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[George Friedman] The Next 100 Years A Forecast f(BookFi.org)

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THE NEXT 100 YEARS<
Al s o by G
eor
ge F
ri edman AMERICA
S SECRET W
A
R.
The Future of War.
THE INTELLIGENCE EDGE.
THE C
OMING W
A
R WITH JAP
AN.
POLITICAL P
H
IL
OSOP
HY OF THE FRANKFUR
T SCHOOL.
THE.
NEXT.
100.
YEARS.
A F
O
R
E
C
A
ST F
O
R TH
E 21ST C
E
NTU
RY G
e or
ge F
ri e dman/
Doubleday N
E
W
Y
O
R
K
L
O
N
D O N
T
O R O N
T
O
S
Y
D
N
E
Y
A U C K L A N
D Copyright © 2009 by George Friedman All Rights Reserved Published in the United States by Doubleday, <
an imprint of The Doubleday Publishing Group, <
a division of Random House, Inc., New York.<
www.doubleday.com<
doubleday and the DD colophon are registered trademarks of <
Random House, Inc.<
All maps created by Stratfor<
Book design by Elizabeth Rendfleisch Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data<
Friedman, George.<
The next 100 years : a forecast for the 21st century / George Friedman. <
1st ed.<
p. cm.<
1. International relations21st century. 2. Twenty-first century<
Forecasts. 3. World politics21st centuryForecasting. 4. International<
relationsForecasting. I. Title. II. Title: Next hundred years.<
JZ1305.F75 2009<
303.49dc22<
2008026423<
eISBN: 978-0-385-52294-6<
v1.0<
F
or M
e
r
edith, muse and taskmaster/
T
o
him who looks upon the world rationally
, the world in turn pr
esents a rational aspect. The r
elation is mutual. G
eor
ge W
.
F
.
H
e
gel C
ONTENT
S.
list of ill
ustra
tions xi<
a
uthor
s
no
te xiii<
Ov
er
tur
e: An I
n
tr
oduction t
o
the American Age/
1/
C
H
A P
T E
R 1.
The D
a
wn of the American Age/
15/
C
H
A P
T E
R 2.
Ear
thq
u
ake: The U.S.J
ihadist W
a
r/
31/
C
H
A P
T E
R 3.
P
opul
a
tion, Computers, and C
u
l
tur
e W
a
rs/
50/
C
H
A P
T E
R 4.
The N
e
w F
a
ul
t Lines/
65/
x content
s C
H
A P
T E
R 5 China 2020: P
a
p
er T
i
ger 88 C
H
A P
T E
R 6 R
ussia 2020: R
e
ma
t
c
h 101 C
H
A P
T E
R 7 American P
o
w
er and the C
risis of 2030 120 C
H
A P
T E
R 8 A N
e
w W
orld E
m
er
ges 136 C
H
A P
T E
R 9 The 2040
s
: P
r
el
ude t
o W
a
r 153 C
H
A P
T E
R 1
0 P
r
ep
aring for W
a
r 174 C
H
A P
T E
R 1 1 W
orld W
a
r: A Scenario 193 C
H
A P
T E
R 1 2 The 2060
s
: A G
olden D
e
cade 212 C
H
A P
T E
R 1 3 2080: The U
nited S
t
a
t
es, M
exico, /
and the S
t
r
uggle for the G
l
o
bal H
e
ar
tl
and/
223/
epil
ogue 2
4
9/
a
ckno
wledgment
s 2
5
5/
Li st of I llustrati ons.
A
tlantic E
u
r
o
pe 20<
The S
o
viet E
mpir
e 2
5<
Y
ugoslavia and the B
alkans 33<
Ear
thquake Z
one 35<
I
slamic W
o
rldM
odern 36<
U.S.
Riv
er S
ystem 41<
S
outh America: I
mpassable T
e
rrain 43<
P
acific T
rade R
outes 67<
S
uccessor S
tates to the S
o
viet U
nion 71<
Ukraine
s
S
trategic S
ignificance 72<
F
our E
u
ropes 75<
T
u
r
key in 2008 81<
O
ttoman E
mpir
e 8
2<
M
e
xico P
rior to T
e
xas R
e
bellion 85<
China: I
mpassable T
e
rrain 89<
China
s
P
o
pulation D
ensity 90<
S
ilk R
o
ad 91<
The Caucasus 108<
Central Asia 110<
P
o
acher
s
P
aradise 137<
xii l i s t of i l l
us tra
ti ons J
apan 140<
M
iddle East S
e
a Lanes 158<
P
oland 1660 161<
The S
k
agerrak S
traits 162<
T
u
rkish S
p
her
e of I
nfluence 2050 203<
U.S.
H
ispanic P
o
pulation (2000) 226<
Levels of E
conomic and S
ocial D
evelopment 233<
M
exican S
ocial and E
conomic D
evelopment 234<
author s note.
I have no cr
ystal ball. I do, ho
wever
, have a method that has ser
ved me well, imper
fect though it might be, in understanding the past and anticipating the futur
e. U
nderneath the disor
der of histor
y
,
my task is to tr
y to see the or
derand to anticipate what ev
ents, tr
ends, and technology that or
der will bring for
th. F
o
r
ecasting a hundr
ed y
e
ars ahead may appear to be a friv
olous activity
, but, as I hope y
ou will see, it is a rational, feasible pr
ocess, and it is har
dly frivolous. I will have grandchildr
en in the not-distant futur
e, and s
ome of them will sur
ely be alive in the twenty-second centur
y
. That thought makes all of this ver
y r
eal. I
n
this book, I am tr
ying to transmit a sense of the futur
e. I will, of course, get many details wrong. B
u
t the goal is to identify the major tendenciesgeopolitical, technological, demographic, cultural, militar
y in their broadest sense, and to dene the major events that might take place. I will be satised if I explain something about ho
w the world works today
, and ho
w that, in turn, denes ho
w it will work in the futur
e. And I will be delighted if my grandchildr
en, glancing at this book in 2100, have r
e
ason to say
, N
ot half bad. THE NEXT 100 YEARS<
O
V
ER
TURE An I
n
tr
oducti on t
o
the Ame ri can Age I
magine that you wer
e alive in the summer of 1900, living in London, then the capital of the world. E
u
rope r
uled the Eastern H
emispher
e. Ther
e was har
dly a place that, if not r
uled dir
ectly
, was not indir
ectly controlled from a E
u
ropean capital. E
u
rope was at peace and enjo
ying un=
pr
ecedented prosperity
. I
n
deed, E
u
ropean inter
dependence due to trade and investment was so gr
eat that serious people wer
e claiming that war had become impossibleand if not impossible, would end within weeks of be=
ginningbecause global nancial markets couldn
t
withstand the strain. The futur
e seemed x
ed: a peaceful, prosperous E
urope would r
ule the world. I
magine yourself no
w in the summer of 1920. E
u
rope had been torn apar
t by an agonizing war
. The continent was in tatters. The A
ustro- H
un gar ian, R
ussian, G
e
rman, and O
ttoman empir
es wer
e gone and millions had died in a war that lasted for y
e
ars. The war ended when an American army of a million men inter
venedan army that came and then just as quickly left. Communism dominated R
ussia, but it was not clear that it could sur
viv
e. Countries that had been on the peripher
y of E
u
ropean po
wer
, like the U
n
ited S
tates and J
apan, suddenly emerged as gr
eat po
w
e
rs. B
u
t one thing 2 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars was cer
tainthe peace tr
eaty that had been imposed on G
e
rmany guaran=
teed that it would not soon r
eemerge. I
magine the summer of 1940. G
e
rmany had not only r
eemerged but conquer
ed F
rance and dominated E
urope. Communism had sur
vived a
n
d the S
o
viet U
n
ion no
w was allied with N
azi G
e
rmany
. G
r
eat B
ritain a
lone stood against G
e
rmany
, and from the point of view of most r
e
asonable peo=
ple, the war was o
v
er
. I
f
ther
e was not to be a thousand- year R
e
ich, then cer=
tainly E
u
rope
s
fate had been decided for a centur
y
.
G
e
rmany would dominate E
u
r
o
pe and inherit its empir
e. I
magine no
w the summer of 1960. G
e
rmany had been cr
ushed in the war
, defeated less than ve years later
. E
urope was occupied, split do
wn the middle by the U
n
ited S
tates and the S
o
viet U
n
ion. The E
u
ropean empir
es wer
e collapsing, and the U
n
ited S
tates and S
o
viet U
n
ion wer
e competing o
v
er who would be their heir
. The U
n
ited S
tates had the S
o
viet U
n
ion surrounded and, with an o
v
er
whelming arsenal of nuclear weapons, could annihilate it in hours. The U
n
ited S
tates had emerged as the global super=
po
wer
. I
t
dominated all of the world
s
oceans, and with its nuclear force could dictate terms to anyone in the world. S
talemate was the best the S
o
vi=
ets could hope forunless the S
o
viets invaded G
ermany and conquer
ed E
u
rope. That was the war ever
yone was pr
eparing for
. And in the back of ever
yone
s
mind, the M
a
oist Chinese, seen as fanatical, wer
e the other danger
. N
o
w imagine the summer of 1980. The U
n
ited S
tates had been defeated in a sev
en- y
e
ar warnot b
y
the S
o
viet U
n
ion, but b
y
communist N
o
r
t
h V
ietnam. The nation was seen, and saw itself
, as being in r
e
tr
eat. E
xpelled from V
i
etnam, it was then expelled from I
ran as well, wher
e the oil elds, which it no longer controlled, seemed about to fall into the hands of the S
o
=
viet U
n
ion. T
o
contain the S
o
viet U
n
ion, the U
n
ited S
tates had formed an alliance with M
aoist Chinathe American pr
esident and the Chinese chairman holding an amiable meeting in B
eijing. O
nly this alliance seemed able to contain the po
wer
ful S
o
viet U
n
ion, which appear
ed to be surging. I
magine no
w the summer of 2000. The S
o
viet U
n
ion had completely collapsed. China was still communist in name but had become capitalist in practice. NA
T
O
had advanced into Eastern E
u
rope and even into the for=
mer S
o
viet U
nion. The world was prosperous and peaceful. E
v
er
yone kne
w 3 o
v
e r
tur
e that geopolitical considerations had become secondar
y to economic consid=
erations, and the only problems wer
e r
egional ones in basket cases like H
aiti or K
oso
vo
. Then came S
e
ptember 11, 2001, and the world turned on its head again. At a cer
tain level, when it comes to the futur
e, the only thing one can be sur
e of is that common sense will be wrong. Ther
e is no magic twenty- year cy
cle; ther
e is no simplistic force go
verning this pattern. I
t
is simply that the things that appear to be so permanent and dominant at any giv
en moment in histor
y can change with stunning rapidity
. E
ras come and go
. I
n
interna=
tional r
elations, the way the world looks right no
w is not at all ho
w it will look in twenty years ...o
r
e
v
e
n less. The fall of the S
o
viet U
nion was har
d to imagine, and that is exactly the point. Conventional political analysis suf=
fers from a profound failur
e of imagination. I
t
imagines passing clouds to be permanent and is blind to po
wer
ful, long- term shifts taking place in full view of the world. I
f
we wer
e at the beginning of the twentieth centur
y
,
it would be impos=
sible to for
ecast the par
ticular events I
ve just listed. B
ut ther
e ar
e some things that could have beenand, in fact, wer
efor
ecast. F
o
r example, it was ob
vious that G
e
rmany
, having united in 1871, was a major po
w
e
r in an insecur
e position (trapped between R
ussia and F
rance) and wanted to r
e
=
dene the E
uropean and global systems. M
ost of the conicts in the rst half of the twentieth centur
y wer
e about G
ermany
s
status in E
u
rope. While the times and places of wars couldn
t
be for
ecast, the probability that ther
e would be a war could be and was for
ecast by many E
uropeans. The har
der par
t of this equation would be for
ecasting that the wars would be so devastating and that after the rst and second world wars wer
e o
v
er
, E
u
rope would lose its empir
e. B
u
t ther
e wer
e those, par
ticularly after the inv
ention of dynamite, who pr
edicted that war would no
w be cata=
strophic. I
f
the for
ecasting on technology had been combined with the for
e=
casting on geopolitics, the shattering of E
u
rope might well have been pr
edicted. Cer
tainly the rise of the U
n
ited S
tates and R
ussia was pr
edicted in the nineteenth centur
y
.
Both Alexis de T
ocqueville and F
riedrich N
i
et=
zsche for
ecast the pr
eeminence of these two countries. S
o, standing at the beginning of the twentieth centur
y
,
it would have been possible to for
ecast its general outlines, with discipline and some luck. 4 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars the t
w
ent
y-first centur
y/
S
tanding at the beginning of the twenty- rst centur
y
,
we need to identify the single pivotal event for this centur
y
,
the equivalent of G
erman unica=
tion for the twentieth centur
y
.
After the debris of the E
u
ropean empir
e is clear
ed away
, as well as what
s
left of the S
o
viet U
n
ion, one po
wer r
e
mains standing and o
v
er
whelmingly po
wer
ful. That po
wer is the U
n
ited S
tates. Cer
tainly
, as is usually the case, the U
n
ited S
tates curr
ently appears to be making a mess of things around the world. B
u
t it
s
impor
tant not to be con=
fused by the passing chaos. The U
nited S
tates is economically
, militarily
, and politically the most po
wer
ful countr
y in the world, and ther
e is no r
e
al challenger to that po
wer
. Like the S
panish- American W
a
r
,
a hundr
ed years from no
w the war between the U
n
ited S
tates and the radical I
slamists will be little r
emember
ed r
egar
dless of the pr
evailing sentiment of this time. E
v
er since the Civil W
a
r
,
the U
nited S
tates has been on an extraor
dinar
y economic surge. I
t
has turned from a marginal developing nation into an economy bigger than the next four countries combined. M
ilitarily
, it has gone from being an insignicant force to dominating the globe. P
olitically
, the U
n
ited S
tates touches vir
tually ev
er
ything, sometimes intentionally and sometimes simply because of its pr
esence. As you r
ead this book, it will seem that it is America- centric, written fr
om an American point of view
. That may be tr
ue, but the argument I
m making is that the world does, in fact, piv
ot ar
ound the U
n
ited S
tates. This is not only due to American po
wer
. I
t
also has to do with a funda=
mental shift in the way the world works. F
o
r the past ve hundr
ed years, E
u
rope was the center of the international system, its empir
es cr
eating a sin=
gle global system for the rst time in human histor
y
. The main highway to E
urope was the N
o
r
t
h Atlantic. Whoever controlled the N
o
r
t
h Atlantic controlled access to E
uropeand E
urope
s
access to the world. The basic geography of global politics was locked into place. Then, in the early 1980s, something r
e
markable happened. F
o
r the rst time in histor
y
,
transpacic trade equaled transatlantic trade. W
ith E
u
r
o
pe r
educed to a collection of secondar
y po
wers after W
orld W
ar II, and the shift in trade patterns, the N
o
r
t
h Atlantic was no longer the single key to anything. N
o
w whatever countr
y controlled both the N
o
r
t
h Atlantic and 5 o
v
e r
tur
e the P
acic could control, if it wished, the world
s
trading system, and ther
e=
for
e the global economy
. I
n
the twenty- rst centur
y
,
any nation located on both oceans has a tr
emendous advantage. G
i
ven the cost of building naval po
wer and the huge cost of deplo
ying it around the world, the po
wer native to both oceans became the pr
eeminent actor in the international system for the same r
e
ason that B
ritain dominated the nineteenth centur
y: it lived on the sea it had to control. I
n
this way
, N
o
r
th America has r
e
placed E
u
rope as the center of gravity in the world, and whoever dominates N
o
r
t
h America is vir
tually assur
ed of being the dominant global po
w
e
r
.
F
o
r the tw
enty- rst centur
y at least, that will be the U
n
ited S
tates. The inher
ent po
wer of the U
nited S
tates coupled with its geographic po=
sition makes the U
n
ited S
tates the pivotal actor of the twenty- rst centur
y
. That cer
tainly doesn
t
make it lo
v
e
d. O
n
the contrar
y
,
its po
w
e
r makes it fear
ed. The histor
y of the twenty- rst centur
y
,
ther
efor
e, par
ticularly the rst half
, will r
evolve around two opposing str
uggles. O
ne will be secondar
y po
wers forming coalitions to tr
y to contain and control the U
n
ited S
tates. The second will be the U
nited S
tates acting pr
eemptively to pr
event an ef=
fective coalition from forming. I
f
we view the beginning of the twenty- rst centur
y as the dawn of the American Age (superseding the E
u
ropean Age), we see that it began with a group of M
uslims seeking to r
e- cr
eate the Caliphatethe gr
eat I
slamic em=
pir
e that once ran from the Atlantic to the P
acic. I
nevitably
, they had to strike at the U
n
ited S
tates in an attempt to draw the world
s
primar
y po
w
e
r into war
, tr
ying to demonstrate its weakness in or
der to trigger an I
slamic uprising. The U
n
ited S
tates r
esponded by invading the I
slamic world. B
u
t its goal wasn
t
victor
y
.
I
t
wasn
t
even clear what victor
y would mean. I
ts goal was simply to disr
upt the I
slamic world and set it against itself
, so that an I
s
=
lamic empir
e could not emerge. The U
n
ited S
tates doesn
t
need to win wars. I
t
needs to simply disr
upt things so the other side can
t
build up sufcient str
ength to challenge it. O
n one level, the twenty- rst centur
y will see a series of confrontations involv=
ing lesser po
wers tr
ying to build coalitions to control American behavior and the U
n
ited S
tates
mounting militar
y operations to disr
upt them. The twenty- rst centur
y will see even mor
e war than the twentieth centur
y
,
but 6 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars the wars will be much less catastrophic, because of both technological changes and the natur
e of the geopolitical challenge. As we
v
e seen, the changes that lead to the next era ar
e always shockingly unexpected, and the rst twenty years of this ne
w centur
y will be no ex
cep=
tion. The U.S.I
slamist war is alr
eady ending and the next conict is in sight. R
ussia is r
e- cr
eating its old spher
e of inuence, and that spher
e of in=
uence will inevitably challenge the U
nited S
tates. The R
ussians will be mo
ving westwar
d on the gr
eat nor
thern E
u
ropean plain. As R
ussia r
econ=
str
ucts its po
wer
, it will encounter the U.S.- dominated NA
T
O
in the thr
ee B
altic countriesEstonia, Latvia, and Lithuaniaas well as in P
oland. Ther
e will be other points of friction in the early twenty- rst centur
y
,
but this new cold war will supply the ash points after the U.S.I
slamist war dies do
wn. The R
ussians can
t
av
oid tr
ying to r
e
asser
t po
w
e
r
,
and the U
n
ited S
tates can
t
avoid tr
ying to r
esist. B
ut in the end R
ussia can
t
win. I
t
s deep internal problems, massively declining population, and poor infrastr
uctur
e ulti=
mately make R
ussia
s long- term sur
vival prospects bleak. And the second cold war
, less frightening and much less global than the rst, will end as the rst did, with the collapse of R
ussia. Ther
e ar
e many who pr
edict that China is the next challenger to the U
n
ited S
tates, not R
ussia. I don
t
agr
ee with that view for thr
ee r
e
asons. F
irst, when you look at a map of China closely
, you see that it is r
e
ally a ver
y isolated countr
y physically
. W
ith S
iberia in the nor
th, the H
imalayas and jungles to the south, and most of China
s
population in the eastern par
t of the countr
y
,
the Chinese ar
en
t
going to easily expand. S
econd, China has not been a major naval po
wer for centuries, and building a navy r
equir
es a long time not
only
t
o
b
u
i
l
d
shi
p
s
b
u
t
t
o
crea
t
e
well
-trained and experi=
enced sailors. Thir
d, ther
e is a deeper r
e
ason for not worr
ying about China. China is inher
ently unstable. Whenever it opens its bor
ders to the outside world, the coastal r
egion becomes prosperous, but the vast majority of Chinese in the interior r
e
main impo
v
e
rished. This leads to tension, conict, and instability
. I
t
also leads to economic decisions made for political r
easons, r
esulting in inefciency and corr
uption. This is not the rst time that China has opened itself to for
eign trade, and it will not be the last time that it becomes unsta=
7 o
v
e r
tur
e ble as a r
esult. N
o
r will it be the last time that a gur
e like M
ao emerges to close the countr
y off from the outside, equaliz
e the wealth
or po
ver
ty and begin the cy
cle ane
w
. Ther
e ar
e some who believe that the tr
ends of the last thir
ty years will continue indenitely
. I believe the Chinese cy
cle will mo
v
e
to its next and inevitable phase in the coming decade. F
ar fr
om being a challenger
, China is a countr
y the U
nited S
tates will be tr
ying to bolster and hold together as a counter
weight to the R
ussians. C
urr
ent Chinese eco=
nomic dynamism does not translate into long- term success. I
n
the middle of the centur
y
,
other po
wers will emerge, countries that ar
en
t
thought of as gr
eat po
wers today
, but that I expect will become mor
e po
wer
ful and asser
tive o
v
er the next fe
w decades. Thr
ee stand out in par
tic=
ular
. The rst is J
apan. I
t
s
the second- largest economy in the world and the most vulnerable, being highly dependent on the impor
tation of raw materi=
als, since it has almost none of its o
wn. W
ith a histor
y of militarism, J
apan will not r
emain the marginal pacistic po
wer it has been. I
t
cannot. I
t
s o
w
n deep population problems and abhorr
ence of large- scale immigration will force it to look for new workers in other countries. J
apan
s
vulnerabilities, which I
ve written about in the past and which the J
apanese have managed better than I
ve expected up until this point, in the end will force a shift in policy
. Then ther
e is T
urkey
, curr
ently the seventeenth-largest economy in the world. H
istorically
, when a major I
slamic empir
e has emerged, it has been dominated by the T
urks. The O
ttomans collapsed at the end of W
orld W
a
r I, leaving modern T
u
rkey in its wake. B
u
t T
u
rkey is a stable platform in the midst of chaos. The B
a
lkans, the Caucasus, and the Arab world to the south ar
e all unstable. As T
u
r
key
s
po
w
e
r gr
o
wsand its economy and militar
y ar
e alr
eady the most po
wer
ful in the r
egionso will T
u
rkish inuence. F
i
nally ther
e is P
oland. P
oland hasn
t
been a gr
eat po
wer since the six=
teenth centur
y
.
B
u
t it once wasand, I think, will be again. T
wo factors make this possible. F
irst will be the decline of G
ermany
. I
t
s economy is large and still gr
o
wing, but it has lost the dynamism it has had for two centuries. I
n
addition, its population is going to fall dramatically in the next fty years, fur
ther undermining its economic po
wer
. S
econd, as the R
ussians pr
ess on the P
oles from the east, the G
ermans won
t
have an appetite for a thir
d war with R
ussia. The U
n
ited S
tates, ho
w
e
v
e
r
,
will back P
oland, pr
o=
8 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars viding it with massiv
e economic and technical suppor
t. W
arsw
hen your countr
y isn
t
destro
yedstimulate economic gro
wth, and P
oland w
i
l
l b
e
=
come the leading po
wer in a coalition of states facing the R
ussians. J
apan, T
u
rkey
, and P
oland will each be facing a U
nited S
tates even mor
e condent than it was after the second fall of the S
o
viet U
n
ion. That will be an explosiv
e situation. As w
e
will see during the course of this book, the r
e
=
lationships among these four countries will gr
eatly affect the twenty- rst centur
y
,
leading, ultimately
, to the next global war
. This war will be fought differ
ently from any in histor
ywith weapons that ar
e today in the r
e
alm o
f s
c
i
ence ction. B
u
t as I will tr
y to outline, this mid-twenty-rst centur
y conict will gro
w out of the dynamic forces born in the early par
t of the ne
w centur
y
. T
r
emendous technical advances will come out of this war
, as they did out of W
o
rld W
ar II, and one of them will be especially critical. All sides will be looking for new forms of energy to substitute for hydrocarbons, for many obvious r
easons. S
olar po
wer is theor
etically the most efcient energy source on ear
th, but solar po
wer r
equir
es massive arrays of r
eceivers. Those r
e
=
ceivers take up a lot of space on the ear
th
s
sur
face and have many negative environmental impactsnot to mention being subject to the disr
uptive cy=
cles of night and day
. D
uring the coming global war
, ho
wever
, concepts de=
veloped prior to the war for space- based electrical generation, beamed to ear
th in the form of micro
wave radiation, will be rapidly translated from prototype to r
e
ality
. G
e
tting a fr
ee ride on the back of militar
y space launch capability
, the new energy source will be under
written in much the same way as the I
n
ternet or the railr
oads w
e
r
e
, b
y
go
v
e
rnment suppor
t. And that will kick off a massive economic boom. B
ut underlying all of this will be the single most impor
tant fact of the twenty- rst centur
y: the end of the population explosion. B
y
2050, ad=
vanced industrial countries will be losing population at a dramatic rate. B
y 2100, even the most under
developed countries will have r
eached bir
thrates that will stabiliz
e their populations. The entir
e global system has been built since 1750 on the expectation of continually expanding populations. M
o
r
e workers, mor
e consumers, mor
e soldiersthis was always the expectation. I
n
the twenty- rst centur
y
,
ho
wever
, that will cease to be tr
ue. The entir
e system of production will shift. The shift will force the world into a gr
eater 9 o
v
e r
tur
e dependence on technologypar
ticularly robots that will substitute for hu=
man labor
, and intensied genetic r
esearch (not so much for the purpose of extending life but to make people productive longer). What will be the mor
e immediate r
esult of a shrinking world popula=
tion? Q
uite simply
, in the rst half of the centur
y
,
the population bust will cr
eate a major labor shor
tage in advanced industrial countries. T
o
day
, devel=
oped countries see the problem as keeping immigrants out. Later in the rst half of the twenty- rst centur
y
,
the problem will be persuading them to come. Countries will go so far as to pay people to mo
ve ther
e. This will in=
clude the U
nited S
tates, which will be competing for incr
easingly scarce im=
migrants and will be doing ever
ything it can to induce M
exicans to come to the U
n
ited S
tatesan ir
onic but inevitable shift. These changes will lead to the nal crisis of the twenty- rst centur
y
. M
exico curr
ently is the fteenth- largest economy in the world. As the E
uro=
peans slip out, the M
exicans, like the T
urks, will rise in the rankings until by the late tw
enty- rst centur
y they will be one of the major economic po
w
e
rs in the world. D
uring the gr
eat migration nor
th encouraged by the U
nited S
tates, the population balance in the old M
e
xican Cession (that is, the ar
eas of the U
nited S
tates taken from M
exico in the nineteenth centur
y) will shift dramatically until much of the r
egion is pr
edominantly M
e
xican. The social r
e
ality will be view
ed b
y
the M
e
xican go
v
e
rnment simply as r
ectication of historical defeats. B
y
2080 I expect ther
e to be a serious con=
frontation between the U
n
ited S
tates and an incr
easingly po
wer
ful and as=
ser
tive M
exico
. That confrontation may well have unfor
eseen consequences for the U
n
ited S
tates, and will likely not end b
y
2100. M
uch of what I
ve said her
e may seem pr
etty har
d to fathom. The idea that the twenty- rst centur
y will culminate in a confrontation between M
e
xico and the U
n
ited S
tates is cer
tainly har
d to imagine in 2009, as is a po
wer
ful T
u
rkey or P
oland. B
ut go back to the beginning of this chapter
, when I described ho
w the world looked at twenty- year inter
vals during the twentieth centur
y
,
and you can see what I
m driving at: common sense is the one thing that will cer
tainly be wrong. O
b
viously
, the mor
e granular the description, the less r
eliable it gets. I
t
is impossible to for
ecast pr
ecise details of a coming centur
yapar
t from the fact that I
ll be long dead by then and won
t
kno
w what mistakes I made. 1
0 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars B
ut it
s
my contention that it is indeed possible to see the broad outlines of what is going to happen, and to tr
y to give it some denition, ho
wever spec=
ulativ
e that denition might be. That
s
what this book is about. for
ecasting a hundr
ed y
e
ars ahead B
efor
e I delve into any details of global wars, population tr
ends, or techno=
logical shifts, it is impor
tant that I addr
ess my methodthat is, pr
ecisely ho
w I can for
ecast what I do
. I don
t
intend to be taken seriously on the de=
tails of the war in 2050 that I for
ecast. B
u
t I do want to be taken seriously in terms of ho
w wars will be fought then, about the centrality of American po
wer
, about the likelihood of other countries challenging that po
wer
, and about some of the countries I think willand won
tchallenge that po
wer
. And doing that takes some justication. The idea of a U.S.M
exican con=
frontation and even war will leave most r
easonable people dubious, but I would like to demonstrate why and ho
w these asser
tions can be made. O
ne point I
ve alr
eady made is that r
e
asonable people ar
e incapable of anticipating the futur
e. The old N
e
w Left slogan B
e P
ractical, D
e
mand the I
mpossible
needs to be changed: B
e P
ractical, E
xpect the I
mpossible. This idea is at the hear
t of my method. F
r
om another
, mor
e substantial per=
spective, this is called geopolitics. G
eopolitics is not simply a pr
etentious way of saying international r
ela=
tions. I
t
is a method for thinking about the world and for
ecasting what will happen do
wn the road. E
conomists talk about an invisible hand, in which the self- inter
ested, shor
t- term activities of people lead to what A
dam S
mith called the wealth of nations. G
eopolitics applies the concept of the invisi=
ble hand to the behavior of nations and other international actors. The pur=
suit of shor
t- term self- inter
est by nations and by their leaders leads, if not to the wealth of nations, then at least to pr
edictable behavior and, ther
efor
e, the ability to for
ecast the shape of the futur
e international system. G
eopolitics and economics both assume that the players ar
e rational, at least in the sense of kno
wing their o
w
n shor
t- term self- inter
est. As rational actors, r
e
ality pr
o
vides them with limited choices. I
t
is assumed that, on the whole, people and nations will pursue their self- inter
est, if not awlessly
, 1
1 o
v
e r
tur
e then at least not randomly
. Think of a chess game. O
n
the sur
face, it ap=
pears that each player has twenty potential opening mo
ves. I
n
fact, ther
e ar
e many fewer because most of these mo
ves ar
e so bad that they quickly lead to defeat. The better you ar
e at chess, the mor
e clearly you see your options, and the few
er mo
v
es ther
e actually ar
e av
ailable. The better the play
er
, the mor
e pr
edictable the mo
ves. The grandmaster plays with absolute pr
e=
dictable pr
ecisionuntil that one brilliant, unexpected stroke. N
ations behave the same way
. The millions or hundr
eds of millions of people who make up a nation ar
e constrained by r
e
ality
. They generate lead=
ers who would not become leaders if they wer
e irrational. Climbing to the top of millions of people is not something fools often do
. Leaders under=
stand their menu of next mo
ves and ex
ecute them, if not awlessly
, then at least pr
etty well. An occasional master will come along with a stunningly unexpected and successful mo
ve, but for the most par
t, the act of go
ver=
nance is simply ex
ecuting the necessar
y and logical next step
. When politi=
cians r
un a countr
y
s for
eign policy
, they operate the same way
. I
f
a leader dies and is r
eplaced, another emerges and mor
e likely than not continues what the rst one was doing. I am not arguing that political leaders ar
e geniuses, scholars, or even gen=
tlemen and ladies. S
imply
, political leaders kno
w ho
w to be leaders or they wouldn
t
have emerged as such. I
t
is the delight of all societies to belittle their political leaders, and leaders sur
ely do make mistakes. B
u
t the mistakes they make, when car
efully examined, ar
e rar
ely stupid. M
o
r
e
likely
, mistakes ar
e forced on them by circumstance. W
e
would all like to believe that we or our favorite candidatewould never have acted so stupidly
. I
t
is rar
ely tr
ue. G
eopolitics ther
efor
e does not take the individual leader ver
y seriously
, any mor
e than economics takes the individual businessman too seriously
. Both ar
e players who kno
w ho
w to manage a process but ar
e not fr
ee to br
eak the ver
y rigid r
ules of their professions. P
oliticians ar
e ther
efor
e rar
ely fr
ee actors. Their actions ar
e determined by circumstances, and public policy is a r
esponse to r
eality
. W
ithin narro
w margins, political decisions can matter
. B
u
t the most brilliant leader of I
c
e=
land will never turn it into a world po
wer
, while the stupidest leader of R
o
me at its height could not undermine R
o
me
s
fundamental po
wer
. G
eo =
politics is not about the right and wrong of things, it is not about the vir
tues 1
2 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars or vices of politicians, and it is not about for
eign policy debates. G
eopolitics is about broad impersonal forces that constrain nations and human beings and compel them to act in cer
tain ways. The key to understanding economics is accepting that ther
e ar
e always unintended consequences. A
ctions people take for their o
w
n good r
easons have r
esults they don
t
envision or intend. The same is tr
ue with geopolitics. I
t
is doubtful that the village of R
o
me, when it star
ted its expansion in the seventh centur
y BC, had a master plan for conquering the M
editerranean world v
e hundr
ed y
e
ars later
. B
u
t the rst action its inhabitants took against neighboring villages set in motion a process that was both constrained by r
e
=
ality and lled with unintended consequences. R
o
me wasn
t
planned, and neither did it just happen. G
eopolitical for
ecasting, ther
efor
e, doesn
t
assume that ever
ything is pr
e=
determined. I
t
does mean that what people think they ar
e doing, what they hope to achieve, and what the nal outcome is ar
e not the same things. N
a
=
tions and politicians pursue their immediate ends, as constrained by r
e
ality as a grandmaster is constrained by the chessboar
d, the pieces, and the r
ules. S
ometimes they incr
ease the po
wer of the nation. S
ometimes they lead the nation to catastrophe. I
t
is rar
e that the nal outcome will be what they ini=
tially intended to achieve. G
eopolitics assumes two things. F
irst, it assumes that humans organiz
e themselves into units larger than families, and that by doing this, they must engage in politics. I
t
also assumes that humans have a natural lo
yalty to the things they wer
e born into, the people and the places. Lo
yalty to a tribe, a city
, or a nation is natural to people. I
n
our time, national identity matters a g
r
eat deal. G
eopolitics teaches that the r
elationship between these nations is a vital dimension of human life, and that means that war is ubiquitous. S
econd, geopolitics assumes that the character of a nation is determined to a gr
eat extent by geography
, as is the r
elationship between nations. W
e use the term geogr
aphy broadly
. I
t
includes the physical characteristics of a location, but it goes beyond that to look at the effects of a place on individ=
uals and communities. I
n
antiquity
, the differ
ence between S
par
ta and Athens was the differ
ence between a landlocked city and a maritime empir
e. A
thens was w
e
althy and cosmopolitan, while S
par
ta was poor
, pr
o
vincial, 1
3 o
v
e r
tur
e and ver
y tough. A S
par
tan was ver
y differ
ent from an Athenian in both cul=
tur
e and politics. I
f
you understand those assumptions, then it is possible to think about large numbers of human beings, linked together through natural human bonds, constrained by geography
, acting in cer
tain ways. The U
n
ited S
tates is the U
n
ited S
tates and ther
efor
e must behave in a cer
tain way
. The same goes for J
apan or T
u
rkey or M
exico
. When you drill do
wn and see the forces that ar
e shaping nations, you can see that the menu from which they choose is limited. The twenty- rst centur
y will be like all other centuries. Ther
e will be wars, ther
e will be po
ver
ty
, ther
e will be triumphs and defeats. Ther
e will be tragedy and good luck. P
eople will go to work, make money
, have childr
en, fall in lo
ve, and come to hate. That is the one thing that is not cy
clical. I
t
is the permanent human condition. B
u
t the twenty- rst centur
y will be ex=
traor
dinar
y in two senses: it will be the beginning of a new age, and it will see a new global po
wer astride the world. That doesn
t
happen ver
y often. W
e
ar
e no
w in an America- centric age. T
o
understand this age, we must understand the U
nited S
tates, not only because it is so po
wer
ful but because its cultur
e will permeate the world and dene it. J
ust as F
r
ench cultur
e and B
ritish cultur
e wer
e denitive during their times of po
wer
, so American cul=
tur
e, as young and barbaric as it is, will dene the way the world thinks and lives. S
o
studying the twenty- rst centur
y means studying the U
n
ited S
tates. I
f
ther
e wer
e only one argument I could make about the twenty- rst centur
y
,
it would be that the E
uropean Age has ended and that the N
o
r
t
h American Age has begun, and that N
o
r
th America will be dominated by the U
n
ited S
tates for the next hundr
ed years. The events of the twenty- rst cen=
tur
y will pivot around the U
n
ited S
tates. That doesn
t
guarantee that the U
n
ited S
tates is necessarily a just or moral r
egime. I
t
cer
tainly does not mean that America has y
e
t dev
eloped a matur
e civilization. I
t
does mean that in many ways the histor
y of the U
nited S
tates will be the histor
y of the
tw
enty- rst centur
y
. CHAPTER 1 The Dawn of the Ameri can Age.
T
her
e is a deep- seated belief in America that the U
n
ited S
tates is ap=
proaching the eve of its destr
uction. R
ead letters to the editor
, per
use the W
e
b
,
and listen to public discourse. D
i
sastrous wars, uncon=
trolled decits, high gasoline prices, shootings at universities, corr
uption in business and go
vernment, and an endless litany of other shor
tcomingsall of them quite r
e
alcr
eate a sense that the American dr
eam has been shat=
ter
ed and that America is past its prime. I
f
that doesn
t
convince y
ou, listen to E
u
ropeans. They will assur
e you that America
s
best day is behind it. The odd thing is that all of this for
eboding was pr
esent during the pr
es=
idency of Richar
d N
i
xon, together with many of the same issues. Ther
e is a continual fear that American po
w
e
r and pr
osperity ar
e illusor
y
,
and that disaster is just around the corner
. The sense transcends ideology
. E
nviron=
mentalists and Christian conser
vatives ar
e both delivering the same mes=
sage. U
nless we r
e
pent of our ways, we will pay the priceand it may be too late alr
eady
. I
t
s
inter
esting to note that the nation that believes in its manifest destiny has not only a sense of impending disaster but a nagging feeling that the countr
y simply isn
t
what it used to be. W
e
have a deep sense of nostalgia for 1
6 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars the 1950s as a s
impler
time. This is quite a strange belief
. W
ith the K
o
r
e
an W
ar and M
cCar
thy at one end, Little R
ock in the middle, and S
p
utnik and B
e
rlin at the other end, and the ver
y r
e
al thr
eat of nuclear war throughout, the 1950s was actually a time of intense anxiety and for
eboding. A widely r
e
ad book published in the 1950s was entitled The A
g
e of A
n
xiety
. I
n
the 1950s, they looked back nostalgically at an earlier America, just as we look back nostalgically at the 1950s. American cultur
e is the manic combination of exultant hubris and pro=
found gloom. The net r
esult is a sense of condence constantly undermined by the fear that we may be dro
wned by melting ice caps caused by global warming or smitten dead b
y
a wrathful G
o
d for gay marriage, both outcomes being our personal r
esponsibility
. American mood swings make it har
d to develop a r
eal sense of the U
nited S
tates at the beginning of the twenty- rst centur
y
.
B
u
t the fact is that the U
n
ited S
tates is stunningly po
wer
ful. I
t
may be that it is heading for a catastrophe, but it is har
d to see one when you look at the basic facts. Let
s
consider some illuminating gur
es. Americans constitute about 4 percent of the world
s
population but produce about 26 percent of all goods and ser
vices. I
n
2007 U.S. gr
oss domestic pr
oduct was about $14 trillion, compar
ed to the world
s
GDP of $54 trillionabout 26 percent of the world
s
economic activity takes place in the U
n
ited S
tates. The next largest economy in the world is J
apan
s
, with a GDP of about $4.4 trillionabout a thir
d the siz
e of ours. The American economy is so huge that it is larger than the economies of the next four countries combined: J
apan, G
ermany
, China, and the U
n
ited Kingdom. M
a
ny people point at the declining auto and steel industries, which a generation ago wer
e the mainstays of the American economy
, as examples of a curr
ent deindustrialization of the U
n
ited S
tates. Cer
tainly
, a lot of indus=
tr
y has mo
v
e
d o
v
erseas. That has left the U
n
ited S
tates with industrial pr
o=
d
u
c
tion of only $2.8 trillion (in 2006): the largest in the world, mor
e than twice the siz
e of the next largest industrial po
wer
, J
apan, and larger than J
apan
s
and China
s
industries combined. Ther
e is talk of oil shor
tages, which cer
tainly seem to exist and will un=
doubtedly incr
ease. H
o
w
e
v
e
r
,
it is impor
tant to r
e
aliz
e that the U
n
ited S
tates pr
oduced 8.3 million barr
els of oil ev
er
y day in 2006. Compar
e that with 1
7 the da
wn of the ame ri can a
g
e 9.7
million for R
ussia and 10.7 million for S
audi Arabia. U.S. oil pr
oduc=
tion is 85 per
cent that of S
audi Arabia. The U
n
ited S
tates pr
oduces mor
e oil than I
ran, K
u
wait, or the U
n
ited Arab E
mirates. I
mpor
ts of oil into the countr
y ar
e vast, but given its industrial production, that
s
understandable. Comparing natural gas pr
oduction in 2006, R
ussia was in rst place with 22.4
trillion cubic feet and the U
n
ited S
tates was second with 18.7 trillion cubic feet. U.S. natural gas production is gr
eater than that of the next ve producers combined. I
n
other wor
ds, although ther
e is gr
eat concern that the U
nited S
tates is wholly dependent on for
eign energy
, it is actually one of the world
s
largest energy producers. G
i
ven the vast siz
e of the American economy
, it is inter
esting to note that the U
n
ited S
tates is still underpopulated by global standar
ds. M
e
asur
ed in inhabitants per squar
e kilometer
, the world
s
average population density is 49. J
apan
s
is 338, G
e
rmany
s
is 230, and America
s
is only 31. I
f
w
e
ex=
clude Alaska, which is largely uninhabitable, U.S. population density rises to 34. Compar
ed to J
apan or G
e
rmany
, or the r
est of E
u
r
o
pe, the U
n
ited S
tates is hugely underpopulated. E
v
en when we simply compar
e population in propor
tion to arable landland that is suitable for agricultur
eAmerica has ve times as much land per person as Asia, almost twice as much as E
u
=
rope, and thr
ee times as much as the global average. An economy consists of land, labor
, and capital. I
n
the case of the U
n
ited S
tates, these numbers sho
w that the nation can still gro
wit has plenty of room to incr
ease all thr
ee. Ther
e ar
e many answers to the question of why the U.S. economy is so po
w
e
r
ful, but the simplest answ
er is militar
y po
w
e
r
. The U
n
ited S
tates com=
pletely dominates a continent that is invulnerable to invasion and occupa=
tion and in which its militar
y o
v
er
whelms those of its neighbors. V
i
r
t
ually ever
y other industrial po
wer in the world has experienced devastating war=
far
e in the twentieth centur
y
. The U
n
ited S
tates waged war
, but America it=
self never experienced it. M
i
litar
y po
wer and geographical r
eality cr
eated an economic r
eality
. O
t
her countries have lost time r
eco
vering from wars. The U
nited S
tates has not. I
t
has actually gro
wn because of them. Consider this simple fact that I
ll be r
e
turning to many times. The U
nited S
tates N
avy controls all of the oceans of the world. Whether it
s
a junk in the S
outh China S
e
a, a dho
w off the African coast, a tanker in the 1
8 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars P
e
rsian G
ulf
, or a cabin cr
uiser in the Caribbean, ever
y ship in the world mo
ves under the eyes of American satellites in space and its mo
vement is guaranteedor deniedat will b
y
the U.S. N
avy
. The combined nav
al force of the r
est of the world doesn
t
come close to equaling that of the U.S. N
avy
. This has never happened befor
e in human histor
y
,
even with B
ritain. Ther
e have been r
egionally dominant navies, but never one that was glob=
ally and o
v
er
whelmingly dominant. This has meant that the U
n
ited S
tates could invade other countriesbut never be invaded. I
t
has meant that in the nal analysis the U
n
ited S
tates controls international trade. I
t
has be=
come the foundation of American security and American wealth. Control of the seas emerged after W
orld W
ar II, solidied during the nal phase of the E
u
ropean Age, and is no
w the ip side of American economic po
wer
, the basis of its militar
y po
w
e
r
. Whatever passing problems exist for the U
n
ited S
tates, the most impor=
tant factor in world affairs is the tr
emendous imbalance of economic, mili=
tar
y
,
and political po
w
e
r
.
Any attempt to for
ecast the tw
enty- rst centur
y that does not begin with the r
ecognition of the extraor
dinar
y natur
e of American po
w
e
r is out of touch with r
e
ality
. B
u
t I am making a br
oader
, mor
e unexpected claim, too: the U
n
ited S
tates is only at the beginning of its po
wer
. The twenty- rst centur
y will be the American centur
y
. That asser
tion r
ests on a deeper point. F
or the past ve hundr
ed years, the global system has r
ested on the po
wer of Atlantic E
urope, the E
uropean countries that bor
der
ed on the Atlantic O
cean: P
o
r
t
ugal, S
pain, F
rance, E
n
=
gland, and to a lesser extent the N
etherlands. These countries transformed the world, cr
eating the rst global political and economic system in human histor
y
.
