suffer losses. This guide is based on the principle of American foreign policy, driven almost to automatism: If Europe begins to arise the hegemon, United States intervene as early as possible during the cold war, building alliances and with troops on the main defensive positions.

Now this is in relation to Russia. Although we predict the decline of Russia in the near future Russia is dangerous, especially cornered by economically. Moreover, whatever the forecast, United States can't be completely sure that Russia will come into disrepair, and indeed, if the Russians will be able to start the successful expansion of the (politically, economically or militarily), they can avoid decline. From this America and will come. The Americans will try to build a system of alliances, parallel to NATO, from the Baltic to Bulgaria, and engage as many countries as possible. The Union will try to lure Turkey to Azerbaijan. In these countries, in proportion to the threats would be sent to the troops.

This will become the main content of the first half of the Decade. In the second half of Washington is focused on how to avoid nuclear catastrophe during the disintegration of Russia. The United States will not get involved in the solution of European problems, will not go to war with China, and will intervene as little as possible in Middle Eastern affairs. International anti-terrorist operations would continue, but with full knowledge of them at best a temporary result.

Americans awaiting a major problem. In the United States there are fifty loops, each of which ends with serious social and economic crises. One of the cycles began in 1932, with Roosevelt's victory and ended the Presidency of Jimmy Carter. It began with the need to restore demand for goods idle factories and ended with universal lack of investment, over-consumption, double-digit inflation and unemployment. Reagan issued the principles for reformatting American industry through changes in tax legislation and moved the center of public structures with city workers to inhabitants suburbii, professionals and entrepreneurs.

By the end of this cycle of 15 years left, and the next crisis begins to be felt first in the second half of the next decade. Its contours are already visible is the crisis of the middle class. The problem is not to disparities; the problem is that the middle class can no longer live as middle class. Now the average American household income is kept at the level of $ 50000. Depends on the State, but in fact this amount closer to 40000. It allows the Middle middle class to buy a modest house and when the money to survive outside popular agglomerations. Lower middle class, 25 per cent of the population could not afford even that.

There are two reasons. Firstly, it is the increase in the number of single-parent families: two households in two times more expensive than one. Secondly, the fact of the matter is that decisions that have provided the required reformatting American industry and extremely increased productivity, while the middle class worsened the situation on the labour market and reduced his income. The crisis until it becomes political political — by the end of the Decade, but neither the 2028 election is not resolved, nor elections 2032. This is a normal, cyclical crisis, but it will still be painful.


There are no painless decades, and even in the most placid of times someone continues to suffer. The crises that we are expecting in the next ten years — not the worst in the past century, and no heavier than those yet. As usual, you can expect that from the information available to us now the information will depend on the future. You can often hear, that the suffering and problems of our generation are heavier than ever. This ordinary narcissism. Our situation will inevitably change — and certainly faster than we expect. Our adversity is a common part of normal human life. Consolation is weak, but it is a reality and the context in which to perceive this prediction for the next ten years.


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