As we kno
w
,
E
uropean po
wer collapsed during the twentieth cen=
tur
y
,
along with the E
u
r
o
pean empir
es. This cr
eated a v
acuum that was lled b
y
the U
n
ited S
tates, the dominant po
w
e
r in N
o
r
th America, and the only gr
eat po
wer bor
dering both the Atlantic and P
a
cic oceans. N
o
r
t
h America has assumed the place that E
urope occupied for ve hundr
ed years, between Columbus
s
vo
yage in 1492 and the fall of the S
o
viet U
nion in 1991. I
t
has become the center of gravity of the international system. Why? I
n
or
der to understand the tw
enty- rst centur
y
,
it is impor
tant to understand the fundamental str
uctural shifts that took place late in the 1
9 the da
wn of the ame ri can a
g
e twentieth centur
y
,
setting the stage for a new centur
y that will be radically differ
ent in form and substance, just as the U
nited S
tates is so differ
ent from E
u
rope. M
y
argument is not only that something extraor
dinar
y has hap=
pened but that the U
n
ited S
tates has had ver
y little choice in it. This isn
t about policy
. I
t
is about the way in which impersonal geopolitical forces work. eur
op
e U
ntil the fteenth centur
y
,
humans lived in self- enclosed, sequester
ed worlds. H
u
manity did not kno
w itself as consisting of a single fabric. The Chinese didn
t
kno
w of the A
ztecs, and the M
ayas didn
t
kno
w of the Zulus. The E
u
ropeans may have hear
d of the J
apanese, but they didn
t
r
eally kno
w themand they cer
tainly didn
t
interact with them. The T
o
w
e
r of B
abel had done mor
e than make it impossible for people to speak to each other
. I
t made civilizations oblivious to each other
. E
u
ropeans living on the eastern rim of the Atlantic O
cean shatter
ed the barriers between these sequester
ed r
egions and turned the world into a sin=
gle entity in which all of the par
ts interacted with each other
. What hap=
pened to A
ustralian aborigines was intimately connected to the B
ritish r
elationship with I
r
eland and the need to nd penal colonies for B
ritish prisoners o
v
erseas. What happened to I
nca kings was tied to the r
elationship between S
pain and P
o
r
tugal. The imperialism of Atlantic E
u
rope cr
eated a single world. Atlantic E
u
rope became the center of gravity of the global system (see map
, page 20). What happened in E
u
rope dened much of what happened elsewher
e in the world. O
t
her nations and r
egions did ever
ything with one eye on E
urope. F
r
om the sixteenth to the twentieth centur
y har
dly any par
t of the world escaped E
uropean inuence and po
wer
. E
v
er
ything, for good or evil, r
e
volved around it. And the piv
ot of E
u
rope was the N
o
r
th Atlantic. Whoever controlled that str
etch of water controlled the highway to the world. E
u
rope was neither the most civiliz
ed nor the most advanced r
egion in the world. S
o
what made it the center? E
u
r
o
pe r
e
ally was a t
echnical and IREL
AND
IREL
IREL
AND
AND
UNITED
UNITED
UNITED
KINGDOM
KINGDOM
THE
THE
KINGDOM
THE
NETHERL
ANDS
NETHERL
NETHERL
ANDS
ANDS
BEL
GIUM
BEL
BEL
GIUM
GIUM
Atlantic/
Atlantic
Atlantic
Ocean/
Ocean
Ocean
FRANCE
FRANCE
FRANCE
PORTUGAL
PORTUGAL
PORTUGAL
SP
AIN
SP
SP
AIN
AIN
A
tlantic E
u
r
o
pe<
2
1 the da
wn of the ame ri can a
g
e intellectual backwater in the fteenth centur
y as opposed to China or the I
slamic world. Why these small, out-of-the-way countries? And why did they begin their domination then and not ve hundr
ed years befor
e or ve hundr
ed years later? E
u
r
o
pean po
w
e
r was about two things: money and geography
. E
u
r
o
pe depended on impor
ts fr
om Asia, par
ticularly I
n
dia. P
e
pper
, for example, was not simply a cooking spice but also a meat pr
eser
vative; its impor
tation was a critical par
t of the E
u
ropean economy
. Asia was lled with luxur
y goods that E
u
r
o
pe needed, and would pay for
, and historically Asian im=
por
ts would come o
v
erland along the famous S
i
lk R
oad and other routes until r
eaching the M
editerranean. The rise of T
u
rkeyabout which much mor
e will be hear
d in the twenty- rst centur
yclosed these routes and in=
cr
eased the cost of impor
ts. E
u
r
o
pean traders w
e
r
e
desperate to nd a way ar
ound the T
u
r
ks. S
paniar
ds and P
o
r
tuguesethe I
berianschose the nonmilitar
y alterna=
tive: they sought another route to I
ndia. The I
b
erians knew of only one route to I
n
dia that avoided T
u
rkey
, do
wn the length of the African coast and up into the I
n
dian O
cean. They theoriz
ed about another route, assuming that the world was round, a route that would take them to I
n
dia by going west. This was a unique moment. At other points in histor
y Atlantic E
urope would have only fallen even deeper into backwar
dness and po
ver
ty
. B
ut the economic pain was r
eal and the T
u
rks wer
e ver
y dangerous, so ther
e was pr
essur
e to do something. I
t
was also a cr
ucial psy
chological moment. The S
paniar
ds, having just expelled the M
uslims from S
pain, wer
e at the height of their barbaric hubris. F
inally
, the means for carr
ying out such exploration was at hand as w
ell. T
echnology existed that, if pr
operly used, might pr
o
vide a solution to the T
urkey problem. The I
berians had a ship
, the caravel, that could handle deep-sea vo
yages. They had an array of navigational devices, from the compass to the astro=
labe. F
i
nally they had guns, par
ticularly cannons. All of these might have been borro
wed from other cultur
es, but the I
berians integrated them into an effective economic and militar
y system. They could no
w sail to distant places. When they arrived they wer
e able to ghtand win. P
eople who hear
d a cannon r
e and saw a building explode tended to be mor
e exible in 2
2 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars negotiations. When the I
b
erians r
eached their destinations, they could kick in the door and take o
v
er
. Over the next several centuries, E
uropean ships, guns, and money dominated the world and cr
eated the rst global system, the E
u
ropean Age. H
e
r
e
is the ir
ony: E
u
r
o
pe dominated the world, but it failed to dominate itself
. F
o
r v
e hundr
ed y
e
ars E
u
r
o
pe tor
e itself apar
t in civil wars, and as a r
esult ther
e was never a E
u
ropean empir
ether
e was instead a B
ritish em=
pir
e, a S
panish empir
e, a F
r
ench empir
e, a P
o
r
tuguese empir
e, a
n
d s
o o
n
. The E
u
ropean nations exhausted themselves in endless wars with each other while they invaded, subjugated, and eventually r
uled much of the world. Ther
e wer
e many r
easons for the inability of the E
u
ropeans to unite, but in the end it came do
wn to a simple featur
e of geography: the E
nglish Channel. F
irst the S
panish, then the F
r
ench, and nally the G
e
rmans man=
aged to dominate the E
uropean continent, but none of them could cross the Channel. B
ecause no one could defeat B
ritain, conqueror after conqueror failed to hold E
u
rope as a whole. P
e
riods of peace wer
e simply temporar
y tr
uces. E
urope was exhausted by the advent of W
orld W
ar I, in which o
v
er ten million men dieda good par
t of a generation. The E
u
ropean economy was shatter
ed, and E
u
ropean condence broken. E
u
rope emerged as a de=
mographic, economic, and cultural shado
w of its former self
. And then things got even worse. the final ba
t
tle of an old a
g
e The U
n
ited S
tates emerged fr
om W
o
rld W
ar I as a global po
w
e
r
. That po
w
e
r was clearly in its infancy
, ho
wever
. G
eopolitically
, the E
u
ropeans had an=
other ght in them, and psy
chologically the Americans wer
e not yet r
eady for a permanent place on the global stage. B
u
t two things did happen. I
n W
o
rld W
ar I the U
n
ited S
tates announced its pr
esence with r
esounding au=
thority
. And the U
n
ited S
tates left a ticking time bomb in E
u
r
o
pe that would guarantee America
s
po
w
e
r after the next war
. That time bomb was the T
r
eaty of V
e
rsailles, which ended W
o
rld W
ar Ibut left unr
esolved the cor
e conicts o
v
er which the war had been fought. V
ersailles guaranteed an=
other round of war
. 2
3 the da
wn of the ame ri can a
g
e And the war did r
esume in 1939, tw
enty- one y
e
ars after the last one ended. G
e
rmany again attacked rst, this time conquering F
rance in six weeks. The U
n
ited S
tates stayed out of the war for a time, but made sur
e that the war didn
t
end in a G
e
rman victor
y
.
B
ritain stay
ed in the war
, and the U
n
ited S
tates kept it ther
e with Lend- Lease. W
e
all r
e
member the Lend par
twher
e the U
n
ited S
tates pr
o
vided B
ritain with destr
o
y
ers and other matériel to ght the G
e
rmansbut the Lease par
t is usually forgotten. The Lease par
t was wher
e the B
ritish turned o
v
er almost all their naval facilities in the W
estern H
emispher
e to the U
nited S
tates. B
etween control of those facilities and the role the U.S. N
avy played in patrolling the Atlantic, the B
ritish wer
e forced to hand the Americans the keys to the N
o
r
t
h Atlantic, which was, after all, E
u
r
o
pe
s
highway to the world. A r
e
asonable estimate of W
o
rld W
ar II
s cost to the world was about fty million dead (militar
y and civilian deaths combined). E
u
r
o
pe had torn itself to shr
eds in this war
, and nations wer
e devastated. I
n
contrast, the U
n
ited S
tates lost ar
ound half a million militar
y dead and had almost no civilian ca=
sualties. At the end of the war
, the American industrial plant was much str
onger than befor
e the war; the U
n
ited S
tates was the only combatant na=
tion for which that was the case. N
o
American cities wer
e bombed (ex
cept=
ing P
e
arl H
arbor), no U.S. territor
y was occupied (ex
cept two small islands in the Aleutians), and the U
nited S
tates suffer
ed less than 1 percent of the war
s
casualties. F
or that price, the U
nited S
tates emerged from W
orld W
ar II not only controlling the N
o
r
t
h Atlantic but r
uling all of the world
s
oceans. I
t
also occupied W
estern E
u
rope, shaping the destinies of countries like F
rance, the N
e
therlands, B
elgium, I
taly
, and indeed G
r
eat B
ritain itself
. The U
n
ited S
tates simultaneously conquer
ed and occupied J
apan, almost as an after=
thought to the E
u
ropean campaigns. Thus did the E
u
ropeans lose their empir
epar
tly out of exhaustion, par
tly from being unable to bear the cost of holding it, and par
tly because the U
n
ited S
tates simply did not want them to continue to hold it. The em=
pir
e melted away o
v
er the next twenty years, with only desultor
y r
esistance by the E
u
ropeans. The geopolitical r
e
ality (that could rst be seen in S
pain
s dilemma centuries befor
e) had played itself out to a catastrophic nish. H
e
r
e
s
a question: W
as the U
n
ited S
tates
clear emergence in 1945 as the 2
4 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars decisive global po
wer a brilliant M
achiavellian play? The Americans achieved global pr
eeminence at the cost of 500,000 dead, in a war wher
e fty million others perished. W
a
s F
ranklin R
oosevelt brilliantly unscr
upulous, or did be=
coming a superpo
wer just happen in the course of his pursuing the four fr
eedoms
and the UN Char
ter? I
n
the end, it doesn
t
matter
. I
n
geopolitics, the unintended consequences ar
e the most impor
tant ones. The U.S.S
o
viet confrontationkno
wn as the Cold W
arwas a tr
uly global conict. I
t
was basically a competition o
v
er who would inherit E
u
=
rope
s
tatter
ed global empir
e. Although ther
e was vast militar
y str
ength on both sides, the U
nited S
tates had an inher
ent advantage. The S
o
viet U
nion was enormous but essentially landlocked. America was almost as vast but had easy access to the world
s
oceans. While the S
o
viets could not contain the Americans, the Americans could cer
tainly contain the S
o
viets. And that was the American strategy: to contain and ther
eby strangle the S
o
viets. F
r
om the N
o
r
t
h Cape of N
o
r
way to T
u
rkey to the Aleutian I
slands, the U
nited S
tates cr
eated a massive belt of allied nations, all bor
dering on the S
o
viet U
n
iona belt that after 1970 included China itself
. A
t
ev
er
y point wher
e the S
o
viets had a por
t, they found themselves blocked by geography and the U
n
ited S
tates N
avy
. G
eopolitics has two basic competing views of geography and po
wer
. O
ne vie
w
,
held by an E
nglishman, H
a
lfor
d J
ohn M
a
ckinder
, argues that control of E
urasia means the control of the world. As he put it: W
ho r
ules East E
u
rope [R
ussian E
u
rope] commands the H
e
ar
tland. Who r
ules the H
e
ar
tland commands the W
o
rld- I
sland [E
urasia]. Who r
ules the W
o
rld-
I
sland commands the world. This thinking dominated B
ritish strategy a
n
d
, indeed, U.S. strategy in the Cold W
a
r
,
as it fought to contain and strangle E
u
=
r
o
pean R
ussia. Another view is held b
y
an American, A
dmiral Alfr
ed Thay
er M
a
han, consider
ed the gr
eatest American geopolitical thinker
. I
n
his book The I
nuence of S
e
a P
o
w
e
r on H
istor
y
, M
a
han makes the counterargument to M
a
ckinder
, arguing that control of the sea equals command of the world. H
istor
y conrmed that both wer
e right, in a sense. M
ackinder was cor=
r
ect in emphasizing the signicance of a po
wer
ful and united R
ussia. The collapse of the S
o
viet U
nion elevated the U
nited S
tates to the level of sole global po
wer
. B
u
t it was M
ahan, the American, who understood two cr
ucial factors. The collapse of the S
o
viet U
nion originated in American sea po
wer the da
wn of the ame ri can a
g
e 2
5 and also opened the door for U.S. naval po
wer to dominate the world. A
d
=
ditionally
, M
ahan was corr
ect when he argued that it is always cheaper to ship goods by sea than by any other means. As far back as the fth centur
y BC, the Athenians wer
e wealthier than the S
par
tans because Athens had a por
t, a maritime eet, and a navy to pr
otect it. M
aritime po
w
e
rs ar
e always wealthier than nonmaritime neighbors, all other things being equal. W
ith the advent of globalization in the fteenth centur
y
,
this tr
uth became as near to absolute as one can get in geopolitics. U.S.
control of the sea meant that the U
n
ited S
tates was able not only to engage in but to dene global maritime trade. I
t
could make the r
ules, or at least block anyone else
s
r
ules, by denying other nations entr
y to the world
s trade routes. I
n
general, the U
n
ited S
tates shaped the international trading system mor
e subtly
, by using access to the vast American market as a lever to shape the behavior of other nations. I
t
was not surprising, then, that in ad-
S
o
viet Allies SOVIET UNION
SOVIET UNION
SOVIET UNION
The S
o
viet E
mpir
e<
2
6 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars dition to its natural endo
wments, the U
n
ited S
tates became enormously prosperous from its sea po
wer and that the S
o
viet U
nion couldn
t
possibly compete, being landlocked. S
econd, having control of the seas gave the U
nited S
tates a huge political advantage as well. America could not be invaded, but it could invade other countrieswhenever and ho
wever it chose. F
r
om 1945 onwar
d, the U
n
ited S
tates could wage wars without fear of having its lines of supply cut. N
o outside po
wer could wage war on the continent of N
o
r
th America. I
n
fact, no other nation could mount amphibious operations without American ac=
quiescence. When the B
ritish went to war with Argentina o
v
er the F
a
lklands in 1982, for example, it was possible only because the U
n
ited S
tates didn
t pr
ev
ent it. When the B
ritish, F
r
ench, and I
s
raelis inv
aded E
g
ypt in 1956 against U.S. wishes, they had to withdraw
. Throughout the Cold W
a
r
,
an alliance with the U
n
ited S
tates was always mor
e protable than an alliance with the S
o
viet U
n
ion. The S
o
viets could offer arms, political suppor
t, some technology
, and a host of other things. B
u
t the Americans could offer access to their international trading system and the right to sell into the American economy
. This dwar
fed ever
ything else in impor
tance. E
x
clusion from the system meant impo
verishment; inclusion in the system meant wealth. Consider
, as an example, the differ
ent fates of N
o
r
th and S
outh K
o
r
e
a, W
est and East G
e
rmany
. I
t
is inter
esting to note that throughout the Cold W
a
r
,
the U
nited S
tates was on the defensive psy
chologically
. K
o
r
e
a, M
cCar
thyism, C
u
ba, V
ietnam, S
p
utnik
, left- wing terr
orism in the 1970s and 1980s, and harsh criticism of R
eagan by E
uropean allies all cr
eated a constant sense of gloom and uncer=
tainty in America. Atmospherics gave the U
n
ited S
tates the continual sense that its adv
antage in the Cold W
ar was slipping away
. Y
e
t underneath the hood, in the objective r
e
ality of po
wer r
elations, the R
ussians never had a chance. This disjunctur
e between the American psy
che and geopolitical r
e
=
ality is impor
tant to r
e
member for two r
e
asons. F
irst, it r
e
v
e
als the immatu=
rity of American po
wer
. S
econd, it r
e
veals a tr
emendous str
ength. B
ecause the U
nited S
tates was insecur
e, it generated a level of effor
t and energy that was o
v
er
whelming. Ther
e was nothing casual or condent in the way the Americansfrom political leaders to engineers to militar
y and intelligence ofcerswaged the Cold W
a
r
. 2
7 the da
wn of the ame ri can a
g
e That is one of the primar
y r
e
asons the U
n
ited S
tates was surprised when it won the Cold W
a
r
. The U
n
ited S
tates and its alliance had the S
o
viet U
nion surrounded. The S
o
viets could not affor
d to challenge the Americans at sea and had instead to dev
ote their budget to building armies and mis=
siles, and they could not match American economic gro
wth rates or entice their allies with economic benets. The S
o
viet U
nion fell fur
ther and fur=
ther behind. And then it collapsed. The fall of the S
o
viet U
n
ion in 1991, 499 years after Columbus
s
expe=
dition, ended an entir
e age in histor
y
.
F
o
r the rst time in half a millen=
nium, po
wer no longer r
esided in E
urope, nor was E
urope the focal point of international competition. After 1991, the sole global po
wer in the world was the U
n
ited S
tates, which had become the center of the international system. W
e
hav
e examined ho
w the U
n
ited S
tates came to po
w
e
r in the tw
entieth centur
y
. Ther
e is one additional accompanying facta little- studied statis=
tic that I mentioned earlier and that speaks v
olumes. I
n
1980, as the U.S. S
o
viet duel was mo
ving to its climax, transpacic trade r
ose to equal transatlantic trade for the rst time in histor
y
.
A mer
e ten y
e
ars later
, as the S
o
viet U
n
ion was collapsing, transpacic trade had soar
ed to a lev
el 50 per=
cent gr
eater than transatlantic trade. The entir
e geometr
y of international trade, and ther
efor
e of the global system, was undergoing an unparalleled shift. H
o
w did this affect the r
est of the world? Q
uite simply
, the cost of sea lane contr
ol is enormous. M
ost trading countries can
t
bear the cost of con=
trolling sea lanes and ther
efor
e depend on nations that do have the r
esources to do so
. N
a
val po
wers ther
efor
e acquir
e enormous political leverage, and other nations don
t
want to challenge them. The cost of controlling an adja=
cent body of water is expensive. The cost of controlling a body of water thousands of miles away is o
v
er
whelming. H
i
storically
, ther
e have been only a handful of nations that have been able to bear that expenseand it
s
no easier or cheaper today
. T
ake a look at the U.S. defense budget and the amount spent on the navy and on r
elated space systems. The cost of main=
taining carrier battle groups in the P
e
rsian G
ulf is a gr
eater outlay than the 2
8 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars total defense budgets of most countries. Controlling the Atlantic or the P
a
=
cic without a shor
eline on both would be beyond the economic capability of just about any nation. N
o
r
t
h America alone can house a transcontinental nation capable of projecting po
wer simultaneously into the Atlantic and the P
a
cic. Ther
efor
e N
o
r
th America is the center of gravity of the international system. At the dawn of the American age, the U
n
ited S
tates is far and away the dominant po
wer in N
o
r
t
h America. I
t
is a countr
y that simultaneously invaded E
u
=
r
o
pe and J
apan in 194445. I
t
took militar
y contr
ol of both bodies of water and r
e
tains it to this day
. This is why it is in a position to pr
eside o
v
er the new age. B
u
t it is impor
tant to r
ecall that S
pain once dominated E
u
r
o
pe and pr
esided o
v
er the opening centur
y of the E
uropean Age. While I expect that N
o
r
t
h America will be the center of gravity of the global system for the next few centuries, I also expect the U
n
ited S
tates to dominate N
o
r
th America for at least a centur
y
.
B
u
t as with S
pain, the asser
tion that N
o
r
th America is the center of gravity does not guarantee that the U
n
ited S
tates will always dominate N
o
r
th America. M
any things can happenfrom civil war to de=
feat in a for
eign war to other states emerging on its bor
ders o
v
er the cen=
turies. F
o
r the shor
t term, ho
weverand by that I mean the next hundr
ed y
e
arsI will argue that the U
n
ited S
tates
po
w
e
r is so extraor
dinarily o
v
er=
whelming, and so deeply rooted in economic, technological, and cultural r
ealities, that the countr
y will continue to surge through the twenty- rst centur
y
,
buffeted though it will be by wars and crises. This isn
t
incompatible with American self- doubt. P
s
y
chologically
, the U
n
ited S
tates is a bizarr
e mixtur
e of o
v
ercondence and insecurity
. I
n
ter
est=
ingly
, this is the pr
ecise description of the adolescent mind, and that is ex=
actly the American condition in the twenty- rst centur
y
. The world
s leading po
wer is having an extended adolescent identity crisis, complete with incr
edible new str
ength and irrational mood swings. H
istorically
, the U
n
ited S
tates is an extraor
dinarily young and ther
efor
e immatur
e society
. S
o at this time we should expect nothing less from America than bravado and despair
. H
o
w else should an adolescent feel about itself and its place in the world? 2
9 the da
wn of the ame ri can a
g
e B
ut if we think of the U
nited S
tates as an adolescent, early in its o
v
erall histor
y
,
then we also kno
w that, r
egar
dless of its self- image, adulthood lies ahead. A
d
ults tend to be mor
e stable and mor
e po
wer
ful than adolescents. Ther
efor
e, it is logical to conclude that America is in the earliest phase of its po
wer
. I
t
is not fully civiliz
ed. America, like E
u
rope in the sixteenth centur
y
, is still barbaric (a description, not a moral judgment). I
ts cultur
e is un=
formed. I
ts will is po
wer
ful. I
ts emotions drive it in differ
ent and contradic=
tor
y dir
ections. C
ultur
es live in one of thr
ee states. The rst state is barbarism. B
arbar=
ians believe that the customs of their village ar
e the laws of natur
e and that anyone who doesn
t
live the way they live is beneath contempt and r
equiring r
e
demption or destr
uction. The thir
d state is decadence. D
ecadents cyni=
cally believe that nothing is better than anything else. I
f
they hold anyone in contempt, it is those who believe in anything. N
othing is wor
th ghting for
. Civilization is the second and most rar
e state. Civiliz
ed people ar
e able to balance two contradictor
y thoughts in their minds. They believe that ther
e ar
e tr
uths and that their cultur
es appro
ximate those tr
uths. At the same time, they hold open in their mind the possibility that they ar
e in err
or
. The combination of belief and skepticism is inher
ently unstable. C
ultur
es pass through barbarism to civilization and then to decadence, as skepticism un=
dermines self- cer
tainty
. Civiliz
ed people ght selectively but effectively
. O
b
=
viously all cultur
es contain people who ar
e barbaric, civiliz
ed, or decadent, but each cultur
e is dominated at differ
ent times by one principle. E
u
rope was barbaric in the sixteenth centur
y
,
as the self- cer
tainty of Christianity fueled the rst conquests. E
u
rope passed into civilization in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and then collapsed into decadence in the course of the twentieth centur
y
. The U
nited S
tates is just beginning its cultural and historical journey
. U
ntil no
w it has not been sufciently coher=
ent to have a denitive cultur
e. As it becomes the center of gravity of the world, it is dev
eloping that cultur
e, which is inevitably barbaric. America is a place wher
e the right wing despises M
uslims for their faith and the left wing despises them for their tr
eatment of women. S
uch seemingly differ=
ent perspectives ar
e tied together in the cer
tainty that their o
wn values ar
e
self-
e
vidently best. And as with all barbaric cultur
es, Americans ar
e r
e
ady to ght for their self- evident tr
uths. 3
0 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars This is not meant as criticism, any mor
e than an adolescent can be criti=
ciz
ed for being an adolescent. I
t
is a necessar
y and inevitable state of devel=
opment. B
ut the U
nited S
tates is a young cultur
e and as such it is clumsy
, dir
ect, at times br
utal, and fr
equently torn b
y
deep internal dissensionits dissidents being united only in the cer
tainty that their values ar
e best. The U
nited S
tates is all of these things, but as with E
u
rope in the sixteenth cen=
tur
y
,
the U
n
ited S
tates will, for all of its appar
ent bumbling, be r
e
mar
kably effective. CHAPTER 2 EAR
THQUAKE The U.S.J
i hadi s t W
a
r T
he American Age began in D
ecember 1991, when the S
o
viet U
n
ion collapsed, leaving the U
n
ited S
tates as the only global po
wer in the world. B
u
t the tw
enty- rst centur
y tr
uly began on S
e
ptember 11, 2001, ten years later
, when planes slammed into the W
o
rld T
rade Center and the P
entagon. This was the rst r
e
al test of the American Age. I
t
is de=
batable whether the U
n
ited S
tates has actually won the U.S.jihadist war but it has cer
tainly achieved its strategic goals. And it is also clear that the war is, as all wars do, mo
ving to
war
d an end of sor
ts. P
eople talk about the long war
, and the idea that the U
n
ited S
tates and M
uslims will be ghting for a centur
y
.
As is usually the case, what appears permanent is only a passing phase. Consider the twenty- year perspective we have been using. Conict may continue, but the strategic challenge to American po
wer is coming to an end. Al Q
aeda has failed in its goals. The U
nited S
tates has succeeded, not so much in winning the war as in pr
event=
ing the I
slamists from winning, and, from a geopolitical perspective, that is good enough. The twenty- rst centur
y has begun with an American success that on the sur
face looks like not only a defeat but a deep political and moral embarrassment. 3
2 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars Al Q
aeda
s
goal in 2001 was not simply to conduct an attack on the U
n
ited S
tates. I
ts goal was to conduct an attack that would demonstrate America
s
weakness and al Q
a
eda
s
str
ength. R
evealing America
s
weakness, al Q
aeda believed, would undermine go
vernments in the I
slamic world that r
elied on their r
elationship with the U
n
ited S
tates to stabiliz
e their r
egimes, in countries like E
g
ypt, S
audi Arabia, P
akistan, and I
n
donesia. Al Q
aeda wanted to o
v
er
thro
w these go
vernments because it kne
w that it could not achieve its goals unless it had control of a nation- state other than Af ghan =
istan, which was too w
e
ak and isolated to ser
v
e
as mor
e than a temporar
y base. The collapse of the S
o
viet U
nion obviously had massive effects on the international system. O
ne was par
ticularly surprising. A po
w
e
r
ful S
o
viet U
n
ion and a po
w
e
r
ful U
n
ited S
tates had actually stabiliz
ed the international system, cr
eating a balance between superpo
wers. This was par
ticularly tr
ue along the frontier of the S
o
viet empir
e, wher
e both sides wer
e poised for war
. E
u
rope, for example, was froz
en into place by the Cold W
a
r
. The slightest mo
vement could have led to war
, so neither the S
o
viets nor the Americans permitted such mo
vement. The most inter
esting featur
es of the Cold W
a
r
,
in fact, wer
e all the wars that didn
t
happen. Ther
e was no in=
vasion of G
ermany by the S
o
viets. Ther
e was no thr
ust to the P
ersian G
ulf
. A
b
o
v
e all, ther
e was no nuclear holocaust. I
t
is impor
tant to scr
utiniz
e the last twenty years. They ar
e the founda=
tion of what
s
to come in the next hundr
ed yearsand that is why I
ll spend mor
e time in this chapter talking about the past instead of the futur
e. Think of the S
o
viet collapse as a giant tug-of-war in which one side sud=
denly weakened and let go of the rope. The side still holding the rope won, but lost its balance, and ther
efor
e the triumph was mix
ed with mas=
sive confusion and disr
uption. The rope, which had been locked into place by the two sides, came loose and star
ted behaving in unpr
edictable ways. This was par
ticularly tr
ue along the boundaries of the two blocs. S
o
me changes wer
e peaceful. G
e
rmany r
eunited and the B
altic states r
eemerged, as did Ukraine and B
elar
us. C
z
echoslo
vakia had its velvet di=
vorce, splitting into the C
z
ech R
epublic and S
l
o
v
akia. O
t
her changes wer
e 3
3 e ar
thq
u
ake mor
e violent. R
omania under
went a tumultuous internal r
evolution, and Y
ugoslavia went completely to pieces. I
ndeed, of all the countries along the bor
der of the former S
o
viet U
nion, Y
ugoslavia was the most ar
ticial. I
t
was not a nation-
state, but a r
egion of hostile and diverse nations, ethnicities, and r
eligions. I
n
vented by the vic=
tors of W
orld W
ar I, Y
ugoslavia was like a cage for some of the most vicious riv
alries in E
u
r
o
pe. The victors theoriz
ed that in or
der to av
er
t a war in the B
alkans, an entity should be cr
eated that made them all par
t of a single countr
y
.
I
t
was an inter
esting theor
y
.
B
ut Y
ugoslavia was an archaeological dig of fossiliz
ed nations left o
v
er from ancient conquests, still clinging to their distinct identities. H
i
storically
, the B
a
lkans had been a ash point in E
urope. This was the R
o
mans
r
o
ad to the M
iddle East, and the T
u
r
k
s
r
o
ad into E
u
r
o
pe. W
o
rld W
ar I star
ted in the B
a
lkans. Each conqueror left behind a nation or a r
eli=
gion, and each one of these detested the other
. Each warring group had committed atrocities of monumental propor
tions against the others, and ever
y one of these atrocities was r
e
member
ed as if it had happened yester=
day
. This is not a forgiv
e-and-forget r
egion. Y
ugoslavia shatter
ed during W
o
rld W
ar II, with C
r
oats siding with G
e
r=
many and S
e
rbs with the Allies. I
t
was subsequently pulled together by the IT
AL
Y
IT
AL
Y
HUNGARY
HUNGARY
A
USTRIA
A
USTRIA
ROMANIA
ROMANIA
SUL
GARIA
SUL
GARIA
TURKE
Y
TURKE
Y
GREECE
GREECE
ALBANIA
ALBANIA
Koso
v
o
Koso
v
o
MA
CEONIA
MA
CEONIA
BOSNIA AND
BOSNIA AND
HERZEGOVINA
HERZEGOVINA
CRO
A
TIA
CRO
A
TIA
SL
OVENIA
SL
OVENIA
MONTENEGRO
MONTENEGRO
IT
AL
Y
HUNGARY
A
USTRIA
ROMANIA
BUL
GARIA
TURKE
Y
GREECE
ALBANIA
Koso
v
o
MA
CEDONIA SERBIA YUGOSL
A
VIA BOSNIA AND
HERZEGOVINA
CRO
A
TIA
SL
OVENIA
MONTENEGRO
Y
ugoslavia and the B
a
lkans<
3
4 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars Communist League under J
oseph B
r
oz T
ito
. Y
ugoslavia was M
a
r
xist but anti- S
o
viet. I
t
didn
t
want to become a S
o
viet satellite, and actually cooper=
ated with the Americans. Caught in the force eld between NA
T
O
and the W
arsaw P
act, Y
ugoslavia hung together
, ho
wever pr
ecariously
. I
n
1991, when the for
ce eld disintegrated, the pieces that made up Y
u
=
goslavia blew apar
t. I
t
was as if a geological fault had caused a massive ear
th=
quake. The ancient but submerged and froz
en nationalities suddenly found themselves fr
ee to maneuver
. N
ames that hadn
t
been hear
d since befor
e W
o
rld W
ar I suddenly came to life: S
e
rbia, C
r
oatia, M
ontenegro, Bosnia-
H
e
r
z
ego
vina, M
a
cedonia, S
l
o
v
enia. W
ithin each of these nations, other eth=
nic minorities from neighboring nations also came alive, usually demanding secession. All hell broke looseand this moment would be an impor
tant one in the early framing of the twenty- rst centur
y
. The Y
ugoslavian war has been misunderstood as simply a local phenom=
enon, an idiosyncratic event. I
t
was much mor
e than that. I
t
was rst and for
emost a r
esponse to the collapse of the S
o
viet U
nion. P
a
ssions that had been kept in check for almost fty years abr
uptly r
eignited. F
r
oz
en bound=
aries became uid. I
t
was a local phenomenon made possibleand in=
evitableb
y a global shift. M
o
r
e
o
v
er
, war in Y
ugoslavia was not a singular phenomenon. This was just the rst fault line to givethe nor
thern extension of a line that ran all the way to the H
i
ndu K
ush, the mountains that dominate nor
thern Af =
ghan istan and P
a
kistan. The Y
ugoslavian explosion was the pr
elude to an even bigger ear
thquake that began as the S
o
viet U
nion collapsed. the isl
amic ear
thq
u
ake The U.S.S
o
viet confrontation spanned the peripher
y of the S
o
viet U
n
ion. At the end of the Cold W
a
r
,
ther
e wer
e thr
ee sections to this bor
der
. Ther
e was the E
u
ropean section, r
unning from N
o
r
way to the G
ermanC
z
ech frontier
. Ther
e was the Asian section, r
unning from the Aleutians through J
apan and into China. And ther
e was the thir
d section, r
unning from nor
th=
ern Afghanistan to Y
ugoslavia. When the S
o
viet U
nion collapsed, this last section was the most heavily affected. Y
ugoslavia collapsed rst, but the e ar
thq
u
ake 3
5 BOSNIA AND
BOSNIA AND
BOSNIA AND
HERZEGOVINA
HERZEGOVINA
HERZEGOVINA
CRO
A
TIA
CRO
CRO
A
TIA
A
TIA
SERBIA
SERBIA
SERBIA
CHECHNY
A
CHECHNY
CHECHNY
A
A
K
A
Z
AKHST
AN
K
K
A
Z
AKHST
AN
A
Z
AKHST
AN
A
ZERBAIJAN
A
A
ZERBAIJAN
ZERBAIJAN
MONTENEGRO
MONTENEGRO
MONTENEGRO
GEORGIA
GEORGIA
GEORGIA
MA
CEDONIA
MA
MA
CEDONIA
CEDONIA
BUL
GARIA
BUL
BUL
GARIA
GARIA
UZBEKIST
AN
UZBEKIST
AN
KYRGYZST
KYRGYZST
UZBEKIST
AN
AN
AN
KYRGYZST
AN
ALBANIA
ALBANIA
ALBANIA
TURKE
Y
TURKE
TURKE
Y
Y
TURKMENIST
AN
TURKMENIST
TURKMENIST
AN
AN
ARMENIA
ARMENIA
ARMENIA
T
A
JIKIST
AN
T
T
A
JIKIST
AN
A
JIKIST
AN
C
YPRUS
C
C
YPRUS
SYRIA
SYRIA
SYRIA
Y
PRUS LEBANON
LEBANON
LEBANON
IRA
Q
IRA
IRA
Q
Q
IRAN
IRAN
IRAN
AFGHANIST
AN
AFGHANIST
AFGHANIST
AN
AN
P
AKIST
A
P
P
AN
AKIST
AN
A
KIST Ear
thquake Z
one chaos eventually ran the entir
e length of the sector and engulfed even coun=
tries not adjacent to the front line. The r
egion from Y
ugoslavia to Afghanistan and P
a
kistan had largely been locked into place during the Cold W
a
r
.
Ther
e was isolated mo
vement, such as when I
ran mo
ved from being pro-
American to being both anti=
S
o
viet and anti-
American, or when the R
ussians invaded Afghanistan, or the I
ranI
raq war
. B
u
t in a strange way
, the r
egion was stabiliz
ed b
y
the Cold W
a
r
.
N
o
matter ho
w many internal conicts ther
e wer
e, they never gr
e
w
into full-blo
wn, cross-
bor
der crises. W
ith the S
o
viets gone, the r
egion destabiliz
ed dramatically
. This is pri=
marily a M
uslim r
egionone of thr
ee major M
uslim r
egions in the world. Ther
e is N
o
r
t
h Africa, ther
e is the M
uslim r
egion in S
outheast Asia, and then ther
e is this vast, multinational, highly divergent r
egion that r
uns from Y
ugoslavia to Afghanistan, and south into the Arabian P
eninsula (see map
, page 36). This is cer
tainly not a single r
egion in many senses, but we ar
e tr
eat=
ing it as such because it was the southern front of the S
o
viet encirclement. I
t
s
impor
tant to r
e
member that the demarcation line of the Cold W
a
r ran straight through this M
uslim r
egion. A
z
erbaijan, U
z
bekistan, T
u
rk=
menistan, K
yrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan w
e
r
e
all pr
edominantly M
uslim r
e
=
publics that wer
e par
t of the S
o
viet U
n
ion. Ther
e wer
e M
uslim par
ts of the R
ussian F
ederation as well, such as Chechnya. This entire region is historically unstable. Traversing the region are the
great trade and invasion routes used by conquerors from Alexander the
Great to the British. The region has always been a geopolitical flash point,
but the end of the Cold War truly ignited a powder keg. When the Soviet
Union fell, its six Muslim republics suddenly became independent. Arab
countries to the south either lost their patron (Iraq and Syria) or lost their
enemy (the Saudis and other Gulf states). India lost its patron, and Pakistan
suddenly felt liberated from the Indian threat—at least temporarily. The en-
tire system of international relations was thrown up in the air. What little
was solid dissolved.
The Soviets withdrew from the Caucasus and Central Asia in 1992. Like
a tide receding, this revealed nations that hadn’t been free for a century or
more, that had no tradition of self- government and, in some cases, no func-
tioning economy. At the same time, American interest in the region de-
clined. After Operation Desert Storm in 1991, American focus on places
like Afghanistan seemed useless. The Cold War was over. There was no
longer a strategic threat to American interests, and the region was free to
evolve on its own.
36 the ne xt 1 00 years
Indian
Indian
Ocean
Ocean
Paciic
Paciic
Ocean
Ocean
Atlantic
Atlantic
Ocean
Ocean
Paciic
Ocean
Indian
Ocean
Atlantic
Ocean
Islamic World—Modern
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3
7 e ar
thq
u
ake A detailed description of ho
w the r
egion, and Afghanistan in par
ticular
, destabiliz
ed is not critical her
e, any mor
e than a blo
w b
y
blo
w of what hap=
pened in Y
ugoslavia would be illuminating. I
t
can be summariz
ed as fol=
lo
ws: F
r
om the late seventies until the fall of the S
o
viet U
nion, the U
nited S
tates helped cr
eate forces in Afghanistan that could r
esist the S
o
viet U
nion and these forces turned on the U
nited S
tates once the S
o
viet U
nion col=
lapsed. T
rained in the co
ver
t ar
ts, kno
wledgeable about the processes of U.S. intelligence, these men mounted an operation against the U
nited S
tates that inv
olv
ed many stages and culminated on S
e
ptember 11, 2001. The U
n
ited S
tates r
esponded by surging into the r
egion, rst in Afghanistan and then in I
raq, and quickly the entir
e r
egion came apar
t. As had been the case with the S
o
viet U
n
ion after W
o
rld W
ar II, the U
n
ited S
tates used the jihadists for its o
wn ends and then had to cope with the monster it had cr
eated. B
u
t that was the lesser problem. The mor
e dan=
gerous dilemma was that the collapse of the S
o
viet U
nion disr
upted the sys=
tem of r
elationships that kept the r
egion in some sor
t of or
der
. W
ith or without al Q
aeda, the M
uslim entities within the former S
o
viet U
n
ion and to its south wer
e going to become unstable, and as in Y
ugoslavia, that insta=
bility was going to draw in the only global po
wer
, the U
n
ited S
tates, one way or another
. I
t
was a per
fect storm. F
r
om the A
ustrian bor
der to the H
i
ndu K
ush, the r
egion shudder
ed and the U
nited S
tates mo
ved to bring it under control, with mix
ed r
esults, to say the least. Ther
e is another aspect of this that is notewor
thy
, especially in light of the demographic tr
ends we will discuss in the next chapter
. Ther
e was tr
e =
mendous internal unr
est in the M
uslim world. The r
esistance of I
slamic tra=
ditionalists to shifts in custom, par
ticularly concerning the status of women and driven by demographic change, was one of the driving forces behind the r
egion
s
instability
. The str
uggle between traditionalists and seculariz
ers upended the r
egion
s
societies, and the U
nited S
tates was held r
esponsible for the gro
wing calls for secularization. This seems like an obvious and super=
cial r
eading of the situation, but as we will see, it has deeper and broader signicance than might be appar
ent at rst glance. Changes in the family str
uctur
e, r
esistance to those changes, and S
eptember 11 wer
e closely linked. F
r
om the broadest geopolitical perspective, S
e
ptember 11 ended the in=
terr
egnum between the end of the Cold W
ar and the beginning of the next 3
8 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars era: the U.S.jihadist war
. The jihadists could not win, if b
y
winning w
e mean the r
e
- cr
eation of the Caliphate, an I
slamic empir
e. D
ivisions in the I
slamic world wer
e too po
wer
ful to o
v
ercome, and the U
n
ited S
tates was too po
wer
ful to simply be defeated. The chaos could never have congealed into a jihadist victor
y
. This era is actually less a coher
ent mo
vement than a r
egional spasm, the r
esult of a force eld being r
emo
ved. E
t
hnic and r
eligious divisions in the I
s
=
lamic world mean that even if the U
nited S
tates is expelled from the r
egion, no stable political base will emerge. The I
slamic world has been divided and unstable for o
v
er a thousand years, and har
dly looks to become mor
e united anytime soon. At the same time, even an American defeat in the r
egion would not undermine basic American global po
w
e
r
.
Like the V
ietnam W
a
r
, it would be mer
ely a transitor
y ev
ent. At the moment, the U.S.jihadist conict appears so po
wer
ful and of such o
v
er
whelming impor
tance that it is difcult to imagine it simply fad=
ing away
. S
e
rious people talk about a centur
y of such conict dominating the world, but under the twenty- year perspective outlined in the early pages of this book, the pr
ospect of a world still transx
ed b
y
a U.S.jihadist war in 2020 is the least likely outcome. I
n
fact, what is happening in the I
slamic world ultimately will not matter a gr
eat deal. I
f
w
e
assume that the up
war
d trajector
y of U.S. po
w
e
r r
e
mains intact, then 2020 should nd the U
n
ited S
tates facing ver
y differ
ent challenges. american grand stra
teg
y and the isl
amic w
ars Ther
e is one mor
e element of the American dynamic that we must co
ver: the grand strategy that drives American for
eign policy
. The American r
e
=
sponse to 9/11 seemed to make no sense, and on the sur
face it didn
t. I
t looked chaotic and it looked random, but underneath, it was to be ex=
pected. When one steps back and takes stock, the seemingly random actions of the U
nited S
tates actually make a good deal of sense. G
rand strategy star
ts wher
e policy making ends. Let
s
assume for a mo=
ment that F
ranklin R
oosevelt had not r
un for a thir
d term in 1940. W
ould 3
9 e ar
thq
u
ake J
apan and G
e
rmany have behaved differ
ently? Could the U
n
ited S
tates have acquiesced to J
apanese domination of the western P
a
cic? W
ould the U
n
ited S
tates hav
e accepted the defeat of B
ritain and its eet at G
e
rman hands? The details might have changed, but it is har
d to imagine the U
n
ited S
tates not getting into the war or the war not ending in an Allied victor
y
.
A thousand details might have changed, but the broadest outlines of this con=
ict as determined b
y
grand strategy would hav
e r
e
mained the same. Could ther
e hav
e been an American strategy during the Cold W
ar other than containment of the S
o
viet U
n
ion? The U
n
ited S
tates couldn
t
invade Eastern E
u
rope. The S
o
viet army was simply too large and too strong. O
n the other hand, the U
n
ited S
tates couldn
t
allo
w the S
o
viet U
n
ion to seiz
e W
estern E
urope because if the S
o
viet U
nion controlled W
estern E
urope
s industrial plant, it would o
v
er
whelm the U
n
ited S
tates in the long r
un. Containment was not an optional policy; it was the only possible American r
esponse to the S
o
viet U
nion. All nations have grand strategies, though this does not mean all nations can achieve their strategic goals. Lithuania
s
goal is to be fr
ee of for
eign oc=
cupation. B
u
t its economy
, demography
, and geography make it unlikely that Lithuania will ever achieve its goal mor
e than occasionally and tem=
porarily
. The U
n
ited S
tates, unlike most other countries in the world, has achieved most of its strategic goals, which I will outline in a moment. I
t
s economy and society ar
e both gear
ed to
war
d this effor
t. A countr
y
s grand strategy is so deeply embedded in that nation
s
DNA, and appears so natural and ob
vious, that politicians and generals ar
e not al=
ways awar
e of it. Their logic is so constrained by it that it is an almost un=
conscious r
e
ality
. B
u
t from a geopolitical perspective, both the grand strategy of a countr
y and the logic driving a countr
y
s leaders become o
b
v
i
ous. G
rand strategy is not always about war
. I
t
is about all of the processes that constitute national po
wer
. B
u
t in the case of the U
n
ited S
tates, perhaps mor
e than for other countries, grand strategy is about war
, and the interac=
tion between war and economic life. The U
n
ited S
tates is, historically
, a warlike countr
y
. The U
n
ited S
tates has been at war for about 10 percent of its existence. This statistic includes only major warsthe W
ar of 1812, the M
e
xican-
American W
a
r
,
the Civil W
a
r
, W
o
rld W
ars I and II, the K
o
r
e
an W
a
r
, V
iet=
4
0 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars nam. I
t
does not include minor conicts like the S
panish- American W
ar or D
eser
t S
torm. D
u
ring the twentieth centur
y
,
the U
n
ited S
tates was at war 15 percent of the time. I
n
the second half of the twentieth centur
y
,
it was at war 22 percent of the time. And since the beginning of the twenty- rst cen=
tur
y
,
in 2001, the U
n
ited S
tates has been constantly at war
. W
ar is central to the American experience, and its fr
equency is constantly incr
easing. I
t
is built into American cultur
e and deeply rooted in American geopolitics. I
t
s purpose must be clearly understood. America was born out of war and has continued to ght to this day at an ever incr
easing pace. N
o
r
way
s
grand strategy might be mor
e about eco=
nomics than war
far
e, but U.S. strategic goals, and U.S. grand strategy
, orig=
inate in fear
. The same is tr
ue of many nations. R
o
me did not set out to conquer the world. I
t
set out to defend itself
, and in the course of that effor
t it became an empir
e. The U
n
ited S
tates would have been quite content at rst not to hav
e been attacked and defeated b
y
the B
ritish, as it was in the W
ar of 1812. Each fear
, ho
wever
, once alleviated, cr
eates new vulnerabilities and new fears. N
ations ar
e driven by fear of losing what they have. Consider the follo
wing in terms of this fear
. The U
n
ited S
tates has ve geopolitical goals that drive its grand strategy
. N
o
te that these goals incr
ease in magnitude, ambition, and difculty as you go do
wn the list. 1: the c
omplete domina
tion of nor
th america b
y the united st
a
tes army H
ad the U
n
ited S
tates r
e
mained a nation of discr
ete states existing between the Atlantic coast and the Allegheny mountains, it is extr
emely unlikely that it would have sur
vived. I
t
not only had to unite but had to spr
ead into the vast territor
y between the Alleghenies and the R
ocky M
ountains. This gave the U
nited S
tates not only strategic depth but also some of the richest agri=
cultural land in the world. E
v
en mor
e impor
tant, it was land with a superb system of navigable rivers that allo
wed the countr
y
s agricultural surplus to be shipped to world markets, cr
eating a class of businessmen- farmers that is unique in histor
y
. The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 gave the United States title to this land.
But it was the Battle of New Orleans in 1814, in which Andrew Jackson de-
feated the British, that gave the nation real control of the region, since New
Orleans was the single choke point of the entire river system. If Yorktown
founded the nation, the Battle of New Orleans founded its economy. And
what secured this in turn was the Battle of San Jacinto, a few hundred miles
west of New Orleans, where the Mexican army was defeated by Texans and
thus could never pose a threat to the Mississippi River basin again. The de-
feat of the Mexican army was not inevitable. Mexico was in many ways a
more developed and powerful country than the United States. Its defeat
made the U.S. Army the dominant power in North America and secured
the continent for the United States—a vast and rich country that no one
could challenge.
e arthquake 41
Gulf of
Gulf of
Mexico
Mexico
Atlantic
Atlantic
Ocean
Ocean
Paciic
Paciic
Ocean
Ocean
UNITED
UNITED
STATES
STATES
MEXICO
MEXICO
CANADA
CANADA
New Orleans
New Orleans
Gulf of
Mexico
Atlantic
Ocean
Paciic
Ocean
CANADA
UNITED
STATES
MEXICO
New Orleans
O
h
i
o
R
i
v
e
r
M
i
s
s
i
s
s
i
p
p
i
R
i
v
e
r
M
i
s
s
o
u
r
i
R
i
v
e
r
U.S. River System
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4
2 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars 2: the elimina
tion of any thr
ea
t /
t
o the united st
a
tes b
y
any po
wer in /
the western hemisp
her
e/
W
ith N
o
r
th America secur
ed, the only other immediate thr
eat came from Latin America. I
n
r
e
ality
, N
o
r
th and S
outh America ar
e islands, not r
e
ally connected: P
anama and Central America ar
e impassable by large armies. S
outh America
s
unication into a single entity is r
emote. When you look at a map of S
outh America, leaving out impassable terrain, you see that ther
e can be no transcontinental po
wer: the continent is sliced in two (see map
, page 43). S
o
ther
e is no chance of a native thr
eat to the U
n
ited S
tates emerg=
ing from S
outh America. The major thr
eats in the hemispher
e came from E
u
ropean po
wers with naval bases in S
outh and Central America and the Caribbean, as well as land forces in M
exico
. That is what the M
onroe D
octrine was aboutlong be=
for
e the U
n
ited S
tates had the ability to stop the E
u
ropeans from having bases ther
e, it made blocking the E
u
ropeans a strategic imperative. The only time the U
n
ited S
tates r
e
ally worries about Latin America is when a for
eign po
wer has bases ther
e. 3:
c
omplete c
ontr
ol of the maritime appr
o
a
ches t
o the united st
a
tes b
y the na
vy in or
der t
o
pr
ecl
ude any possibilit
y of inv
asion I
n
1812, the B
ritish navy sailed up the Chesapeake and burned W
ashing=
ton. Throughout the nineteenth centur
y
,
the U
nited S
tates was terried that the B
ritish, using their o
v
er
whelming control of the N
o
r
t
h Atlantic, would shut off its access to the ocean, strangling the U
nited S
tates. I
t
was not always a paranoid fear: the B
ritish did consider this on mor
e than one occa=
sion. This general problem was, in other contexts, the origin of the Ameri=
can obsession with C
u
ba, from the S
panish- American W
ar through the Cold W
a
r
. H
aving secur
ed the hemispher
e in the late nineteenth centur
y
,
the BRAZIL
BRAZIL
FRENCH GUIANA
FRENCH GUIANA
SURINAME
SURINAME
GUYANA
GUYANA
VENEZUELA
VENEZUELA
PERU
PERU
ECUADOR
ECUADOR
COLOMBIA
COLOMBIA
BOLIVIA
BOLIVIA
PARAGUAY
PARAGUAY
URUGUAY
URUGUAY
ARGENTINA
ARGENTINA
CHILE
CHILE
South
South
Atlantic
Atlantic
Ocean
Ocean
South
South
Paciic
Paciic
Ocean
Ocean
BRAZIL
FRENCH GUIANA
SURINAME
GUYANA
VENEZUELA
PERU
ECUADOR
COLOMBIA
BOLIVIA
PARAGUAY
URUGUAY
ARGENTINA
CHILE
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Atlantic
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South
Paciic
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4
4 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars U
nited S
tates has an inter
est in keeping the sea lanes approaching its bor=
ders fr
ee of for
eign naval po
wer
. The U
nited S
tates secur
ed its P
a
cic ap=
pr
oaches rst. D
u
ring the Civil W
ar it acquir
ed Alaska. I
n
1898 it annex
ed H
awaii. Those two actions taken together closed off the thr
eat of any enemy eet being able to approach the continent from the west, by eliminating any anchorage for supplying a eet. The U
nited S
tates secur
ed the Atlantic by using W
o
rld W
ar II to take advantage of B
ritish weakness, driving it from near the U.S. coast, and by the end of W
o
rld W
ar II had cr
eated a eet of such enormous po
wer that the B
ritish wer
e unable to operate in the Atlantic without U.S. appr
o
v
al. This made the U
n
ited S
tates effectiv
ely invulnerable to invasion. 4:
c
omplete domina
tion of the w
orld
s
oceans t
o fur
ther secur
e u.s. p
hysical safet
y and gu
arantee c
ontr
ol o
v
er the interna
tional trading system The fact that the U
n
ited S
tates emerged from W
o
rld W
ar II not only with the world
s
largest navy but also with naval bases scatter
ed around the world changed the way the world worked. As I mentioned pr
eviously
, any seago=
ing vesselcommercial or militar
y
,
from the P
ersian G
ulf to the S
outh China S
e
a to the Caribbeancould be monitor
ed by the U
n
ited S
tates N
avy
, who could choose to watch it, stop it, or sink it. F
r
om the end of W
orld W
ar II onwar
d, the combined weight of all of the world
s
existing eets was insignicant compar
ed to American nav
al po
w
e
r
. This highlights the single most impor
tant geopolitical fact in the world: the U
nited S
tates controls all of the oceans. N
o
other po
wer in histor
y has been able to do this. And that control is not only the foundation of Amer=
ica
s
security but also the foundation of its ability to shape the international system. N
o
one goes anywher
e on the seas if the U
nited S
tates doesn
t
ap=
pro
ve. At the end of the day
, maintaining its control of the world
s
oceans is the single most impor
tant goal for the U
nited S
tates geopolitically
. 4
5 e ar
thq
u
ake 5: the pr
e
v
ention of any o
ther na
tion fr
om challenging u.s. gl
obal na
v
a
l po
wer H
aving achieved the unpr
ecedented feat of dominating all of the world
s oceans, the U
nited S
tates obviously wanted to continue to hold them. The simplest way to do this was to pr
event other nations from building navies, and this could be done by making cer
tain that no one was motivated to build naviesor had the r
esources to do so
. O
ne strategy
, the carrot, is to make sur
e that ever
yone has access to the sea without needing to build a navy
. The other strategy
, the stick, is to tie do
wn potential enemies in land- based confrontations so that they ar
e forced to exhaust their militar
y dollars on troops and tanks, with little left o
v
er for navies. The U
nited S
tates emerged from the Cold W
ar with both an ongoing in=
ter
est and a x
ed strategy
. The ongoing inter
est was pr
eventing any E
u
rasian po
wer from becoming sufciently secur
e to diver
t r
esources to navy build=
ing. S
i
nce ther
e was no longer a single thr
eat of E
urasian hegemony
, the U
nited S
tates focused on the emergence of secondar
y
,
r
egional hegemons who might develop enough r
egional security to allo
w them to begin prob=
ing out to sea. The U
nited S
tates ther
efor
e worked to cr
eate a continu=
ally shifting series of alliances designed to tie do
wn any potential r
egional hegemon. The U
n
ited S
tates had to be pr
epar
ed for r
egular and unpr
edictable inter=
ventions throughout the E
urasian landmass. After the fall of the S
o
viet U
n
ion, it did engage in a series of operations designed to maintain the r
e
=
gional balance and block the emergence of a r
egional po
wer
. The rst major inter
vention was in K
u
wait, wher
e the U
n
ited S
tates blocked I
raqi ambitions after the S
o
viets w
e
r
e
dead but not y
e
t buried. The next was in Y
ugoslavia, with the goal of blocking the emergence of S
erbian hegemony o
v
er the B
a
lkans. The thir
d series of inter
ventions was in the I
slamic world, designed to block al Q
a
eda
s
(or anyone else
s) desir
e to cr
eate a secur
e I
slamic empir
e. The inter
ventions in Afghanistan and I
raq wer
e both a par
t of this effor
t. F
or all the noise and fuss, these wer
e minor affairs. I
n
I
raq, the largest operation, the U
n
ited S
tates has used fewer than 200,000 troops and suf=
fer
ed fewer than 5,000 killed. This is about 6 to 8 percent of the casualties suffer
ed in V
ietnam, and about 1 per
cent of the casualties in W
o
rld W
ar II. 4
6 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars F
or a countr
y of o
v
er a quar
ter billion people, an occupation force of this siz
e is trivial. The tendency of the U
n
ited S
tates to o
v
er
dramatiz
e minor in=
ter
v
entions deriv
es fr
om its r
elativ
e immaturity as a nation (and I say this as a par
ent of someone who ser
ved two tours in I
raq). The for
egoing allo
ws us to understand the American r
esponse to the I
s
=
lamist attacks and much else that has happened. H
aving systematically achieved its strategic goals, the U
n
ited S
tates had the ultimate aim of pr
e=
v
enting the emergence of any major po
w
e
r in E
u
rasia. The parado
x, ho
w=
ever
, is as follo
ws: the goal of these inter
ventions was never to achieve somethingwhatever the political rhetoric might have saidbut to pr
e=
v
ent something. The U
n
ited S
tates wanted to pr
ev
ent stability in ar
eas wher
e another po
wer might emerge. I
ts goal was not to stabiliz
e, but to destabiliz
e. And that explains ho
w the U
n
ited S
tates r
esponded to the I
s
=
lamic ear
thquakeit wanted to pr
event a large, po
wer
ful I
slamic state from emerging. Rhetoric aside, the U
n
ited S
tates has no o
v
erriding inter
est in peace in E
u
rasia. The U
n
ited S
tates also has no inter
est in winning a war outright. As with V
i
etnam or K
o
r
ea, the purpose of these conicts is simply to block a po
wer or destabiliz
e the r
egion, not to impose or
der
. I
n
due course, even outright American defeat is acceptable. H
o
wever
, the principle of using minimum force, when absolutely necessar
y
,
to maintain the E
u
rasian bal=
ance of po
wer isand will r
emainthe driving force of U.S. for
eign policy throughout the twenty- rst centur
y
. Ther
e will be numerous K
oso
vos and I
raqs in unanticipated places at unexpected times. U.S. actions will appear irrational, and would be if the primar
y goal is to stabiliz
e the B
alkans or the M
iddle East. B
u
t since the primar
y goal will mor
e likely be simply to block or destabiliz
e S
e
rbia or al Q
aeda, the inter
ventions will be quite rational. They will never appear to r
e
ally yield anything nearing a solution, and will always be done with insufcient force to be decisive. after the aftershocks The international system is no
w badly out of balance. The U
n
ited S
tates is<
so po
wer
ful that it is almost impossible for the r
est of the world to control<
4
7 e ar
thq
u
ake American behavior
. The natural tendency of the international system is to mo
v
e
to equilibrium. I
n
an unbalanced world, smaller po
w
e
rs ar
e at risk from larger
, unchecked po
wers. They ther
efor
e tend to form coalitions with other countries to match the larger po
wer in str
ength. After the U
n
ited S
t
a
t
e
s w
a
s d
e
feated in V
ietnam, it joined with China to control the S
o
viets, wh
o appe
ar
e
d to be getting too strong. C
r
eating coalitions to contain the U
n
ited S
tates in the twenty- rst cen=
tur
y will be extr
emely difcult. W
e
aker countries nd it easier to r
e
ach an accommodation with the Americans than to join an anti- U.S. coalition building a coalition and holding it together is an onerous task. And if the coalition falls apar
t, as coalitions tend to do, the U
n
ited S
tates can be an un=
forgiving giant. As a r
esult, we see this contradiction: on the one hand, the U
n
ited S
tates is deeply r
esented and fear
ed; on the other hand, individual nations still tr
y to nd a way to get along with the U
n
ited S
tates. This disequilibrium will dominate the twenty- rst centur
y
,
as will effor
ts to contain the U
n
ited S
tates. I
t
will be a dangerous centur
y
,
par
ticularly for the r
est of the world. I
n
geopolitics ther
e is a key measur
e kno
wn as the margin of error
. I
t pr
edicts ho
w much room a countr
y has for making mistakes. The margin of error consists of two par
ts: the types of danger faced by a nation and the amount of po
wer it possesses. S
ome countries have ver
y small margins of er=
ror
. They tend to obsess o
v
er the smallest detail of for
eign policy
, awar
e that the slightest misstep can be catastrophic. I
srael and P
a
lestine do not have massive margins of error
, because of their small siz
e and their location. I
ce=
land, on the other hand, has a lot of room for mistakes. I
t
is small but lives in a roomy neighborhood. The U
nited S
tates has a huge margin of error
. I
t
is safe in N
o
r
t
h Amer=
ica and has tr
emendous po
wer
. The U
nited S
tates ther
efor
e tends to be car
e=
less in ho
w it ex
ercises its po
wer globally
. I
t
s
not stupid. I
t
simply doesn
t need to be mor
e car
efulin fact, being mor
e car
eful could often r
educe its efciency
. Like a banker pr
epar
ed to make bad loans in the expectation that he will do well in the long r
un, the U
nited S
tates has a policy of making mo
ves that other countries see as r
eckless. The r
esults would be painful or even devastating for other countries. The U
nited S
tates mo
ves on and our=
ishes. 4
8 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars W
e
saw this in V
i
etnam and we see it in I
raq as well. These conicts ar
e mer
ely isolated episodes in U.S. histor
y
,
of little lasting impor
tanceex
cept to V
ietnamese and I
raqis. The U
n
ited S
tates is a young and barbaric coun=
tr
y
.
I
t
becomes emotional quickly and lacks a sense of historical perspective. This actually adds to American po
wer by giving the countr
y the emotional r
esources to o
v
ercome adversity
. The U
n
ited S
tates always o
v
err
eacts. What seems colossally catastrophic at one moment motivates Americans to solve pr
oblems decisiv
ely
. An emerging po
w
e
r o
v
err
eacts. A matur
e po
w
e
r nds balance. A declining po
wer loses the ability to r
eco
ver its balance. The U
n
ited S
tates is a ver
y young nation, and is even newer at being a dominant global po
wer
. Like a young and po
wer
ful adolescent, it tends to become dispropor
tionately emotional about events that ar
e bar
ely r
emem=
ber
ed a few y
e
ars later
. Lebanon, P
anama, K
u
wait, S
o
malia, H
aiti, Bosnia, and K
oso
v
o
all seemed at the time to be extraor
dinarily impor
tant and ev
en decisiv
e. The r
e
ality is that few people r
e
member themand when they do, they cannot clearly dene what dr
ew the U
n
ited S
tates into the conict in the rst place. The emotionalism of the moment exhausts itself rapidly
. The cr
ucial ip side to this phenomenon is that the Lebanese, P
a
nama=
nians, K
u
waitis, S
o
malis, H
aitians, Bosnians, and K
oso
v
ars all r
e
member their tangles with American po
wer for a long time. What was a passing event for the U
nited S
tates becomes a dening moment in the other countries
histories. H
e
r
e
we disco
ver the rst and cr
ucial asymmetr
y of the twenty-
rst centur
y
. The U
nited S
tates has global inter
ests and involves itself in a large number of global skirmishes. N
o
one involvement is cr
ucial. F
or the countries that ar
e the object of American inter
est, ho
wever
, any inter
vention is a transformative event. F
r
equently the object nation is helpless in the face of the American actions, and that sense of helplessness br
eeds rage even un=
der the best of circumstances. The rage gro
ws all the mor
e when the object of the rage, the U
nited S
tates, is generally both invulnerable and indiffer
ent. The twenty- rst centur
y will see both American indiffer
ence to the conse=
quences of its actions and the world
s
r
esistance and anger to
war
d America. 4
9 e ar
thq
u
ake summing up/
As the U.S.jihadist war slithers to an end, the rst line of defense against I
slamic radicals will be the M
uslim states themselves. They ar
e the ultimate targets of al Q
aeda, and whatev
er their views of I
slam or the W
est, the M
us=
lim states ar
e not about to turn o
v
er political po
w
e
r to al Q
aeda. Rather
, they will use their national po
wertheir intelligence, security
, and militar
y capabilitiesto cr
ush al Q
aeda. The U
n
ited S
tates wins as long as al Q
aeda loses. An I
slamic world in chaos, incapable of uniting, means the U
nited S
tates has achieved its strate=
gic goal. O
ne thing the U
n
ited S
tates has indisputably done since 2001 is to cr
eate chaos in the I
slamic world, generating animosity to
war
d America and perhaps terrorists who will attack it in the futur
e. B
u
t the r
egional ear
thquake is not coalescing into a r
egional superpo
wer
. I
n
fact, the r
egion is mor
e fragmented than ever
, and that is likely to close the book on this era. U.S.
defeat or stalemate in I
raq and Afghanistan is the likely outcome, and both wars will appear to have ended badly for the U
n
ited S
tates. Ther
e is no question that American ex
ecution of the war in I
raq has been clumsy
, grace=
less, and in many ways unsophisticated. The U
n
ited S
tates was, indeed, ado=
lescent in its simplication of issues and in its use of po
wer
. B
ut on a broader
, mor
e strategic level, that does not matter
. S
o
long as the M
uslims ar
e ghting each other
, the U
n
ited S
tates has won its war
. This does not mean that it would be impossible for a nation- state to emerge in the I
slamic world at some point that could develop into a r
egional po
wer and a challenge to American inter
ests. T
urkey is the historic po
wer in the M
uslim world, and as we will see in the chapters that lie ahead, it is emerging again. I
t
s rise will be the r
esult not of the chaos caused by the fall of the S
o
viet U
nion, but of new dynamics. Anger does not make histor
y
. P
o
w
e
r does. And po
w
e
r may be supplemented b
y
anger
, but it deriv
es fr
om mor
e fundamental r
ealities: geography
, demographics, technology
, and cul=
tur
e. All of these will dene American po
wer
, just as American po
wer will dene the twenty- rst centur
y
. CHAPTER 3 POPUL
A
TI ON, C
OMPUTERS, .
AND CUL
TURE W
A
RS.
I
n 2002, O
s
ama bin Laden wr
ote in his Letter to America
: Y
ou ar
e a nation that exploits women like consumer products or adver
tising tools, calling upon customers to purchase them. Y
ou use women to ser
ve pas=
sengers, visitors, and strangers to incr
ease your prot margins. Y
ou then rant that you suppor
t the liberation of women. As this quote indicates, what al Q
aeda is ghting for is a traditional un=
derstanding of the family
. This is not a minor par
t of their pr
ogram: it is at its hear
t. The traditional family is built ar
ound some clearly dened princi=
ples. F
irst, the home is the domain of the woman and life outside the house is the pur
view of the man. S
econd, sexuality is something conned to the family and the home, and extramarital, extrafamilial sexuality is unaccept=
able. W
o
men who mo
ve outside the home invite extramarital sexuality just b
y
being ther
e. Thir
d, women hav
e as their primar
y tasks r
e
pr
oduction and nur
turing of the next generation. Ther
efor
e, intense controls on women ar
e necessar
y to maintain the integrity of the family and of society
. I
n
an inter=
esting way it is all about women, and bin Laden
s
letter drives this home. What he hates about America is that it promotes a completely differ
ent view of women and the family
. 5
1 p op ul
a
ti on, comp uters, and cul
tur
e w
a
rs Al Q
aeda
s
view is not unique to O
s
ama bin Laden or I
slam. The lengths to which that group is pr
epar
ed to go may be unique, but the issue of women and the family denes most major r
eligions. T
raditional Catholicism, fun=
damentalist P
r
otestantism, O
r
thodo
x J
u
daism, and v
arious branches of B
uddhism all take ver
y similar positions. All of these r
eligions ar
e being split internally
, as ar
e all societies. I
n
the U
nited S
tates, wher
e we speak of the cultur
e wars, the battleeld is the family and its denition. All societies ar
e being torn between traditionalists and those who ar
e attempting to r
e
=
dene the family
, women, and sexuality
. This conict is going to intensify in the twenty- rst centur
y
,
but the tra=
ditionalists ar
e ghting a defensive and ultimately losing battle. The r
e
ason is that o
v
er the past hundr
ed y
e
ars the v
e
r
y
fabric of human lifeand par=
ticularly the life of womenhas been transformed, and with it the str
uctur
e of the family
. What has alr
eady happened in E
u
rope, the U
n
ited S
tates, and J
apan is spr
eading to the r
est of the world. These issues will rip many societies apar
t, but in the end, the transformation of the family can
t
be stopped. This is not to say that transformation is inher
ently a good idea or a bad one. I
nstead, this tr
end is unstoppable because the demographic r
ealities of the world ar
e being transformed. The single most impor
tant demographic change in the world right no
w is the dramatic decline ever
ywher
e in bir
th =
rates. Let me r
e
peat that: the most meaningful statistic in the world is an o
v
erall decline in bir
thrates. W
o
men ar
e having fewer and fewer childr
en ever
y year
. That means not only that the population explosion of the last two centuries is coming to an end but also that women ar
e spending much less time bearing and nur
turing childr
en, even as their life expectancy has soar
ed. This seems like a simple fact, and in a way it is, but what I want to sho
w you is the way in which something so mundane can lead to groups like al Q
aeda, why ther
e will be mor
e such groups, and why they can
t
win. I
t
also will illustrate why the E
u
ropean Age, which was built on a perpetually ex=
panding population (whether through conquering other people or having mor
e babies), is being r
e
placed by the American Agea countr
y in which living with underpopulation has always been the norm. Let
s
begin with the end of the population explosion. 5
2 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars the popul
a
tion b
ust/
I
t
has been generally accepted in r
ecent decades that the globe was facing a sever
e population explosion. U
ncontrolled population gro
wth would out=
strip scarce r
esources and devastate the environment. M
o
r
e
people would r
equir
e mor
e r
esources in the form of food, energy
, and goods, which in turn would lead to a rise in global warming and other ecological catastro=
phes. Ther
e was no disagr
eement on the basic pr
emise that population was gro
wing. This model no longer holds tr
ue, ho
wever
. W
e
alr
eady see a change tak=
ing place in advanced industrial countries. P
eople ar
e living longer
, and be=
cause of declining bir
thrates ther
e ar
e fe
wer younger workers to suppor
t the v
ast incr
ease in r
e
tir
ees. E
u
r
o
pe and J
apan ar
e experiencing this pr
oblem al=
r
e
ady
. B
u
t an aging population is only the tip of the iceberg, the rst prob=
lem pr
esented by the coming population bust. P
eople assume that while population gro
wth might be slo
wing do
wn in E
u
rope, the world
s
total population will continue to spiral out of control because of high bir
thrates in less developed countries. I
n
fact, the opposite is tr
ue. B
i
r
t
hrates ar
e plunging ever
ywher
e. The advanced industrial countries ar
e on the cutting edge of the decline, but the r
est of the world is follo
wing right behind them. And this demographic shift will help shape the twenty=
rst centur
y
. S
ome of the most impor
tant, advanced countries in the world, like G
er=
many and R
ussia, ar
e going to lose large percentages of their population. E
u
rope
s
population today
, taken as a whole, is 728 million people. The U
n
ited N
ations for
ecasts that b
y
2050 it will dr
op to betw
een 557 and 653 million, a r
emarkable decline. The lo
wer number assumes that women will average 1.6 childr
en each. The second number assumes 2.1 childr
en. I
n
E
u
=
r
o
pe today
, the fer
tility rate per woman is 1.4 childr
en. This is why w
e
will be focusing on the lo
wer projections going for
war
d. T
raditionally
, declining population has meant declining po
wer
. F
o
r E
u
=
rope, this will indeed be the case. B
ut for other countries, like the U
nited S
tates, maintaining population levels or nding technological ways to aug=
ment a declining population will be essential if political po
wer is to be r
e
=
tained in the next hundr
ed years. 5
3 p op ul
a
ti on, comp uters, and cul
tur
e w
a
rs An asser
tion this extr
eme has to be suppor
ted, so we must pause and drill into the numbers a bit befor
e we consider the consequences. This is a pivotal event in human histor
y and we need to understand why it
s
hap=
pening. Let
s
star
t simply
. B
e
tw
een about 1750 and 1950, the world
s
population gr
ew from about one billion people to about thr
ee billion. B
etween 1950 and 2000, it doubled, from thr
ee billion to six billion. N
o
t only was the popula=
tion of the world gro
wing, but the gro
wth was accelerating at an amazing rate. I
f
that trajector
y had continued, the r
esult would have been global ca=
tastrophe. B
u
t the gro
wth rate has not accelerated. I
t
has actually slo
wed do
wn dra=
matically
. A
ccor
ding to the U
n
ited N
ations, betw
een 2000 and 2050 the population will continue to gro
w
,
but only by about 50 percent, halving the gro
wth rate of the pr
evious fty years. I
n
the second half of the centur
y
,
it becomes mor
e inter
esting. Again, the population will continue to gro
w
,
but only by 10 percent statistically
, accor
ding to other for
ecasters. This is like slamming on the brakes. I
n
fact, some for
ecasts (not b
y
the UN) hav
e indi=
cated that the total human population will decline by 2100. The most dramatic effect will be seen in the advanced industrial coun=
tries, many of which will experience r
emarkable declines in population. The middle tier of countries, like B
razil and S
outh K
o
r
e
a, will see their popula=
tions stabiliz
e by mid- centur
y and slo
wly decline by 2100. O
nly in the least developed par
t of the world, in countries like Congo and B
a
ngladesh, will populations continue to incr
ease until 2100, but not by nearly as much as o
v
er the past hundr
ed years. Any way you look at it, the population explo=
sion is ending. Let
s
examine a critical number: 2.1. This is the number of childr
en that each woman must have, on average, in or
der to maintain a generally stable world population. Anything abo
v
e
that number and the popula=
tion gro
ws; anything belo
w
,
the population declines, all other things be=
ing equal. A
ccor
ding to the U
nited N
ations, women had an average of 4.5 childr
en in 1970. I
n
2000, that number had dr
opped to 2.7 childr
en. R
e
member
, this is a worldwide av
erage. That is a dramatic dr
op and ex=
plains why the population continued to gro
w
,
but mor
e slo
wly than be=
for
e. 5
4 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars The U
n
ited N
ations for
ecasts that in 2050, the global fer
tility rate will decline to an av
erage of 2.05 bir
ths per woman. That is just belo
w the 2.1 needed for a stable world population. The UN has another for
ecast, based on differ
ent assumptions, wher
e the rate is 1.6 babies per woman. S
o
the U
n
ited N
ations, which has the best data av
ailable, is pr
edicting that b
y
the year 2050, population gro
wth will be either stable or declining dramatically
. I believe the latter is closer to the tr
uth. The situation is even mor
e inter
esting if we look at the developed r
e
=
gions of the world, the for
ty- four most advanced countries. I
n
these coun=
tries women ar
e curr
ently having an average of 1.6 babies each, which means that populations ar
e alr
eady contracting. B
i
r
thrates in the middle tier of countries ar
e do
wn to 2.9 and falling. E
v
en the least dev
eloped countries ar
e do
wn fr
om 6.6 childr
en per mother to 5.0 today
, and expected to dr
op to 3.0 by 2050. Ther
e is no doubt that bir
thrates ar
e plunging. The ques=
tion is why
. The answer can be traced to the r
easons that the population explosion occurr
ed in the rst place; in a cer
tain sense, the population ex=
plosion halted itself
. Ther
e wer
e two clear causes for the population explosion that wer
e equally signicant. F
irst, ther
e was a decline in infant mor
tality; second ther
e was an incr
ease in life expectancies. Both wer
e the r
esult of modern medicine, the availability of mor
e food, and the introduction of basic pub=
lic health that began in the late eighteenth centur
y
. Ther
e ar
e no r
e
ally good statistics on fer
tility rates in 1800, but the best estimates fall betw
een 6.5 and 8.0 childr
en per woman on av
erage. W
o
men in E
u
rope in 1800 wer
e having the same number of babies as women in B
angladesh ar
e having today
, yet the population wasn
t
gro
wing. M
ost chil=
dr
en born in 1800 didn
t
live long enough to r
eproduce. S
i
nce the 2.1 r
ule still held, out of eight childr
en born, six died befor
e puber
ty
. M
edicine, food, and hygiene dramatically r
educed the number of infant and childhood deaths, until by late in the nineteenth centur
y
,
most childr
en sur
vived to have their o
w
n childr
en. E
v
en though infant mor
tality declined, family patterns did not shift. P
eople wer
e having the same number of babies as befor
e. I
t
s
not har
d to understand why
. F
irst, let
s
face the fact that people like to have sex, and sex without bir
th control makes babiesand ther
e was no 5
5 p op ul
a
ti on, comp uters, and cul
tur
e w
a
rs bir
th control at the time. B
u
t people didn
t
mind having a lot of childr
en because childr
en had become the basis of wealth. I
n
an agricultural society
, ever
y pair of hands produces wealth; you don
t
have to be able to r
e
ad or program computers to weed, seed, or har
vest. Childr
en wer
e also the basis for r
etir
ement, if someone lived long enough to have an old age. Ther
e was no S
ocial S
ecurity
, but you counted on your childr
en to take car
e of you. P
a
r
t
of this was custom, but par
t of it was rational economic thinking. A fa=
ther o
wned land or had the right to farm it. H
is child needed to have access to the land to live, so the father could dictate policy
. As childr
en brought families prosperity and r
e
tir
ement income, the ma=
jor r
esponsibility of women was to produce as many childr
en as possible. I
f women had childr
en, and if they both sur
vived childbir
th, the family as a whole was better off
. This was a matter of luck, but it was a chance wor
th taking from the standpoint of both families and the men who dominated them. B
etween lust and gr
eed, ther
e was little r
eason not to bring mor
e chil=
dr
en into the world. H
abits ar
e har
d to change. When families began mo
ving into cities en masse, childr
en wer
e still valuable assets. P
a
r
ents could send them to work in primitive factories at the age of six and collect their pay
. I
n
early indus=
trial society factor
y workers didn
t
need many mor
e skills than farm labor
ers did. B
u
t as factories became mor
e complex, they had less use for six-year=
olds. S
oon they needed some
what educated workers. Later they needed managers with MBAs. As the sophistication of industr
y advanced, the economic value of chil=
dr
en declined. I
n
or
der to continue being economically useful, childr
en had to go to school to learn. Rather than adding to family income, they con=
sumed family income. Childr
en had to be clothed, fed, and shelter
ed, and o
v
er time the amount of education they needed incr
eased dramatically
, un=
til today many childr
en
go to school until their mid- twenties and still have not earned a dime. A
ccor
ding to the U
n
ited N
ations, the average number of years of schooling in the leading twenty- ve countries in the world ranges from fteen to seventeen. The tendency to have as many babies as possible continued into the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. M
a
ny of our grandpar
ents or gr
eat- grandpar
ents come from families that had ten childr
en. A couple of 5
6 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars generations befor
e, you
d
be lucky if thr
ee out of ten childr
en sur
vived. N
o
w they wer
e almost all sur
viving. H
o
wever
, in the economy of 1900, they could all head out and nd work by the time they r
e
ached puber
ty
. And that
s
what most of them did. T
en childr
en in eighteenth- centur
y F
rance might have been a godsend. T
en childr
en in late-nineteenth-centur
y F
rance might have been a bur
den. T
e
n childr
en in late-twentieth-centur
y F
rance would be a catastrophe. I
t
took a while for r
e
ality to sink in, but eventually it became clear that most childr
en wouldn
t
die and that childr
en wer
e extr
emely expensive to raise. Ther
efor
e, people star
ted having a lot fewer childr
en, and had those childr
en mor
e for the pleasur
e of having them than for economic benets. M
edical advances such as bir
th control helped achieve this, but the sheer cost of having and raising childr
en dro
ve the decline in bir
thrates. Childr
en went from being producers of wealth to the most conspicuous form of consumption. P
a
r
ents began satisfying their need for nur
turing with one child, rather than ten. N
o
w let
s
consider life expectancy
. After all, the longer people live, the mor
e people ther
e will be at any given time. Life expectancy surged at the same time that infant mor
tality declined. I
n
1800, estimated life expectancy in E
u
r
o
pe and the U
n
ited S
tates was about for
ty y
e
ars. I
n
2000 it was close to eighty years. Life expectancy has, in effect, doubled o
v
er the last two hun=
dr
ed y
e
ars. Continued gro
wth in life expectancy is probable, but ver
y few people anticipate another doubling. I
n
the adv
anced industrial world, the UN pr
ojects a gr
o
wth fr
om sev
enty- six y
e
ars in 2000 to eighty- two y
e
ars in 2050. I
n
the poor
est countries it will incr
ease from fty- one to sixty- six. While this is gro
wth, it is not geometric gro
wth and it, too, is tapering off
. This will also help r
educe population gro
wth. The r
eduction process that took place decades ago in the advanced in=
dustrial world is no
w under way in the least developed countries. H
aving ten childr
en in São P
a
olo is the sur
est path to economic suicide. I
t
may take several generations to br
eak the habit, but it will be broken. And it won
t
r
e
=
turn while the process of educating a child for the modern workforce con=
tinues to become longer and costlier
. B
etween declining bir
thrates and slo
wing incr
eases in life expectancy
, population gro
wth has to end. 5
7 p op ul
a
ti on, comp uters, and cul
tur
e w
a
rs the popul
a
tion b
ust and the w
a
y we live/
What does all this hav
e to do with international po
w
e
r in the tw
enty- rst centur
y? The population bust affects all nations, as we will see in later chap=
ters. B
ut it also affects the life cy
cles of people within these nations. Lo
wer populations affect ever
ything from the number of troops that can ght in a war to ho
w many people ther
e ar
e in the workforce to internal political conicts. The process we ar
e talking about will affect mor
e than just the number of people in a countr
y
.
I
t
will change ho
w those people live, and ther
efor
e ho
w those countries behave. Let
s
star
t with thr
ee cor
e facts. Life expectancy is mo
ving to
war
d a high of eighty years in the advanced industrial world; the number of childr
en women have is declining; and it takes longer and longer to become edu=
cated. A college education is no
w consider
ed the minimum for social and economic success in advanced countries. M
ost people graduate from college at tw
enty- two
. A
dd in law or graduate school, and people ar
e not entering the workforce until their mid- twenties. N
ot ever
yone follo
ws this pattern, of course, but a sizable por
tion of the population does and that por
tion in=
cludes most of those who will be par
t of the political and economic leader=
ship of these countries. As a r
esult, marriage patterns hav
e shifted dramatically
. P
eople ar
e put=
ting off marriage longer and ar
e having childr
en even later
. Let
s
consider the effect on women. T
w
o hundr
ed years ago, women star
ted having chil=
dr
en in their early teens. W
omen continued having childr
en, nur
turing them, and fr
equently bur
ying them until they themselves died. This was necessar
y for the family
s well- being and that of society
. H
aving and raising childr
en was what women did for most of their lives. I
n
the twenty- rst centur
y this whole pattern changes. Assuming that a woman r
e
aches puber
ty at age thir
teen and enters menopause at age fty
, she will live twice as long as her ancestors and will for o
v
er half her life be in=
capable of r
eproduction. Let
s
assume a woman has two childr
en. S
he will spend eighteen months being pr
egnant, which is roughly 2 percent of her life. N
o
w assume a fairly common pattern, which is that the woman will have these two childr
en thr
ee years apar
t, that each child enters school at the 5
8 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars age of ve, and that the woman r
eturns to work outside the home when the oldest star
ts school. The total time the woman is engaged in r
e
production and full- time nur=
turing is eight years of her life. G
i
ven a life expectancy of eighty years, the amount of time ex
clusively devoted to having and raising childr
en will be r
educed to an astounding 10 percent of her life. Childbearing is r
educed from a woman
s
primar
y activity to one activity among many
. A
dd to this analysis the fact that many women have only one child, and that many use day car
e and other mass nur
turing facilities for their childr
en well befor
e the age of ve, and the entir
e str
uctur
e of a woman
s
life is transformed. W
e
can see the demographic roots of feminism right her
e. S
i
nce women spend less of their time having and nur
turing childr
en, they ar
e much less dependent on men than even fty years ago
. F
o
r a woman to r
e
produce without a husband would have cr
eated economic disaster for her in the past. This is no longer the case, par
ticularly for better- educated women. M
arriage is no longer imposed by economic necessity
. This brings us to a place wher
e marriages ar
e not held together by need as much as by lo
ve. The problem with lo
ve is that it can be ckle. I
t
comes and goes. I
f
people stay married only for emotional r
easons, ther
e will in=
evitably be mor
e divorce. The decline of economic necessity r
e
mo
ves a po
w=
er
ful stabilizing force in marriage. Lo
ve may endur
e, and fr
equently does, but by itself it is less po
wer
ful than when linked to economic necessity
. M
arriages used to be guaranteed till death do us par
t. I
n
the past, that par
ting was early and fr
equent. Ther
e w
e
r
e
a gr
eat many fty- y
e
ar marriages during the transition period when people wer
e having ten sur
viving chil=
dr
en. B
u
t prior to that, marriages ended early thr
ough death, and the sur=
viv
or r
e
married or faced economic r
u
in. E
u
r
o
pe practiced what w
e
might call serial polygamy
, in which wido
wers (usually
, since women tended to die in childbir
th) r
e
married numerous times throughout their lives. I
n
the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, habit kept marriages together for extraor
dinarily long periods of time. A new pattern emerged in the later twentieth centur
y
,
ho
wever
, in which serial polygamy r
e
asser
ted itself
, but this time the tr
end was being driv
en b
y
div
or
ce rather than death. Let
s
add another pattern to this. Wher
eas many marriages used to take place when one or both par
tners wer
e in their early teens, people ar
e no
w 5
9 p op ul
a
ti on, comp uters, and cul
tur
e w
a
rs marr
ying in their late tw
enties and early thir
ties. I
t
was typical for men and women to r
e
main sexually inactive until marriage at age four
teen, but today it is, shall we say
, unr
ealistic to expect someone marr
ying at age thir
ty to r
e
=
main a virgin. P
eople would be living sev
enteen y
e
ars after puber
ty without sexual activity
. That
s
not going to happen. Ther
e is no
w a period built into life patterns wher
e people ar
e going to be sexually active but not yet able to suppor
t themselves nancially
. Ther
e is also a period in which they can suppor
t themselves and ar
e sexually active, but choose not to r
eproduce. The entir
e pattern of traditional life is collaps=
ing, and no clear alternative patterns ar
e emerging yet. Cohabitation used to be linked to formal, legal marriage, but the two ar
e no
w completely decou=
pled. E
v
en r
e
production is being uncoupled from marriage, and perhaps even from cohabitation. Longer life, the decline in fer
tility rates, and the additional years of education have all contributed to the dissolution of pr
e=
vious life and social patterns. This tr
end cannot be r
e
versed. W
omen ar
e having fewer childr
en be=
cause suppor
ting a lot of childr
en in industrial, urban society is economic suicide. That won
t
change. The cost of raising childr
en will not decline, nor will ther
e be ways found to put six-year-olds to work. The rate of infant mor
tality is also not going to rise. S
o
in the twenty- rst centur
y the tr
end to
war
d having fewer
, rather than mor
e, childr
en will continue. political c
onseq
uences The mor
e educated segments of the population ar
e the ones wher
e life pat=
terns have diverged the most. The ver
y poor
est, on the other hand, have lived in a world of dysfunctional families since the industrial r
e
volution be=
gan. F
o
r them, chaotic patterns of r
e
production have always been the norm. H
o
wever
, between the college- educated professional and business classes on the one side and the underclass on the other
, ther
e is a large layer of society that has only par
tially experienced the demographic shifts. Among blue- and pink- collar workers ther
e have been other tr
ends, the most impor
tant of which is that they have shor
ter educations. The r
esult is less of a gap between puber
ty and r
e
production. These groups tend to marr
y 6
0 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars earlier and have childr
en earlier
. They ar
e far mor
e dependent on each other economically
, and it follo
ws that the nancial consequences of divorce can be far mor
e damaging. Ther
e ar
e nonemotional elements holding their mar=
riages together
, and divorce is seen as mor
e consequential, as ar
e extramari=
tal and pr
emarital sex. This group comprises many social conser
vatives, a small but po
wer
ful social cohor
t. They ar
e po
wer
ful because they speak for traditional values. The chaos of the mor
e highly educated classes can
t
be called values yet; it will be a centur
y befor
e their lifestyles congeal into a coher
ent moral system. Ther
efor
e social conser
vatives have an inher
ent advantage, speaking coher=
ently from the authoritative position of tradition. H
o
wever
, as we have seen, traditional distinctions between men and women ar
e collapsing. As women live longer and have fe
wer childr
en, they no longer ar
e forced by circumstance into the traditional roles they had to maintain prior to urbanization and industrialization. N
o
r is family the crit=
i
c
a
l e
c
o
nomic instr
ument it once was. D
i
vorce is no longer economically cat=
astr
ophic, and pr
emarital sex is inevitable. H
o
mosexualityand civil unions without r
e
productionalso becomes unextraor
dinar
y
.
I
f
sentiment is the basis of marriage, then why indeed is gay marriage not as valid as heterosex=
ual marriage? I
f
marriage is decoupled from r
e
production, then gay mar=
riage logically follo
ws. All these changes ar
e derived from the radical shifts in life patterns that ar
e par
t of the end of the population explosion. I
t
is no accident, ther
efor
e, that traditionalists within all r
eligious groups Catholics, J
e
ws, M
uslims, and othershave focused on r
e
turning to tradi=
tional patterns of r
e
production. They all argue for
, and many have, large fam=
ilies. M
aintaining traditional roles for women in this context makes sense, as do traditional expectations of early marriage, chastity
, and the permanence of marriage. The key is having mor
e childr
en, which is a traditionalist principle. E
v
er
ything else follo
ws. The issue is not only cropping up in advanced industrial societies. O
n
e of the foundations of anti- Americanism, for example, is the argument that American society br
eeds immorality
, that it celebrates immodesty among women and destro
ys the family
. I
f
you r
ead the speeches of O
sama bin Laden, this theme is r
epeated continually
. The world is changing and, he argues, we 6
1 p op ul
a
ti on, comp uters, and cul
tur
e w
a
rs ar
e mo
ving away fr
om patterns of behavior that hav
e traditionally been r
e
=
gar
ded as moral. H
e
wants to stop this process. These issues have become a global battleground as well as an internal po=
litical maelstr
om in most adv
anced industrial countries, par
ticularly the U
nited S
tates. O
n
one side ther
e is a str
uctur
ed set of political forces that have their roots in existing r
eligious organizations. O
n
the other side, ther
e is less a political force than an o
v
er
whelming pattern of behavior that is in=
differ
ent to the political consequences of the actions that ar
e being taken. This pattern of behavior is driven by demographic necessity
. Cer
tainly ther
e ar
e mo
vements defending various aspects of this evolution, like gay rights, but the transformation is not being planned. I
t
is simply happening. the c
omputer and american cul
tur
e Let
s
look at this from another perspective, that of technology
. As the Amer=
ican Age opens, the U
nited S
tates has a vested inter
est in the destr
uction of traditional social patterns, which cr
eates a cer
tain amount of instability and gives the U
n
ited S
tates maximum room to maneuver
. American cultur
e is an uneasy melding of the B
ible and the computer
, of traditional values and radical inno
v
ation. B
u
t along with demography
, it is the computer that is r
eshaping American cultur
e and is the r
e
al foundation of American cultural hegemony
. This will become extraor
dinarily impor
tant in the next hundr
ed y
e
ars. The computer r
e
pr
esents both a radical depar
tur
e from pr
evious tech
nol=
ogy and a new way of looking at r
e
ason. The purpose of a computer is the manipulation of quantitativ
e data, that is, numbers. As a machine that ma=
nipulates data, it is a unique technology
. B
u
t since it r
e
duces all information music, lm, and the written wor
dto a number
, it is also a unique way of looking at r
eason. The computer is based on binar
y logic. This simply means that it r
e
ads electrical charges, which ar
e either negative or positive and ar
e tr
eated as a 0 or a 1. I
t
uses a string of these binar
y numbers to r
e
pr
esent things we think of as being ver
y simple. S
o
the capital letter A is r
e
pr
esented as 01000001. 6
2 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars The small letter a is 01100001. These strings of numbers ar
e r
eorganiz
ed into machine language that in turn is managed by computer code written in any of a number of languages, from B
a
sic to C++ to J
a
va. I
f
that seems complex, then simply r
e
member this: T
o
a computer
, e
v
e
r
y
=
thing is a number
, from a letter on a scr
een to a bit of music. E
v
er
ything i
s r
e
duced to z
e
ros and ones. I
n
or
der to manage computers, completely ar
ti=
cial languages have been cr
eated. The purpose of those languages is getting the computer to use the data it has been given. B
u
t the computer can only manage things that can be expr
essed in bi=
nar
y code. I
t
can play music, but it cannot write it (not w
ell at least), or ex=
plain its beauty
. I
t
can stor
e poetr
y but cannot explain its meaning. I
t
can allo
w you to search ever
y book imaginable, yet it cannot distinguish be=
tw
een good and bad grammar
, at least not w
ell. I
t
is superb at what it can do, but it ex
cludes a gr
eat deal of what the human mind is capable of doing. I
t
is a tool. I
t
is a po
wer
ful and seductive tool. Y
e
t it operates using a logic that lacks other
, mor
e complex, elements of r
eason. The computer focuses r
uthlessly on things that can be r
epr
esented in numbers. B
y
doing so, it also seduces people into thinking that other aspects of kno
wledge ar
e either unr
eal or unimpor
tant. The computer tr
eats r
e
ason as an instr
ument for achieving things, not for contemplating things. I
t
narro
ws dramatically what we mean and intend b
y
r
e
ason. B
u
t within that narr
o
w
r
e
alm, the computer can do extraor
dinar
y things. Anyone who has learned a programming language understands its logi=
cal rigor
, and its ar
ticiality
. I
t
doesn
t
in the least r
esemble natural language. I
n
fact, it is the antithesis of natural language. The latter is lled with sub=
tlety
, nuance, and complex meaning determined by context and infer
ence. The logical tool must ex
clude all of these things, as the binar
y logic of com=
puting is incapable of dealing with them. American cultur
e pr
eceded American computing. The philosophical concept of pragmatism was built around statements such as this by Charles P
e
irce, a founder of pragmatism: I
n or
der to ascer
tain the meaning of an intellectual conception one should consider what practical consequences might conceivably r
esult by necessity from the tr
uth of that conception; and the sum of these consequences will constitute the entir
e meaning of the con=
6
3 p op ul
a
ti on, comp uters, and cul
tur
e w
a
rs ception. I
n
other wor
ds, the signicance of an idea is in its practical conse=
quences. An idea without practical consequences, it follo
ws, lacks meaning. The entir
e notion of contemplative r
eason as an end in itself is ex
cluded. American pragmatism was an attack on E
u
ropean metaphysics on the grounds of impracticality
. American cultur
e was obsessed with the practical and contemptuous of the metaphysical. The computer and computer lan=
guage ar
e the per
fect manifestations of the pragmatic notion of r
eason. E
v
er
y line of code must have a practical consequence. F
unctionality is the only standar
d. That a line of code could be appr
eciated not for its use but for its intrinsic beauty is inconceivable. The idea of pragmatism, as it has evolved into languages like C++, is a radical simplication and contraction of the spher
e of r
eason. R
eason no
w deals only with some things, all of which ar
e measur
ed by their practical consequences. E
v
er
ything that lacks practical consequence is ex
cluded from the spher
e of r
eason and sent to another
, inferior spher
e. I
n
other wor
ds, American cultur
e does not deal easily with the tr
ue and beautiful. I
t
values getting things done and not worr
ying too much about why whatever thing you ar
e doing is impor
tant. This gives American cultur
e its central tr
uth and its enormous drive. The charge against American cultur
e is that it has elevated the practical be=
yond all other forms of tr
uth. The charge is valid, but it also fails to appr
e=
ciate the po
w
e
r of that r
e
duction. I
t
is in the practical that histor
y is made. I
f
we look for the essence of American cultur
e, it is not only in pragma=
tism as a philosophy but also in the computer as the embodiment of prag=
matism. N
othing ex
emplies American cultur
e mor
e than the computer
, and nothing has transformed the world faster and mor
e thoroughly than its advent. The computer
, far mor
e than the car or Coca- Cola, r
epr
esents the unique manifestation of the American concept of r
eason and r
eality
. Computing cultur
e is also, by denition, barbaric. The essence of bar=
barism is the r
e
duction of cultur
e to a simple, driving force that will tolerate no diversion or competition. The way the computer is designed, the manner in which it is programmed, and the way it has evolved r
e
pr
esent a po
wer
ful, r
eductionist force. I
t
constitutes not r
eason contemplating its complexity
, but r
eason r
educing itself to its simplest expr
ession and justifying itself through practical achievement. 6
4 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars P
ragmatism, computers, and M
icr
osoft (or any other American corpora=
tion) ar
e r
uthlessly focused, utterly instr
umental, and highly effective. The fragmentation of American cultur
e is r
eal, but it is slo
wly r
esolving itself into the barbarism of the computer and the instr
ument that ultimately uses and shapes the computer
, the corporation. Corporations ar
e an American adaptation of a E
u
r
o
pean concept. I
n
its American form it turns into a way of life. Corporations ar
e as fragmented as the r
est of American cultur
e. B
u
t in their div
ersity
, they expr
ess the same self- cer
tainty as any American
ideology
. summing up The U
n
ited S
tates is socially imitated and politically condemned. I
t
sits on the ideological fault line of the international system. As populations decline due to shifts in r
eproductive patterns, the U
nited S
tates becomes the center for radically r
edened modes of social life. Y
ou can
t
have a modern econ=
omy without computers and corporations, and if you ar
e going to program computers, you need to kno
w E
nglish, the language of computing. O
n
one hand, those who want to r
esist this tr
end must actively avoid the American model of life and thought. O
n
the other hand, those who don
t
adopt Amer=
ica
s
ways can
t
hav
e a modern economy
. This is what giv
es America its str
ength and continually fr
ustrates its critics. F
a
lling popu lations ar
e r
e
=
str
ucturing the pattern of families and daily lives. Computers ar
e trans=
forming, simplifying, and focusing the way people think. Corporations ar
e constantly r
eorganizing the way we work. B
etween these thr
ee factors, lo
ve, r
e
ason, and daily life ar
e being transformed, and through that trans=
formation American po
w
e
r is gr
o
wing. O
l
d institutions have shatter
ed, but new ones have not yet emerged. The twenty- rst centur
y will be a period in which a range of new institutions, moral systems, and practices will begin their rst tentative emergence. The rst half of the twenty- rst centur
y will be marked by intense social conict globally
. All of this frames the international str
uggles of the twenty-rst cen=
tur
y
. CHAPTER 4 THE NE
W F
A
UL
T LI NES.
W
her
e will the next ear
thquake strike and what will it look like? T
o answer that question we need to examine the geopolitical fault lines of the twenty- rst centur
y
.
As with geology
, ther
e ar
e many such fault lines. W
ithout pushing this analogy too far
, we have to identify the active fault lines in or
der to identify ar
eas wher
e friction might build up into conict. As the focus on the I
slamic world subsides, what will be the most unstable point in the world in the next era? Ther
e ar
e ve ar
eas of the world right no
w that ar
e viable candidates. F
irst, ther
e is the all- impor
tant P
acic B
asin. The U
n
ited S
tates N
avy dom=
inates the P
a
cic. The Asian rim of the P
a
cic consists entir
ely of trading countries dependent on access to the high seas, which ar
e ther
efor
e depend=
ent on the U
n
ited S
tates. T
wo of themChina and J
apanar
e major po
w=
ers that could potentially challenge U.S. hegemony
. F
r
om 1941 to 1945 the U
n
ited S
tates and J
apan fought o
v
er the P
acic B
asin, and control of it r
e
=
mains a potential issue today
. S
econd, we must consider the futur
e of E
urasia after the fall of the S
o
viet U
nion. S
i
nce 1991, the r
egion has fragmented and decayed. The successor state to the S
o
viet U
n
ion, R
ussia, is emerging from this period with r
enewed 6
6 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars self- condence. Y
et R
ussia is also in an untenable geopolitical position. U
n
=
less R
ussia ex
er
ts itself to cr
eate a spher
e of inuence, the R
ussian F
edera=
tion could itself fragment. O
n
the other hand, cr
eating that spher
e of inuence could generate conict with the U
n
ited S
tates and E
u
rope. Thir
d, ther
e is continuing doubt about the ultimate framewor
k of E
u
=
rope. F
or ve centuries E
urope has been an ar
ena of constant war
far
e. F
o
r the last sixty years it has been either occupied or tr
ying to craft a federation that would make the r
eturn of war impossible. E
u
rope may yet have to deal with the r
esurgence of R
ussia, the bullying of the U
nited S
tates, or internal tensions. The door is cer
tainly not closed on conict. F
our
th, ther
e is the I
slamic world. I
t
is not instability that is troubling, but the emergence of a nation- state that, r
egar
dless of ideology
, might form the basis of a coalition. H
i
storically
, T
urkey has been the most successful center of po
w
e
r in the M
uslim world. T
u
r
key is also a dynamic and rapidly modernizing countr
y
. What is its futur
e, and what is the futur
e of other M
uslim nation- states? F
i
fth, ther
e is the question of M
exicanAmerican r
elations. N
ormally
, the status of M
e
xico would not rise to the level of a global fault line, but its location in N
o
r
th America makes it impor
tant beyond its obvious po
wer
. As the countr
y with the fteenth highest GDP in the world, it should not be under
estimated on its o
wn merits. M
e
xico has deep and historical issues with the U
n
ited S
tates, and social forces may arise o
v
er the next centur
y that cannot be controlled by either go
vernment. I
n
or
der to pinpoint events that will occur in the futur
e, we need to ex=
amine no
w which of these events ar
e likely to occur and in what or
der
. A fault line does not necessarily guarantee an ear
thquake. F
a
ult lines can exist for millennia causing only occasional tr
emors. B
u
t with this many major fault lines, conict in the twenty- rst centur
y is almost cer
tain. the p
a
cific basin The western shor
e of the P
a
cic has been the fastest- gro
wing r
egion in<
the world for the past half centur
y
.
I
t
contains two of the world
s
largest<
economies, those of J
apan and China. Along with other East Asian economies,<
they are heavily dependent on maritime trade, shipping goods to the United
States and Europe and importing raw material from the Persian Gulf and the
rest of the Pacific Basin. Any interruption in the flow of commodities would
be damaging. An extended interruption would be catastrophic.
Let’s consider Japan, the world’s second- largest economy and the only
major industrial power to possess no major natural resources of any sort.
Japan must import all of its major minerals, from oil to aluminum. Without
those imports—particularly oil—Japan stops being an industrial power in a
matter of months. To gauge the importance of this flow, bear in mind that
Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941 because the United States had inter-
fered with its access to raw materials.
China has also emerged as a major industrial power in the last genera-
tion, with growth surpassing that of any other major economy in the world,
although its economy is still far smaller than that of Japan or the United
States. Nevertheless, China is now a key player in the Pacific Basin. Previ-
ously, it was much more self- sufficient than Japan in terms of primary com-
modities. But as China has grown, it has outstripped its own resources and
become a net importer of raw materials.
the new fault l i ne s 67
MALAYSIA
MALAYSIA
PHILIPPINES
PHILIPPINES
JAPAN
JAPAN
INDONESIA
INDONESIA
MEXICO
MEXICO
PANAMA
PANAMA
Industrial
Industrial
Exports
Exports
Hawaii, U.S.
Hawaii, U.S.
Raw Materials
Raw Materials
Strait of
Strait of
Malacca
Malacca
Paciic Ocean
Paciic Ocean
AUSTRALIA
UNITED
STATES
CANADA
MALAYSIA
PHILIPPINES
JAPAN
INDONESIA
MEXICO
PANAMA
CHINA
RUSSIA
Industrial
Exports
Hawaii, U.S.
Raw Materials
Strait of
Malacca
Paciic Ocean
Pacific Trade Routes
Frie_9780385517058_3p_all_r1.qxp:Layout 1 10/31/08 4:29 PM Page 67
6
8 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars The P
acic no
w has two major Asian po
w
e
rs that ar
e heavily dependent on impor
ts to fuel their economy and on expor
ts to gro
w their economy
. J
apan and China, along with S
outh K
o
r
e
a and T
aiwan, all depend on access to the P
acic in or
der to transpor
t their goods and commodities. S
ince the U.S.
N
avy controls the P
a
cic O
cean, they r
ely on the U
nited S
tates for their economic well- being. That is a huge bet for any nation to make on an=
other
. Ther
e is another side to this. The U
nited S
tates consumes massive amounts of Asia
s
industrial products, which benets the U
n
ited S
tates as a whole by pro
viding consumers with cheap goods. At the same time, this trade pattern devastates cer
tain American economic sectors and r
egions by undermining domestic industr
y
. What benets consumers can simultane=
ously incr
ease unemplo
yment and decr
ease wages, cr
eating complex politi=
cal crosscurr
ents within the U
nited S
tates. O
ne of the characteristics of the U
n
ited S
tates is that it tends to be o
v
ersensitive to domestic political con=
cerns because it has a gr
eat deal of room to maneuver in for
eign policy
. Ther
efor
e, r
egar
dless of the o
v
erall benets of trade with Asia, the U
nited S
tates could wind up in a situation wher
e domestic political considerations for
ce it to change its policy to
war
d Asian impor
ts. That possibility
, ho
w
e
v
e
r r
e
mote, r
e
pr
esents a serious thr
eat to the inter
ests of East Asia. China sends almost one- quar
ter of all its expor
ts to the U
n
ited S
tates. I
f the U
n
ited S
tates barr
ed Chinese pr
oducts, or imposed tariffs that made Chinese goods uncompetitiv
e, China would face a massiv
e economic crisis. The same would be tr
ue for J
apan and other Asian countries. Countries fac=
ing economic disaster become unpr
edictable. They can become aggr
essive in tr
ying to open up other markets, sometimes through political or militar
y pr
essur
e. M
i
litarily
, ho
wever
, the U
nited S
tates could shut do
wn access to the P
a
=
cic O
cean whenever it wished. E
conomically
, the U
nited S
tates is depend=
ent on trade with Asia, but not nearly as dependent as Asia is on trade with the U
n
ited S
tates. The U
n
ited S
tates is also susceptible to internal political pr
essur
es from those groups dispropor
tionately affected by cheaper Asian impor
ts. I
t
is possible that the U
n
ited S
tates, r
esponding to domestic pr
es=
sur
es, might tr
y to r
eshape economic r
elations in the P
a
cic B
a
sin. O
ne of the tools it can use is protectionist legislation, backed up by its militar
y 6
9 the ne
w f
a
ul
t l i ne s str
ength. S
o
East Asia has no r
e
al effective counter to an American militar
y or economic mo
ve. S
u
bjectively
, the last thing any nation in the r
egion wants is conict. O
bjectively
, ho
wever
, ther
e is a massive imbalance of po
wer
. Any shift in America
s
policies could wr
eak havoc on East Asia, and a shift in American policy is far from unimaginable. The thr
eat of American sanctions on China, for example, through which the U
n
ited S
tates might seek to limit Chinese impor
tation of oil, strikes at the ver
y hear
t of the Chinese national inter
est. Ther
efor
e, the Chinese must use their gro
wing economic str
ength to dev
elop militar
y options against the U
n
ited S
tates. They will simply be acting in accor
dance with the fundamental principle of strategic planning: hope for the best, plan for the worst. Over the course of the last fty years, the western P
a
cic has dramati=
cally incr
eased its economic po
w
e
r
,
but not its militar
y po
w
e
rand that imbalance has left East Asia vulnerable. China and J
apan will ther
efor
e have no choice but to tr
y to incr
ease their militar
y po
w
e
r in the coming centur
y
, which the U
n
ited S
tates will see as a potential thr
eat to U.S. control of the western P
a
cic. I
t
will interpr
et a defensive mo
ve as aggr
essive, which objec=
tiv
ely it is, whatev
er their subjectiv
e intent. A
dd to this the ev
er- ev
olving na=
tions of S
outh K
o
r
e
a and T
aiwan, and the r
egion is cer
tain to be a po
wder keg during the twenty- rst centur
y
. What
s
mor
e, any Asian countr
y that believes that huge mega- surges in the price of oil ar
e a r
e
alistic possibility cannot discount the thr
eat of an American energy grab
. I
n
the near term, the next tw
enty to fty y
e
ars, this is actually a v
e
r
y
r
e
al scenario
. Any rational Asian po
w
e
r must plan for this. The only two that have the r
esources to challenge the U
nited S
tates at sea ar
e China and J
apan, each antagonistic to the other yet sharing a common fear of American behavior during an energy price spike. Control of the P
a
cic intersects with a mor
e specic issuecontrol of the sea lanes used for energy transpor
tation. The higher the price of oil, and the longer non- hydrocarbon energy sources ar
e from being a r
eality
, the gr
eater the likelihood of a confrontation o
v
er sea lanes. The imbalance of po
wer in this r
egion is sever
e. That, coupled with the issues of energy trans=
por
t and access to the American markets, gives the P
a
cic B
a
sin its massive geopolitical fault line. 7
0 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars eurasia/
F
or most of the second half of the twentieth centur
y
,
the S
o
viet U
nion con=
trolled E
u
rasiafrom central G
e
rmany to the P
acic, as far south as the Caucasus and the H
i
ndu K
ush. When the S
o
viet U
nion collapsed, its west=
ern frontier mo
ved east nearly a thousand miles, from the W
est G
e
rman bor
der to the R
ussian bor
der with B
elar
us. F
r
om the H
i
ndu K
ush its bor
der mo
ved nor
thwar
d a thousand miles to the R
ussian bor
der with Kazakhstan. R
ussia was pushed from the bor
der of T
urkey nor
thwar
d to the nor
thern Caucasus, wher
e it is still str
uggling to keep its foothold in the r
egion. R
uss=
ian po
wer has no
w r
etr
eated far
ther east than it has been in centuries. D
ur=
ing the Cold W
ar it had mo
ved far
ther west than ever befor
e. I
n
the coming decades, R
ussian po
wer will settle some
wher
e between those two lines. After the S
o
viet U
nion dissolved at the end of the twentieth centur
y
,
for=
eign po
wers mo
ved in to take advantage of R
ussia
s
economy
, cr
eating an era of chaos and po
ver
ty
. They also mo
ved rapidly to integrate as much as they could of the R
ussian empir
e into their o
w
n spher
es of inuence. Eastern E
u
r
o
pe was absorbed into NA
T
O
and the EU, and the B
altic states w
e
r
e also absorbed into NA
T
O
. The U
n
ited S
tates enter
ed into a close r
elation=
ship with both G
eorgia in the Caucasus and with many of the Central Asian s
tans, par
ticularly after S
e
ptember 11, when the R
ussians allo
w
e
d U.S. forces into the ar
ea to wage the war in Afghanistan. M
ost signicantly
, U
k
raine mo
v
e
d into an alignment with the U
n
ited S
tates and away fr
om R
ussiathis was a br
eaking point in R
ussian histor
y
. The O
range R
e
volution in Ukraine, from D
ecember 2004 to J
anuar
y 2005, was the moment when the postCold W
ar world genuinely ended for R
ussia. The R
ussians saw the events in Ukraine as an attempt by the U
n
ited S
tates to draw Ukraine into NA
T
O
and ther
eby set the stage for R
ussian dis=
integration. Q
uite frankly
, ther
e was some tr
uth to the R
ussian perception. I
f
the W
est had succeeded in dominating Ukraine, R
ussia would have become indefensible. The southern bor
der with B
elar
us, as well as the southwestern frontier of R
ussia, would have been wide open. I
n
addition, the distance between Ukraine and western Kazakhstan is only about four hundr
ed miles, and that is the gap through which R
ussia has been able to project po
wer to
war
d the Caucasus (see map
, page 71). W
e
should assume, then, that under these circumstances Russia would have lost its ability to
control the Caucasus and would have had to retreat farther north from
Chechnya. The Russians would have been abandoning parts of the Russian
Federation itself, and Russia’s own southern flank would become highly vul-
nerable. Russia would have continued to fragment until it returned to its
medieval frontiers.
Had Russia fragmented to this extent, it would have created chaos in
Eurasia—to which the United States would not have objected, since the U.S.
grand strategy has always aimed for the fragmentation of Eurasia as the first line
of defense for U.S. control of the seas, as we have seen. So the United States had
every reason to encourage this process; Russia had every reason to block it.
After what Russia regarded as an American attempt to further damage it,
Moscow reverted to a strategy of reasserting its sphere of influence in the ar-
eas of the former Soviet Union. The great retreat of Russian power ended in
the new fault l i ne s 71
RUSSIA
RUSSIA
KAZAKHSTAN
KAZAKHSTAN
UZBEKISTAN
UZBEKISTAN
TURKMENISTAN
TURKMENISTAN
KYRGYZSTAN
KYRGYZSTAN
TAJIKISTAN
TAJIKISTAN
AZERBAIJAN
AZERBAIJAN
ARMENIA
ARMENIA
GEORGIA
GEORGIA
UKRAINE
UKRAINE
MOLDOVA
MOLDOVA
BELARUS
BELARUS
LITHUANIA
LITHUANIA
LATVIA
LATVIA
ESTONIA
ESTONIA
Moscow
Moscow
St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg
RUSSIA
KAZAKHSTAN
UZBEKISTAN
TURKMENISTAN
KYRGYZSTAN
TAJIKISTAN
AZERBAIJAN
ARMENIA
GEORGIA
UKRAINE
MOLDOVA
BELARUS
LITHUANIA
LATVIA
ESTONIA
Moscow
St. Petersburg
Successor States to
Soviet Union
Soviet Allies
Successor States to the Soviet Union
Frie_9780385517058_3p_all_r1.qxp:Layout 1 10/31/08 4:29 PM Page 71
Ukraine. Russian influence is now increasing in three directions: toward Cen-
tral Asia, toward the Caucasus, and, inevitably, toward the West, the Baltics,
and Eastern Europe. For the next generation, until roughly 2020, Russia’s
primary concern will be reconstructing the Russian state and reasserting
Russian power in the region.
Interestingly, the geopolitical shift is aligning with an economic shift.
Vladimir Putin sees Russia less as an industrial power than as an exporter of raw
materials, the most important of which is energy (particularly natural gas).
Moving to bring the energy industry under state supervision, if not direct con-
trol, he is forcing out foreign interests and reorienting the industry toward ex-
ports, particularly to Europe. High energy prices have helped stabilize Russia’s
72 the ne xt 1 00 years
MOLDOVA
MOLDOVA
LITHUANIA
LITHUANIA
LATVIA
LATVIA
ESTONIA
ESTONIA
Black Sea
Black Sea
MOLDOVA
LITHUANIA
LATVIA
ESTONIA
RUSSIA
SWEDEN
FINLAND
UKRAINE
ROMANIA
BULGARIA
TURKEY
POLAND
GEORGIA
Black Sea
Kiev
Moscow
Minsk
Volgograd
KAZAKHSTAN
Ukraine’s Strategic Significance
Frie_9780385517058_4p_all_r1.qxp:Layout 1 11/13/08 12:37 PM Page 72
7
3 the ne
w f
a
ul
t l i ne s economy internally
. B
ut he will not conne his effor
ts to energy alone. H
e
also is seeking to capitaliz
e on R
ussian agricultur
e, timber
, gold, diamonds, and other commodities. H
e
is transforming R
ussia from an impo
verished disaster into a poor but mor
e productive countr
y
.
P
u
tin also is giving R
ussia the tool with which to intimidate E
u
rope: the valve on a natural gas pipeline. R
ussia is pr
essing back along its frontiers. I
t
is deeply focused on Central Asia and will o
v
er time nd success ther
e, but R
ussia will hav
e a mor
e dif=
cult time in the even mor
e cr
ucial Caucasus. The R
ussians do not intend to allo
w any par
t of the R
ussian F
e
deration to br
eak away
. As a r
esult, ther
e will be friction, par
ticularly in the next decade, with the U
n
ited S
tates and other countries in the r
egion as R
ussia r
easser
ts itself
. B
ut the r
eal ash point, in all likelihood, will be on R
ussia
s
western frontier
. B
elar
us will align itself with R
ussia. O
f
all the countries in the for=
mer S
o
viet U
n
ion, B
elar
us has had the fewest economic and political r
e
=
forms and has been the most inter
ested in re
-
cr
eating some successor to the S
o
viet U
n
ion. Linked in some way to R
ussia, B
elar
us will bring R
ussian po
wer back to the bor
ders of the former S
o
viet U
n
ion. F
r
om the B
a
ltics south to the R
omanian bor
der ther
e is a r
egion wher
e bor
ders have historically been uncer
tain and conict fr
equent. I
n
the nor
th, ther
e is a long, narro
w plain, str
etching from the P
y
r
enees to S
t. P
etersburg. This is wher
e E
u
rope
s
gr
eatest wars wer
e fought. This is the path that N
apoleon and H
itler took to invade R
ussia. Ther
e ar
e few natural barriers. Ther
efor
e, the R
ussians must push their bor
der west as far as possible to cr
e=
ate a buffer
. After W
o
rld W
ar II, they dro
ve into the center of G
e
rmany on this plain. T
o
day
, they hav
e r
e
tr
eated to the east. They hav
e to r
e
turn, and mo
ve as far west as possible. That means the B
altic states and P
oland ar
e, as befor
e, problems R
ussia has to solve. D
ening the limits of R
ussian inuence will be contro
versial. The U
n
ited S
tatesand the countries within the old S
o
viet spher
ewill not want R
ussia to go too far
. The last thing the B
a
ltic states want is to fall un=
der R
ussian domination again. N
either do the states south of the nor
thern E
u
r
o
pean plain, in the Carpathians. The former S
o
viet satellitespar
ticu=
larly P
oland, H
ungar
y
,
and R
o
maniaunderstand that the r
e
turn of R
us =
sian forces to their frontiers would r
e
pr
esent a thr
eat to their security
. And since these countries ar
e no
w par
t of NA
T
O, their inter
ests necessarily affect 7
4 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars the inter
ests of E
urope and the U
nited S
tates. The open question is wher
e the line will be drawn in the west. This has been a historical question, and it was a key challenge in E
urope o
v
er the past hundr
ed years. R
ussia will not become a global po
wer in the next decade, but it has no choice but to become a major r
egional po
wer
. And that means it will clash with E
u
rope. The R
ussianE
uropean frontier r
e
mains a fault line. eur
op
e E
u
rope is still in the process of r
eorganizing itself after the loss of its empir
e and two dev
astating world wars, and it r
e
mains to be seen whether that r
e
=
organization will be peaceful. E
u
rope is not going to r
egain its empir
e, but the complacent cer
tainty that intra- E
u
ropean wars have ended needs to be examined. Central to this is the question of whether E
u
rope is a spent vol=
cano or whether it is mer
ely dormant. The E
u
ropean U
n
ion has a total GDP of o
v
er $14 trillion, a trillion mor
e than the U
n
ited S
tates. I
t
is possi=
ble that a r
egion of such wealthand of such diversity in wealthwill r
e
=
main immune fr
om conict, but it is not guaranteed. I
t
is unr
easonable to talk of E
u
rope as if it wer
e one entity
. I
t
is not, in spite of the existence of the E
u
ropean U
nion. E
u
rope consists of a series of so
v
e
r
e
ign and contentious nation- states. Ther
e is a general entity called E
u
=
rope, but it is mor
e r
easonable to think of four E
uropes (we ex
clude R
ussia and the nations of the former S
o
viet U
nion from this listalthough geo=
graphically E
u
ropean, these have a ver
y differ
ent dynamic from that of E
u
=
r
o
pe): >
A
tlantic E
urope: the nations that front the Atlantic O
cean and N
o
r
t
h S
e
a dir
ectly and that w
e
r
e
the major imperial po
w
e
rs during the past ve hundr
ed years. >
Central E
u
rope: essentially G
e
rmany and I
taly
, which did not come into existence until the late nineteenth centur
y as modern nation-
states. I
t
was their asser
tion of national inter
est that led to the two world wars of the twentieth centur
y
. >
Eastern E
urope: the nations r
unning from the B
a
ltic to the B
lack S
e
a that were occupied by Soviet troops in World War II and developed
their recent national identities from this experience.
• There is, of course, a fourth less significant Europe, the Scandinavian
countries.
In the first half of the twentieth century, Atlantic Europe was the impe-
rial heart of the world. Central Europeans were later comers and chal-
lengers. Eastern Europeans were the victims. Torn apart by two world wars,
Europe faced a fundamental question: What was the status of Germany in
the European system? The Germans, frozen out of the imperial system cre-
ated by Atlantic Europe, sought to overturn that system and assert their
the new fault l i ne s 75
Atlantic
Atlantic
Ocean
Ocean
PORTUGAL
PORTUGAL
IRELAND
IRELAND
SWEDEN
SWEDEN
NORWAY
NORWAY
FINLAND
FINLAND
GERMANY
GERMANY
SWITZERLAND
SWITZERLAND
ITALY
ITALY
BOSNIA AND
BOSNIA AND
HERZEGOVINA
HERZEGOVINA
MONTENEGRO
MONTENEGRO
SERBIA
SERBIA
CROATIA
CROATIA
SLOVENIA
SLOVENIA
ALBANIA
ALBANIA
MACEDONIA
MACEDONIA
BULGARIA
BULGARIA
ROMANIA
ROMANIA
HUNGARY
HUNGARY
AUSTRIA
AUSTRIA
CZECH
CZECH
REPUBLIC
REPUBLIC
SLOVAKIA
SLOVAKIA
POLAND
POLAND
UNITED
UNITED
KINGDOM
KINGDOM
FRANCE
FRANCE
THE
THE
NETHERLANDS
NETHERLANDS
BELGIUM
BELGIUM
DENMARK
DENMARK
SPAIN
SPAIN
Atlantic
Ocean
IRELAND
SWEDEN
NORWAY
FINLAND
GERMANY
SWITZERLAND
ITALY
BOSNIA AND
HERZEGOVINA
MONTENEGRO
SERBIA
CROATIA
SLOVENIA
ALBANIA
MACEDONIA
BULGARIA
ROMANIA
HUNGARY
AUSTRIA
CZECH
REPUBLIC
SLOVAKIA
POLAND
UNITED
KINGDOM
FRANCE
THE
NETHERLANDS
SPAIN
BELGIUM
DENMARK
PORTUGAL
Atlantic Europe
Central Europe
Eastern Europe
Scandinavian Europe
Four Europes
Frie_9780385517058_3p_all_r1.qxp:Layout 1 10/31/08 4:29 PM Page 75
7
6 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars dominance. The conclusion of W
o
rld W
ar II found G
e
rmany shatter
ed, di=
vided and occupied, contr
olled b
y
S
o
viets in the east, and E
ngland, F
rance, and the U
n
ited S
tates in the west. W
est G
e
rmany was indispensable to the U
n
ited S
tates and its NA
T
O
al=
liance because of the confrontation with the S
o
viets. C
r
eating a G
erman army
, ob
viously
, posed a pr
oblem. I
f
the origins of the two world wars w
e
r
e in the gro
wth of G
e
rman po
wer
, and G
e
rmany was encouraged to be po
w=
er
ful again, what was to pr
event a thir
d E
u
ropean war? The answer r
ested in the integration of the G
e
rman army into NA
T
O
essentially putting it un=
der American command in the eld. B
u
t the br
oader answ
er lay in the inte=
gration of G
e
rmany into E
u
rope as a whole. D
u
ring the 1950s, when NA
T
O
was cr
eated, the E
u
ropean E
conomic Community was also conceived. The E
u
ropean U
nion, which emerged from it, is a schiz
ophr
enic entity
. I
ts primar
y purpose is the cr
eation of an integrated E
u
ropean economy
, while leaving so
ver
eignty in the hands of in=
dividual nations. S
imultaneously
, it is seen as the pr
eface to a federation of E
u
ropean countries, in which a central E
u
ropean go
vernment, with a par=
liament and professional civil ser
vice, would go
vern a federal E
u
rope wher
e national so
ver
eignty was limited to local matters, and defense and for
eign policy r
ested with the whole. E
u
rope has not achieved this goal. I
t
has cr
eated a fr
ee- trade z
one and a E
u
ropean curr
ency
, which some members of the fr
ee- trade z
one use and others do not. I
t
has failed to cr
eate a political constitution, ho
wever
, leav=
ing individual nations so
ver
eignand ther
efor
e never has produced a united defense or for
eign policy
. D
efense policy
, to the extent it is coor
di=
nated, is in the hands of NA
T
O
, and not all members of NA
T
O
ar
e mem=
bers of the EU (notably the U
nited S
tates). W
ith the collapse of the S
o
viet empir
e, individual countries in Eastern E
u
rope wer
e admitted to the EU and NA
T
O
. I
n
shor
t, postCold W
ar E
u
rope is in benign chaos. I
t
is impossible to unravel the extraor
dinarily complex and ambiguous institutional r
elation=
ships that have been cr
eated. G
i
ven the histor
y of E
urope, such confusion would normally lead to war
. B
u
t E
u
rope, ex
cepting the former Y
ugoslavia, has no energy for war
, no appetite for instability
, and cer
tainly no desir
e for conict. E
u
rope
s
psy
chological transformation has been extraor
dinar
y
. 7
7 the ne
w f
a
ul
t l i ne s Wher
e, prior to 1945, slaughter and war
far
e had been r
egular pastimes for centuries, after 1945 even the conceptual chaos of E
u
ropean institutions could not generate conict beyond rhetoric. U
nderneath the sur
face of the EU, the old E
uropean nationalisms con=
tinue to asser
t themselves, albeit sluggishly
. This can be seen in economic negotiations within the EU. The F
r
ench, for example, asser
t the right to protect their farmers from ex
cessive competition, or the right not to honor tr
eaties controlling their decits. Ther
efor
e, in a geopolitical context, E
u
=
rope has not become a unied transnational entity
. F
or these r
easons, talking of E
u
rope as if it wer
e a single entity like the U
n
ited S
tates, or China, is illusor
y
.
I
t
is a collection of nation- states, still shell- shocked by W
orld W
ar II, the Cold W
a
r
,
and the loss of empir
e. These nation- states ar
e highly insular and determine their geopolitical actions ac=
cor
ding to their individual inter
ests. P
rimar
y interactions ar
e not between E
u
rope and the r
est of the world, but among E
u
ropean nations. I
n
this sense, E
u
rope behaves far mor
e like Latin America than like a gr
eat po
wer
. I
n
Latin America, B
razil and Argentina spend a gr
eat deal of time thinking about each other
, kno
wing that their effect on the globe is limited. R
ussia is the immediate strategic thr
eat to E
u
rope. R
ussia is inter
ested not in conquering E
urope, but in r
easser
ting its control o
v
er the former S
o
=
viet U
n
ion. F
r
om the R
ussian point of view
, this is both a r
e
asonable at=
tempt to establish some minimal spher
e of inuence and essentially a defensive measur
e. H
o
wever
, it is a defensive measur
e that will immediately affect the thr
ee B
altic states, which ar
e no
w integrated into E
u
ropean insti=
tutions. O
b
viously the Eastern E
u
ropeans want to pr
event a R
ussian r
esurgence. The r
eal question is what the r
est of E
urope might doand especially
, what G
e
rmany might do
. The G
e
rmans ar
e no
w in a comfor
table position with a buffer between them and the R
ussians, fr
ee to focus on their internal eco=
nomic and social problems. I
n
addition, the heritage of W
o
rld W
ar II weighs heavily on the G
e
rmans. They will not want to act alone, but as par
t of a unied E
u
rope. G
e
rmany
s
position is unpr
edictable. I
t
is a nation that has learned, given its geopolitical position, that it is enormously dangerous to asser
t its na=
tional inter
est. I
n
1914 and 1939, G
e
rmany attempted to act decisiv
ely in 7
8 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars r
esponse to geopolitical thr
eats, and each time its effor
ts ended catastrophi=
cally
. The G
e
rman analysis is that engaging in politico- militar
y maneuvers outside of a broad coalition exposes G
e
rmany to tr
emendous danger
. At=
lantic E
u
rope sees G
e
rmany as a buffer against R
ussia and will see any thr
eat in the B
a
ltics as being irr
elevant to their inter
ests. Ther
efor
e, they will not join the coalition G
ermany needs to face the R
ussians. S
o
the most likely outcome will be G
e
rman inaction, limited American involvement, and a gradual r
e
turn of R
ussian po
wer into the bor
derland between E
u
rope and R
ussia. B
u
t ther
e is another scenario
. I
n
this scenario G
e
rmany will r
ecogniz
e the imminent danger to P
oland in R
ussian domination of the B
a
ltics. S
ee=
ing P
oland as a necessar
y par
t of G
e
rman national security
, it will thus ex
er=
cise a for
war
d policy
, designed to protect P
oland by protecting the B
a
ltics. G
e
rmany will mo
ve to dominate the B
altic basin. S
ince the R
ussians will not simply abandon the eld, the G
e
rmans will nd themselves in an ex=
tended confrontation with the R
ussians, competing for inuence in P
oland and in the Carpathian r
egion. G
e
rmany will nd itself
, of necessity
, both split off from its aggr
essive past and from the r
est of E
u
rope. While the r
est of E
u
rope will tr
y to avoid involvement, the G
e
rmans will be engaged in traditional po
wer politics. As they do that, their effectiv
e as w
ell as potential po
w
e
r will soar and their psy=
chology will shift. S
u
ddenly
, a united G
e
rmany will be asser
ting itself again. What star
ts defensively will evolve in unexpected ways. This is not the most likely scenario
. H
o
wever
, the situation might galva=
niz
e G
e
rmany back into its traditional role of looking at R
ussia as a major thr
eat, and looking at P
oland and the r
est of Eastern E
u
rope as a par
t of its spher
e of inuence and as protection against the R
ussians. This depends par
tly on ho
w aggr
essively the R
ussians mo
ve, ho
w tenaciously the B
a
lts r
e
=
sist, ho
w much risk the P
oles ar
e willing to take, and ho
w distant the U
n
ited S
tates intends to be. F
inally
, it depends on internal G
e
rman politics. I
nternally
, E
urope is iner
t, still in shock o
v
er its losses. B
ut external forces such as I
slamic immigration or R
ussian attempts to r
e
build its empir
e could bring the old fault line back to life in various ways. 7
9 the ne
w f
a
ul
t l i ne s the muslim w
orld/
W
e
hav
e alr
eady discussed the I
slamic world in general as a fault line. The curr
ent crisis is being contained, but the I
slamic world, o
v
erall, r
e
mains un=
stable. While this instability will not gel into a general I
slamist uprising, it does raise the possibility of a M
uslim nation- state taking advantage of the instability
, and ther
efor
e the weaknesses within other states, to asser
t itself as a r
egional po
wer
. I
n
donesia, the largest M
uslim state in the world, is in no position to asser
t itself
. P
akistan is the second- largest M
uslim state. I
t
is also a nuclear po
w
e
r
.
B
u
t it is so internally divided that it is difcult to see ho
w it could evolve into a major po
wer or
, geographically
, ho
w it could spr
ead its po
wer
, bracketed by Afghanistan to the west, China and R
ussia to the nor
th, and I
n
dia to the east. B
e
tw
een instability and geography
, P
akistan is not going to emerge as a leading M
uslim state. After I
n
donesia and P
akistan, ther
e ar
e thr
ee other major M
uslim
nation- states. The largest is E
g
ypt with 80 million people, T
u
rkey is second with 71 million people, and I
ran is thir
d with 65 million. When we look at the thr
ee economically
, T
urkey has the seventeenth-
largest economy in the world, with a GDP of about $660 billion. I
ran is tw
enty- ninth, with a GDP of just under $300 billion. E
g
ypt is fty- second, with a GDP of about $125 billion a y
e
ar
. F
o
r the past v
e y
e
ars T
u
r
key
s economy has been gro
wing at 5 to 8 percent a year
, one of the highest sus=
tained gro
wth rates for any major countr
y
. W
ith the ex
ception of two years of r
ecession, I
ran has also had a sustained GDP gro
wth rate of o
v
er 6 per=
cent for the past ve years, as has E
g
ypt. These two countries ar
e gro
wing fast, but they ar
e star
ting with a much smaller base than T
u
r
key
. Compar
ed to E
u
ropean countries, T
u
rkey alr
eady has the seventh- largest economy and is gro
wing faster than most. N
o
w
,
it
s
tr
ue that economic siz
e is not ever
ything. I
ran appears to be the most aggr
essive of the thr
ee geopoliticallybut that is actually its basic weakness. I
n
tr
ying to protect its r
egime against the U
n
ited S
tates, S
unni M
uslims, and anti- I
ranian Arabs (I
ran is not an Arab countr
y), I
ran is con=
stantly forced to be pr
ematur
ely asser
tive. I
n
the process, it draws the atten=
tion of the U
nited S
tates, which then inevitably focuses on I
ran as a dangerous po
wer
. 8
0 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars B
ecause of its inter
ests in the P
ersian G
ulf and I
raq, I
ranian goals r
u
n counter to those of the U
nited S
tates. That means I
ran must diver
t r
esources to protect itself against the possibility of American attack at a time when its economy needs to dev
elop v
e
r
y
rapidly in or
der to carr
y it into the rst rank r
egionally
. The bottom line is that I
ran irritates the U
n
ited S
tates. S
uf=
ciently alarmed, the U
n
ited S
tates could dev
astate I
ran. I
ran is simply not r
e
ady for r
egional po
w
e
r status. I
t
is constantly for
ced to dissipate its po
w
e
r pr
ematur
ely
. Attempting to become a major r
egional po
wer while the world
s gr
eatest po
wer is focused on your ever
y mo
ve is, to say the least, difcult. Ther
e is also the question of geography
. I
ran is on the margins of the r
e
=
gion. Afghanistan is to the east, and ther
e is little to be gained ther
e. I
n
any expansion of inuence to the nor
th, I
ran would collide with the R
ussians. I
raq is a possible dir
ection in which to mo
ve, but it can also become both a morass and a focal point for Arab and American countermeasur
es. I
t
is not easy to incr
ease I
ranian r
egional po
wer
. Any mo
ve will cost mor
e than it is wor
th. E
g
ypt is the largest countr
y in the Arab world and has been its tradi=
tional leader
. U
n
der G
amal A
bdel N
asser
, it made a major play to become the leader of the Arab world. The Arab world, ho
w
e
v
e
r
,
was deeply frag=
mented, and E
g
ypt managed to antagoniz
e key play
ers like S
audi Arabia. After the Camp D
avid accor
ds with I
s
rael in 1978, E
g
ypt stopped tr
ying to expand its po
w
e
r
.
I
t
had failed anyway
. G
i
v
en its economy
, and its r
elativ
e isolation and insularity
, it is har
d to see E
g
ypt becoming a r
egional po
wer within any meaningful time frame. I
t
is mor
e likely to fall into someone else
s
spher
e of inuence, whether T
urkish, American, or R
ussian, which has been its fate for several centuries. T
u
rkey is a ver
y differ
ent case. I
t
is not only a major modern economy
, but it is by far the largest economy in the r
egionmuch larger than I
ran, and perhaps the only modern economy in the entir
e M
uslim world. M
ost impor
tant, it is strategically located betw
een E
u
r
o
pe, the M
iddle East, and R
ussia. T
u
rkey is not isolated and tied do
wn; it has multiple dir
ections in which it can mo
ve. And, most impor
tant, it does not r
epr
esent a challenge to Amer=
i
c
a
n inter
ests and is ther
efor
e not constantly confronted with an American thr
eat. This means it does not have to devote r
esources to blocking the United States. With its economy surging, it will likely soon reemerge in its
old role, as the dominant force in the region.
It must be remembered that until World War I, Turkey was the seat of
a major empire (see map, page 82). Shorn of its empire, Turkey became a
secular state governing a Muslim population. It was, until 1918, the most
powerful Muslim country in the world. And, at its height in the fourteenth
to sixteenth centuries, the Turkish empire was far reaching and extremely
powerful.
By the sixteenth century, Turkey was the dominant Mediterranean
power, controlling not only North Africa and the Levant but also southeast-
ern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Arabian Peninsula.
Turkey is an internally complex society, with a secular regime protected
by a military charged constitutionally with that role and a growing Islamist
movement. It is far from certain what sort of internal government it might
end up having. But when we look at the wreckage of the Islamic world after
the new fault l i ne s 81
Caspian
Caspian
Sea
Sea
RUSSIA
RUSSIA
UKRAINE
UKRAINE
ROMANIA
ROMANIA
BULGARIA
BULGARIA
GREECE
GREECE
CYPRUS
CYPRUS
LEBANON
LEBANON
ISRAEL
ISRAEL
JODAN
JODAN
EGYPT
EGYPT
SYRIA
SYRIA
IRAQ
IRAQ
IRAN
IRAN
ARMENIA
ARMENIA
AZERBAIJAN
AZERBAIJAN
GEORGIA
GEORGIA
Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
Black Sea
Black Sea
Caspian
Sea
Mediterranean Sea
Black Sea
RUSSIA
UKRAINE
ROMANIA
TURKEY
BULGARIA
GREECE
CYPRUS
LEBANON
ISRAEL
JORDAN
EGYPT
SYRIA
IRAQ
IRAN
ARMENIA
AZERBAIJAN
GEORGIA
Ankara
Turkey in 2008
Frie_9780385517058_4p_all_r1.qxp:Layout 1 11/13/08 12:37 PM Page 81
the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 and consider which country must be
taken seriously in the region, it seems obvious that it must be Turkey, an ally
of the United States and the region’s most important economic power.
mexico
If anyone had said in 1950 that the world’s great economic powerhouses a
half century later would be Japan and Germany, ranked second and third,
that person would have been ridiculed. If you argued in 1970 that by 2007
China would be the world’s fourth- largest economic power, the laughter
would have been even more intense. But it would have been no funnier
than arguing in 1800 that the United States by 1900 would be a world
power. Things change, and the unexpected should be expected.
It is important to note, therefore, that in 2007 Mexico had the world’s
fifteenth- largest economy, just a bit behind Australia. Mexico ranked much
lower in per capita income, of course, placing sixtieth, with a per capita in-
82 the ne xt 1 00 years
MIDDLE
MIDDLE
EAST
EAST
TURKEY
TURKEY
Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
Black Sea
Black Sea
ASIA
Cairo
Cairo
Tripoli
Tripoli
Algiers
Algiers
Istanbul
Istanbul
Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Baghdad
Baghdad
Vienna
Vienna
EUROPE
AFRICA
MIDDLE
EAST
TURKEY
Mediterranean Sea
Black Sea
Cairo
Tripoli
Algiers
Istanbul
Jerusalem
Baghdad
Vienna
Ottoman Empire
Frie_9780385517058_3p_all_r1.qxp:Layout 1 10/31/08 4:29 PM Page 82
8
3 the ne
w f
a
ul
t l i ne s come of roughly $12,000 a year as measur
ed by the I
n
ternational M
onetar
y F
und, ranking with T
u
r
key and way ahead of China, undoubtedly a major po
w
e
r
. P
e
r capita income is impor
tant. B
u
t the total siz
e of the economy is even mor
e impor
tant for international po
w
e
r
.
P
o
v
e
r
ty is a pr
oblem, but the siz
e of the economy determines what percentage of your r
esources you can devote to militar
y and r
elated matters. The S
o
viet U
n
ion and China both had lo
w per capita incomes. Y
et the sheer siz
es of their economies made them gr
eat po
wers. I
n
fact, a substantial economy plus a large population have histori=
cally made a nation something to be r
eckoned with, r
egar
dless of po
ver
ty
. M
e
xico
s
population was about 27 million in 1950. I
t
surged to about 100 million o
v
er the next fty y
e
ars and to 107 million b
y
2005. The UN for
ecast for 2050 is betw
een 114 million and 139 million people, with 114 million being mor
e probable. H
aving incr
eased about four
fold in the last fty years, M
e
xico
s
population will be basically stable in the next fty
. B
u
t M
exico will not lose population (like the advanced industrial countries will in the futur
e), and M
exico has the workforce it needs to expand. This gives it an adv
antage. S
o
, in terms of population or siz
e, M
e
xico is not a small countr
y
.
Cer
tainly it is an unstable countr
y
,
torn by dr
ugs and car
tels, but China was in chaos in 1970. Chaos can be o
v
ercome. Ther
e ar
e plenty of other countries like M
exico that we would not label as signicant geopolitical fault lines. B
ut M
exico is fundamentally differ
ent from any of these, like B
razil or I
n
dia. M
e
xico is in N
o
r
th America, which, as we have disco
ver
ed, is no
w the center of gravity of the international sys=
tem. I
t
also fronts both the Atlantic and P
a
cic oceans and shar
es a long and tense bor
der with the U
nited S
tates. M
exico has alr
eady fought a major war with the U
n
ited S
tates for domination of N
o
r
th America, and lost. M
e
xico
s society and economy ar
e intricately bound together with those of the U
n
ited S
tates. M
e
xico
s
strategic location and its incr
easing impor
tance as a nation make it a potential fault line. T
o
understand the natur
e of the fault line, let me briey touch on the concept of bor
derland. B
etween two neighboring countries, ther
e is fr
e=
quently an ar
ea that has, o
v
er time, passed back and for
th betw
een them. I
t is an ar
ea of mix
ed nationalities and cultur
es. F
o
r example, Alsace-Lorraine lies between F
rance and G
e
rmany
. I
t
has a unique mix
ed cultur
e and indi=
8
4 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars viduals with differ
ent national lo
yalties. F
r
ench, G
e
rman, and a mix
ed r
e
=
gional argot ar
e spoken ther
e. Right no
w
,
F
rance controls the r
egion. B
ut r
e
=
gar
dless of who controls it at any given time, it is a bor
derland, with two cultur
es and an underlying tension. The world is lled with bor
derlands. Think of N
o
r
t
hern I
r
eland as the bor
derland between the U
nited Kingdom and I
r
eland. Kashmir is a bor
derland betw
een I
n
dia and P
akistan. Think of the R
ussianP
olish bor
der
, or of K
oso
vo, the bor
derland between S
erbia and Albania. Think of the F
r
ench- CanadianU.S. bor
der
. These ar
e all bor
der=
lands of var
ying degr
ees of tension. Ther
e is a bor
derland between the U
n
ited S
tates and M
e
xico, with M
e
x=
icans and Americans sharing a mix
ed cultur
e. The bor
derland is on both sides of the ofcial bor
der
. The U.S. side is unlike the r
est of the U
nited S
tates, and the M
exican side is unlike the r
est of M
exico
. Like other bor
der=
lands, this one is its o
w
n unique place, with one ex
ception: M
exicans on both sides of the bor
der have deep ties to M
exico, and Americans have deep ties to the U
n
ited S
tates. U
n
derneath the economic and cultural mixtur
e, ther
e is always political tension. This is par
ticularly tr
ue her
e because of the constant mo
vement of M
exicans into the bor
derland, across the bor
der
, and throughout the U
n
ited S
tates. The same cannot be said of Americans mi=
grating south into M
e
xico
. M
ost bor
derlands change hands many times. The U.S.M
exican bor
der=
land has changed hands only once so far
. N
o
r
t
hern M
exico was slo
wly absorbed by the U
nited S
tates beginning with the 18351836 r
e
v
olution in T
e
xas and culminating in the M
e
xican-
American W
ar of 18461848. I
t
constituted the southw
estern par
t of today
s U
n
ited S
tates. The bor
der was set at the Rio G
rande, and later adjusted in the west to include the south of Ariz
ona. The indigenous M
exican popula=
tion was not forcibly displaced. M
exicans continued to live in the ar
ea, which was later occupied by a much larger number of American settlers from the east. D
uring the second half of the twentieth centur
y
,
another population mo
vement from M
exico into the bor
derland and beyond took place, fur
ther complicating the demographic pictur
e. W
e
can draw a distinction between conventional immigration and pop=
ulation mo
vements in a bor
derland. When other immigrant groups arrive in a countr
y
,
they ar
e physically separated from their homeland and sur=
rounded by powerful forces that draw their children into the host culture
and economy. A movement into a borderland is different. It is an extension
of one’s homeland, not a separation from it. The border represents a politi-
cal boundary, not a cultural or economic boundary, and immigrants are not
at a great distance from home. They remain physically connected, and their
loyalties are complex and variable.
Mexicans who move into the borderland behave differently from Mexi-
cans living in Chicago. Those in Chicago behave more like conventional
immigrants. Mexicans in the borderland potentially can regard themselves
as living in occupied territory rather than a foreign country. This is no dif-
ferent from the way American settlers in Texas viewed their position prior to
the revolution. They were Mexican citizens, but they saw themselves prima-
rily as Americans and created a secessionist movement that tore Texas away
from Mexico.
the new fault l i ne s 85
Gulf of
Gulf of
Mexico
Mexico
Paciic
Paciic
Ocean
Ocean
UNITED
UNITED
STATES
STATES
MEXICO
MEXICO
CANADA
CANADA
Gulf of
Mexico
Paciic
Ocean
CANADA
UNITED
STATES
MEXICO
Mexico Prior to Texas Rebellion
Frie_9780385517058_3p_all_r1.qxp:Layout 1 10/31/08 4:30 PM Page 85
8
6 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars At a cer
tain point, the status of the bor
derland simply becomes a ques=
tion of militar
y and political po
wer
. The bor
derland belongs to the stronger side, and the question of str
ength is determined on the ground. S
i
nce 1848, the political bor
der has been x
ed by the o
v
er
whelming po
wer of the U
n
ited S
tates. P
o
pulations might shift. S
muggling might take place. B
u
t the political boundaries ar
e x
ed b
y
militar
y r
e
ality
. Later in the centur
y
,
the curr
ent bor
der will have been in place for two hundr
ed y
e
ars. M
e
xican national po
w
e
r might r
eemerge, and the demogra=
phy of the bor
derland on the American side may have shifted so dramati=
cally that the political boundaries might not be able to hold. At that time, it
s
quite possible that M
exico may no longer be the fteenth- biggest coun=
tr
y economically
, but well into the top ten. S
tranger things have happened, a
n
d fr
ee trade with the U
nited S
tates helps. The countries curr
ently ranked a
h
e
a
d of M
exico include many E
u
ropean countries with sever
e demo=
graphic problems. G
i
ven the impact of a potential M
e
xicanAmerican confrontation on the bor
der
, ther
e is no question but that this fault line must be taken seri=
ously
. summing up I
f
we ar
e looking for new challenges after the U.S.jihadist war is o
v
er
, ther
e ar
e two obvious places to look. M
exico and T
urkey ar
e clearly not yet r
eady for a signicant global r
ole, and E
u
r
o
pe will r
e
main insular and divided (it will r
e
act to events but will not initiate them). That leaves two fault lines, the P
acic and E
u
rasia, and, in the context of 2020, that means two coun=
tries possibly asser
ting themselves: China or R
ussia. A thir
d possibility
, mor
e distant in the context of 2020, is J
apan, but J
apan
s
behavior will depend heavily on China
s. Ther
efor
e, we need to examine with some car
e the geopolitical positions of China and R
ussia in or
der to pr
edict which will be=
come active rst, and which will ther
efor
e pose the gr
eatest challenge to the U
n
ited S
tates in the next decade. What we ar
e talking about her
e, geopolitically
, ar
e what we call s
ys=
temic
conicts. The Cold W
ar was a systemic conict. I
t
pitted the two 8
7 the ne
w f
a
ul
t l i ne s leading po
wers against each other in a way that dened the entir
e interna=
tional system. Ther
e wer
e other conicts, but most of them got sucked into the vor
tex of the major conict. Thus ever
ything from the ArabI
sraeli wars to Chilean internal politics to Congolese independence got drawn into the Cold W
ar and shaped by it. The two world wars wer
e also systemic con=
icts. B
y
denition, such a conict must include the dominant geopolitical po
w
e
r at the time. Ther
efor
e, it must include the U
n
ited S
tates. And, again by denition, the U
n
ited S
tates will include itself in any major confronta=
tion. I
f
R
ussia and China wer
e to confront each other
, U.S. indiffer
ence or neutrality would be highly improbable. The outcome of the confrontation would mean too much to the U
n
ited S
tates. M
o
r
e
o
v
er
, R
ussia and China could not ght each other without absolute guarantees that the U
nited S
tates would stay out of the war
. The U
n
ited S
tates is so po
wer
ful that its al=
liance with either would mean the defeat of the other
. Which countr
y
,
China or R
ussia, is mor
e likely to act in such a way as to bring it into confrontation with the U
n
ited S
tates? G
i
ven what we have seen of American grand strategy
, the U
n
ited S
tates is not inclined to begin a con=
ict itself
, unless it is faced with an aggr
essive r
egional po
wer seeking to in=
cr
ease its security to the point of being able to thr
eaten American inter
ests in a fragmented E
urasian landmass. S
o, looking into futur
e decades, we need to addr
ess the inclinations of China and R
ussia. Let
s
begin with the po
wer ever
yone takes most seriouslyChina. CHAPTER 5 CHI NA 2020 P
a
p
er T
i ger A
ny discussion of the futur
e has to begin with a discussion of China. O
ne-quar
ter of the world lives in China, and ther
e has been a gr
eat deal of discussion of China as a futur
e global po
wer
. I
t
s economy has been surging dramatically in the past thir
ty y
e
ars, and it is cer
tainly a signicant po
wer
. B
ut thir
ty years of gro
wth does not mean unending gro
wth. I
t
means that the probability of China continuing to gro
w at this rate is diminishing. And in the case of China, slo
wer gro
wth means sub=
stantial social and political problems. I don
t
shar
e the view that China is go=
ing to be a major world po
wer
. I don
t
even believe it will hold together as a unied countr
y
.
B
ut I do agr
ee that we can
t
discuss the futur
e without rst discussing China. China
s
geography makes it unlikely that it will become an active fault line. I
f
it wer
e to become an ar
ea of conict, it would be less China striking out than China becoming the victim of others taking advantage of its weakness. China
s
economy is not nearly as robust as it might seem, and its political sta=
bility
, which depends heavily on continuing rapid gro
wth, is even mor
e pr
e=
carious. China is impor
tant, ho
w
e
v
e
r
,
because it appears to be the most likely global challenger in the near termat least in the minds of others. MONGOLIA
MONGOLIA
RUSSIA
RUSSIA
KAZAKHSTAN
KAZAKHSTAN
INDIA
INDIA
NEPAL
NEPAL
MYANMAR
MYANMAR
VIETNAM
VIETNAM
CHINA
CHINA
Beijing
Beijing
Chengdu
Chengdu
Chongqing
Chongqing
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Guamgzhou
Guamgzhou
Shanghai
Shanghai
NORTH
NORTH
KOREA
KOREA
SOUTH
SOUTH
KOREA
KOREA
JAPAN
JAPAN
TAIWAN
TAIWAN
MONGOLIA
RUSSIA
KAZAKHSTAN
INDIA
NEPAL
MYANMAR
VIETNAM
CHINA
Beijing
Chengdu
Chongqing
Hong Kong
Guangzhou
Shanghai
NORTH
KOREA
SOUTH
KOREA
JAPAN
TAIWAN
China: Impassable Terrain
chi na 2 02 0 89
Again, using geopolitics as our framework, we will begin by considering
the basics.
First, China is an island. It is obviously not surrounded by water, but it
is surrounded by impassable terrain and wastelands that effectively isolate it
from the rest of the world (see map below).
To China’s north are Siberia and the Mongolian steppe—inhospitable,
lightly settled, and difficult to traverse. To the southwest are the impassable
Himalayas. The southern border with Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam is si-
multaneously mountains and jungle, and to the east are oceans. Only its
western border with Kazakhstan can be traveled by large numbers of people,
but there too, movement involves a level of effort not frequently justified in
Chinese history.
The vast majority of China’s population lives within one thousand miles
of the coast, populating the eastern third of the country, with the other two-
thirds being quite underpopulated (see map, page 90).
China was completely conquered only once—by the Mongols in the
Frie_9780385517058_4p_all_r1.qxp:Layout 1 11/13/08 12:37 PM Page 89
twelfth century—and it has rarely extended its power beyond its present
borders. China is not historically aggressive and has only intermittently in-
volved itself with the rest of the world. It must be remembered that China
has not always engaged in international trade, periodically closing itself off
and avoiding contact with foreigners. When it does engage in trade, it does
so using overland routes like the Silk Road through Central Asia and mer-
chant ships sailing from its eastern ports (see map, page 91). The Europeans
encountered a China in the mid- nineteenth century that was going through
one of its isolationist periods. It was united but relatively poor. The Euro-
peans forced their way in, engaging coastal China in intense trade. This had
two effects. The first was the dramatic increase in wealth in the coastal areas
that were engaged in trade. The second was the massive increase in inequal-
ity between China’s coast and the poor interior regions. This disparity also
led to the weakening of the central government’s control over the coastal re-
gions, and to increased instability and chaos. The coastal regions preferred
close ties to (and even domination by) the Europeans.
90 the ne xt 1 00 years
MONGOLIA
MONGOLIA
RUSSIA
RUSSIA
KAZAKHSTAN
KAZAKHSTAN
INDIA
INDIA
NEPAL
NEPAL
MYANMAR
MYANMAR
VIETNAM
VIETNAM
NORTH
NORTH
KOREA
KOREA
SOUTH
SOUTH
KOREA
KOREA
JAPAN
JAPAN
TAIWAN
TAIWAN
MONGOLIA
RUSSIA
KAZAKHSTAN
INDIA
NEPAL
MYANMAR
VIETNAM
NORTH
KOREA
SOUTH
KOREA
JAPAN
TAIWAN
People per Square Kilometer
401+
301–400
201–300
101–200
0–100
China’s Population Density
Frie_9780385517058_4p_all_r1.qxp:Layout 1 11/13/08 12:37 PM Page 90
The period of chaos lasted from the mid- nineteenth century until the
Communists took power in 1949. Mao had tried to foment a revolution in
coastal cities like Shanghai. Having failed, he took the famous long march
into the interior, where he raised an army of poor peasants, fought a civil
war, and retook the coast. He then returned China to its pre- European en-
closure. From 1949 until Mao’s death, China was united and dominated by
a strong government, but was isolated and poor.
china’s gamble
Mao’s death led his successors to try once more for the historic Chinese
dream. They wanted a China that was wealthy from international trade
but united under a single powerful government. Deng Xiaoping, Mao’s
successor, knew that China could not remain isolated permanently and
still be secure. Someone would take advantage of China’s economic weak-
ness. Deng therefore gambled. He bet that this time China could open its
borders, engage in international trade, and not be torn apart by internal
conflict.
chi na 2 02 0 91
Rome
Rome
Constantinople
Constantinople
Samarkand
Samarkand
Bukhara
Bukhara
Merv
Merv
Tyre
Tyre
Rome
Constantinople
Antioch
Samarkand
Bukhara
Merv
Dunhuang
Bactra
Kabul
Hotan
Xian
Tashkent
Kashgar
Tyre
Palmyra
Alexandria
Silk Road
Frie_9780385517058_3p_all_r1.qxp:Layout 1 10/31/08 4:30 PM Page 91
9
2 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars The coastal r
egions again became prosperous and closely tied to outside po
wers. I
nexpensive products and trade produced wealth for the gr
eat coastal cities like S
h
anghai, but the interior r
e
mained impo
verished. T
en=
sions between the coast and the interior incr
eased, but the Chinese go
vern=
ment maintained its balance and B
e
ijing continued to r
ule, without losing control of any of the r
egions and without having to risk generating r
e
volt by being ex
cessively r
epr
essive. This has gone on for about thir
ty years, which is not ver
y long by any standar
d (and cer
tainly not by Chinese ones). The open question is whether the internal forces building up in China can be managed. And this is the point at which we begin our analysis of China and its effect on the interna=
tional system in the twenty- rst centur
y
. W
ill China r
e
main par
t of the global trading system? And if it does, will it disintegrate again? China is gambling at the beginning of the twenty- rst centur
y that it can carr
y out an indenite balancing act. The assumption is that it will be able to gradually shift r
esources away from the wealthier coastal r
egions to
war
d the interior without meeting r
esistance from the coast and with=
out encountering r
estlessness in the interior
. B
eijing wants to keep the vari=
ous par
ts of China happy and is doing ever
ything in its po
wer to achieve that end. U
nderlying this is another serious, and mor
e thr
eatening, problem. China appears to be a capitalist countr
y with priv
ate pr
oper
ty
, banks, and all the other accoutr
ements of capitalism. B
u
t it is not tr
uly capitalist in the sense that the markets do not determine capital allocation. Who you kno
w counts for much mor
e than whether you have a good business plan. B
etween Asian systems of family and social ties and the communist systems of political r
e
=
lationships, loans have been given out for a host of r
easons, none of them having much to do with the merits of the business. As a r
esult, not surpris=
ingly
, a r
emarkably large number of these loans have gone bad
nonper=
forming, in the jargon of banking. The amount is estimated at somewher
e betw
een $600 billion and $900 billion, or betw
een a quar
ter and a thir
d of China
s
GDP
, a staggering amount. These bad debts ar
e being managed through ver
y high gro
wth rates driven by lo
w- cost expor
ts. The world has a huge appetite for cheap expor
ts, and the cash coming in from them keeps businesses with huge debts aoat. 9
3 chi na 2 02 0 B
ut the lo
wer China sets its prices, the less prot ther
e is in them. P
r
otless expor
ts drive a giant churning of the economic engine without actually get=
ting it anywher
e. Think of it as a business that makes money by selling products at or belo
w cost. A huge amount of cash o
ws into the business, but it o
ws out just as fast. This has been an ongoing issue in East Asia, and the example of J
apan is instr
uctive. J
apan during the 1980s was seen as an economic superpo
wer
. I
t was devastating American businessesMBAs wer
e being taught to learn from the J
apanese and emulate their business practices. Cer
tainly J
apan was gr
o
wing extr
emely rapidly
, but its rapid gr
o
wth had less to do with manage=
ment than with J
apan
s
banking system. J
apanese banks, under go
vernment r
egulation, paid extr
emely lo
w inter=
est rates on money deposited by or
dinar
y J
apanese. U
n
der the various laws, the only option for most J
apanese was to put money into J
apan
s
post ofce, which doubled as a bank. The post ofce paid minimal inter
est rates. The go
v
e
rnment turned ar
ound and lent th
is money to J
apan
s
largest b
a
nks, again at interest rates well belo
w international levels. These banks lent it again cheaply to businesses with which they wer
e linked, so S
u
mitomo B
ank loaned the money to S
u
mitomo Chemical. While American compa=
nies wer
e borro
wing money at double- digit rates in the 1970s, J
apa nese companies wer
e borro
wing money at a fraction of that amount. I
t
was no surprise that J
apanese businesses did better than American ones. The cost of money was much lo
wer
. I
t
is also no surprise that the J
apanese had extr
emely high savings rates. J
apan had vir
tually no public r
e
=
tir
ement plan at the time, and corporate pensions w
e
r
e
minimal. J
apanese planned for r
etir
ement through savings. They wer
en
t
mor
e fr
ugal, just mor
e desperate. And this pool of desperate depositors had no alternative but to make deposits at v
e
r
y
lo
w inter
est rates. While high inter
est rates imposed discipline on W
estern economies, culling out the weaker companies, J
apanese banks wer
e lending money at ar
ticially lo
w rates to friendly corporations. N
o
r
e
al mar
ket existed. M
oney was o
wing and r
elationships wer
e the key
. As a r
esult, a lot of bad loans w
e
r
e
made. The primar
y means of nancing in J
apan was not raising equity in the stock market. I
t
was borro
wing money from banks. Boar
ds of dir
ectors con=
9
4 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars sisted of company emplo
yees and bankers who wer
e not inter
ested in prots nearly as much as they wer
e in cash o
w that would keep their companies aoat and pay off their debts. S
o
J
apan had one of the lo
west rates of r
e
turn on capital in the industrializ
ed world. B
u
t it had a fabulous gr
o
wth rate in terms of siz
e because of the way the J
apanese str
uctur
ed their economy
. They liv
ed b
y
expor
ting. The J
apanese had to
. W
ith an extr
emely high savings rate driving the system, average J
apanese citiz
ens wer
e not spending money
, and ther
efor
e J
apan could not build the economy on domestic demand. And since J
apa =
nese companies wer
e controlled not by investors but by insiders and bankers, what they wanted to do was incr
ease the cash coming in. H
o
w much, if any
, prot was generated matter
ed less. Ther
efor
e, lo
w- cost expor
ts surged. M
o
r
e money was lent, mor
e cash was needed, and mor
e expor
ts wer
e sent out. The economy gr
ew
. B
u
t underneath it, a crisis was br
ewing. The casual ways in which J
apanese banks made loans incr
eased the num=
ber of nonper
forming loansloans that wer
e not being r
e
paid. A lot of bad ideas wer
e funded. Rather than write these off and let the businesses in=
volved go into bankr
uptcy
, J
apanese banks co
ver
ed up with mor
e loans to keep the companies alive. Loans surged, and since depositors
money was spent maintaining the system, expor
ts to bring in even mor
e money wer
e es=
sential. The system was awash with money
, but underneath it a v
ast array of companies on life suppor
tand companies str
uggling to incr
ease cash without r
egar
d for protwer
e undermining the entir
e nancial system. M
a
ssive surges in expor
ts wer
e producing ver
y little prot. The entir
e sys=
tem was churning just to keep itself aoat. F
r
om the outside, J
apan was surging, taking o
v
er markets with incr
edi=
ble products at cheap prices. I
t
was not obsessed with prots like American rms w
e
r
e
, and the J
apanese appear
ed to hav
e a hammerlock on the futur
e. I
n
fact, the opposite was tr
ue. J
apan was living off a legacy of cheap
, go
vernment- controlled money
, and lo
w prices wer
e a desperate attempt to keep the cash coming in so the banking system would hold together
. I
n
the end, the debt str
uctur
e gr
ew too massiv
e and it became impossible to stay in front of it with expor
ts. J
apanese banks began to collapse and wer
e bailed out by the go
vernment. I
nstead of permitting a massive r
ecession to impose discipline, J
apan used various salvaging means to put off extr
eme pain 9
5 chi na 2 02 0 in r
e
turn for a long- term malaise that is still lingering. G
r
o
wth plunged, mar
kets plunged. I
n
ter
estingly
, while the crisis hit in the early 1990s, many W
esterners did not notice that the J
apanese economy had failed until years later
. They wer
e still talking about the J
apanese economic miracle in the mid-1990s. H
o
w is this r
elevant to China? China is J
apan on steroids. I
t
is not only an Asian state that values social r
elations abo
ve economic discipline but a communist state that allocates money politically and manipulates economic data. I
t
is also a state in which equity holdersdemanding protsar
e less impor
tant than bankers and go
vernment ofcials, who demand cash. Both economies r
ely heavily on expor
ts, both have staggeringly high gro
wth rates, and both face collapse when the gro
wth rate begins even to bar
ely slo
w
. J
apan
s
bad debt rate ar
ound 1990 was, b
y
my estimate, about 20 per
cent of GDP
. China
s
, under the most conser
vative estimate, is about 25 percent and I would argue the number is closer to 40 percent. B
ut even 25 percent is staggeringly high. China
s
economy appears healthy and vibrant, and if you look only at ho
w fast the economy is gro
wing, it is br
eathtaking. G
r
o
wth is only one fac=
tor to examine, ho
wever
. The mor
e impor
tant question is whether such gro
wth is protable. M
uch of China
s
gro
wth is ver
y r
e
al, and it generates the money necessar
y to keep the banks satised. B
ut this gro
wth r
eally does not str
engthen the economy
. And if and when it slacks off
, for example be=
cause of a r
ecession in the U
nited S
tates, the entir
e str
uctur
e could cr
umble ver
y fast. This is not a ne
w stor
y in Asia. J
apan was a gro
wth engine in the 1980s. Conventional wisdom said it was going to bur
y the U
n
ited S
tates. B
u
t in r
e
=
ality
, while J
apan
s
economy was gro
wing fast, its gro
wth rates wer
e unsus=
tainable. When gro
wth slumped, J
apan had a massive banking crisis from which it has not r
e
ally fully r
eco
ver
ed almost twenty years later
. S
imilarly
, when East Asia
s
economy imploded in 1997, it came as a surprise to many
, since the economies had been gro
wing so fast. China has expanded extraor
dinarily for the last thir
ty y
e
ars. The idea that such gr
o
wth rates can be sustained indenitely or permanently violates basic principles of economics. At some point the business cy
cle, culling w
e
ak business, must r
e
ar its ugly headand it will. A
t
some point a simple 9
6 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars lack of skilled labor will halt continued gro
wth. Ther
e ar
e str
uctural limits to gro
wth, and China is r
e
aching them. china
s
political crisis J
apan solv
ed its pr
oblem with a generation of lo
w gr
o
wth. I
t
had the politi=
cal and social discipline to do this without unr
est. East Asia solved it in two ways. S
o
me countries, like S
outh K
o
r
e
a and T
aiwan, imposed painful mea=
sur
es and came out stronger than ever
, but this was possible only because they had strong states able to impose pain. S
o
me countries, like I
n
donesia, never r
eally r
eco
ver
ed. The problem for China is political. China is held together by money
, not ideology
. When ther
e is an economic do
wnturn and the money stops rolling in, not only will the banking system spasm, but the entir
e fabric of Chinese society will shudder
. Lo
yalty in China is either bought or coerced. W
ithout available money
, only coercion r
emains. B
usiness slo
wdo
wns can generally lead to instability because they lead to business failur
e and unem=
plo
yment. I
n
a countr
y wher
e po
ver
ty is endemic and unemplo
yment wide=
spr
ead, the added pr
essur
e of an economic do
wnturn will r
esult in political instability
. R
ecall ho
w China split into coastal and interior r
egions between the B
ritish intr
usion and M
a
o
s triumph. B
usinesses on the coast, prosperous from for
eign trade and investment, gravitated to their for
eign inter
ests, tr
y=
ing to br
eak fr
ee from the central go
vernment. They dr
ew in E
u
ropean imperialistsand Americanswho had nancial inter
ests in China. T
o
=
day
s
situation is potentially the same. A businessman in S
h
anghai has inter=
ests in common with Los Angeles, N
e
w Y
o
rk, and London. I
n
fact, he makes far mor
e money from these r
elationships than he does from B
eijing. As B
e
ijing tries to clamp do
wn on him, not only will he want to br
eak fr
ee of its control, but he will tr
y to draw in for
eign po
wers to protect his and their inter
ests. I
n
the meantime, the much poor
er people in the interior of the countr
y will be either tr
ying to mo
ve to the coastal cities or pr
essuring B
e
ijing to tax the coast and give them money
. B
e
ijing, caught in the middle, either weakens and loses control or clamps do
wn so har
d that it mo
ves back 9
7 chi na 2 02 0 to a M
a
oist enclosur
e of the countr
y
. The critical question is which outcome is mor
e likely
. The Chinese r
egime r
ests on two pillars. O
ne is the vast bur
eaucracy that operates China. The second is the militar
y- security complex that enforces the will of the state and the Communist P
a
r
t
y
.
A thir
d pillar
, the ideological principles of the Communist P
a
r
t
y
,
has no
w disappear
ed. E
g
alitarianism, selessness, and ser
vice to the people ar
e no
w archaic values, pr
eached but not believed by or practiced by the Chinese people. S
tate, par
ty
, and security apparati ar
e as affected b
y
the decline in ideol=
ogy as the r
est of society
. Communist P
a
r
ty ofcials have been the personal beneciaries of the new or
der
. I
f
the r
egime wer
e to tr
y to bring the coastal r
egions under control, it is har
d to imagine the apparatus being par
ticularly aggr
essive, as it is par
t of the same system that enriched those r
egions. I
n
the nineteenth centur
y the same problem emerged when go
vernment ofcials along the coast didn
t
want to enforce B
eijing
s
edicts. They wer
e on the side of doing business with for
eigners. I
f
ther
e is indeed a serious economic crisis, the central go
vernment will have to nd a substitute ideology for communism. I
f
people ar
e to sacrice, it must be for something they believe inand if the Chinese cannot believe in communism, they can still believe in China. The Chinese go
vernment will attempt to limit disintegration b
y
incr
easing nationalism and the natu=
ral companion of nationalism, x
enophobia. H
istorically
, China has a deep distr
ust of for
eigners, and the par
ty will need to blame someone for eco=
nomic devastation. As M
a
o blamed for
eigners for China
s
weakness and po
ver
ty
, the par
ty will again blame for
eigners for China
s
economic problems. S
i
nce ther
e will be substantial confrontations with for
eign states on eco=
nomic issuesthey will be defending their economic investments in China playing the nationalist car
d will come easily
. The idea of China as a gr
eat po
wer will substitute for the lost ideology of communism. D
i
sputes will help bolster the position of the Chinese go
vernment. B
y
blaming for
eigners for problems and confronting for
eign go
vernments diplomatically and with gro
wing militar
y po
wer
, the Chinese will generate public suppor
t for the r
egime. This is most likely to take place in the 2010s. The most natural confrontation would be with J
apan and/or the U
n
ited S
tates, both historical enemies with whom smoldering disputes alr
eady ex=
9
8 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars ist. R
ussia is unlikely to be tr
eated as an enemy
. H
o
wever
, the probability of a militar
y confrontation with the J
apanese or the Americans is limited. I
t would be difcult for the Chinese to engage either countr
y aggr
essively
. The Chinese have a weak navy that could not sur
vive a confrontation with the U
n
ited S
tates. Ther
efor
e, invading T
aiwan might be tempting in theor
y but is not likely to happen. China does not have the naval po
wer to force its way across the T
aiwan S
trait, and cer
tainly not the ability to protect convo
ys shuttling supplies to T
aiwanese battleelds. China is not going to dev
elop a naval capacity that can challenge the U
n
ited S
tates within a decade. I
t
takes a long time to build a navy
. China, then, has thr
ee possible futur
e paths. I
n
the rst, it continues to gro
w at astronomical rates indenitely
. N
o
countr
y has ever done that, and China is not likely to be an ex
ception. The extraor
dinar
y gro
wth of the past thir
ty years has cr
eated huge imbalances and inefciencies in China
s
economy that will have to be corr
ected. At some point China will have to go through the kind of wr
enching r
e
adjustment that the r
est of Asia alr
eady has under=
gone. A second possible path is the r
ecentralization of China, wher
e the con=
icting inter
ests that will emerge and compete follo
wing an economic slo
w=
do
wn ar
e controlled by a strong central go
vernment that imposes or
der and r
estricts the r
egions
room to maneuver
. That scenario is mor
e probable than the rst, but the fact that the apparatus of the central go
vernment is lled with people whose o
w
n inter
ests oppose centralization would make this dif=
cult to pull off
. The go
vernment can
t
necessarily r
ely on its o
w
n people to enforce the r
ules. N
ationalism is the only tool they have to hold things
together
. A thir
d possibility is that under the str
ess of an economic do
wnturn, China fragments along traditional r
egional lines, while the central go
vern=
ment weakens and becomes less po
wer
ful. T
raditionally
, this is a mor
e plau=
sible scenario in Chinaand one that will benet the wealthier classes as well as for
eign investors. I
t
will leave China in the position it was in prior to M
ao, with r
egional competition and perhaps even conict and a central go
v=
ernment str
uggling to maintain control. I
f
we accept the fact that China
s 9
9 chi na 2 02 0 economy will hav
e to undergo a r
e
adjustment at some point, and that this will generate serious tension, as it would in any countr
y
,
then this thir
d out=
come ts most closely with r
e
ality and with Chinese histor
y
. a jap
anese v
a
riant The advanced industrial world will be experiencing a contraction of popu=
lation in the 2010s, and labor will be at a pr
emium. F
o
r some countries, due to entr
enched cultural values, immigration either is not an option or is at least a v
e
r
y
difcult one. J
apan, for example, is extr
emely av
erse to immigra=
tion, yet it must nd a source of labor that is under its control and that can be tax
ed to suppor
t older workers. M
ost workers with a choice of wher
e to go will not choose J
apan, as it is fairly inhospitable to for
eigners who want to become citiz
ens. K
o
r
eans in J
apan ar
e not citiz
ens of J
apan. E
v
en if they have lived all their lives and worked in J
apan, they ar
e issued papers by the J
apanese police calling them K
or
ean
(neither nor
th nor south) and ar
e un=
able to become J
apanese citiz
ens. Consider
, ho
wever
, that China is a vast pool of r
elatively lo
w- cost labor
. I
f
the Chinese won
t
come to J
apan, J
apan may come to China, as it has be=
for
e. U
sing Chinese labor in enterprises cr
eated by the J
apanese but located in China will be an alternativ
e to immigrationand it will not only be J
apan doing this. R
e
member that B
e
ijing will be tr
ying simultaneously to tighten its grip on the countr
y
. T
raditionally
, when the central go
vernment is clamping do
wn on China, it is pr
epar
ed to accept lo
wer economic gro
wth. While a large- scale, concentrated J
apanese pr
esence sucking up Chinese labor might make a gr
eat deal of economic sense for local entr
epr
eneurs and go
vernments and even for B
eijing, it makes little political sense. I
t
would cut dir
ectly against B
e
ijing
s
political inter
ests. B
u
t J
apan will not want the Chinese go
v=
ernment diver
ting money to its o
w
n ends. That would defeat the entir
e pur=
pose of the ex
ercise. B
y
appr
o
ximately 2020, J
apan will hav
e Chinese allies in the ght to bring in J
apanese investment on terms favorable to J
apan. Coastal r
egions will be competing to attract J
apanese investment and r
esisting B
e
ijing
s
pr
es=
1
0
0 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars sur
e and its nationalist ideology
. I
nterior China might not benet from J
apan
s
pr
esence, but businesses and go
vernments along the coast would. The J
apanese, with large amounts of money
, will have r
ecr
uited allies in the coastal cities who do not want to pay the price that will be needed to satisfy the demands of the interior
. An alliance between one or mor
e coastal re
=
gions and J
apan will emerge, confronting the po
wer of B
eijing. The amount of money that J
apan will bring to bear will rapidly divide the cen=
tral par
ty itself and weaken the central go
vernment
s
ability to asser
t its con=
trol on the coastal cities. China will be seen as par
t of the solution for countries like J
apan that ar
e feeling heavy pr
essur
e from demographic problems but cannot manage large- scale immigration. U
nfor
tunately the timing will not be good. An in=
evitable do
wnturn in the Chinese economy will make the central go
vern=
ment mor
e asser
tive and mor
e nationalist. B
u
t the central go
vernment will itself be weakened by the corrosive effect of money
. China will r
emain for=
mally united, but po
wer will tend to devolve to the r
egions. A v
e
r
y
r
e
al futur
e for China in 2020 is its old nightmar
ea countr
y di=
vided among competing r
egional leaders, for
eign po
wers taking advantage of the situation to cr
eate r
egions wher
e they can dene economic r
ules to their advantage, and a central go
vernment tr
ying to hold it all together but failing. A second possibility is a neo- M
aoist China, centraliz
ed at the cost of economic progr
ess. As always, the least likely scenario is the continuation of the curr
ent situation indenitely
. I
t
all boils do
wn to this: China does not r
epr
esent a geopolitical fault line in the next twenty years. I
ts geography makes that unlikely under any cir=
cumstances, and China
s
level of militar
y development needs mor
e than a decade to o
v
ercome this geographical limit. I
nternal str
esses on the Chinese economy and society will give China far gr
eater internal problems than it can r
easonably handle, and ther
efor
e it will have little time for for
eign pol=
icy adv
entur
es. T
o
the extent that China will be inv
olv
ed with for
eign po
w=
ers, it will be defending itself against encroachment rather than projecting its o
wn po
w
e
r
. CHAPTER 6 RUSSI A 2020 Re
m
a
t
c
h I
n geopolitics, major conicts r
e
peat themselves. F
rance and G
e
rmany
, for example, fought multiple wars, as did P
oland and R
ussia. When a single war does not r
esolve an underlying geopolitical issue, it is r
efought until the issue is nally settled. At the ver
y least, even without another war
, tension and confrontation ar
e ongoing. S
i
gnicant conicts ar
e rooted in underlying r
e
alitiesand they do not go away easily
. Keep in mind ho
w quickly B
a
lkan geopolitics led to a r
ecurr
ence of wars that had been fought a centur
y earlier
. R
ussia is the eastern por
tion of E
u
rope and has clashed with the r
est of E
u
rope on multiple occasions. The N
apoleonic wars, the two world wars, and the Cold W
ar all dealt, at least in par
t, with the status of R
ussia and its r
elationship to the r
est of E
u
rope. N
one of these wars ultimately settled this question, because in the end a united and independent R
ussia sur
vived or triumphed. The problem is that the ver
y existence of a united R
ussia poses a signicant potential challenge to E
u
rope. R
ussia is a vast r
egion with a huge population. I
t
is much poor
er than the r
est of E
urope, but it has two assetsland and natural r
esources. As such it is a constant temptation for E
u
ropean po
wers, which see an oppor=
1
0
2 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars tunity to incr
ease their siz
e and wealth to the east. H
i
storically
, though, E
u
=
ropeans who have invaded R
ussia have come to a disastrous end. I
f
they ar
e not beaten by the R
ussians, they ar
e so exhausted from ghting them that s
o
m
e
one else defeats them. R
ussia occasionally pushes its po
wer westwar
d, thr
eatening E
u
rope with the R
ussian masses. At other times passive and ig=
nor
ed, R
ussia is often taken advantage of
. B
ut, in due course, others pay for under
estimating it. The Cold W
ar only appear
ed to have settled the R
ussian question. H
a
d the R
ussian F
ederation collapsed in the 1990s and the r
egion fragmented into multiple, smaller states, R
ussian po
w
e
r would hav
e disappear
ed, and with it the challenge R
ussian po
wer poses to E
u
rope. H
ad the Americans, E
uropeans, and Chinese mo
ved in for the kill, the R
ussian question would have been nally settled. B
u
t the E
u
ropeans wer
e too weak and divided at the end of the twentieth centur
y
,
the Chinese too isolated and pr
eoccupied with internal issues, and after S
e
ptember 11, 2001, the Americans w
e
r
e
too distracted b
y
the I
slamist war to act decisiv
ely
. What actions w
e
r
e
taken b
y the U
nited S
tates wer
e insufcient and unfocused. I
n
fact, these actions only ser
ved to aler
t the R
ussians to the gr
eat potential danger from the U
n
ited S
tates and ensur
ed they would r
espond to it. G
i
ven the simple fact that R
ussia did not disintegrate, the R
ussian geo =
political question will r
eemerge. G
i
ven the fact that R
ussia is no
w r
eenergiz=
ing itself
, that question will come sooner rather than later
. The conict will not be a r
e
peat of the Cold W
a
r
,
any mor
e than W
o
rld W
ar I was a r
e
peat of the N
apoleonic wars. B
u
t it will be a r
estatement of the fundamental R
uss=
ian question: I
f
R
ussia is a united nation- state, wher
e will its frontiers lie and what will be the r
elationship between R
ussia and its neighbors? That question will r
e
pr
esent the next major phase in world histor
yin 2020, and in the y
e
ars leading up to it. r
u
ssian d
ynamics I
f
we ar
e going to understand R
ussia
s
behavior and intentions, we have to<
begin with R
ussia
s
fundamental weaknessits bor
ders, par
ticularly in the<
nor
thwest. E
v
en when Ukraine is controlled by R
ussia, as it has been for<
1
0
3 r
us s i a 2 02 0 centuries, and B
elar
us and M
oldavia ar
e par
t of the R
ussian empir
e as well, ther
e ar
e still no natural bor
ders in the nor
th. The center and south ar
e an=
chor
ed on the Carpathian M
ountains, as far nor
th as the S
l
o
v
akian- P
olish bor
der
, and to the east of them ar
e the P
ripet marshes, boggy and impassa=
ble. B
ut in the nor
th and south (east of the Carpathians), ther
e ar
e no strong barriers to protect R
ussiaor to protect R
ussia
s
neighbors. O
n
the nor
thern E
u
ropean plain, no matter wher
e R
ussia
s
bor
ders ar
e drawn, it is open to attack. Ther
e ar
e few signicant natural barriers any=
wher
e on this plain. P
ushing its western bor
der all the way into G
ermany
, as it did in 1945, still leaves R
ussia
s
frontiers without a physical anchor
. The only physical advantage R
ussia can have is depth. The far
ther west into E
u
=
rope its bor
ders extend, the far
ther conquerors have to travel to r
each M
osco
w
. Ther
efor
e, R
ussia is always pr
essing westwar
d on the nor
thern E
u
=
r
o
pean plain and E
u
r
o
pe is always pr
essing eastwar
d. That is not the case with other bor
ders of R
ussiaby which we mean to include the former S
o
viet U
nion, which has been the rough shape of R
ussia since the end of the nineteenth centur
y
.
I
n
the south, ther
e was a natural se=
cur
e boundar
y
. The B
lack S
ea leads to the Caucasus, separating R
ussia from T
u
rkey and I
ran. I
ran is fur
ther buffer
ed by the Caspian S
e
a, and by the Kara K
um D
eser
t in southern T
u
rkmenistan, which r
uns along the Afghan bor
der
, terminating in the H
imalayas. The R
ussians ar
e concerned with the I
ranianAfghan segment, and might push south as they have done several times. B
u
t they ar
e not going to be invaded on that bor
der
. Their frontier with China is long and vulnerable, but only on a map
. I
n
v
ading S
iberia is not a practical possibility
. I
t
is a v
ast wilderness. Ther
e is a potential w
e
ak=
ness along China
s
western bor
der
, but not a signicant one. Ther
efor
e, the R
ussian empir
e, in any of its incarnations, is fairly secur
e ex
cept in nor
thern E
u
rope, wher
e it faces its worst dangersgeography and po
wer
ful E
u
ro=
pean nations. R
ussia had its guts car
ved out after the collapse of communism. S
t. P
e
=
tersburg, its jew
el, was about a thousand miles away fr
om NA
T
O
tr
oops in 1989. N
o
w it is less than one hundr
ed miles away
. I
n
1989, M
osco
w was twelve hundr
ed miles from the limits of R
ussian po
wer
. N
o
w it is about two hundr
ed miles. I
n
the south, with Ukraine independent, the R
ussian hold on the B
l
ack S
e
a is tenuous, and it has been forced to the nor
thern extr
eme 1
0
4 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars of the Caucasus. Afghanistan is occupied, ho
wever tentatively
, by the Amer=
icans, and R
ussia
s
anchor on the H
imalayas is gone. I
f
ther
e wer
e an army inter
ested in invading, the R
ussian F
e
deration is vir
tually indefensible. R
ussia
s
strategic problem is that it is a vast countr
y with r
elatively poor transpor
tation. I
f
R
ussia wer
e simultaneously attacked along its entir
e pe=
ripher
y
,
in spite of the siz
e of its forces, it would be unable to easily protect itself
. I
t
would have difculty mobilizing forces and deplo
ying them to mul=
tiple fronts, so it would have to maintain an extr
emely large standing army that could be pr
edeplo
yed. This pr
essur
e imposes a huge economic bur
den on R
ussia, undermines the economy
, and causes it to buckle from within. That is what happened to the S
o
viet state. O
f
course, this is not the rst time R
ussia has been in peril. P
r
otecting its frontiers is not R
ussia
s
only problem today
. The R
ussians ar
e extr
emely well awar
e that they ar
e facing a massive demographic crisis. R
ussia
s
curr
ent population is about 145 million people, and projections for 2050 ar
e for betw
een 90 million and 125 million. T
ime is wor
king against it. R
ussia
s
problem will soon be its ability to eld an army sufcient for its strategic needs. I
nternally
, the number of R
ussians compar
ed to other eth=
nic groups is declining, placing intense pr
essur
e on R
ussia to make a mo
ve sooner rather than later
. I
n
its curr
ent geographical position, it is an acci=
dent waiting to happen. G
i
ven R
ussia
s
demographic trajector
y
,
in twenty y
e
ars it may be too late to act, and its leaders kno
w this. I
t
does not hav
e to conquer the world, but R
ussia must r
egain and hold its buffersessentially the boundaries of the old S
o
viet U
nion. B
e
tween their geopolitical, economic, and demographic problems, the R
ussians have to make a fundamental shift. F
or a hundr
ed years the R
us=
sians sought to moderniz
e their countr
y through industrialization, tr
ying to catch up to the r
est of E
urope. They never managed to pull it off
. Around 2000 R
ussia shifted its strategy
. I
nstead of focusing on industrial develop=
ment as they had in the past centur
y
,
the R
ussians r
einvented themselves as expor
ters of natural r
esources, par
ticularly energy
, but also minerals, agri=
cultural products, lumber
, and pr
ecious metals. B
y
de-emphasizing industrial dev
elopment, and emphasizing raw mate=
rials, the R
ussians took a ver
y differ
ent path, one mor
e common to coun=
tries in the developing world. B
ut given the unexpected rise of energy and 1
0
5 r
us s i a 2 02 0 commodity prices, this mo
ve not only saved the R
ussian economy but also str
engthened it to the point wher
e R
ussia could affor
d to drive its o
w
n se=
lective r
e
industrialization. M
ost impor
tant, since natural r
esource produc=
tion is less manpo
wer-intensive than industrial production, it gave R
ussia an economic base that could be sustained with a declining population. I
t
also gave R
ussia leverage in the international system. E
u
rope is hungr
y for energy
. R
ussia, constr
ucting pipelines to feed natural gas to E
u
rope, takes car
e of E
urope
s
energy needs and its o
w
n economic problems, and puts E
u
rope in a position of dependency on R
ussia. I
n
an energy- hungr
y world, R
ussia
s
energy expor
ts ar
e like heroin. I
t
addicts countries once they star
t using it. R
ussia has alr
eady used its natural gas r
esources to force neigh=
boring countries to bend to its will. That po
wer r
e
aches into the hear
t of E
urope, wher
e the G
ermans and the former S
o
viet satellites of Eastern E
u
=
rope all depend on R
ussian natural gas. A
dd to this its other r
esources, and R
ussia can apply signicant pr
essur
e on E
u
rope. D
e
pendency can be a double- edged swor
d. A militarily weak R
ussia can=
not pr
essur
e its neighbors, because its neighbors might decide to make a grab for its w
e
alth. S
o
R
ussia must r
eco
v
e
r its militar
y str
ength. Rich and weak is a bad position for nations to be in. I
f
R
ussia is to be rich in natural r
esources and expor
t them to E
u
rope, it must be in a position to protect what it has and to shape the international environment in which it lives. I
n
the next decade R
ussia will become incr
easingly wealthy (r
elative to its past, at least) but geographically insecur
e. I
t
will ther
efor
e use some of its wealth to cr
eate a militar
y force appropriate to protect its inter
ests, buffer z
ones to protect it from the r
est of the worldand then buffer z
ones for the buffer z
ones. R
ussia
s
grand strategy involves the cr
eation of deep buffers along the nor
thern E
u
ropean plain, while it divides and manipulates its neighbors, cr
eating a ne
w r
egional balance of po
wer in E
urope. What R
us=
sia cannot tolerate ar
e tight bor
ders without buffer z
ones, and its neighbors united against it. This is why R
ussia
s
futur
e actions will appear to be ag=
gr
essive but will actually be defensive. R
ussia
s
actions will unfold in thr
ee phases. I
n
the rst phase, R
ussia will be concerned with r
eco
vering inuence and effective control in the former S
o
viet U
nion, r
e- cr
eating the system of buffers that the S
o
viet U
nion pro=
vided it. I
n
the second phase, R
ussia will seek to cr
eate a second tier of 1
0
6 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars buffers beyond the boundaries of the former S
o
viet U
n
ion. I
t
will tr
y to do this without cr
eating a solid wall of opposition, of the kind that choked it during the Cold W
a
r
.
I
n
the thir
d phaser
eally something that will have been going on from the beginningR
ussia will tr
y to pr
event anti- R
ussian coalitions from forming. I
t
is impor
tant to step back her
e and look at the r
e
asons why the former S
o
=
viet U
n
ion stayed intact in the latter half of the twentieth centur
y
. The S
o
viet U
nion was held together not simply by force but by a system of eco=
nomic r
elationships that sustained it in the same way that the R
ussian em=
pir
e befor
e it was sustained. The former S
o
viet U
n
ion shar
es a common geographythat is, vast and mostly landlocked, in the hear
t of E
u
rasia. I
t has extr
emely poor internal transpor
t systems, as is common in landlocked ar
eas wher
e the river systems don
t
match with agricultural systems. I
t
is ther
efor
e difcult to transpor
t foodand after industrialization, difcult to mo
ve manufactur
ed goods. Think of the old S
o
viet U
n
ion as that par
t of the E
u
rasian landmass that str
etched westwar
d from the P
a
cic O
cean along the wastelands nor
th of populated China, nor
thwest of the H
imalayas, and continued along the bor
der with S
outh Central Asia to the Caspian, and then on to the Cauca=
sus. I
t
was buffer
ed by the B
lack S
ea and then by the Carpathian M
oun=
tains. Along the nor
th, ther
e was only the Arctic. W
ithin this space, ther
e was a v
ast landmass, mar
ked b
y
r
e
publics with w
e
ak economies. I
f
we think of the S
o
viet U
nion as a natural grouping of geographically isolated and economically handicapped countries, we can see what held it together
. The countries that made up the S
o
viet U
n
ion wer
e bound to=
gether of necessity
. They could not compete with the r
est of the world economicallybut isolated from global competition, they could comple=
ment and suppor
t each other
. This was a natural grouping r
e
adily domi=
nated by the R
ussians. The countries beyond the Carpathians (the ones R
ussia occupied after W
orld W
ar II and turned into satellites) wer
e not in=
cluded in this natural grouping. I
f
it wer
en
t
for S
o
viet militar
y force, they would have been oriented to
war
d the r
est of E
urope, not R
ussia. The former S
o
viet U
nion consisted of members who r
eally had no
wher
e 1
0
7 r
us s i a 2 02 0 else to go
. These old economic ties still dominate the r
egion, ex
cept that R
ussia
s
ne
w model, expor
ting energy
, has made these countries even mor
e dependent than they wer
e pr
eviously
. Attracted as Ukraine was to the r
est of E
u
r
o
pe, it could not compete or par
ticipate with E
u
r
o
pe. I
ts natural eco=
nomic r
elationship is with R
ussia; it r
elies on R
ussia for energy
, and ulti=
mately it tends to be militarily dominated b
y
R
ussia as w
ell. These ar
e the dynamics that R
ussia will take advantage of in or
der to r
e
=
asser
t its spher
e of inuence. I
t
will not necessarily re
-
cr
eate a formal politi=
cal str
uctur
e r
un from M
osco
walthough that is not inconceivable. F
a
r mor
e impor
tant will be R
ussian inuence in the r
egion o
v
er the next ve to ten years, which will surge. I
n
or
der to think about this, let
s
br
eak it do
wn into thr
ee theaters of operation: the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the E
u
ro=
pean theater
, which includes the B
a
ltics. the ca
ucasus The Caucasus is the boundar
y between R
ussian and T
urkish po
wer
, and has historically been a ash point between the two empir
es. I
t
was also a ash point during the Cold W
a
r
. The T
urkishS
o
viet bor
der ran through the Caucasus, with the S
o
viet side consisting of thr
ee separate r
epublics: Arme=
nia, G
eorgia, and A
z
erbaijan, all no
w independent. The Caucasus also ran nor
th into the R
ussian F
e
deration itself
, including into the M
uslim ar
eas of D
agestan and, most impor
tant, Chechnya, wher
e a guerrilla war against R
ussian domination raged after the fall of communism. F
r
om a pur
ely defensive point of view
, the pr
ecise boundaries of R
ussian and T
urkish inuence don
t
matter so long as both ar
e based somewher
e in the Caucasus. The r
ugged terrain makes defense r
elatively easy
. H
o
wever
, should the R
ussians lose their position in the Caucasus altogether and be pushed nor
th into the lo
wlands, R
ussia
s
position would become difcult. W
ith the gap between Ukraine and Kazakhstan only a few hundr
ed miles wide, R
ussia would be in strategic trouble. This is the r
eason the R
ussians ar
e so unwilling to compromise on Chech=
nya. The southern par
t of Chechnya is deep in the nor
thern Caucasus. I
f
that wer
e lost, the entir
e R
ussian position would unravel. G
i
ven a choice, the R
us=
sians would prefer to be anchored farther south, in Georgia. Armenia is an ally
of Russia. If Georgia were Russian, its entire position would be much more sta-
ble. Controlling Chechnya is indispensable. Reabsorbing Georgia is desirable.
Holding Azerbaijan does not provide a strategic advantage—but the Russians
would not mind having it as a buffer with the Iranians. Russia’s position here
is not intolerable, but Georgia, not incidentally closely allied with the United
States, is a tempting target, as was seen in the August 2008 conflict.
Bitter rivalries continue to rage in the region, as always happens in
mountainous regions where small nationalities persist. The Armenians, for
example, hate the Turks, whom they accuse of conducting genocide against
them early in the twentieth century. Armenia looks to the Russians for pro-
tection. Armenian–Georgian rivalry is intense and, in spite of the fact that
Stalin was a Georgian, the Georgians are hostile to the Armenians and ex-
108 the ne xt 1 00 years
RUSSIA
RUSSIA
Adygea
Adygea
Abkhazia
Abkhazia
Karachay-
Karachay-
Cherkessia
Cherkessia
Kabardino-
Kabardino-
Balkaria
Balkaria
North
North
Ossetia
Ossetia
Ingushetia
Ingushetia
South
South
Ossetia
Ossetia
Chechnya
Chechnya
Dagestan
Dagestan
GEORGIA
GEORGIA
ARMENIA
ARMENIA
AZERBAIJAN
AZERBAIJAN
AZERBAIJAN
AZERBAIJAN
IRAN
IRAN
TURKEY
TURKEY
Black
Black
Sea
Sea
Caspian
Caspian
Sea
Sea
RUSSIA
Adygea
Abkhazia
Karachay-
Cherkessia
Kabardino-
Balkaria
North
Ossetia
Ingushetia
South
Ossetia
Chechnya
Dagestan
GEORGIA
ARMENIA
AZERBAIJAN
AZERBAIJAN
IRAN
TURKEY
Black
Sea
Caspian
Sea
The Caucasus
Frie_9780385517058_3p_all_r1.qxp:Layout 1 10/31/08 4:30 PM Page 108
1
0
9 r
us s i a 2 02 0 tr
emely war
y of the R
ussians. The R
ussians believe the G
eorgians looked t
h
e other way while weapons wer
e shipped through their countr
y to the Chechens, a
n
d
t
he fa
ct
t
h
a
t
t
he Geor
gi
a
ns a
r
e ver
y
close t
o
t
he A
m
e
r
i
c
a
n
s makes the situation even worse. A
z
erbaijan is hostile to Armeniaand ther
efor
e close to I
ran and T
urkey
. The situation in the Caucasus is not only difcult to understand but also difcult to deal with. The S
o
viet U
n
ion actually managed to solve the com=
plexity by incorporating all these countries into the S
o
viet U
nion after W
o
rld W
ar I and r
u
thlessly suppr
essing their autonomy
. I
t
is impossible for R
ussia to be indiffer
ent to the r
egion no
w or in the futur
eunless it is pr
e=
par
ed to lose its position in the Caucasus. Ther
efor
e, the R
ussians ar
e ind
e
e
d going to r
e
asser
t their position, star
ting with G
eorgia. S
ince the U
n
ited S
tates sees G
eorgia as a strategic asset, R
ussia
s
r
easser
tion ther
e will lead to con=
frontation with the U
nited S
tates. U
nless the Chechen r
ebellion completely disappears, the R
ussians will have to mo
ve south, then isolate the r
ebellion and nail do
wn their position in the mountains. Ther
e ar
e two po
wers that will not want this to happen. The U
n
ited S
tates is one, and the other is T
urkey
. Americans will see R
ussian domina=
tion of G
eorgia as undermining their position in the r
egion. The T
u
rks will see this as energizing the Armenians and r
eturning the R
ussian army in force to their bor
ders. The R
ussians will become mor
e convinced of the need to act because of this r
esistance. A duel in the Caucasus will r
esult. central asia Central Asia is a vast r
egion r
unning between the Caspian S
ea and the Chi=
nese bor
der
. I
t
is primarily M
uslim and ther
efor
e, as we have seen, was par
t of the massive destabilization that took place in the M
uslim world after the fall of the S
o
viet U
nion. B
y
itself it has some economic value, as a r
egion with energy r
eser
ves. B
ut it has little strategic impor
tance to the R
ussians unless another gr
eat po
wer was to dominate it and use it as a base against them. I
f
that w
e
r
e
to happen, it would become enormously impor
tant. Whoever controls Kazakhstan would be a hundr
ed miles from the V
olga, a river highway for R
ussian agricultur
e. During the 1990s, Western energy companies flocked to the region.
Russia had no problem with that. It wasn’t in a position to compete, and it
wasn’t in a position to control the region militarily. Central Asia was a neu-
tral zone of relative indifference to the Russians. All of that changed on Sep-
tember 11, 2001, which redefined the geopolitics of the region. September
11 made it urgent for the United States to invade Afghanistan. Unable to
mount an invasion by itself quickly, the United States asked the Russians for
help.
One thing they asked for was Russian help in getting the Northern Al-
liance, an anti- Taliban group in Afghanistan, to play the major role on the
ground. The Russians had sponsored the Northern Alliance and effectively
controlled it. Another thing the Americans asked for was Russian support in
securing bases for the United States in several Central Asian countries. Tech-
110 the ne xt 1 00 years
KAZAKHSTAN
KAZAKHSTAN
RUSSIA
RUSSIA
CHINA
CHINA
INDIA
INDIA
AFGHANISTAN
AFGHANISTAN
IRAN
IRAN
TURKMENISTAN
TURKMENISTAN
TAJIKISTAN
TAJIKISTAN
UZBEKISTAN
UZBEKISTAN
KYRGYZSTAN
KYRGYZSTAN
PAKISTAN
PAKISTAN
KAZAKHSTAN
RUSSIA
CHINA
INDIA
AFGHANISTAN
IRAN
TURKMENISTAN
TAJIKISTAN
UZBEKISTAN
KYRGYZSTAN
PAKISTAN
Central Asia
Frie_9780385517058_3p_all_r1.qxp:Layout 1 10/31/08 4:30 PM Page 110
1
1
1 r
us s i a 2 02 0 nically these wer
e independent countries, but the U
n
ited S
tates was asking for help with the N
o
r
t
hern Alliance and couldn
t
affor
d to anger the R
us=
sians. The Central Asian countries did not want to anger the R
ussians eitherand U.S. planes had to y o
v
er the former S
o
viet U
n
ion to get to them. The R
ussians agr
eed to an American militar
y pr
esence in the r
egion, thinking they had an understanding with the U
n
ited S
tates that this was a temporar
y situation. B
u
t as the war in Afghanistan dragged on, the U
n
ited S
tates stay
ed on; and as it stay
ed on, it became mor
e and mor
e inuential with the various r
e
publics in the r
egion. R
ussia r
e
aliz
ed that what had been a benign buffer z
one was becoming dominated by the main global po
wer a po
wer that was pr
essing R
ussia in Ukraine, the Caucasus, and the B
altics. I
n
addition, as the price of energy rose and R
ussia adopted its new eco=
nomic strategy
, Central Asia
s
energy became even mor
e signicant. R
ussia did not want American forces a hundr
ed miles from the V
olga. R
ussia simply had to r
e
act. I
t
didn
t
act dir
ectly
, but it began manipulating the political situation in the r
egion, r
e
ducing American po
wer
. I
t
was a mo
ve designed to r
eturn Central Asia to the R
ussian spher
e of inuence. And the Americans, on the other side of the world, isolated by chaotic Afghanistan, I
ran, and P
akistan, wer
e in no position to r
esist. The R
ussians r
e
asser
ted their natural position. And tellingly
, it was one of the few places U.S.
naval po
wer couldn
t
r
each. Central Asia is an ar
ea wher
e the U
n
ited S
tates can
t
r
e
main under R
us =
sian pr
essur
e. I
t
is a place wher
e the Chinese could potentially cause prob=
lems, but as we
v
e seen, that is unlikely to happen. China has economic inuence ther
e, but the R
ussians, in the end, have both militar
y and nan=
cial capabilities that can outduel them. The R
ussians might offer China ac=
cess to Central Asia, but the arrangements cr
eated in the nineteenth centur
y and maintained by the S
o
viet U
n
ion will r
e
asser
t themselves. Ther
efor
e, it is my view that Central Asia will be back in the R
ussian spher
e of inuence by the early 2010s, long befor
e the major confrontation begins in the west, in E
u
rope. 1
1
2 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars the eur
op
ean thea
ter/
The E
u
ropean theater is, of course, the ar
ea dir
ectly west of R
ussia. I
n
this r
egion, R
ussia
s
western bor
der faces the thr
ee B
a
ltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and the two independent r
e
publics of B
elar
us and Ukraine. All of these wer
e par
t of the former S
o
viet U
nion and of the R
uss=
ian empir
e. B
e
yond these countries lies the belt of former S
o
viet satellites: P
oland, S
l
o
v
akia, H
ungar
y
,
R
o
mania, and B
ulgaria. The R
ussians must dominate B
elar
us and Ukraine for their basic national security
. The B
altics ar
e secondar
y but still impor
tant. Eastern E
u
rope is not critical, so long as the R
ussians ar
e anchor
ed in the Carpathian M
ountains in the south and have strong forces on the nor
thern E
uropean plain. B
ut of course, all of this can get complicated. Ukraine and B
elar
us ar
e ever
ything to the R
ussians. I
f
they wer
e to fall into an enemy
s
handsfor example, join NA
T
O
R
ussia would be in mor
tal danger
. M
osco
w is only a bit o
v
er two hundr
ed miles from the R
us =
sian bor
der with B
elar
us, Ukraine less than two hundr
ed miles from V
ol=
gograd, formerly S
talingrad. R
ussia defended against N
apoleon and H
itler with depth. W
ithout B
elar
us and Ukraine, ther
e is no depth, no land to trade for an enemy
s
blood. I
t
is, of course, absur
d to imagine NA
T
O
posing a thr
eat to R
ussia. B
u
t the R
ussians think in terms of twenty- year cy
cles, and they kno
w ho
w quickly the absur
d becomes possible. They also kno
w that the U
n
ited S
tates and NA
T
O
have systematically expanded their r
e
ach by extending membership in NA
T
O
to Eastern E
u
=
rope and the B
a
ltic states. As soon as the U
nited S
tates began tr
ying to r
ecr
uit Ukraine into NA
T
O, the R
ussians changed their view both of American in=
tentions and of Ukraine. F
r
om the R
ussian point of view
, NA
T
O
expanding into Ukraine thr
eatens R
ussian inter
ests in the same way as if the W
arsaw P
act had mo
v
e
d into M
e
xico
. When a pr
o- W
estern uprising in 2004the O
range R
e
volutionseemed about to sweep Ukraine into NA
T
O, the R
us=
sians accused the U
n
ited S
tates of tr
ying to surround and destro
y R
ussia. What the Americans wer
e thinking is open to debate. That Ukraine in NA
T
O
would be potentially devastating to R
ussian national security is not. The R
ussians did not mobiliz
e their army
. Rather
, they mobiliz
ed their intelligence ser
vice, whose co
ver
t connections in Ukraine wer
e superb
. The 1
1
3 r
us s i a 2 02 0 R
ussians undermined the O
range R
e
volution, playing on a s
p
l
i
t b
e
t
w
e
e
n pro- R
ussian eastern Ukraine and pro- E
uropean western Ukraine. I
t pro
ved not to be difcult at all, and fairly quickly Ukrainian po
l
itic
s be
=
came gridlocked. I
t
is only a matter of time befor
e R
ussian inuence will o
v
er
whelm Kiev
. B
elar
us is an easier issue. As noted earlier
, B
elar
us is the least r
eformed member of the former S
o
viet r
e
publics. I
t
r
e
mains a centraliz
ed, authoritar=
ian state. M
o
r
e
impor
tant, its leadership has r
e
peatedly mourned the pass=
ing of the S
o
viet U
nion and has proposed union of some sor
t with R
ussia. S
uch a union will, of course, have to be on R
ussian terms, which has led to tension, but ther
e is no possibility of B
elar
us joining NA
T
O
. The r
eabsorption of B
elar
us and Ukraine into the R
ussian spher
e of in=
uence is a given in the next ve years. When that happens, R
ussia will have roughly r
eturned to its bor
ders with E
u
rope between the two world wars. I
t will be anchor
ed in the Caucasus in the south, with Ukraine protected, and in the nor
th its bor
ders on the nor
thern E
uropean plain will abut P
oland and the B
a
ltic countries. That will pose the questions of who the most po
w=
er
ful countr
y in the nor
th is and wher
e the pr
ecise frontiers will be. The r
eal ash point will be the B
a
ltics. The traditional path to inv
ade R
ussia is a thr
ee-hundr
ed-mile gap be=
tween the nor
thern Carpathians and the B
altic S
e
a. This is at, easily tra=
versed countr
y with few river barriers. This nor
thern E
u
ropean plain is a smooth ride for invaders. A E
u
ropean invader can mo
ve due east to M
osco
w or to S
t. P
etersburg in the nor
thwest. D
uring the Cold W
a
r
,
the distance from S
t. P
etersburg to NA
T
O
s
front line was also mor
e than a thousand miles. T
o
day the distance is about seventy miles. This explains the strategic nightmar
e R
ussia faces in the B
alticsand what it will need to do to x the problem. The thr
ee B
a
ltic countries wer
e once par
t of the S
o
viet U
nion. Each be=
came independent after it collapsed. And then, in that narro
w windo
w
,
each became par
t of NA
T
O. As we have seen, the E
uropeans ar
e most likely too far into their decadent cy
cle to have the energy to take advantage of the sit=
uation. H
o
wever
, the R
ussians ar
e not going to risk their national security on that assumption. They saw G
e
rmany go from being a cripple in 1932 to being at the gates of M
osco
w in 1941. The inclusion of the B
a
ltic countries 1
1
4 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars along with P
oland in NA
T
O
has mo
v
e
d NA
T
O
s
fr
ontier extraor
dinarily close to the R
ussian hear
tland. F
o
r a countr
y that was invaded thr
ee times in the last two hundr
ed years, the comfor
table assumption that NA
T
O
and its members ar
e no thr
eat is not something it can risk. F
r
om the R
ussian point of view
, the major invasion route into their countr
y is not only wide open but also in the hands of countries with a pro=
nounced hostility to R
ussia. The B
a
ltic countries have never forgiven the R
ussians for their occupation. The P
oles ar
e equally bitter and deeply dis=
tr
ustful of R
ussian intentions. N
o
w that they ar
e par
t of NA
T
O
, these countries form the front line. B
ehind them is G
ermany
, a countr
y as dis=
tr
usted by R
ussia as R
ussia is by the P
oles and B
a
lts. The R
ussians ar
e cer=
tainly paranoidbut that doesn
t
mean they don
t
hav
e enemies or that they ar
e crazy
. This would be the point of any confrontation. The R
ussians can live with a neutral B
altic r
egion. Living with a B
altic r
egion that is par
t of NA
T
O
and close to the Americans, ho
wever
, is a much mor
e difcult risk to take. O
n the other hand, the Americans, having backed do
wn in Central Asia, and being cautious in the Caucasus, can
t
r
etr
eat from the B
a
ltics. Any compro=
mise o
v
er the thr
ee NA
T
O
members would send Eastern E
urope into a panic. Eastern E
u
rope
s
behavior would become unpr
edictable, and the pos=
sibility of R
ussian inuence spr
eading westwar
d would incr
ease. R
ussia has the gr
eater inter
est, but the Americans could bring substantial po
wer to bear if they chose. R
ussia
s
next mo
ve likely will be an agr
eement with B
elar
us for an inte=
grated defense system. B
elar
us and R
ussia have been linked for a ver
y long time, so this will be a natural r
e
version. And that will bring the R
ussian army to the B
a
ltic frontier
. I
t
will also bring the army to the P
olish fron=
tierand that will star
t the confrontation in its full intensity
. The P
oles fear the R
ussians and the G
ermans. T
rapped between the two, without natural defenses, they fear whichever is stronger at any time. U
nlike the r
est of Eastern E
u
rope, which at least has the barrier of the Carpathians between them and the R
ussiansand shar
es a bor
der with Ukraine, not R
ussiathe P
oles ar
e on the dangerous nor
thern E
u
ropean plain. When the R
ussians r
eturn to their bor
der in force in the process of confronting the B
a
ltic states, the P
oles will r
eact. P
oland has almost for
ty million people. I
t 1
1
5 r
us s i a 2 02 0 is not a small countr
y
,
and since it will be backed by the U
n
ited S
tates, not a trivial one. P
olish suppor
t will be thro
wn behind the B
a
lts. The R
ussians will pull the Ukrainians into their alliance with B
elar
us and will have R
ussian forces all along the P
olish bor
der
, and as far south as the B
lack S
ea. At this point the R
ussians will begin the process of tr
ying to neutraliz
e the B
a
lts. This, I believe, will all take place by the mid-2010s. The R
ussians will have thr
ee tools at their disposal to ex
er
t their inu=
ence o
v
er the B
altic states. F
irst, co
ver
t operations. I
n
the same way the U
n
ited S
tates has nanced and energiz
ed non- go
vernmental organizations around the world, the R
ussians will nance and energiz
e R
ussian minorities in these countries, as w
ell as whatev
er pr
o- R
ussian elements exist, or can be bought. When the B
a
lts suppr
ess these mo
vements, it will give the R
ussians a pr
etext for using their second tool, economic sanctions, par
ticularly by cutting the o
w of natural gas. F
inally
, the R
ussians will bring militar
y pr
es=
sur
e to bear through the pr
esence of substantial forces near these bor
ders. N
o
t surprisingly
, the P
oles and B
alts both r
e
member the unpr
edictability of the R
ussians. The psy
chological pr
essur
e will be enormous. Ther
e has been a gr
eat deal of talk in r
ecent years about the weakness of the R
ussian army
, talk that in the decade after the collapse of the S
o
viet U
n
ion was accurate. B
u
t her
e is the new r
e
alitythat weakness star
ted to r
e
verse itself in 2000, and by 2015 it will be a thing of the past. The coming confrontation in nor
theastern E
u
rope will not take place suddenly
, but will be an extended confrontation. R
ussian militar
y str
ength will have time to develop
. The one ar
ea in which R
ussia continued r
esearch and development in
the 1990s was in adv
anced militar
y technologies. B
y
2010, it will cer
tainly hav
e the most effectiv
e army in the r
egion. B
y
20152020, it will hav
e a militar
y that will pose a challenge to any po
wer tr
ying to project force into the r
egion, even the U
nited S
tates. R
ussia will be facing a group of countries that cannot defend themselves and a NA
T
O
alliance that is effectiv
e only if the U
n
ited S
tates is pr
epar
ed to use force. As we have seen, the U
nited S
tates has a single cor
e policy in E
u
rasiapr
ev
enting any po
w
e
r fr
om dominating E
u
rasia or par
t of it. I
f China weakens or fragments and the E
u
ropeans ar
e weak and divided, the U
nited S
tates will have a fundamental inter
est: avoiding general war
, by 1
1
6 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars keeping the R
ussians focused on the B
a
lts and P
oles, unable to think glob=
ally
. The U
n
ited S
tates will use its traditional method for suppor
ting these countries: technology transfer
. As we approach 2020, this method will be much mor
e effective. The ne
w technology for war
far
e will r
equir
e smaller
, mor
e efcient militar
y forces, meaning that lesser countries can wield mili=
tar
y po
wer dispropor
tionately if they have access to advanced technologies. The U
nited S
tates will be eager to incr
ease the po
wer of P
oland and the B
altic countries and have them tie do
wn the R
ussians. I
f
R
ussia has to be contained, this is the best way to contain it. G
eorgia in the Caucasus r
e
pr
e=
sents a secondar
y ash point, irritating to the R
ussians, something that di=
ver
ts forces from E
urope, and ther
efor
e will be an ar
ea wher
e the U
nited S
tates will intr
ude. B
u
t it will be E
u
rope, not the Caucasus, that will matter
. G
i
ven American po
wer
, ther
e will be no dir
ect attack by the R
ussians, nor will the Americans allo
w any adventur
es by their allies. Rather
, the R
us=
sians will seek to bring pr
essur
e on the U
nited S
tates else
wher
e in E
u
rope and in other par
ts of the world. F
o
r example, they will seek to destabiliz
e countries on their bor
der
, like S
l
o
v
akia and B
ulgaria. The confrontation will spr
ead along the entir
e frontier between R
ussia and the r
est of E
urope. R
ussia
s
basic strategy will be to tr
y to br
eak up NA
T
O
and isolate East=
ern E
urope. The key to this will be the G
ermans, follo
wed by the F
r
ench. N
either of them wants another confrontation with R
ussia. They ar
e insular nations, and G
e
rmany is dependent on R
ussian natural gas. The G
e
rmans ar
e tr
ying to r
e
duce this dependency and probably will to some extent, but they will continue to depend on the deliver
y of a substantial quantity of nat=
ural gas, which they will not be able to do without. The R
ussians will ther
e=
for
e argue to the G
ermans that the Americans ar
e again using them to contain R
ussia, but that the R
ussians, far from thr
eatening G
e
rmany
, have a shar
ed inter
esta stable, neutral buffer between them, consisting of an in=
dependent P
oland. The question of the B
a
ltic states should not, they will ar=
gue, enter into it. The only r
eason Americans would car
e about the B
a
ltics is if they wer
e planning aggr
ession against R
ussia. R
ussia will be pr
epar
ed to guarantee B
altic autonomy in the context of a broad confederation, as well as P
olish security
, in r
e
turn for r
e
duction of arms and neutrality
. The alter=
nativewarwould not be in the inter
ests of the G
ermans or the F
r
ench. 1
1
7 r
us s i a 2 02 0 The argument will probably work, but I believe this will play out in an unexpected way
. The U
n
ited S
tates, always ex
cessively aggr
essive from the E
uropean point of view
, will be stirring up unnecessar
y trouble in Eastern E
u
rope as a thr
eat to the R
ussians. I
f
the G
e
rmans allo
w NA
T
O
to do this, they will be drawn into a conict they don
t
want. Ther
efor
e, I believe they will block NA
T
O
suppor
t for P
oland, the B
a
ltics, and the r
est of Eastern E
u
r
o
peNA
T
O
r
equir
es unanimity to function, and G
e
rmany is a major po
wer
. The R
ussian expectation will be that the shock of the withdrawal of NA
T
O
suppor
t would cause the P
oles and others to buckle. The opposite happens. P
oland, caught in its historic nightmar
e between R
ussia and G
ermany
, will become even mor
e dependent on the U
nited S
tates. The U
n
ited S
tates, seeing a lo
w- cost oppor
tunity to tie do
wn the R
ussians and split E
u
rope do
wn the middle, weakening the E
u
ropean U
n
ion i
n t
h
e process, will incr
ease its suppor
t for Eastern E
u
rope. Around 2015 a new bloc of nations, primarily the old S
o
viet satellites coupled with the B
altic states, will emerge. F
ar mor
e energetic than the W
estern E
u
ropeans, with far mor
e to lose, and backed by the U
n
ited S
tates, this bloc will develop a sur=
prising dynamism. The R
ussians will r
espond to this subtle American po
wer grab by tr
ying to incr
ease pr
essur
e on the U
nited S
tates else
wher
e in the world. I
n
the M
iddle East, for example, wher
e the interminable confrontation between I
srael and the P
a
lestinians will continue, the R
ussians will incr
ease militar
y aid to the Arabs. I
n
general, wher
ev
er anti- American r
egimes exist, R
ussian militar
y aid will be for
thcoming. A lo
w- grade global confrontation will be under way b
y
2015 and will intensify b
y
2020. N
e
ither side will risk war
, but both sides will be maneuvering. B
y
2020 this confrontation will be the dominant global issueand ever
yone will think of it as a permanent problem. The confrontation will not be as compr
ehensive as the rst cold war
. The R
ussians will lack the po
wer to seiz
e all of E
u
rasia, and they will not be a tr
ue global thr
eat. They will, ho
wever
, be a r
egional thr
eat, and that is the context in which the U
nited S
tates will r
espond. Ther
e will be tension all along the R
ussian fron=
tier
, but the U
n
ited S
tates will not be able to (or need to) impose a complete cor
don around R
ussia as it did around the S
o
viet U
n
ion. G
i
ven the confrontation, the E
u
ropean dependence on hydrocarbons, 1
1
8 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars much of it derived from R
ussia, will become a strategic issue. The American strategy will be to de-emphasiz
e the focus on hydrocarbon energy sources. This will kick into high gear the American inter
est in developing alternative sources of energy
. R
ussia, as befor
e, will focus on its existing industries rather than on the development of ne
w ones. That will mean incr
eased oil and nat=
ural gas production rather than ne
w energy sources. As a r
esult, R
ussia is not going to be in the for
efront of the technological developments that will dominate the later por
tions of the centur
y
. I
nstead, R
ussia will need to dev
elop its militar
y capabilities. Thus, as it has o
v
er the past two centuries, R
ussia will devote the bulk of its r
esearch and development money to applying new technologies to
war
d militar
y ends and expanding existing industries, causing it to fall behind the U
n
ited S
tates and the r
est of the world in nonmilitar
y but valuable technology
. I
t will be par
ticularly hur
t, parado
xically
, by its hydrocarbon richesbecause it will not be motivated to develop ne
w technologies and will be bur
dened b
y
militar
y spending. D
uring the rst phase of R
ussia
s
r
easser
tion of po
wer
, until about 2010 or so, R
ussia will be grossly under
estimated. I
t
will be perceived as a frac=
tur
ed countr
y with a stagnant economy and a w
e
ak militar
y
.
I
n
the 2010s, when the confrontation intensies on its bor
ders and its immediate neigh=
bors become alarmed, the gr
eater po
wers will continue to be dismissive. The U
n
ited S
tates in par
ticular tends to rst under
estimate and then o
v
er
estimate enemies. B
y
the middle of the 2010s, the U
n
ited S
tates will again be obsessed with R
ussia. Ther
e is an inter
esting process to obser
ve her
e. The U
nited S
tates swings between moods but actually
, as we have seen, ex
ecutes a ver
y consistent and rational for
eign policy
. I
n
this case, the U
nited S
tates will mo
ve to its manic state but will focus on keeping R
ussia tied in knots without going to war
. I
t
will matter a gr
eat deal wher
e the fault line lies. I
f
R
ussia
s
r
esurgence is to be a minimal crisis, the R
ussians will dominate Central Asia and the Caucasus and possibly absorb M
oldo
va, but they will not be able to absorb the B
altic states, or dominate any nations west of the Carpathians. I
f
the Ru
s
s
ians do manage to absorb the B
altics and gain signicant allies in the B
a
l
k
a
n
s
, like S
e
rbia, B
ulgaria, and G
r
eece
or Central E
u
ropean countries 1
1
9 r
us s i a 2 02 0 such as S
l
o
v
akiathe competition between the U
n
ited S
tates and R
ussia will be mor
e intense and frightening. I
n
the end though, it won
t
tr
uly matter
. R
ussian militar
y po
w
e
r will be sever
ely strained confronting the fraction of American militar
y po
wer that the U
nited S
tates decides to wield in r
esponding to R
ussia
s
mo
ves. R
egar
d=
less of what the r
est of E
urope does, P
oland, the C
z
ech R
epublic, H
ungar
y
, and R
o
mania will be committed to r
esisting R
ussian advances and will make any deal the U
n
ited S
tates wants in or
der to gain its suppor
t. The line ther
efor
e will be drawn in the Carpathian M
ountains this time, rather than in G
ermany as it was during the Cold W
a
r
. The P
olish nor
thern plains will be the main line of confrontation, but the R
ussians will not mo
ve militarily
. The causes that ignited this confrontationand the Cold W
ar befor
e itwill impose the same outcome as the Cold W
a
r
,
this time with less effor
t for the U
nited S
tates. The last confrontation occurr
ed in Central E
u
rope. This one will take place much far
ther to the east. I
n
the last confrontation China was an ally of R
ussia, at least in the beginning. I
n
this case China will be out of the game. Last time, R
ussia was in complete control of the Cauca=
sus, but no
w it will not be, and it will be facing American and T
u
rkish pr
es=
sur
e nor
thwar
d. I
n
the last confrontation R
ussia had a large population, but this time around it has a smaller and declining population. I
n
ternal pr
es=
sur
e, par
ticularly in the south, will diver
t R
ussian attention from the west and ev
entually
, without war
, it will br
eak. R
ussia br
oke in 1917, and again in 1991. And the countr
y
s militar
y will collapse once mor
e shor
tly after 2020. CHAPTER 7 AMERI CAN PO
WER AND .
THE CRI SI S OF 2030.
A
wall is being built along the southern bor
der of the U
nited S
tates. The goal is to keep illegal immigrants out. The U
n
ited S
tates built its economic might on the backs of immigrants, but since the 1920s ther
e has been a national consensus that the o
w of immigrants should be limited so that the economy can absorb them, and to ensur
e that jobs will not be taken away from citiz
ens. The wall along the M
e
xican bor=
der is the logical conclusion to this policy
. I
n
the 1920s, the world was in the midst of an accelerating population explosion. The problem facing the U
n
ited S
tates, and the world, was what to do with an ever- incr
easing pool of labor
. Labor was cheap
, and it tended to mo
ve to countries that wer
e wealthy
. The U
n
ited S
tates, facing an on=
slaught of potential immigrants, decided to limit their entr
y in or
der to keep the price of laborwagesfrom plunging. The assumption on which U.S. immigration policy was built will not be tr
ue in the twenty- rst centur
y
. The population surge is abating, and people ar
e living longer
. This leads to an older population, with fewer younger workers. I
t
means that the U
nited S
tates will be shor
t of workers no later 1
2
1 ame ri can p o
w
e r and the cri s i s of 2 03 0 than 2020 and accelerating throughout the decade, and will need immi=
grants to ll the gap
. B
u
t it will need new workers at the same time that the r
est of the industrial world needs them. I
n
the twentieth centur
y
,
the prob=
lem was limiting immigration. I
n
the tw
enty- rst centur
y
,
the pr
oblem will be attracting enough immigrants. The second collapse of R
ussia will appear to open the door to a golden age for the U
nited S
tates. B
ut a massive internal economic crisis caused by a shor
t=
age of labor will emerge just as the confrontation with R
ussia is ending. W
e
can alr
eady see the leading edge of this crisis today in the graying of the population of advanced industrializ
ed countries. P
a
r
t
of the crisis will be socialthe family str
uctur
es that have been in place for centuries will con=
tinue to br
eak do
wn, leaving larger numbers of elderly people with no one to car
e for them. And as I stated earlier
, ther
e will be mor
e and mor
e elderly people to car
e for
. This will cr
eate intense political str
uggle between social conser
vatism and ever- changing social r
e
ality
. W
e
ar
e alr
eady seeing this in popular cultur
efrom talk sho
ws to politiciansbut it will intensify dra=
matically until a crisis point is r
e
ached in the mid-2020s. The crisis will come to a head, if histor
y is any guide, in the pr
esidential election of either 2028 or 2032. I say that because ther
e is an oddand not entir
ely explicablepattern built into American histor
y
.
E
v
er
y fty y
e
ars, roughly
, the U
nited S
tates has been confronted with a dening economic and social crisis. The problem emerges in the decade befor
e the crisis be=
comes appar
ent. A pivotal pr
esidential election is held that changes the countr
y
s political landscape o
v
er the follo
wing decade or so
. The crisis is r
e
=
solved, and the U
nited S
tates ourishes. Over the next generation, the solu=
tion to the old problem generates a ne
w one, which intensies until ther
e is another crisis and the process r
epeats itself
. S
ometimes the dening mo=
ment is not r
e
adily appar
ent until later
, and sometimes it can
t
be missed. B
u
t it is always ther
e. T
o
understand the r
easons why I believe we will see a crisis in the 2020s, it
s
impor
tant to understand this pattern in some detail. J
ust as y
ou can
t
in=
vest in stocks without understanding historical patterns, you can
t
make sense out of my for
ecasting her
e without understanding American political and economic cy
cles. 1
2
2 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars I
n
its histor
y so far
, the U
nited S
tates has had four such complete cy
cles and is curr
ently about halfway through its fth. The cy
cles usually begin with a dening pr
esidency and end in a failed one. S
o
the W
a
shington cy
cle ends with J
ohn Q
uincy A
dams, J
a
ckson ends with Ulysses S. G
rant, H
a
yes with H
e
rber
t H
o
o
v
er
, and FDR with J
immy Car
ter
. U
n
derneath the poli=
tics, the crises ar
e dened by the str
uggle between a declining dominant class linked to an established economic model and the emergence of a ne
w class and a new economic model. Each faction r
epr
esents a radically differ=
ent way of viewing the world and a differ
ent denition of what it means to be a good citiz
en, and r
e
ects the changing ways of making a living. the first cy
cle: fr
om founders t
o
pioneers America was founded in 1776, with the D
eclaration of I
n
dependence. F
r
om that moment on, it had a national identity
, a national army
, and a national congr
ess. The founders consisted primarily of a single ethnic group En
glishmen with a smattering of Scots. These prosperous men saw them=
selves as the guar
dians of the ne
w go
verning r
egime, differ
ent in character f
r
om the unlanded and unmonied massesand cer
tainly from African slaves. B
ut they couldn
t
build the countr
y by themselves. P
i
oneers wer
e needed to mo
ve the countr
y outwar
d and settle the land west of the Alleghenies. These pioneers wer
e men completely unlike J
efferson or W
ashington. T
ypi=
cally they wer
e poor
, uneducated immigrants, mostly Scots- I
rish, who wer
e searching for small parcels of land to clear and farm. They wer
e men like D
a
niel Boone. B
y
the 1820s, a political battle was raging between these two groups, as the ideals of the founders collided with the inter
ests of the settlers. The so=
cial tension turned into economic crisis and culminated in the election of the champion of the new generation, Andr
ew J
a
ckson, in 1828. This fol=
lo
wed the failed pr
esidency of J
ohn Q
uincy A
dams, the last of the founding generation. 1
2
3 ame ri can p o
w
e r and the cri s i s of 2 03 0 sec
ond cy
cle: fr
om pioneers t
o
small-t
o
wn america U
n
der J
ackson, the most dynamic class in America was that of the pioneer-
farmers who settled the center of the continent. The old founding class didn
t
vanish, but the balance of political po
wer shifted from them to the poor
er (but much mor
e numerous) settlers heading west. J
a
ckson
s
p
r
e
d
e
=
cessors had favored a stable currency to protect investors. J
a
ckson c
h
ampi=
oned cheap money to protect debtors, the people who voted for him. Wher
e W
ashington, the gentleman farmer
, soldier
, and statesman, was the em=
blematic hero of the rst cy
cle, A
braham Lincoln, born in a log cabin in Kentucky
, was the emblematic hero of the second. B
y
the end of this cy
cle, after the Civil W
a
r
,
the W
est was no longer characteriz
ed by the har
dscrabble subsistence farming of rst- generation pi=
oneers. B
y
1876, farmers not only o
wned their land but also wer
e making money at farming. The landscape changed as well, homesteads giving rise to small to
wns that had developed to ser
ve the incr
easingly prosperous farm=
ers. S
mall- to
wn banks took the farmers
deposits and invested the money on W
all S
t
r
eet, which in turn invested the money in railroads and industr
y
. B
u
t ther
e was a problem. The cheap-money policies that had been fol=
lo
wed for fty years might have helped the pioneers, but those same policies wer
e hur
ting their childr
en, who had turned the farms of the W
est into businesses. B
y
the 1870s the crisis of cheap money had become unbearable. Lo
w inter
est rates wer
e making it impossible to invest the prots from the farmsand especially from the businesses that wer
e ser
ving the farmers. A strong, stable curr
ency was essential if America was to gro
w
.
I
n
1876, R
uther
for
d B. H
a
yes was elected pr
esident after the failed pr
esidency of Ulysses S. G
rant. H
a
yesor mor
e pr
ecisely his secr
etar
y of the tr
easur
y
, J
ohn S
hermanchampioned money backed by gold, which limited ina=
tion, raised inter
est rates, and made inv
estment mor
e attractiv
e. P
oor
er farmers w
e
r
e
hur
t, but w
e
althier farmers and ranchers and their small- to
wn bankers wer
e helped. This nancial policy fueled the rapid industrialization of the U
nited S
tates. F
or fty years it dro
ve the American economy in an ex=
traor
dinar
y expansion, until it choked on its o
wn success, just as in the two earlier cy
cles. 1
2
4 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars thir
d cy
cle: fr
om small t
o
wns t
o
industrial cities J
ust as D
a
niel Boone was celebrated long after his day was done, so wer
e the vir
tues of small- to
wn American life. M
illions of immigrant workers had been impor
ted to work in mines and factories, settling mainly in the big cities. They w
e
r
e
mostly I
rish, I
talian, and Eastern E
u
r
o
pean. These immi=
grants wer
e completely differ
ent from anyone seen in the U
nited S
tates be=
for
e. Think about it: a nation that was essentially white and P
r
otestant with a black underclass was suddenly teeming with immigrants who looked, spoke, and acted v
e
r
y
differ
ently
. H
ence, they w
e
r
e
r
egar
ded with suspicion and hostility b
y small- to
wn America. B
ig cities, wher
e these new immi=
grants settled to work in factories, came to be vie
wed as the center of an alien and corr
upt cultur
e. H
o
wever
, small- to
wn values no
w star
ted to work against America. The nancial system had r
un on tight money since the late 1870s. This encour=
aged savings and investment but limited consumption and cr
edit. As the population living in cities explodedboth from high bir
thrates and immi=
grationlo
w wages made life difcult for new immigrants. As investment gr
ew
, the ability of the workers to buy the products they produced became sever
ely constrained. The r
esult was the G
r
eat D
epr
ession, in which con=
sumers had no money to buy the products they needed, so factories making these products laid workers off
, in a seemingly endless cy
cle. H
a
r
d
work and fr
ugality
, the ethics of small- to
wn America, wer
e har
dly sufcient against such po
wer
ful macroeconomic forces. I
n
1932, F
ranklin R
oosevelt succeeded the failed pr
esidency of H
er=
ber
t H
o
o
v
er
. R
oosevelt proceeded to r
everse the policies of the pr
eceding political generation by looking for ways to incr
ease consumption through transfers of wealth from investors to consumers. H
e
championed the in=
dustrial, urban workers at the expense of the declining small to
wns and their values. Ultimately
, though, the N
e
w D
e
al didn
t
end the D
e
pr
essionW
orld W
ar II did it, by allo
wing the go
vernment to spend vast amounts of money to build factories and hir
e workers. The aftermath of W
o
rld W
ar II was even 1
2
5 ame ri can p o
w
e r and the cri s i s of 2 03 0 mor
e decisive in ending the D
e
pr
ession. After the war ended, a series of laws was cr
eated that allo
wed r
e
turning soldiers to buy homes on cr
edit, easily =
nance a college education, and become white- collar professionals. The fed=
eral go
vernment built an interstate highway system, opening up the ar
eas around cities for r
esidential constr
uction. These measur
es constituted a vast transfer of wealth, spurring gro
wth in factor
y and ofce work and main=
taining war
time economic gains. The American middle class was born. R
oosev
elt
s
r
eformsdictated b
y W
o
rld W
ar IIw
er
e aimed at suppor
ting the urban working class. They turned the ethnic working classes
childr
en into middle- class suburbanites. four
th cy
cle: fr
om industrial cities t
o
ser
vice sub
urbs As always, one solution cr
eates the next problem. The D
epr
ession was o
v
er=
come by incr
easing demand, by cr
eating jobs and social suppor
ts and then transferring money to consumers. H
i
gh tax rates wer
e imposed on the wealthy
, r
elatively lo
w inter
est rates wer
e offer
ed to facilitate home o
w
ner=
ship
, and consumer cr
edit was introduced for a range of purchases. The policies kept the economy humming. B
u
t by the 1970s, the formula was no longer working. H
igh tax rates made the risk of star
ting businesses prohibitive and favor
ed large, incr
eas=
ingly inefcient corporations. M
arginal tax ratesthe highest rates paid wer
e in ex
cess of 70 percent for the wealthy and for corporations. B
y penalizing success, this tax policy discouraged investment. F
a
ctories aged and became obsolete, even as consumption r
emained high due to r
eady con=
sumer cr
edit. W
ithout investment, the industrial plant, and the economy as a whole, became incr
easingly less efcient and less competitive globally
. I
n
the late 1970s the baby boomers enter
ed the period of family forma=
tion, when demand for cr
edit was the highest. All of these factors, coupled with an energy crisis, brought the situation to a head. U
n
der P
r
esident J
immy Car
ter
, the entir
e economy was teetering. Long- term inter
est rates w
e
r
e
in the mid- teens. I
n
ation was o
v
er 10 per
cent, as was unemplo
yment. 1
2
6 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars Car
ter
s
solution was tax cuts for the middle and lo
wer classes, which only incr
eased consumption and put fur
ther pr
essur
e on the system. All of the economic stimuli that had worked in the pr
evious fty years had not only stopped working but wer
e making the situation even worse. I
n
1980, R
onald R
e
agan was elected pr
esident. R
e
agan faced a crisis of underinvestment and o
v
erconsumption. R
e
agan
s
solution was maintaining consumption while simultaneously incr
easing the amount of investment capital. H
e
did so through supply- side economics
: r
e
ducing tax
es in or
der to stimulate inv
estment. R
e
agan did not want to stie demand, making consumers unable to purchase products. H
i
s aim was for the upper classes and corporations to be able to moderniz
e the economy through investment. This r
e
pr
esented a radical r
estr
ucturing of the American economy during the 1980s, setting the stage for the boom of the 1990s. R
e
agan
s
policies transferr
ed political and economic po
wer away from the cities and into the suburbs. B
ecause of the inno
vations of the FDR Car
ter era, a massive population shift to the suburbs had transformed the countr
y
. The interstate highway system and other well- maintained roads allo
wed people access to less developed, less expensive land while permitting them to easily commute into the city
. These suburbanites gr
ew mor
e and mor
e wealthy o
v
er the course of the second half of the centur
y
, and b
y
the 1980s they w
e
r
e
primed to benet fr
om R
e
agan
s
economic policies. R
eagan thus completed the r
eorientation of the American economy away from the principles of the N
e
w D
e
al, which favor
ed urban working class consumption o
v
er all other considerations, to
war
d the suburban pro=
fessional and entr
epr
eneurial classes. I
n
this, he was seen by some as betray=
ing the hear
t of American society
, the cities, and the soul of American labor
, unioniz
ed workers. J
ust as FDR, H
a
yes, and J
a
ckson wer
e vilied, so was R
e
agan vilied as a betray
er of America
s
common man. B
u
t R
e
agan had no mor
e choice in the end than did R
oosevelt or H
a
yes or J
a
ckson. R
eality dic=
tated this evolution. 1
2
7 ame ri can p o
w
e r and the cri s i s of 2 03 0 fifth cy
cle: fr
om ser
vice sub
urbs t
o
a p
ermanent migrant cl
ass N
o
w we turn to the futur
e. I
f
the fty- year pattern holdsand a series of cy
cles that has lasted 220 years has a fairly r
eliable track r
ecor
dwe ar
e no
w exactly in the middle of the fth cy
cle, the one usher
ed in by R
onald R
eagan
s
election in 1980. This pattern indicates that the curr
ent str
uctur
e of American society is in place until appr
o
ximately 2030, and that no pr
esident, r
egar
dless of ideology
, can alter the basic economic and social tr
ends. Dwight E
isenho
wer was elected in 1952, twenty years after R
oosevelt, but he was unable to change the basic patterns that had been established by the N
e
w D
e
al. T
e
ddy R
oosevelt, the gr
eat progr
essive, couldn
t
signicantly shift the course set b
y
R
u
ther
for
d H
a
y
es. Lincoln afrmed the principles of J
a
ckson. J
efferson, far from br
eaking W
a
shington
s
system, acted to afrm it. I
n
ever
y cy
cle, the opposition par
ty wins elections, sometimes electing gr
eat pr
esidents. B
ut the basic principles r
emain in place. B
i
ll Clinton could not change the basic r
e
alities that had been in place since 1980, nor will any pr
esident from either par
ty change them no
w
. The patterns ar
e too po
wer=
ful, too deeply rooted in fundamental forces. B
ut we ar
e dealing with cy
cles, and ever
y cy
cle ends. I
f
the pattern holds, we will see incr
easing economic and social tensions in the 2020s, follo
wed by a decisive shift in an election at some point around then, likely 2028 or 2032. The question no
w is this: What will the crisis of the 2020s be about and what will the solution be? O
ne thing we kno
w: the solution to the last cy
cle
s
crisis will engender the problem of the next, and the next solution will dramatically change the U
n
ited S
tates. The U.S. economy is curr
ently built on a system of r
e
adily available cr
edit for both consumer spending and business developmentinter
est rates ar
e historically lo
w
.
M
uch of the wealth comes from equities gro
wth homes, 401(k)s, landrather than traditional savings. The savings rate is lo
w
,
but the gro
wth in wealth is high. Ther
e is nothing ar
ticial about this gro
wth. The r
estr
ucturing of the 1980s kicked off a massiv
e pr
oductivity boom driv
en b
y
entr
epr
eneurial ac=
1
2
8 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars tivity
. The introduction not only of new technologies but of new patterns of doing business incr
eased worker productivity dramatically and also incr
eased the r
eal value of businesses. Think of M
i
crosoft and A
pple as examples of 1980s-style new industr
y
. Wher
e during the pr
evious cy
cle corporations like G
eneral M
o
tors and U.S. S
teel had dominated the economic landscape, in this cy
cle gr
o
wth in jobs was center
ed on mor
e entr
epr
eneurial, less capital=
intensive companies. Consumer demand and equity prices live in a delicate balance. I
f
con=
sumer demand falls for any r
eason, the value of things, from homes to busi=
nesses, will decline. These values help drive the economy
, from lines of consumer credit to business loans. They dene the net wor
th o
f
an
in
divid=
ual or business. I
f
equity declines, demand decr
eases, so a do
wnwar
d spiral is cr
eated. U
ntil no
w
,
the problem has been gro
wing the economy a
s f
a
s
t a
s t
h
e population. N
o
w the challenge is making sur
e the economy doesn
t
decline faster than the population. I
d
eally
, it should continue to gro
w in spite of population decline. A little o
v
er a decade away from the likely commencement of the rst crisis of the twenty- rst centur
y
,
we should alr
eady be able to glimpse its be=
ginnings. Ther
e ar
e thr
ee storms on the horiz
on. The rst is demographic. I
n
the late 2010s, the major wave of baby boomers will be entering their seventies, cashing in equities and selling homes to live off the income. The second storm is energy
. R
ecent surges in the cost of oil may only be a cy
cli=
cal upturn follo
wing twenty- ve years of lo
w energy prices. These surges could also be the rst harbingers, though, of the end of the hydrocarbon economy
. F
inally
, productivity gro
wth from the last generation of inno
vations is peaking. G
r
eat entr
epr
eneurial companies of the 1980s and 1990s like M
i
=
crosoft and D
ell have become major corporations, with declining prot margins r
e
ecting declining productivity gro
wth. I
n
general, the inno
va=
tions of the last quar
ter centur
y ar
e alr
eady factor
ed into the price of equity
. M
aintaining the thunderous pace of the past twenty years will be difcult. All of this will put pr
essur
e on equity pricesr
eal estate and stocks. The economic tools for managing equity prices ar
en
t
ther
e. D
uring the past hundr
ed years, tools for managing inter
est rates and money supplycon=
trols of cr
edithave been cr
eated. B
ut tools for managing equity prices ar
e 1
2
9 ame ri can p o
w
e r and the cri s i s of 2 03 0 only no
w beginning to emerge, as the mor
tgage meltdo
wn of 2008 sho
wed. Ther
e has been talk of a speculative bubble in housing and stocks alr
eady; it is only beginning, and I suspect that we will not see it at its most intense for another fteen to twenty years or so
. B
ut when this cy
cle climax
es, the U
n
ited S
tates will be smashed by demography
, energy
, and inno
vation crises. I
t
is wor
th pausing to consider the nancial crisis in 2008. F
o
r the most par
t, it was a routine culmination of a business cy
cle. D
uring an aggr
essive upsurge in an economy
, inter
est rates ar
e necessarily lo
w
.
Conser
vative in=
vestors seek to incr
ease yield without incr
easing risk. F
i
nancial institutions ar
e rst and for
emost marketing organizations, designed to devise products satisfying demand. As the business cy
cle mo
ves to climax, nancial institu=
tions must become mor
e aggr
essive in crafting these products, fr
equently in=
cr
easing the hidden risk in the product. At the end of the cy
cle, the weakness is r
evealed and the house comes crashing do
wn. Consider the dot-com melt=
do
wn at the turn of the centur
y
. When the devastation affects a nancial sector
, rather than a non-nancial economic sector like dot-coms, the consequences ar
e doubled. F
irst, ther
e ar
e nancial losses. S
econd, the ability of the nancial sector to function, to pro
vide liquidity to the economy
, contracts. I
n
the U
n
ited S
tates, the nor=
mal solution has been federal inter
vention. I
n
the 1970s, the federal go
v=
ernment inter
vened in a possible meltdo
wn in municipal bonds by bailing out N
e
w Y
o
rk Cityguaranteeing its bonds. I
n
the 1980s, when thir
d world countries began defaulting on debt because of declining commodity prices, the U
n
ited S
tates led an international bailout that essentially guaran=
teed the thir
d world debt via the B
rady Bond. I
n
1989, when a collapse in the commercial r
e
al estate market devastated the savings and loan industr
y
,
the federal go
vernment inter
vened through the R
esolution T
r
ust Corporation. The crisis of 2008 was trigger
ed by the decline of housing prices, forcing the go
vernment to inter
vene to guarantee those loans and other functions of the nancial system. D
ebt is measur
ed against net wor
th. I
f
you o
w
e a thousand dollars and have a net wor
th that
s
negative, you have problems if you lose your job
. I
f you o
w
e a million dollars but have a net wor
th of a billion dollars, you don
t have a problem. The U.S. economy has a net wor
th measur
ed in hundr
eds of trillions of dollars. Ther
efor
e, a debt crisis measuring a few trillion cannot 1
3
0 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars destro
y it. The problem is, ho
w can this countr
y
s net wor
th be used to co
ver the bad loans, since that net wor
th is in hundr
eds of millions of pri=
vate hands? O
nly the go
vernment can do that, and it does it by guarantee=
ing the debts, using the state
s
so
ver
eign taxing po
wer
, and utilizing the F
e
deral R
eser
v
e
s
ability to print money to bail out the system. I
n
that sense, the 2008 crisis was not materially differ
ent from pr
evious crises. While the underlying economy will go through a r
ecession, r
ecessions ar
e normal and common par
ts of the business cy
cle. B
ut at the same time, we ar
e seeing an impor
tant harbinger of the mor
e distant futur
e. The decline in housing prices has many r
easons, but lurking in back of it is a demo=
graphic r
e
ality
. As global population gro
wth declines, the historic assump=
tion that land and other r
e
al estate will always rise in price due to gr
eater demand becomes suspect. The crisis of 2008 was not yet r
e
ally a demo=
graphically driven crisis. B
u
t it sho
wed a process that will r
e
veal itself mor
e fully o
v
er the next twenty years: an equity crisis driven by demographics. D
eclines in r
esidential r
eal estate prices ar
e star
tling. They have not been drivers in the past. This one is har
dly a dening moment. Think of it as a straw in the wind, a sign of things to comefrom pr
essur
e on r
e
al estate to gr
eater go
vernment control of the economy
. When we talk of economic crisis, all fears turn immediately to the G
r
eat D
epr
ession. I
n
fact, historically
, the terminal crisis of a cy
cle has usually r
e
=
sembled deep discomfor
t mor
e than the profound agony of the D
epr
ession. The stagation of the 1970s or the shor
t, sharp crises of the 1870s ar
e far mor
e likely than the prolonged, systemic failur
e of the 1930s. As will be tr
ue for the crisis of the 2020s, we don
t
have to be facing a G
r
eat D
e
pr
es=
sion in or
der to be confronting a historical turning point. F
o
r the rst centur
y of the U
n
ited S
tates, the driving problem was the str
uc=
tur
e of land o
wnership
. F
o
r the next 150 y
e
ars, the primar
y issue was ho
w to manage the r
elationship between capital formation and consumption. The solution swung between favoring capital formation and favoring consump=
tion, sometimes settling on balancing the two
. B
u
t for 250 years of Ameri=
can histor
y
,
labor was never an issue. The population always gr
ew and the younger
, working- age cohor
ts wer
e mor
e numerous than the older
. 1
3
1 ame ri can p o
w
e r and the cri s i s of 2 03 0 U
n
derlying the crisis of 2030 is the fact that labor will no longer be the r
eliable component it has been up to that point. The surge in bir
thrate fol=
lo
wing W
orld W
ar II and the incr
ease in life expectancy will cr
eate a large aging population, incr
easingly out of the workforce but continuing to con=
sume. And her
e
s a fact that should get you thinking: when S
ocial S
ecurity set the r
e
tir
ement age at sixty- ve, the average life expectancy for a male was sixty- one. I
t
makes us r
e
aliz
e ho
w little S
ocial S
ecurity was designed to pay out. The subsequent surge in life expectancy has changed the math of r
e
=
tir
ement entir
ely
. The decline in bir
thrates since the 1970s, coupled with later and later entr
y into the workforce, r
educes the number of workers to each r
etir
ee. D
u
ring the 2020s this tr
end will intensify
. I
t
is not so much that workers will be suppor
ting r
etir
ees, although that will be a factor
. The problem will be that r
e
tir
ees, drawing on equity in homes and r
e
tir
ement funds, will still be consuming at high rates. Ther
efor
e, workers will be needed to ll their demand. W
ith a declining workforce, and steady demand for goods and ser=
vices, ination will soar because the cost of labor will go through the roof
. I
t will also accelerate the rate at which r
e
tir
ees exhaust their wealth. R
etir
ees will divide into two groups. Those lucky or smar
t enough to have equity r
eser
ves in houses and 401(k)s will be forced to sell those assets. A second group of r
etir
ees will have few or no assets. S
ocial S
ecurity
, under the best of circumstances, leaves people in abject po
ver
ty
. The pr
essur
e to maintain r
e
asonable standar
ds of living and health car
e for the baby boomers will be intense, and it will come from a group that will continue to r
e
tain dispropor
tionate political po
wer because of their numbers. R
e
tir
ees vote dispropor
tionately to other groups, and the baby boomer vote will be par=
ticularly huge. They will vote themselves benets. G
o
vernments around the worldthis won
t
only be happening in the U
n
ited S
tateswill be forced to either incr
ease tax
es or borro
w heavily
. I
f the former
, they will be taxing the ver
y group that would be beneting from the incr
eased wages necessitated by the labor shor
tage. I
f
ther
e is incr
eased borro
wing, the go
vernment will be entering a shrinking capital market at the same time that boomers ar
e withdrawing capital fr
om that mar
ket, fur
ther driving up inter
est rates and, in a r
eplay of the 1970s, incr
easing in=
ation due to a surging supply of money
. U
nemplo
yment is the only thing 1
3
2 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars that won
t
echo the 1970s. Whoever can work will have a jobat high wagesbut those wages will be badly squeez
ed b
y
tax
es or ination. Boomers will star
t r
e
tiring in about 2013. I
f
we assume an average r
e
=
tir
ement age of seventy (and health and nancial need will push it ther
e), the years after will see the star
t of a surging r
e
tir
ed population. A signicant drop- off won
t
occur until well after 2025, and the economic r
epercussions will continue to echo well after that. Those born in 1980 will be coping with this pr
oblem fr
om their mid- thir
ties to their mid- for
ties. F
o
r an im=
por
tant par
t of their working life, they will be living in an incr
easingly dys=
functional economy
. F
r
om a broad historical point of view this is just a passing pr
oblem. F
o
r those born betw
een 1970 and 1990 this not only will be painful but will dene their generation. I
t
may not be on the or
der of an=
other G
r
eat D
e
pr
ession, but those who r
e
member the stagation of the 1970s will have a point of r
efer
ence. B
a
by boomers came in with a generation gap
. They will go out with a generation gap
. Whoev
er is elected pr
esident in 2024 or 2028 will face a r
e
mar
kable pr
oblem. Like A
dams, G
rant, H
o
o
v
er
, and Car
ter
, this pr
esident will be us=
ing the last period
s
solutions to solve the new problem. J
ust as Car
ter tried to use R
oosevelt
s
principles to solve stagation, making the situation worse, the nal pr
esident in this period will use R
e
agan
s
solution, elding a tax cut for the wealthy to generate investment. T
ax cuts will incr
ease investment at a time when labor shor
tages ar
e most intense, fur
ther incr
easing the price of labor and exacerbating the cy
cle. J
ust as the problems leading to pr
evious crises wer
e unpr
ecedented, so the problem emerging in the 2020s will be unpr
ecedented. H
o
w can we in=
cr
ease the amount of available labor? The labor shor
tage will have two solu=
tions. O
ne is to incr
ease productivity per worker
, and the other is to i
n
troduce mor
e workers. G
i
ven the magnitude and time frame of this problem, the only immediate solution will be to incr
ease the number of workersand to do that through incr
eased immigration. F
r
om 2015 on=
war
d, immigration will be rising, but not quickly enough to alleviate the problem. American political cultur
e, ever since 1932, has been terried of a labor surplusof unemplo
yment. The issue of immigration will have been r
e
=
1
3
3 ame ri can p o
w
e r and the cri s i s of 2 03 0 gar
ded for a centur
y in terms of lo
wering wages. I
mmigration has been viewed through the prism of population explosion. The idea that it could r
esolve a problema shor
tage of laborwould have been as alien a concept as the idea in 1930 that unemplo
yment was not the r
esult of laziness. I
n
the 2020s this concept will shift again, and by the election of either 2028 or 2032 a sea change in American political thinking will have taken place. S
ome will argue that ther
e ar
e plenty of workers available, but that they don
t
have the incentive to work because tax
es ar
e too high. The failing pr
esident will tr
y to solve the problem with tax cuts to motivate nonexistent workers to join the workforce by stimulating investment. Rapid and dramatic incr
eases in the workforce through immigration will be the r
eal solution. The br
eakthrough will be the r
ealization that the his=
torical view of labor scarcity does not work any longer
. F
o
r the for
eseeable futur
e, the problem will be that ther
e is simply not enough labor to be em=
plo
yed. And this will not be a uniquely American problem. E
v
er
y advanced industrial countr
y will be facing the same pr
oblemand most of them will be in much gr
eater trouble. Q
uite simply
, they will be hungr
y for new work=
ers and taxpay
ers. I
n
the meantime, the middle- tier countries that hav
e been the source of immigration will have impro
ved their economies substantially as their o
wn populations stabiliz
ed. Any urgency to immigrate to other countries will be subsiding. I
t
is har
d to imagine no
w
,
in 2009, but by 2030 advanced countries will be competing for immigrants. C
rafting immigrant policy will involve not nding ways to keep them out, but nding ways to induce them to come to the U
n
ited S
tates rather than E
u
rope. The U
n
ited S
tates will still have ad=
v
antages. I
t
is easier no
w to be an immigrant in the U
n
ited S
tates than it is in F
rance, and that will continue to be the case. M
o
r
e
o
v
er
, the U
n
ited S
tates has mor
e long- term oppor
tunities than E
u
ropean countries do, if for no other r
e
ason than that it has lo
wer population density
. B
u
t the fact is that the U
nited S
tates will have to do something it hasn
t
done in a long time cr
eate incentives to attract immigrants to come her
e. R
etir
ees will favor the immigration solution for obvious r
easons. B
ut the workforce will be divided. Those who fear that their income will be r
educed by competition will oppose it vehemently
. O
t
her workers, in less pr
ecarious positions, will suppor
t immigration, par
ticularly in ar
eas that will r
e
duce 1
3
4 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars the cost of ser
vices they r
equir
e. I
n
the end, the politics will turn not so much on the principle of immigration as on identifying the ar
eas in which immigration will be economically useful and the skills immigrants will need, and managing the settlement of immigrants so that they do not o
v
er=
whelm par
ticular r
egions. B
ack to the incentives. The U
n
ited S
tates will have to offer immigrants a range of competitive benets, from highly str
eamlined gr
een- car
d processes to specializ
ed visas catering to the needs and wishes of the immigrant work=
force and quite possibly to bonusespaid dir
ectly through the go
vernment or through rms that ar
e hiring themalong with guarantees of emplo
y=
ment. And immigrants will cer
tainly comparison shop
. This process will r
esult in a substantial incr
ease in the po
wer of the fed=
eral go
vernment. S
i
nce 1980 we have seen a steady erosion of go
vernment po
w
e
r
. The immigration r
eform that will be needed ar
ound 2030 will r
e
=
quir
e dir
ect go
vernment management, ho
wever
. I
f
private businesses man=
age the process, the federal go
vernment at least will be enforcing guarantees to make cer
tain immigrants ar
e not defrauded and that the companies can deliver on their promises. O
ther
wise, unemplo
yed immigrants will become a bur
den. S
imply opening the bor
ders will not be an option. The manage=
ment of the new labor forcethe counterpar
t to the management of capital and cr
edit marketswill dramatically enhance federal po
wer
, r
e
versing the pattern of the R
e
agan period. I
mpor
ted labor will be of two classes. O
ne will consist of those able to suppor
t the aging population, such as physicians and housekeepers. The other will be those who can develop technologies that incr
ease productivity in or
der to addr
ess the labor shor
tage o
v
er the longer term. Ther
efor
e, pro=
fessionals in the physical sciences, engineering, and health car
e, along with manual labor
ers of various sor
ts, will be the primar
y kinds of workers that ar
e r
ecr
uited. This inux of immigrants will not be on the or
der of the 18801920 immigration but will cer
tainly be mor
e substantial than any immigration wave since. I
t
will also change the cultural character of the U
nited S
tates. The ver
y plasticity of American cultur
e is its advantage, and this will be cr
u=
cial in helping it to attract immigrants. W
e
should expect international fric=
tion from the process of r
ecr
uiting immigrants as well. The U
nited S
tates 1
3
5 ame ri can p o
w
e r and the cri s i s of 2 03 0 pursues its ends r
uthlessly
, and will outbid and outmaneuver other coun=
tries for scarce labor as well as drain educated workers from developing countries. This will, as we will see, affect the for
eign policy of these coun=
tries. F
or the U
nited S
tates, on the other hand, it will be mer
ely another fty-
year cy
cle in its histor
y successfully navigated and another wave of immi=
grants attracted and seduced by the land of oppor
tunity
. Whether they come from I
n
dia or B
razil, their childr
en will be as American in a genera=
tion as pr
evious immigration cohor
ts wer
e throughout America
s
histor
y
. This applies to ever
yone ex
cept for one groupthe M
exicans. The U
n
ited S
tates occupies land once claimed by M
e
xico, and its bor
der with that nation is notoriously porous. P
o
pulation mo
vements between M
e
xico and the U
n
ited S
tates differ from the norm, par
ticularly in the bor
derlands. This r
egion will be the major pool from which manual labor is drawn in the 2030s, and it will cause serious strategic problems for the U
n
ited S
tates later in the centur
y
. B
u
t ar
ound 2030 an inevitable step will be taken. A labor shor
tage that destabiliz
es the American economy will force the U
nited S
tates to formaliz
e a process that will have been in place since around 2015 of intensifying im=
migration into the U
n
ited S
tates. O
nce this is done, the U
n
ited S
tates will r
esume the course of its economic development, accelerating in the 2040s as the boomers die and the population str
uctur
e begins to r
esemble the normal pyramid once again, rather than a mushroom. The 2040s should see a surge in economic development similar to those of the 1950s or 1990s. And this period will set the stage for the crisis of 2080. B
u
t ther
e is a lot of histor
y to come between no
w and then. CHAPTER 8 A new world emerges.
T
he collapse of R
ussia in the early 2020s will leave E
urasia as a whole in chaos. The R
ussian F
ederation itself will crack open as M
osco
w
s grip shatters. R
egions, perhaps even the thinly populated P
acic r
e
=
gion, will br
eak away
, its inter
ests in the P
acic B
asin far outweighing its in=
ter
est in or connection to R
ussia proper
. Chechnya and the other M
uslim r
egions will br
eak off
. Kar
elia, with close ties to Scandinavia, will secede. S
uch disintegration will not be conned to R
ussia. O
t
her countries of the former S
o
viet U
n
ion will fragment as w
ell. The bur
dens imposed b
y
M
osco
w will be entir
ely unsustainable. Wher
e pr
eviously the collapse of the S
o
viet U
nion led to oligarchs controlling the R
ussian economy
, the collapse of the 2020s will lead to r
egional leaders going their o
wn way
. This disintegration will take place during a period of Chinese r
egional=
ism. China
s
economic crisis will kick off a r
egional phase in Chinese histor
y that, during the 2020s, will intensify
. The E
u
rasian landmass east of the Carpathians will become disorganiz
ed and chaotic as r
egions str
uggle for lo=
cal political and economic advantage, with uncer
tain bor
ders and shifting alliances. I
n
fact, fragmentation on both sides of the Chinese bor
der
, from Kazakhstan to the P
acic, will star
t to r
ender the boundaries meaningless. From the United States’ point of view, this will represent a superb out-
come. The fifth geopolitical imperative for the United States was that no
power be in a position to dominate all of Eurasia. With both China and
Russia in chaos, the possibility is more distant than ever. There is, in fact,
little need for the United States to even involve itself in maintaining the bal-
ance of power inside the region. In the coming decades the balance of power
will maintain itself.
Eurasia will become a “poacher’s paradise.” For the countries around
the periphery of the region, there will be extraordinary opportunities to
poach. The vast region is rich in resources, labor, and expertise. The col-
lapse of central authority will be an opportunity for countries on its pe-
riphery to take advantage of the situation. Fear, need, and avarice are the
perfect combination of factors that would allow the periphery to try to ex-
ploit the center.
Three nations will be in particularly opportune positions for taking ad-
vantage of this. First, Japan will be in a position to exploit opportunities in
the Russian maritime region and in eastern China. Second, Turkey will be
in a position to press northward into the Caucasus and potentially beyond.
Finally, an alliance of Eastern European countries, led by Poland, and in-
a new worl d emerges 137
JAPAN
JAPAN
PHILIPPINES
PHILIPPINES
SAUDI
SAUDI
ARABIA
ARABIA
TURKEY
TURKEY
POLAND
POLAND
CHINA
RUSSIA
JAPAN
PHILIPPINES
KAZAKHSTAN
IRAN
INDIA
SAUDI
ARABIA
SUDAN
LIBYA
TURKEY
POLAND
Poacher’s Paradise
Frie_9780385517058_3p_all_r1.qxp:Layout 1 10/31/08 4:30 PM Page 137
1
3
8 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars cluding the B
altic states, H
ungar
y
,
and R
o
mania, together will r
egar
d this as an oppor
tunity not only to r
e
turn to older bor
ders but also to protect them=
selves against any futur
e R
ussian state. A po
wer
ful secondar
y benet for these countries is this: by incr
easing their str
ength, they will be fur
ther pro=
tecting themselves against their traditional W
estern enemy
, G
ermany
. These Eastern E
u
r
o
pean countries will be looking at this as an oppor
tunity for r
e
=
dening the balance of po
wer in the r
egion. I
n
dia, for all its siz
e, will not be in this game. G
eographically isolated b
y
the H
imalayas, I
n
dia will not be able to take serious advantage of the situation. The American view of this activity in the 2020s will be suppor
tiv
e. East=
ern E
u
rope, T
u
rkey
, and J
apan will be allies of the U
n
ited S
tates. T
u
rkey and J
apan will have been its allies for seventy- ve years by that point, Eastern E
u
rope for thir
ty years. D
u
ring the confrontation with R
ussia, each will, mor
e or less, and for its o
wn r
e
asons, work with the U
n
ited S
tates, which will r
egar
d them, as it did other allies, as extensions of the American will. The events of the 2020s will have much broader implications beyond R
ussia and China, ho
wever
. The rst will be the changing status of Asia in r
elation to the P
a
cic, and ther
efor
e in r
elation to the U
nited S
tates. The second will be the state of the M
uslim world follo
wing the U.S.jihadist war
. The thir
d will be the internal or
der of E
urope in an age of F
ranco-
G
erman decline and Eastern E
u
ropean emergence. The fragmentation of NA
T
O
is a given once the G
ermans and the F
r
ench opt out of defending the B
a
ltic countries. NA
T
O
is based entir
ely on collective defense, the idea that an attack on one member is an attack on all members. E
mbedded in this idea is the understanding that NA
T
O
is pr
epar
ed, in advance, to go to the defense of any member countr
y that is at risk. S
i
nce the B
a
ltic states will be at risk, a force will need to be for
war
d deplo
yed ther
e as well as in P
oland. The unwillingness of some of the members to par
ticipate in collective de=
fense means that action will need to be taken outside the context of NA
T
O
. NA
T
O
, ther
efor
e, will cease to exist in any meaningful form. All of these issues will be on the table in the 2010s as the confrontation with R
ussia develops. They will be suspendedor at the ver
y least not be high on the global agendaduring the conict. B
ut eventually these ques=
tions ar
e going to r
eemerge. O
nce the R
ussian thr
eat has passed, each of these r
egions must come to terms with its o
w
n geopolitics. 1
3
9 a ne
w w
orl d emer
ges asia/
J
apanese involvement in China goes back to the nineteenth centur
y
.
D
uring the period of turmoil between E
u
rope
s
inter
ventions in China in the mid-
nineteenth centur
y and the end of W
orld W
ar II, J
apan was continually ex
er
ting its inuence in China, usually seeking some kind of economic ad=
vantage. The Chinese have bitter memories of J
apanese behavior in China in the 1930s and 1940s, but not so bitter as to block the J
apanese from r
e
=
turning to invest in post- M
aoist China. I
n
the 1930s, J
apan looked to China for markets, and to a lesser extent for labor
. I
n
the 2020s, the emphasis will be, as we have pointed out, on la=
bor
. W
ith China r
egionalizing and to some extent fragmenting, J
apan will have faced its old Chinese temptation in the 2010s and 2020s. Establishing some form of dominance o
v
er a Chinese r
egion could rapidly contribute to solving J
apan
s
demographic problems without forcing the J
apanese to pay the social and cultural price of immigration. B
u
t J
apan will need to foster deep ties to whatever r
egion it dominates in China. V
arious Chinese r
egions will be looking for protection from the central go
vernment as well as for investment capital and technology
. Thus, the late-
nineteenth- and early- twentieth- centur
y symbiotic r
elationship
, based on coastal China
s
need for investment and technology and J
apan
s
need for la=
bor
, will r
easser
t itself
. H
i
storically
, J
apan has another inter
est besides a need for laboraccess to raw materials. As I have stated, J
apan is the world
s second- largest econ=
omy
, but it must impor
t almost all of its raw materials. This has been a his=
torical challenge for J
apan and was the main r
e
ason that it w
ent to war with the U
n
ited S
tates in 1941. M
any people forget that J
apan was divided in=
ternally befor
e the decision was nally made to attack P
e
arl H
arbor
. S
o
me J
apanese leaders argued that an invasion of S
iberia would pro
vide J
apan with the raw materials it needed and was less risky than taking on the U
n
ited S
tates. E
ither way
, the seriousness with which the J
apanese pursued (and will continue to pursue) raw materials must not be under
estimated. P
a
cic R
ussia is extr
emely rich in all sor
ts of minerals, including hydro=
carbons. B
y
the 2020s, J
apan will be facing energy problems and a contin=
ued dependence on the P
ersian G
ulf
, which in turn would mean being entangled with the United States. Given American hubris after the second
fall of Russia, Japan, like the rest of the world, will be increasingly uneasy
about America’s next move. Therefore, with Russia fragmenting, it would
seem to make a great deal of sense for the Japanese to seek, at the very least,
economic control over Pacific Russia. Japan will respond whenever its access
to raw materials is threatened.
Japan will have a direct interest, then, in both northeast China and Pa-
cific Russia, but it will have no appetite for military adventure. At the same
time, Japan will be facing economic disaster by mid- century unless it starts
140 the ne xt 1 00 years
Paciic
Paciic
Ocean
Ocean
Philippine
Philippine
Sea
Sea
Yellow
Yellow
Sea
Sea
East China
East China
Sea
Sea
Indian
Indian
Ocean
Ocean
Indian
Ocean
CHINA
CHINA
RUSSIA
RUSSIA
NORTH
NORTH
KOREA
KOREA
TAIWAN
TAIWAN
JAPAN
JAPAN
SOUTH
SOUTH
KOREA
KOREA
Tokyo
Tokyo
Yellow
Sea
East China
Sea
Philippine
Sea
Paciic
Ocean
CHINA
RUSSIA
NORTH
KOREA
SOUTH
KOREA
TAIWAN
JAPAN
Tokyo
Japan
Frie_9780385517058_3p_all_r1.qxp:Layout 1 10/31/08 4:30 PM Page 140
1
4
1 a ne
w w
orl d emer
ges making some decisiv
e mo
v
es in the 2020s. B
y
2050 J
apan
s
population could drop to as lo
w as 107 million from the curr
ent 128 million, with 40 million of those o
v
er the age of sixty- ve and 15 million under the age of four
teen. W
ith 55 million people out of the workforce, J
apan will be har
d pr
essed to maintain its economy at manageable levels. B
e
tween labor and energy concerns, J
apan will have no choice but to attempt to become a r
e
=
gional po
wer
. Let us look mor
e closely at J
apan and its histor
y
.
I
t
is curr
ently the world
s
second-largest economic po
wer
, and will continue to be well into the twenty- rst centur
y
.
I
n
many ways, the J
apanese social str
uctur
e that persisted through industrialization, through W
o
rld W
ar II, and during its economic miracle in the 1980s is the same str
uctur
e that was in place befor
e industrialization. J
apan is notable for internal stability that persists through major shifts in economic and political policy
. F
ollo
wing its initial encounter with the W
est and the r
e
alization that industrial po
wers could squash countries like J
apan, it began industrializing at a dizzying pace. After W
o
rld W
ar II, J
apan r
e
=
v
e
rsed a deeply embedded militaristic tradition and suddenly became one of the most pacist nations in the world. I
t
then gr
ew at an extraor
dinar
y rate until 1990, when its economic expansion halted due to nancial f
ail
=
ur
es, at which time the J
apanese accepted their r
e
versal of for
tune with equanimity
. The mixtur
e of continuity in cultur
e and social discipline has allo
wed J
apan to pr
eser
ve its cor
e values while changing its ways of doing things. O
t
her societies fr
equently cannot change course suddenly and in an or
derly fashion. J
apan can and does. I
t
s geographical isolation protects it from divi=
sive social and cultural forces. I
n
addition, J
apan has a capable r
uling elite that r
ecr
uits new members based on merit, and a highly disciplined popula=
tion pr
epar
ed to follo
w that elite. This is a str
ength that makes J
apan not necessarily unpr
edictable, but simply capable of ex
ecuting policy shifts that would tear other countries apar
t. W
e
cannot assume that J
apan will continue its r
e
ticence and pacism in the 2020s. I
t
will hold on as long as possible; the J
apanese have no desir
e for militar
y conict, because of their long national memor
y of the horrors of W
o
rld W
ar II. At the same time, the curr
ent pacism is an adaptive tool for 1
4
2 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars the J
apanese, not an eternal principle. G
i
ven its industrial and technological base, mo
ving to a mor
e asser
tive militar
y stance is simply a question of a shift in policy
. And given the pr
essur
es it will experience demographically and economically in the coming years, such a change is almost inevitable. J
apan will at rst tr
y to get what it needs through economic means. B
u
t J
apan will not be alone in seeking to augment its labor force without immi=
gration, nor will it be the only countr
y looking to control for
eign energy sources. The E
u
ropeans will also be inter
ested in cr
eating r
egional economic r
elationships. The fragmented r
egions of China and R
ussia will gladly play the E
uropeans and J
apanese off each other
. J
apan
s
challenge is that it can
t
affor
d to lose this game. F
o
r J
apan, given its needs and geographic location, ex
er
ting its inuence in East Asia is the only game in to
wn. J
apanese po
wer in the r
egion will encounter r
esistance in a number of ways. F
irst, the Chinese central go
vernment, which has been waging anti- J
apanese campaigns for years, will see J
apan as deliberately un=
dermining the integrity of the Chinese nation. Chinese r
egions themselves, allied with other for
eign po
wers, will seek to dominate their counterpar
ts. A complex str
uggle will emerge, potentially thr
eatening J
apan
s
inter
ests and compelling it to inter
vene mor
e dir
ectly than it might wish. J
apan
s
last r
e
=
sor
t will be an incr
eased militarism, which, even if it
s
a long way off
, will ev
entually asser
t itself
. B
y
the 2020s and 2030s, as Chinese and R
ussian in=
stability incr
eases and as for
eign pr
esences rise, the J
apanese, like others, will have to defend their inter
ests. B
y
about 2030, the U
n
ited S
tates will hav
e to r
eev
aluate its view of J
apan, as that countr
y becomes mor
e asser
tive. J
apan, like the U
n
ited S
tates, is inher
ently a maritime po
w
e
r
.
I
t
sur
viv
es b
y
impor
ting raw materials and expor
ting manufactur
ed products. A
ccess to sea lanes is essential to its exis=
tence. As J
apan begins to mo
ve from large- scale economic involvement to small- scale militar
y pr
esence in East Asia, it will be par
ticularly inter
ested in protecting its r
egional sea lanes. S
outhern J
apan is about ve hundr
ed miles from S
hanghai. F
i
ve hun=
dr
ed miles also brings you from J
apan to Vladivostok, S
a
khalin I
sland, and the Chinese coast nor
th of S
hanghai. That radius will r
epr
esent the outer limit of J
apanese militar
y inter
ests. B
u
t even to protect such a small ar
ea, J
apan will need a capable navy
, air force, and space sur
veillance system. The 1
4
3 a ne
w w
orl d emer
ges tr
uth is, J
apan has these alr
eady
, but b
y
2030 they will be explicitly oriented to
war
d ex
cluding unwelcome intr
uders in J
apan
s
spher
e of inuence. I
t
is at this point that J
apan
s
newfound asser
tiveness will begin to chal=
lenge American strategic inter
ests. The U
n
ited S
tates wants to dominate all oceans. The r
eemergence of J
apanese r
egional po
wer not only thr
eatens this inter
est but sets the stage for incr
eased J
apanese po
wer globally
. As J
apan
s inter
ests in mainland Asia incr
ease, its air and naval capabilities will need to impro
ve as well. And as these impro
ve, ther
e is no guarantee that its range of action won
t
incr
ease as well. I
t
is, from the American point of vie
w
,
a dan=
gerous cy
cle. The situation is likely to play out as follo
ws: As the U
n
ited S
tates begins to r
eact to incr
eased J
apanese po
wer
, the J
apanese will become incr
easingly insecur
e, r
esulting in a do
wnwar
d spiral in U.S.J
apanese r
elations. J
apan, pursuing its fundamental national inter
ests in Asia, must contr
ol its sea lanes. Conversely
, the Americans, vie
wing global sea lane control as an absolute r
e
=
quir
ement for their o
w
n national security
, will pr
ess back on the J
apanese, tr
ying to contain what the U
n
ited S
tates will perceive as incr
eased J
apanese aggr
essiveness. Right in the middle of the gro
wing J
apanese spher
e of inuence is K
o
r
e
a
, which we expect will be united well befor
e 2030. A united K
o
r
e
a will have a population of about seventy million, not much less than J
apan. S
outh K
o
r
e
a curr
ently ranks twelfth economically in the world, and will rank higher in 2030 after unication. K
o
r
e
a historically fears J
apanese domination. As J
apan incr
eases its po
w
e
r in China and R
ussia, K
o
r
e
a will be trapped in the middle, and it will be afraid. K
o
r
e
a will not be a trivial po
w
e
r in its o
w
n right, but its r
e
al impor
tance will come from the U
n
ited S
tates seeing K
o
r
e
a as a counterbalance to J
apanese po
wer and as a base for asser
ting its o
w
n po
w
e
r in the S
e
a of J
apan. K
o
r
e
a will want U.S. suppor
t against a rising J
apan, and an anti- J
apanese coalition will star
t to emerge. I
n
the meantime, changes will be taking place inside China. I
n
r
ecent centuries, China has r
un on a thir
ty- to for
ty- year cy
cle. China ceded H
ong K
ong to the B
ritish in 1842. I
n
about 1875 the E
u
ropeans began taking control of China
s
tributar
y states. I
n
1911 the M
anchu dynasty was o
v
er=
thro
wn by S
un Y
at- sen. I
n
1949 the Communists took control of China. M
ao died in 1976 and the period of economic expansion began. B
y
2010 1
4
4 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars China will be str
uggling with internal disr
uption and economic decline. This means that another r
e
versal is likely sometime in the 2040s. This r
e
versal will be a r
easser
tion of political control by B
eijing and a campaign to limit the for
eign pr
esence in China. B
ut obviously
, this process won
t
begin in the 2040s. I
t
will culminate ther
e. I
t
will be emerging in the 2030s as for
eign encroachment, par
ticularly by the J
apanese, gets mor
e in=
tense. This will be another lever the U
nited S
tates will use to control the sit=
uation. I
t
will suppor
t B
eijing
s
effor
ts to r
eunify China and control J
apan, a r
e
version of U.S. policy to the pr
eW
orld W
ar II model. B
y
the 2040s, the U
n
ited S
tates and J
apan will hav
e r
e
ached a pr
ofound divergence of inter
ests. The U
n
ited S
tates will be allied with S
eoul and B
e
i=
jing, all of them concerned about incr
eased J
apanese po
wer
. The J
apanese, fearing American inter
fer
ence in their spher
e of inuence, will necessarily incr
ease their militar
y po
w
e
r
.
B
u
t J
apan will be pr
ofoundly isolated, facing the r
egional coalition the U
nited S
tates will have cr
eated as well as American militar
y po
wer
. Ther
e will be no way the J
apanese can cope with the pr
es=
sur
e alone, yet ther
e will be no one nearby to help
. H
o
wever
, technological shifts will cr
eate geopolitical shifts, and oppor
tunities for J
apan to form its o
w
n coalition will emerge at the other end of Asia. turke
y D
uring the R
ussoAmerican confrontation in E
u
rope leading up to 2020, ther
e is going to be a subsidiar
y confrontation in the Caucasus. The R
us=
sians will pr
ess south into the r
egion, r
eabsorbing G
eorgia and linking up with their Armenian allies. The r
e
turn of the R
ussian army to T
u
rkey
s
bor=
ders, ho
wever
, will cr
eate a massive crisis in T
urkey
. A centur
y after the fall of the O
ttoman E
mpir
e and the rise of modern T
u
rkey
, the T
u
rks will have to face again the same thr
eat they faced in the Cold W
a
r
. As R
ussia later cr
umbles, the T
u
rks will make an unavoidable strategic decision around 2020. R
elying on a chaotic buffer z
one to protect them=
selves from the R
ussians is a bet they will not make again. This time, they will mo
ve nor
th into the Caucasus, as deeply as they need to in or
der to guarantee their national security in that dir
ection. 1
4
5 a ne
w w
orl d emer
ges Ther
e is a deeper issue. B
y
2020, T
u
rkey will have emerged as one of the top ten economies in the world. Alr
eady ranked seventeenth in 2007, and gro
wing steadily
, T
u
rkey is not only an economically viable countr
y but a strategically cr
ucial one. I
n
fact, T
u
rkey enjo
ys one of the strongest geo=
graphic locations of any E
urasian countr
y
. T
u
rkey has easy access to the Arab world, I
ran, E
u
r
o
pe, the former S
o
viet U
n
ion, and abo
v
e
all the M
e
diter=
ranean. The T
urkish economy gro
ws in par
t because T
urkey is a center of r
e
=
gional trade as well as a productive economic po
wer in its o
wn right. B
y
2020 T
u
r
key will be a surging, fairly stable economic and militar
y po
w
e
r in a sea of chaos. A
par
t fr
om the instability to its nor
th, it will face challenges in ever
y other dir
ection as well. I
ran, which has not been eco=
nomically or militarily signicant for centuries but whose internal affairs ar
e historically unpr
edictable, lies to the southeast. T
o
the south, ther
e is the permanent instability and lack of economic development of the Arab world. T
o
the nor
thwest, ther
e is the perpetual chaos of the B
a
lkan P
eninsula, which includes T
urkey
s
historic enemy
, G
r
eece. N
one of these r
egions will be doing par
ticularly well in the 2020s, for several r
easons. The Arabian P
eninsula to T
u
rkey
s
south will, in par
ticular
, be confronting an existential crisis. E
x
cept for oil, the Arabian P
eninsula has few r
esources, little industr
y
,
and minimal population. I
ts impor
tance has r
ested on oil, and historically the wealth produced by oil has helped stabiliz
e the r
egion. B
u
t b
y
2020 the Arabian P
eninsula will be declining. Though it will not yet be out of oil, and far from impro
verished, the handwriting will be on the wall and crisis will loom. S
t
r
uggles between factions in the H
ouse of S
a
ud will be endemic, along with instability in the other sheikhdoms of the P
ersian G
ulf
. The broader issue, though, will be the extr
eme fragmentation of the en=
tir
e I
slamic world. H
istorically divided, it has been badly destabiliz
ed b
y
the U.S. jihadist war
. D
u
ring the U.S.R
ussian confrontation of the late 2010s, the M
iddle East will be fur
ther destabiliz
ed b
y
R
ussian attempts to cr
eate problems for the U
nited S
tates to the south of T
u
rkey
. The I
slamic world in general, and the Arab world in par
ticular
, will be divided along ever
y line imaginable in the 2020s. The B
a
lkans, to T
u
rkey
s
nor
thwest, will also be unstable. U
nlike the Cold W
ar in the twentieth centur
y
,
when U.S. and S
o
viet po
wer locked Y
u
=
1
4
6 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars goslavia into place, the second round of the U.S.R
ussian confrontation will destabiliz
e the r
egion. R
ussia will be much less po
wer
ful than it was the rst time ar
ound and will confr
ont a hostile H
ungar
y and R
o
mania. J
ust as the R
ussians will work to contain T
u
rkey (through the Arab countries to T
u
rkey
s
south), so they will attempt to contain H
ungar
y and R
o
mania by tr
ying to turn B
ulgaria, S
e
rbia, and C
r
oatia against them. They will cast a broad net, kno
wing that they will fail in some cases but hoping for enough success to diver
t T
u
rkey
s
attention. As G
r
eece, M
a
cedonia, Bosnia, and M
ontenegro ar
e drawn into the B
a
lkan conicts, the r
egion will once again become a shambles. The immediate peripher
y of T
u
rkey is going to be un=
stable, to say the least. The I
slamic world is incapable of uniting voluntarily
. I
t
is, ho
wever
, ca=
pable of being dominated by a M
uslim po
wer
. Throughout histor
y
, T
urkey has been the M
uslim po
wer most often able to cr
eate an empir
e out of par
t of the I
slamic worldcer
tainly since the M
ongol invasions of the thir
teenth centur
y
. The centur
y between 1917 and 2020 has been an anomaly
, because T
u
rkey has r
uled only o
v
er Asia M
inor
. B
u
t T
u
rkish po
werthe O
ttoman E
mpir
e or a T
u
rkic po
wer r
uling out of I
ranhas been a long- term r
e
ality in the I
slamic world. I
n
fact, T
u
r
key once dominated the B
alkans, the Cau=
casus, the Arabian P
eninsula, and N
o
r
th Africa (see map on page 84). D
u
ring the 2020s, that po
wer will begin to r
eemerge. E
v
en mor
e than J
apan, T
u
rkey will be critical in the confrontation with the R
ussians. The Bospor
us, the strait connecting the Aegean and the B
lack S
ea, blocks R
uss=
ian access to the M
editerranean. T
u
rkey historically controlled the Bospor
us, and ther
efor
e R
ussia historically saw T
urkey as a po
wer that was blocking its inter
ests. I
t
will be no differ
ent in the 2010s or early 2020s. The R
ussians will need access to the Bospor
us to counter the Americans in the B
a
lkans. The T
urks kno
w that if the R
ussians ar
e given such access and succeed in achieving their geopolitical goals, T
u
rkish autonomy will be thr
eatened. The T
u
rks, ther
efor
e, will be committed to their alliance with the U
n
ited S
tates against R
ussia. As a r
esult, the T
u
rks will be instr
umental in America
s anti- R
ussian strategy
. The U
nited S
tates will encourage T
u
rkey to pr
ess nor
th in the Cau=
casus and will want T
urkish inuence in M
uslim ar
eas of the B
a
lkans, as well as in the Arab states to the south, to incr
ease. I
t
will help T
u
rkey in=
1
4
7 a ne
w w
orl d emer
ges cr
ease its maritime capabilitiesnaval, air
, and spaceto challenge the R
ussians in the B
lack S
ea. I
t
will ask the T
u
rkish navy to shar
e the naval bur=
den in the M
e
diterranean and use its po
wer to block R
ussian adventur
es in N
o
r
t
h Africa. The U
nited S
tates also will do ever
ything it can to encourage T
u
rkish economic development, which will fur
ther stimulate its alr
eady surging economy
. When the R
ussians nally collapse, the T
u
rks will be left in a position they haven
t
been in for a centur
y
.
S
urrounded by chaos and weakness, the T
urks will have an economic pr
esence throughout the r
egion. They also will have a substantial militar
y pr
esence. When the R
ussians collapse, the r
e
=
gional geopolitics will r
eorganiz
ewithout r
eal effor
t on their par
taround the T
urks, who will become the dominant po
wer in the r
egion, projecting inuence in all dir
ections. T
u
rkey will not be a formal empir
e yet, but it will be, without a doubt, the center of gravity in the I
slamic world. O
f
course the Arab world will have sever
e problems with T
u
rkey
s r
eemerging po
wer
. T
u
rkish mistr
eatment of Arabs under the old O
ttoman E
mpir
e has not been forgotten. B
ut the only other r
egional players that could ex
er
t as much po
wer will be I
srael and I
ran, and T
urkey will be much less objectionable to the Arabs. W
ith the Arabian P
eninsula beginning its decline, the security and economic development of the Arab countries will depend on close ties to T
urkey
. The Americans will see this development as a positive step
. F
irst, it will r
e
war
d a close ally
. S
econd, it will stabiliz
e an unstable r
egion. Thir
d, it will bring the still signicant hydrocarbon supplies of the P
ersian G
ulf un=
der the inuence of the T
u
rks. F
i
nally
, the T
u
rks will block I
ranian ambi=
tions in the r
egion. B
u
t while the immediate r
esponse will be positive, the longer- term geo =
political outcome will r
un counter to American grand strategy
. As we have seen, the U
nited S
tates cr
eates r
egional po
wers to block gr
eater thr
eats in E
urasia. H
o
wever
, the U
nited S
tates also fears r
egional hegemons. They can evolve into not only r
egional challengers but global ones. That is pr
ecisely ho
w the U
n
ited S
tates will begin to view T
u
r
key
. As the 2020s come to an end, U.S.T
urkish r
elations will become incr
easingly uncomfor
table. The T
urkish perception of the U
nited S
tates will change as well. I
n
the 2030s the U
n
ited S
tates will be seen as a thr
eat to T
u
rkish r
egional inter
ests. 1
4
8 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars I
n
addition, ther
e might well be an ideological shift in T
u
rkey
, which has been a secular state since the fall of the O
ttoman E
mpir
e. H
i
storically
, the T
u
rks have taken a exible approach to r
eligion, using it as a tool as much as a system of belief
. As it faces U.S. opposition to the spr
ead of its inuence, T
u
rkey may nd it useful to harness I
slamist energies by por
traying itself as being not only M
uslim but also an I
slamic po
wer (as opposed to a faction like al Q
aeda) attempting to cr
eate an I
slamic superstate. This would shift Arab M
uslims in the r
egion from a position of r
eluctant alignment to ener=
getic par
ticipation in T
u
r
key
s
expansion, r
egar
dless of the histor
y and cyni=
cism of the mo
ve. W
e
will see, as a r
esult, the U
nited S
tates confronting a potentially po
w
e
r
ful I
slamic state that is organizing the Arab world and the eastern M
e
diterranean. The U
n
ited S
tates will be existentially thr
eatened by the combination of T
u
rkey
s
political po
wer and the vibrancy of its econ=
omy
, even as challenges continue to arise on other fronts. pol
and The most enthusiastic par
ticipants in the American confrontation with the R
ussians will be the former S
o
viet satellites, par
ticularly P
oland. I
n
a sense, they will be leading the Americans as much as being led. P
oland has ever
y=
thing to lose from R
ussia
s
r
eemergence and little to protect it from the R
us=
sians. As the R
ussians come back to its frontier
, P
oland will look to the r
est of E
u
rope to suppor
t it through NA
T
O. Ther
e will be little enthusiasm in G
e
rmany or F
rance for any confrontation, so P
oland will do what it histor=
ically did when confronted by R
ussia or G
e
rmanyit will seek an outside po
w
e
r to pr
otect it. H
istorically this did not wor
k. The guarantees made b
y F
rance and B
ritain in 1939 did nothing to protect P
oland against G
ermany or R
ussia. The U
n
ited S
tates will be differ
ent. I
t
is not a po
wer in decline, but a young, vigorous risk taker
. T
o
P
oland
s
pleasant surprise, the U
nited S
tates will be strong enough to block the R
ussians. The r
est of E
u
rope, par
ticularly F
rance and G
e
rmany
, will have ex=
tr
emely mix
ed feelings about America
s
superiority o
v
er the R
ussians. H
av=
ing lived through one cold war in the twentieth centur
y
,
they will have little desir
e to liv
e thr
ough another one. A
t
a time of declining populations in all 1
4
9 a ne
w w
orl d emer
ges of these countries, the G
ermans and the F
r
ench might be r
elieved to see R
ussiaalso with a declining population but still enormousbroken up
. H
o
wever
, they will not be happy to see the U
n
ited S
tates in a strong posi=
tion in E
u
rope outside of institutions like NA
T
O
, which the E
u
ropeans ac=
tually used to control and contain the U
n
ited S
tates. N
o
r will G
e
rmany
, F
rance, and the r
est of W
estern E
u
rope be used to the sudden self- condence of P
oland or of the C
z
ech R
epublic, S
l
o
v
akia, H
ungar
y
,
and R
o
mania. The confrontation with R
ussia will parado
xically make these countries feel mor
e secur
e because of the strong bilateral ties with the U
nited S
tates through which they seek to block R
ussian po
wer
. F
r
eed from their primor
dial fear of the R
ussians and incr
easingly uncon=
cerned about a weakening G
ermany
, these countries will see themselves as r
elatively safe for the rst time in several centuries. I
ndeed, the F
ranco-
G
e
rman decline will be felt all around the E
u
ropean peripher
y
,
driven par
tly b
y
population decline, par
tly b
y
moribund economies, and par
tly b
y
the geopolitical miscalculation of opting out of the confrontation with R
ussia (and ther
efor
e disr
upting NA
T
O
). The net r
esult will be an intensication of the crisis of condence that has undermined F
rance and G
ermany since W
o
rld W
ar I. As a r
esult, ther
e will be a general r
edenition of the E
u
ropean po
wer str
uctur
e. The collapse of the R
ussians will give the Eastern E
uropeans both the oppor
tunity and the need to adopt a mor
e aggr
essive for
eign policy in the east. Eastern E
u
rope will become the most dynamic r
egion of E
u
rope. As R
ussia collapses, the Eastern E
u
ropean countries will extend their inu=
ence and po
wer to the east. The S
l
o
v
aks, H
ungarians, and R
o
manians have been the least vulnerable to the R
ussians because the Carpathians formed a natural barrier
. The P
oles, on the nor
thern E
uropean plain, will be the most vulnerable, yet at the same time the largest and most impor
tant Eastern E
u
=
ropean nation. As the R
ussians fall apar
t, the P
oles will be the rst to want to pr
ess east=
war
d, tr
ying to cr
eate a buffer z
one in B
elar
us and Ukraine. As the P
oles as=
ser
t their po
wer
, the Carpathian countries will also project po
wer east of the mountains, into Ukraine. F
or ve hundr
ed years, Eastern E
urope has been a backwater
, trapped betw
een the gr
eat A
tlantic E
u
r
o
pean po
w
e
rs and G
e
r=
many on the one side, and R
ussia on the other
. I
n
the wake of the collapse 1
5
0 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars of R
ussian po
wer
, the E
uropean or
der will shift to the east, to an Eastern E
u
r
o
pe with deep ties to the U
n
ited S
tates. A political confederation among the B
altic countries, P
oland, S
l
o
v
akia, H
ungar
y
,
and R
o
mania will be impossible. They will have too many cul=
tural and historical differ
ences between them. B
ut an alliance between at least some of them is easy to imagine, especially when they shar
e the com=
mon inter
est of mo
ving to the east. That is pr
ecisely what they will do in the 2030s. U
s
ing their gro
wing economic po
werand militar
y force as well, left o
v
er from their close col=
laboration with the Americansthey will form an alliance and face no sig=
nicant r
esistance to any eastern mo
ve. O
n
the contrar
y
,
given the chaos, many in the r
egion will actually welcome them as a stabilizing force. The difculty will be coor
dinating the mo
vement and avoiding major conicts o
v
er par
ticular ar
eas. The r
egion is naturally fractious; ho
wever
, in the late 2020s and 2030s, that will be the last thing on the Eastern E
u
ropean mind. M
a
king cer
tain that R
ussia never r
eturns and incr
easing their labor force will be the major considerations. The pr
ecise lines of an Eastern E
u
ropean advance ar
e impossible to pr
e=
dict. H
o
wever
, seeing an occupation of S
t. P
e
tersburg from Estonia, or a P
olish occupation of M
i
nsk, or a H
ungarian occupation of Kiev is no mor
e difcult to imagine than a R
ussian occupation of W
arsaw
, B
u
dapest, or B
erlin. What goes west can go east, and if the R
ussians cr
umble, then an eastwar
d mo
vement out of Eastern E
u
rope is inevitable. I
n
this scenario, P
oland becomes a major and dynamic E
u
r
o
pean po
w
e
r
,
leading a coalition of Eastern E
u
ropean countries. The balance of po
wer within E
u
rope by 2040 will ther
efor
e shift to the east. All of E
u
rope will be experiencing a demographic problem, but East=
ern E
urope will be able to compensate for it through the kind of complex =
nancial r
elations that the U
n
ited S
tates traditionally maintains with allies. Eastern E
u
ropean countries might not surpass W
estern E
u
ropean countries in the absolute siz
e of their economies, but cer
tainly Eastern E
u
rope will surpass W
estern E
u
rope in terms of dynamism. S
o
what does all this mean for F
rance and G
e
rmany? I
t
was one thing to liv
e in a E
u
r
o
pe that was disorganiz
ed but in which F
rance and G
e
rmany wer
e the decisive po
wers. I
t
is quite another thing to live in a E
u
rope that is 1
5
1 a ne
w w
orl d emer
ges r
eorganizing itself and leaving them behind. W
ith B
ritain drawn deeply into the American economic orbit and the I
berian P
eninsula similarly at=
tracted to the oppor
tunities of an American r
elationship
, the F
r
ench and the G
e
rmans will face a profound dilemma. D
ecadence means that you no longer have an appetite for gr
eat adven=
tur
es, but it does not mean that you no longer want to sur
vive. B
y
2040, F
rance and G
ermany ar
e going to be has- beens, historically
. B
etween popu=
lation crises and the r
edenition of the geopolitics of E
u
rope, the F
r
ench and G
ermans will be facing a decisive moment. I
f
they do not asser
t them=
selves, their futur
es will be dictated by others and they will mo
ve from deca=
dence to po
werlessness. And with po
werlessness would come a geopolitical spiral from which they would not r
eco
ver
. The key problem for F
rance and G
e
rmany in their existential difculties will be the U
nited S
tates. Although Eastern E
urope will be surging as we ap=
proach the middle of the centur
y
,
this surge will not be sustainable without suppor
t from the U
nited S
tates. I
f
the U
nited S
tates could be forced to abandon its inuence in E
u
rope, Eastern E
u
rope would not have the ability or condence to pursue its strategic inter
ests in the east. The old or
der would ther
efor
e be able to r
easser
t itself
, and some level of security could be r
e
tained b
y
F
rance and G
e
rmany
. O
b
viously
, the F
r
ench and G
ermans won
t
be in any position to con=
front the Americans dir
ectly
, or to force them out alone. B
ut with the end of the U.S.R
ussian conict, the immediate American inter
est in the r
egion will decline. I
n
asmuch as U.S. po
wer will still be in a state of constant ux, and its attention span shor
t, the possibility of a r
e
duced American pr
esence will be r
e
al. Ther
e still may be an oppor
tunity for the F
r
ench and G
e
rmans to o
v
erawe the Eastern E
u
ropeanspar
ticularly if American attention is di=
ver
ted else
wher
e in the world, such as to
war
d the P
a
cic. U.S.
inter
est in E
u
rope may wane in the immediate wake of R
ussia
s
col=
lapse, seemingly opening the door to incr
eased F
ranco- G
erman po
wer
. B
u
t this will be transitor
y
.
As the U.S. crisis with J
apan and T
u
rkey emerges and intensies, the U.S. inter
est in E
urope, as we shall see, will r
eemerge. The U
nited S
tates will have a ver
y r
eal inter
est in Eastern E
urope once the T
urks star
t to make their mo
v
e
in the 2020s. And that will likely be enough to block the r
eemergence of G
erman and F
r
ench po
wer
. 1
5
2 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars summing up/
The fragmentation of China in the 2010s and the br
eakup of R
ussia in the 2020s will cr
eate a vast vacuum from the P
acic to the Carpathians. All around the peripher
y ther
e will be oppor
tunities for nibbles, bites, and then entir
e mouthfuls by minor countries. F
inland will take back Kar
elia, R
o
ma=
nia will take back M
oldo
v
a, I
n
dia will help T
ibet br
eak fr
ee, and T
aiwan will extend its po
w
e
r acr
oss the T
aiwan S
trait while E
u
r
o
peans and Americans cr
eate r
egional spher
es of inuence in China as well. Ther
e will be many op=
por
tunities for poaching. B
ut thr
ee nations will have both the po
wer and the need to do some=
thing dramatic. J
apan will expand its po
w
e
r to include both maritime R
us=
sia and ar
eas of China. T
u
rkey will expand its po
wer not only into the Caucasus but also throughout the ar
eas to its nor
thwest and south. P
oland, leading a coalition of Eastern E
u
ropean po
wers, will push eastwar
d and deep into B
elar
us and Ukraine. The U
nited S
tates will look at all of this benignly for the rst decade or so, much as it view
ed the world in the 1990s. P
oland, T
u
r
key
, and J
apan will be U.S. allies. I
ncr
easing their str
ength will in turn str
engthen the U
nited S
tates. And if moralism is needed, it could be argued that these countries ac=
tually will be helping bring prosperity to their neighbors. B
y
the mid-2030s, ho
wever
, as all thr
ee continue to incr
ease their po
wer
, the U
n
ited S
tates will begin to feel uneasy
. B
y
the 2040s, it will be do
wn=
right hostile. The fth geopolitical principle for the U
n
ited S
tates is to op=
pose any po
wer controlling all of E
urasia. S
uddenly ther
e will be thr
ee r
egional hegemons emerging simultaneously
, and two of them (
J
apan and T
u
rkey) will be signicant maritime po
wersone in the nor
thwest P
acic and one in the eastern M
editerranean. Both will also have developed signi=
cant capabilities in space, and we will see in the next chapter ho
w that be=
comes r
elevant by mid- centur
y
. The bottom line is as follo
ws: I
n
the 2040s, the U
nited S
tates will do what it does when it becomes uneasy
. I
t
will begin to act. CHAPTER 9 THE 2040
s P
r
el
ude t
o W
a
r T
he years around 2040 will be a ush time in the U
n
ited S
tates, com=
parable to the 1990s, 1950s, or 1890s. A
bout ten to tw
enty y
e
ars after a fty- year cy
clical shift in the U
n
ited S
tates, the changes intro=
duced star
t po
wering the economy
. E
conomic, technological, and immigra=
tion shifts introduced in the 2030s will take effect by the end of the decade. P
r
oductivity gains from robotics and the surge in health car
e oppor
tunities pr
esented by genetic science will fuel gro
wth. As in the 1990s, the internal processes of American r
esearch and development (par
ticularly those ramped up during the second cold war) will bear fr
uit. As we have seen countless times in histor
y
,
ho
wever
, ush times ar
e not necessarily peaceful or stable times internationally
. The question that will come to the for
e in 2040 will be this: What will be the r
elationship between the U
n
ited S
tates and the r
est of the world? O
n
one level, the U
n
ited S
tates will be so po
wer
ful that vir
tually any action it takes will affect someone in the world. O
n
the other hand, the U
n
ited S
tates will have such po
wer
, par=
ticularly after the R
ussian r
e
tr
eat and Chinese instability
, that it can affor
d to be car
eless. The U
nited S
tates is dangerous in its most benign state, but when it focuses do
wn on a problem it can be devastatingly r
elentless. The 1
5
4 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars global impulse will be to block the U
n
ited S
tates, but in practical terms that will be easier said than done. Those who can avoid confronting the U
nited S
tates will choose that path because the risks of confrontation will be too high. S
imultaneously
, the r
e
war
ds of collaboration will be substantial. These crosscurr
ents will be settled in differ
ent ways by differ
ent po
wers. Around 2040, the most contentious issue on the table will be the ques=
tion of the futur
e of the P
acic B
asin. I
t
will be addr
essed mor
e narro
wly as a question of the nor
thwest P
a
cic, and mor
e narro
wly still as J
apanese pol=
icy to
war
d China and S
iberia. The sur
face issue will be J
apan
s
incr
easingly aggr
essive role on the mainland of Asia as it pursues its o
w
n economic inter
ests and inter
fer
es with other po
wers, including the U
n
ited S
tates. A
d
=
ditionally
, ther
e will be the question of J
apanese r
espect for Chinese so
ver=
eignty and the question of self- determination for maritime R
ussia. O
n
a deeper lev
el, the U
n
ited S
tates will be alarmed b
y
J
apan
s
rapidly gr
o
wing maritime po
w
e
r
,
including sea- based and space- based militar
y sys=
tems. J
apan, still impor
ting oil from the P
e
rsian G
ulf
, will be incr
easing its po
wer in the S
outh China S
e
a and in the S
trait of M
alacca. I
n
the early 2040s, the J
apanese will be concerned with the stability of the G
ulf and will begin to probe and patrol in the I
n
dian O
cean in or
der to protect their in=
ter
ests. J
apan will have well- established, close economic ties with many of the island chains of the P
a
cic, and will begin to enter into agr
eements with them for satellite tracking and control stations. U.S. intelligence will suspect that these will also ser
ve as bases for J
apanese hypersonic anti- ship missiles. H
ypersonic missiles mo
ve faster than ve times the speed of soundby the mid-twenty-rst centur
y
,
they will travel in ex
cess of ten times the speed of sound, eight thousand miles an hour and faster
. H
ypersonics can be mis=
siles, crashing dir
ectly into targets, or unmanned aircraft, r
eleasing muni=
tions on targets and then r
eturning home. The J
apanese will shar
e waters with the American S
e
venth F
leet and space with the U.S. S
pace Commandby no
w an incr
easingly independent ser
vice of the American militar
y
.
N
e
ither side will be pro
voking incidents at sea or in space, and both nations will be maintaining formally cor
dial r
ela=
tions. B
ut the J
apanese will be exquisitely awar
e of America
s
concernthat its private lake, the P
acic, contains a po
wer that it does not fully control. J
apan will be deeply concerned with protecting its sea lanes against po=
155 the 2 040
s tential thr
eats in the south, par
ticularly in the waters of I
n
donesia, which ar
e the paths between the P
acic and I
n
dian oceans. I
n
donesia is an archi=
pelago consisting of many islands and many ethnic groups. I
t
is inher
ently fragmented, and it hasand will continue to hav
emany separatist mo
v
e
=
ments. J
apan will play a complex game in backing some of these mo
vements versus others in or
der to secur
e the various straits in I
ndonesian waters. J
apan will also want to be able to keep the U.S. N
avy out of the western P
acic. T
o
war
d this end, it will do thr
ee things. F
irst, it will build and de=
plo
y hypersonic anti- ship missiles in its home islands, able to strike deep into the P
a
cic. S
econd, it will enter into agr
eements to allo
w sensors and missiles to be based on P
acic islands it alr
eady dominates economically
, like the Bonin I
slands (which include I
w
o J
ima), the M
arshalls, and N
a
ur
u. The strategy her
e will be to cr
eate choke points that would potentially inter =
dict U.S. transpacic trade and militar
y transpor
t. This, in turn, will cr
eate pr
edictability in American r
outing, making it easier for J
apanese satellites to monitor the mo
vement of American ships. The most disturbing thing for the Americans, ho
wever
, will be the degr
ee of J
apanese activity in space, wher
e not only militar
y but commercial and industrial facilities will be un=
der constr
uction. American policy will be complex, as always, and inuenced by differ
ent factors. The idea of a strong China thr
eatening the R
ussian r
ear will become an obsession in the U.S. intelligence and militar
y communities in the 2010s and 2020s. I
n
the 2030s this fear will become an idée x
e in the S
tate D
e
=
par
tment, wher
e old policies never change or die. The U
n
ited S
tates will ther
efor
e continue its commitment to a secur
e and stable China. B
ut this will become a major irritant in U.S.J
apanese r
elations b
y
2040. O
b
viously
, J
apanese behavior in China will be incompatible with the American idea of a stable China. B
y
2040 the r
elationship between W
ashington and B
e
ijing will gro
w closer
, irritating the J
apanese no end. turke
y T
urkey
, meanwhile, will mo
ve decisively nor
thwar
d into the Caucasus as<
R
ussia cr
umbles. P
a
r
t
of this mo
ve will consist of militar
y inter
vention, and<
1
5
6 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars par
t will occur in the way of political alliances. E
qually impor
tant, much of T
urkey
s
inuence will be economicthe r
est of the r
egion will need to align itself with the new economic po
wer
. T
u
rkish inuence inevitably will spr
ead nor
thwar
d, beyond the Caucasus into R
ussia and Ukraine, asser
ting itself in the politically uncer
tain D
on and V
olga river valleys, and eastwar
d to
war
d the agricultural hear
tland of R
ussia. M
uslim T
u
rkey will inuence M
uslim Kazakhstan, spr
eading T
u
rkish po
wer into Central Asia. The B
l
ack S
e
a will be a T
u
r
k
ish lake, and C
rimea and O
dessa will trade heavily with T
urkey
. Ther
e will be massive T
urkish investment throughout this r
egion. R
ussia will have cr
eated a system of alliances to the south of T
urkey be=
for
e its collapse, much as it did during the Cold W
a
r
.
As R
ussia weakens and withdraws, it will leav
e behind a belt of instability fr
om the Lev
ant to Af =
ghan istan. T
u
rkey will have no appetite for engaging I
ran and will be quite content to leav
e it isolated and alone. B
u
t the instability in S
yria and I
raq will dir
ectly affect T
urkish inter
ests, par
ticularly as the K
u
r
d
s become fr
ee to star
t thinking about setting up their o
wn state again. S
yria and I
raq will be w
e
ak without R
ussian suppor
t, torn apar
t b
y
traditional internal conicts. B
etween the danger of instability spr
eading nor
th and the thr
eat of other po
wers lling the vacuum, the T
u
rks will mo
ve south. Cer
tainly the T
u
rks won
t
want the Americans mo
ving into I
raq: they will have had enough of that in the 2000s. The B
a
lkans will be in chaos during this time as well. As the R
ussians weaken, their allies in the B
a
lkans will also weaken, cr
eating r
egional imbal=
ances. The H
ungarians and R
omanians will tr
y to ll some of these voids, as will the G
r
eeks (
T
urkey
s
historic enemies). As the ne
w r
egional po
wer
, T
u
rkey will be drawn into the B
alkans as a r
esult of this widespr
ead instabil=
ity
. T
u
rkey will alr
eady have had close r
elations with M
uslim countries in the B
alkansBosnia and Albaniaand they will seek to expand their spher
e of inuence not so much out of aggr
essive appetite, but out of the fear of the intentions of other countries. G
eographically speaking, ther
e is only one essential goal for any po
wer in this r
egion: control of the eastern M
editerranean and B
lack seas. I
t
is im=
por
tant to r
emember that T
urkey has been historically both a land and naval po
wer
. The closer any E
u
ropean po
wers come to the Bospor
us, the strait connecting the B
lack S
ea to the Aegean S
ea, the mor
e dangerous it is for 157 the 2 040
s T
urkey
. T
urkish control of the Bospor
us means pushing E
uropean po
wers out of the B
a
lkans, or at least blocking them decisively
. Ther
efor
e, involve=
ment in the B
a
lkans is essential in or
der for T
u
rkey to become a major r
e
=
gional po
wer
. And, b
y
the mid-2040s, the T
u
r
ks will indeed be a major r
egional po
w
e
r
. They will cr
eate systems of r
elationships deep into R
ussia that feed agricul=
tural pr
oducts and energy into T
u
r
key
. They will dominate I
raq and S
yria, and ther
efor
e their spher
e of inuence will r
each the S
a
udi P
eninsula with its dwindling oil and natural gas r
eser
ves, which ar
e fueling the American economy
. The T
urks will push their spher
e of inuence nor
thwest, deep into the B
a
lkans, wher
e their po
wer will clash with the inter
ests of key American allies like H
ungar
y and R
omania, who will also be pr
essing their inuence eastwar
d into the Ukraine and encountering T
u
rkish inuence all along the nor
thern shor
e of the B
lack S
ea. Ther
e will be conicts, from guerrilla r
esistance to local conventional war
, all around the T
urkish pivot. T
u
rkey will enhance an alr
eady substantial armed force suitable for its needs, including a siz
eable ground force and formidable naval and air forces. P
r
ojecting its po
wer into the B
lack S
ea, protecting the Bospor
us, and mo
v=
ing into the A
driatic to help shape events in the B
a
lkans all will r
equir
e a naval force. I
t
also, in effect, will r
equir
e a dominant position in the eastern M
e
diterranean as far as S
icily
. I
t
is not only the Bospor
us that will have to be protected. The S
traits of O
tranto, the gateway to the A
driatic, will also need to be controlled. T
urkey will wind up pushing against U.S. allies in southeastern E
urope and will make I
taly feel extr
emely insecur
e with its gro
wing po
wer
. The br
eaking point will come when E
gypt, inher
ently unstable, faces an internal crisis and T
u
rkey uses its position as the leading M
uslim po
wer to inser
t troops to stabiliz
e it. S
u
ddenly T
u
rkish peacekeepers will be in E
g
ypt, con=
tr
olling the S
u
ez Canal, and in a position to do what T
u
r
key has tradition=
ally done: push westwar
d in N
o
r
th Africa. I
f T
u
rkey seiz
es this oppor
tunity
, it will become the decisive po
wer in W
estern E
u
rasia. I
s
rael will r
e
main a po
w
e
r
ful nation, of course, but T
u
r
key
s
ability to expand its po
w
e
r as a M
uslim nation will both block I
srael and force I
srael into an accommoda=
tion with T
u
r
key
, alr
eady seen as a friendly po
w
e
r
. Control of the S
uez Canal will open up other possibilities for T
u
rkey
. I
t will have already pushed southward into the Arabian Peninsula and will be
fighting Arab insurgents. Its overland supply lines will become strained, and
with control of the Suez Canal, Turkey will be in a position to supply its
forces through the Red Sea. This in turn will consolidate Turkish control
over the Arabian Peninsula and place Turkey in a much more threatening
position relative to Iran, enabling it to blockade Iran’s ports as well as strike
from the west. Neither of these will be things that Turkey wants to do. But
just the threat of such actions will quiet Iran, which will serve Turkish
interests.
It follows from this that Turkey will go beyond the Red Sea and enter the
Indian Ocean basin. Its focus will be on the Persian Gulf, where it will con-
solidate its control over the Arabian Peninsula and the region’s still valuable
oil supplies. By doing so, it will also become an important factor in Japan’s
security calculations. Japan has historically depended on oil supplies from
the Persian Gulf. With the Turks dominating that region, the Japanese will
have an interest in reaching an understanding with Turkey. Both countries
will be significant economic powers as well as emerging military powers.
158 the ne xt 1 00 years
Arabian
Arabian
Sea
Sea
Strait of
Strait of
Hormuz
Hormuz
Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Sea
Sea
Red
Red
Sea
Sea
Suez Canal
Suez Canal
Gulf of
Gulf of
Oman
Oman
Persian
Persian
Gulf
Gulf
U.A.E.
U.A.E.
QATAR
QATAR
JORDAN
JORDAN
ISRAEL
ISRAEL
SYRIA
SYRIA
OMAN
OMAN
ERITREA
ERITREA
DJIBOUTI
DJIBOUTI
SOMALIA
SOMALIA
KUWAIT
KUWAIT
Arabian
Sea
Mediterranean
Sea
Red
Sea
Suez Canal
Gulf of
Oman
Strait of
Hormuz
Persian
Gulf
EGYPT
JORDAN
ISRAEL
SYRIA
SUDAN
ETHIOPIA
YEMEN
SAUDI
ARABIA
IRAQ
IRAN
OMAN
ERITREA
DJIBOUTI
SOMALIA
KUWAIT
U.A.E.
QATAR
Middle East Sea Lanes
Frie_9780385517058_3p_all_r1.qxp:Layout 1 10/31/08 4:30 PM Page 158
159 the 2 040
s Both countries also will have an inter
est in maintaining sea lanes from the S
trait of H
o
rmuz to the S
trait of M
alacca. S
o
ther
e will be a comfor
table convergence of inter
ests with few friction points. O
b
viously the emergence of T
u
rkey in the r
egion and as a maritime po
w
e
r will be alarming to the U
n
ited S
tates, par
ticularly as it will happen at the same time that J
apan is surging. And the lo
w- key cooperation between T
u
rkey and J
apan in the I
n
dian O
cean will be par
ticularly disconcer
ting. T
u
rkish po
wer will no
w be o
v
er
whelming in the P
ersian G
ulfas will be J
apanese naval po
wer in the nor
thwest P
acic. The U
n
ited S
tates will still be the dominant po
w
e
r in the I
n
dian O
cean, but as with the P
acic, the tr
end won
t
be mo
ving in its dir
ection. E
qually disturbing will be the way in which T
u
rkey gathers up the r
e
m=
nants of the pr
evious generation
s
I
slamists, adding ideological and moral weight to its emerging pr
eeminence in the r
egion. As its inuence spr
eads, it will be about mor
e than militar
y po
wer
. This obviously will be unsettling to the U
n
ited S
tates, as w
ell as to I
n
dia. The U
n
ited S
tates will hav
e had a long r
elationship with I
n
dia, dating back to the U.S.jihadist war of the early tw
enty- rst centur
y
. While I
n
dia, internally divided, will not have managed to become a global economic po
w
e
r
,
it will be a r
egional po
w
e
r of some impor
tance. I
n
dia will be dis=
turbed by the entr
y of M
uslim T
u
rks into the Arabian S
e
a, and will fear fur=
ther T
u
rkish expansion into the I
ndian O
cean itself
. I
ndia
s
inter
ests will align with those of the Americans, and so the U
n
ited S
tates will nd itself in the same position in the I
ndian O
cean as in the P
a
cic. I
t
will be aligned with a v
ast, populated countr
y on the mainland, against smaller
, mor
e dy=
namic maritime po
w
e
rs. As this process intensies, the po
wer of J
apan and T
u
rkeyon opposite ends of Asiawill become substantial. Each will be expanding its inter
ests in mainland Asia and ther
efor
e shifting its naval assets to suppor
t them. I
n addition, each will be enhancing its space- based operations, launching manned and unmanned systems. Ther
e will also be a degr
ee of technical co=
operation in space; J
apan will be ahead of T
u
rkey in technology
, but access to T
u
rkish launch facilities will give J
apan added security against an Ameri=
can strike. This cooperation will be yet another source of discomfor
t for the U
n
ited S
tates. 1
6
0 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars B
y
the middle of the centur
y
, T
u
rkey
s
inuence will extend deep into R
ussia and the B
a
lkans, wher
e it will collide with P
oland and the r
est of the Eastern E
u
ropean coalition. I
t
will also become a major M
e
diterranean po
wer
, controlling the S
uez Canal and projecting its str
ength into the P
er=
sian G
ulf
. T
u
rkey will frighten the P
oles, the I
ndians, the I
sraelis, and abo
ve all the U
n
ited S
tates. pol
and The P
olish nightmar
e has always been to be simultaneously attacked by both R
ussia and G
e
rmany
. When that happens, as it did in 1939, P
oland has no hope. The collapse of R
ussia in the 2020s will ther
efor
e cr
eate an op=
por
tunity and necessity for P
oland. J
ust as R
ussia will have no choice but to mo
ve its buffers as far west as possible, so P
oland will want to mo
ve its bor=
der as far east. H
istorically
, P
oland has rar
ely had this oppor
tunity
, having been squeez
ed and dominated b
y
thr
ee empir
esthe R
ussian, the G
e
rman, and the A
ustro- H
ungarian. B
ut in the seventeenth centur
y
,
P
oland had the oppor=
tunity to expand, faced with a fragmented G
e
rmany and a R
ussia that had not yet begun to be a po
wer
ful force in the W
est. The P
oles
problem had been an unsecur
ed southern ank. I
n
2040, this will not be an issue since the r
est of the Eastern E
u
ropean countries that will be facing the R
ussians will also be eagerly building buffers to the east, the lessons of the past still fr
esh in their minds. B
ut ther
e will be another di=
mension to this eastern bloc: an economic one. S
i
nce reunication in 1871, G
e
rm
a
n
y
h
a
s
b
een the economic po
werhouse of E
urope. E
v
en after W
o
rld W
ar II, when G
e
rmany had lost its political will and condence, it r
e
mained the most dynamic economic po
wer on the continent. After 2020 that will no longer be the case. The G
e
rman economy will be bur
dened by an aging population. The G
e
rman proclivity for huge corpo=
rate megastr
uctur
es will cr
eate long- term inefciencies and will keep its economy enormous but sluggish. A host of problems, common to much of Central and W
estern E
u
rope, will plague the G
ermans. B
ut the Eastern E
u
ropeans will have fought a second cold war (allied with the leading technological power in the world, the United States). A
cold war is the best of all wars, as it stimulates your country dramatically but
doesn’t destroy it. Many of the technological capabilities from which the
United States gains its massive advantage will be generated out of the sec-
ond cold war, and Poland will be flooded with American technology and ex-
pertise.
By itself, Germany will have neither the appetite nor the power to chal-
lenge the Polish bloc, as we will refer to it. But the Germans will be pain -
fully aware of the trajectory being followed. In due course, the Polish bloc
will outstrip Central and Western Europe’s power, and will achieve precisely
what Germany had once dreamed of. It will assimilate and develop the
the 2 040
s
161
RUSSIA
RUSSIA
OTTOMAN EMPIRE
OTTOMAN EMPIRE
GERMAN
GERMAN
STATES
STATES
RUSSIA
POLAND
OTTOMAN EMPIRE
GERMAN
STATES
Poland 1660
Frie_9780385517058_3p_all_r1.qxp:Layout 1 10/31/08 4:30 PM Page 161
western portion of the former Russian empire and, in so doing, build an
economic bloc of substantial proportions.
The core weakness of the Polish bloc will be that it is relatively land-
locked. It will have ports on the Baltic, but those could be readily blocked
by any country with even minimal naval capabilities. The Skagerrak will be
a dangerous choke point. If it is the only outlet Poland has, then Poland’s
maritime line of supply to the United States and the rest of the world will be
strikingly vulnerable. The only other alternative will be to seek a port on the
Adriatic. Croatia, historically close to the Hungarians, will control the port of
Rijeka. Although it is limited, it certainly will be usable.
There will be two problems with using that port, both having to do with
the Turks. First, the Turks will be deeply involved in the Balkans, as will the
Hungarians and Romanians. As with all Balkan situations, this one will be a
tangle, with religious ties complicated by national hostility. The Turks will
not want to see the Polish bloc moving toward the Mediterranean, and will
use Bosnian–Croatian tensions to maintain insecurity. But even if that is
not an issue, the use of the Adriatic and Mediterranean will not be based on
the Polish bloc simply having a merchant fleet there. It will depend on con-
162 the ne xt 1 00 years
Skagerrak
Skagerrak
Skagerrak
North
North
Sea
Sea
North
Sea
Baltic
Baltic
Sea
Sea
Baltic
Sea
NORWAY
NORWAY
SWEDEN
SWEDEN
ESTONIA
ESTONIA
LATVIA
LATVIA
RUSSIA
RUSSIA
DENMARK
DENMARK
THE
THE
NETHERLANDS
NETHERLANDS
UNITED
UNITED
KINGDOM
KINGDOM
NORWAY
SWEDEN
ESTONIA
LATVIA
LITHUANIA
RUSSIA
POLAND
GERMANY
DENMARK
THE
NETHERLANDS
UNITED
KINGDOM
The Skagerrak Straits
Frie_9780385517058_3p_all_r1.qxp:Layout 1 10/31/08 4:30 PM Page 162
163 the 2 040
s trol of the S
trait of O
tranto
. The only other alternatives will be for D
en=
mark to seiz
e the S
k
agerrak and P
oland to invade G
e
rmany
, and the P
oles will not be in a position to do that. The P
olish bloc will collide with the T
u
r
ks in two places. O
ne will be in the B
a
lkans, wher
e the issue will be access to the M
editerranean. The other will be in R
ussia itself
, wher
e T
u
rkish inuence will spr
ead westwar
d through Ukraine while the bloc
s
inuence spr
eads eastwar
d. This will not be as explosive as the rst issue, as ther
e will be plenty of room, but it will be a secondar
y issue of some impor
tance. N
o
one will have dened the spher
es of inuence in Ukraine and southern R
ussia. And given Ukrainian hostility to P
oleswith whom they had a historical antagonism going back to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuriesand to the T
urks as well, each might manipulate the situation in ways uncomfor
table to the other
. The P
oles will need the Americans badly at this junctur
e. O
nly the Americans will have the weight to r
esist the T
u
rks in the M
editerranean. And the Americans will be incr
easingly inclined to do so, as they will not want to see a new E
u
rasian po
wer establish itself
. While T
u
rkey will be far fr
om r
e
aching that goal, it will be mo
ving in that dir
ection. America
s
strate=
gies of disr
upting E
urasian r
egional po
wers befor
e they become too strong and pr
eventing the emergence of any other naval po
wer will dictate that the U
nited S
tates should tr
y to block T
urkey
. A
t
the same time, U.S. policy will also r
equir
e that, rather than take di=
r
ect action, the U
n
ited S
tates should under
write r
egional po
wers also inter=
ested in r
esisting the T
u
rks. The P
olish bloc won
t
be an immediate thr
eat to any American inter
ests, unlike the T
u
rks. The American strategy
, ther
efor
e, will be not to thro
w U.S. forces into the str
uggle, but to transfer technology to the P
olish bloc so that it can pursue the strategy on its o
w
n. B
y
around 2045 the P
olish bloc will have secur
ed Rijeka, absorbing both S
l
o
v
enia and C
r
oatia. Both countries will seek protection from the bloc against B
a
lkan rivals like S
erbia and Bosnia. The P
olish bloc will have heav=
ily for
tied the frontier with both of these countries. S
erbia will be ex
cluded from the bloc because the P
oles and the others will not want to get bogged do
wn in S
erbian politics. And using American technological str
ength, P
oland will pr
oceed to rapidly integrate and dev
elop nav
al and space capabilities needed to confront the T
u
rks in the A
driatic and M
e
diterranean. The rate of 1
6
4 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars the P
olish bloc
s
development will be star
tling, and the T
urks will begin to r
ealiz
e that they face a challenge not only from the P
olish bloc but from the U
n
ited S
tates itself
. The G
ermans will watch this crisis anxiously from their nearby bor
der
, obviously suppor
ting the T
urks. They won
t
make a mo
ve on their o
w
n, but the G
ermans will be sufciently awar
e of the consequences if the P
olish bloc defeats T
u
rkey
. I
n
that event, if they maintain their unity
, the P
olish bloc will essentially be the r
eincarnation of the former S
o
viet U
nion, with most of its E
u
ropean r
esourcesadded to which would be the M
iddle East. The G
ermans will understand the Americans well enough to kno
w that they would mo
ve against the bloc in the event of victor
y of this magnitude, but the G
ermans will also kno
w that they would bear the br
unt of the new con=
frontation. I
f
the P
olish bloc wer
e in this dominant position, the U
nited S
tates would have to keep it from also dominating W
estern E
u
rope, and that would mean that G
e
rmany would, once again, become a potential bat=
tleeld. The success of the P
olish bloc would pr
esent shor
t- and long- range thr
eats to G
e
rmany
. I
t
will ther
efor
e be in the G
erman inter
est to help the T
u
rks in any way possible, shor
t of war
. B
ut the help that the T
urks will need would be help in strangling the P
olish bloc. The key to this would be isolating it from the U
n
ited S
tates and global trade. I
f
the T
u
rks wer
e to isolate the P
olish bloc in the A
driatic, and the G
e
rmans could contrive a way to obstr
uct the B
altic, the P
olish bloc would be in serious trouble. B
u
t for G
e
rmany to do this, it will have to be sur
e that the T
u
rks will succeedand for this it will need to be sur
e that the Americans won
t
come in with their full weight. S
ince G
e
r=
many can
t
be sur
e of either
, it will play a waiting game. The Americans will also play a waiting game around the globe. They will arm the P
olish bloc and encourage its confrontation with the T
u
rks. They will help incr
ease the str
ength of the I
ndians in the I
ndian O
cean. They will str
engthen the Chinese and K
o
r
eans and build up American forces in the P
a
cic and the M
editerranean. They will do ever
ything they can to strangle both J
apan and T
u
r
key without acting dir
ectly against them. And they will pursue the policy welltoo well in fact. Both T
u
rkey and J
apan, well awar
e of the U
n
ited S
tates
historic ability to arm and suppor
t its allies, will be led 165 the 2 040
s to the conclusion that they ar
e facing disaster at the hands of American pr
o
xies. And this will lead to massiv
e escalation. pr
essur
es and alliances The U
nited S
tates faced crises on multiple fronts a centur
y befor
e when, in the 1940s, G
e
rmany and J
apan simultaneously challenged American inter=
ests. I
n
that case as well, the U
nited S
tates follo
wed a strategy of str
engthen=
ing r
egional allies, aiding B
ritain and R
ussia against G
e
rmany
, and China against J
apan. N
o
w
,
a centur
y later
, it will again be pr
epar
ed to play a long game. I
t
will have no desir
e to occupy or destro
y either T
u
rkey or J
apan, much less G
ermany
. The U
nited S
tates is playing a defensive game, block=
ing emerging po
wer
. I
t
is not engaged in an offensive strategy
, ho
wever it might appear
. American strategy will be to w
e
ar do
wn any thr
eats o
v
er an extended period of time, causing potential opponents to bog do
wn in con=
icts they cannot bring to a close and cannot easily abandon. I
n
this strategy the U
nited S
tates will always invoke the principles of self- determination and democratic values, painting J
apan and T
u
rkey as aggr
essors undermining national so
ver
eignty while violating human rights. Alongside the public diplomacy
, ther
e will also be a series of mor
e dir
ect challenges. The rst will be economic. The American market, still huge, will be an enormous consumer of J
apanese and, to a lesser extent, T
u
rkish products, and the U
nited S
tates will also r
emain the major source of new technolo=
gies. G
etting cut out of the American market or technologies would be painful, to say the least. The U
n
ited S
tates will use these lev
ers against both countries. I
t
will stop the expor
tation of some technologies, par
ticularly those with potential militar
y applications, and limit the impor
tation of some products from these countries. At the same time, the U
n
ited S
tates will suppor
t a range of nationalist mo
vements in China, K
o
r
e
a, and I
n
dia. Through the P
olish bloc, the U
n
ited S
tates will also suppor
t nationalist R
ussian and Ukrainian mo
ve=
ments within the T
u
rkish spher
e of inuence. The major American focus in 1
6
6 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars this strategy
, ho
wever
, will be in the B
alkans and N
o
r
th Africa, par
ticularly E
g
ypt. I
n
the B
alkans, the P
olish bloc (heavily dependent on C
r
oatia) will steer clear of aligning with S
erbia, C
r
oatia
s
old enemy
, thus cr
eating some=
thing of a buffer with T
u
rkey
. The U
nited S
tates will begin an aggr
essive program of suppor
ting S
e
rbian r
esistance against the T
u
rks, and extending it to M
a
cedonia. The G
r
eeks, historical enemies of the T
u
rks, will become close allies of the U
nited S
tates and suppor
t this effor
t, although they will stay clear of formal alignment with the P
olish bloc. I
n
many ways, from a geopolitical perspective, these alliances and ma=
neuvers ar
e not difcult to pr
edict. As I have said, they follo
w well- established patterns that hav
e been ingrained in histor
y for many centuries. What I am doing is seeing ho
w traditional patterns play themselves out in the context of the twenty- rst centur
y
.
I
n
this par
ticular r
egion, after the U
n
ited S
tates begins to suppor
t targeted r
esistance to the T
urks, the B
a
lkans will become a tinderbo
x and the T
urks will spend an inor
dinate amount of r
esources in an ar
ea wher
e their primar
y inter
est is defensive. They will be tr
ying to pro=
tect the Bospor
us and little else. I
f
they r
e
tr
eat, their cr
edibility (in their still uncer
tain spher
e of inuence) will be badly hur
t. The U
n
ited S
tates also will tr
y its hand at suppor
ting Arab nationalism, both in E
g
ypt and in the Arabian P
eninsula. The T
u
rks will be car
eful not to be ex
cessively aggr
essive or gr
eedy in asser
ting their po
wer
, but never
theless
anti- T
u
rkish feeling will be pr
evalent. This type of nationalist feeling will be exploited by the U
nited S
tates, not because Americans genuinely want it to go anywher
e but in or
der to sap the str
ength of the T
urks. T
urkey will be concerned about U.S. aid to the P
olish bloc and nor
thern Africa. The goal of the U
n
ited S
tates will be to r
eshape and limit the behavior of the T
u
rks, but any meddling will be far shor
t of what T
u
rkey r
egar
ds as challenging its fundamental national inter
est. sp
a
ce and ba
t
tle st
ars The most thr
eatening mo
ve the U
n
ited S
tates will make during this period<
is at seaand those mo
ves won
t
actually take place in the water
, but in<
space. D
u
ring the 2030s, the U
n
ited S
tates will hav
e begun a fairly lo
w- key<
167 the 2 040
s program for the commercialization of space, focusing par
ticularly on energy pr
oduction. B
y
the mid-2040s, this dev
elopment will hav
e pr
oceeded to some extent but will still be heavily subsidiz
ed and in the r
esearch and de=
velopment phase. I
n
the course of commercializing space, the U
nited S
tates will incr
ease its ability to work in space robotically
, using humans only for the most complex and exacting work. S
u
bstantial infrastr
uctur
e will have been cr
eated, giving the countr
y even mor
e of a head star
t. Looking to leverage its advantage in space in or
der to impro
ve its domi=
nance of the ear
th
s
sur
face, the U
nited S
tates will begin building on that in=
frastr
uctur
e. I
t
will gradually abandon the costly and ineffective strategy of sending heavily armed troops in petroleum- burning vehicles thousands of miles away to ex
er
t its po
wer
. I
nstead, the U
n
ited S
tates will constr
uct a sys=
tem of hypersonic unmanned aircraft that will be based on U.S. soil but controlled from space- based command centers in geosynchronous orbit o
v
er potential target r
egionsplatforms that I will call B
attle S
tars, for no other r
e
ason than that it
s
a cool name. B
y mid- centur
y
,
a hypersonic missile based in H
awaii could hit a ship off the coast of J
apan or a tank in M
a
nchuria in half an hour
. The U
nited S
tates will also cr
eate (quite secr
etly
, since tr
eaties from the last centur
y will still be in place) missiles that can be r
ed from space with devastating effect, at ver
y high speeds, at targets on the sur
face. I
f
the plat=
form wer
e to be cut off from ground communication, it would be able to conduct the battle from space automaticallyif what was called for was a quantity of explosives deliver
ed to a pr
ecise point at an exact time based on superb
, space- based intelligence. Combat in the twenty- rst centur
y will r
equir
e elegance of communica=
tion. M
ost impor
tant in the evolution of space war
far
e will be the transfer of primar
y command and control facilities into space. Land- based control is vulnerable. B
y
the time an image is picked up in space and transmitted through a series of satellites to ear
th, and a command is sent out to hyper=
sonic weapons systems, many seconds will have passed. M
ost impor
tant, the mor
e links ther
e ar
e, the higher the number of possible failur
e points, and an enemy could disr
upt that signal. An enemy could also attack the ground control center
, the r
eceivers, and transmitters. Ther
e will be many lo
w- tech solutions for disr
uption, but placed in space, the command centers will be 1
6
8 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars seen as mor
e secur
e and sur
vivable, with unimpeded ability to communicate with weapons and personnel. M
uch of the science involved in these systems is in its infancy today
. B
y the middle of the centur
y
,
though, it will be online. N
o
w stick with me her
e. I am telling you what the technological world is r
ealistically going to look like ...I
m
n
o
t writing B
a
ttlestar G
alactica her
e. These for
ecasts ar
e based on r
eal technology
, r
easonable extrapolations about futur
e technol=
ogy
, and r
e
asonable war planning. S
pace- based platforms will have superb sensing equipment as well as command and control systems. B
attle S
tars will control unmanned subsidiar
y platforms which will suppor
t the B
attle S
tar system. They will see the sur
face of the ear
th with extraor
dinar
y pr
eci=
sion, and will be able to or
der hypersonic aircraft strikes as neededstrikes that will be able to fr
equently hit their targets in a matter of minutes. They will be able to attack a group planting explosives by the roadside, or a eet putting to sea. I
f
they can see it, they will be able to hit it quickly
. U
sing lessons learned during space constr
uction projects in the 2030s, I believe the U
nited S
tates
futur
e plans will call for the cr
eation of a system of thr
ee B
attle S
tars. The main B
attle S
tar will be located in geosynchronous orbit o
v
er the equator near the coast of P
e
r
u
. A second will be placed o
v
er P
apua N
e
w G
u
inea, and a thir
d o
v
er U
g
anda. The thr
ee will be array
ed at almost exact inter
vals, trisecting the ear
th. M
ost countries won
t
be happy about the B
attle S
tar system, but the J
apanese and the T
u
rks will be par
ticularly alarmed. I
t
just so happens that one B
attle S
tar will be due south of T
u
rkey and the other will be due south of J
apan. Each will be able to use its onboar
d sensors, as well as r
emote sen=
sors that orbit the ear
th but can stop and loiter for extended periods of time, to monitor those countries. They will be, essentially
, guns pointed at the heads of both countries. And perhaps most impor
tant, they will be capable of imposing an unstoppable blockade on either countr
y at a moment
s
no=
tice. B
attle S
tars will not be able to occupy T
u
r
key and J
apan, but they will be able to strangle them. Although the new space- based systems will have been planned for years, they will be put into place with br
eathtaking speed. W
ith rapid deplo
yment or
der
ed around 2040, the systems will be fully operational in the second half of the decade . . . let
s
say b
y
2047, for argument
s
sake. This deplo
yment 169 the 2 040
s will be based on the assumption that the B
attle S
tar is invulnerable, that no other countr
y has the ability to attack and destr
o
y
it. That assumption has been made b
y
the U
n
ited S
tates befor
eabout battleships, air
craft carriers, and stealth bombers. Ther
e is a built- in arr
ogance in American militar
y planning built on the belief that other countries cannot match American technology
. Assuming invulnerability
, though, ho
wever risky
, will make the system easier to deplo
y quickly
. escal
a
ting tension D
eplo
yment of the B
attle S
tars, the introduction of new generations of w
e
apons managed fr
om space, and aggr
essiv
e
politic
al pr
essur
e coup
led with economic policies will all be intended to contain J
apan and T
u
rkey
. And from the J
apanese and T
urkish points of vie
w
,
American demands will be so extr
eme as to seem unr
easonable. The Americans will demand that both countries withdraw all forces to within their original bor
ders, as well as guaranteeing rights of passage in the B
lack S
ea, the S
ea of J
apan, and the Bospor
us. I
f
the J
apanese wer
e to agr
ee to these conditions, their entir
e economic str
uctur
e would be imperiled. F
or the T
u
rks, economic upheaval will be a consideration, but so will the political chaos that would then surround them. M
o
r
e
o
v
er
, the U
nited S
tates will make no equivalent demands on the P
olish bloc. I
n
effect, the U
n
ited S
tates will demand that T
u
rkey turn o
v
er the B
a
lkans and Ukraine, as well as par
t of southern R
ussia, to the P
oles, and that it allo
w the Caucasus to fall back into chaos. The U
n
ited S
tates will not actually expect T
u
rkey or J
apan to capitulate. That will not be the American intent. These demands will simply be the platform from which the Americans tr
y to impose pr
essur
e on these coun=
tries, limiting their gro
wth and incr
easing their insecurity
. The Americans won
t
tr
uly expect either countr
y to r
e
turn to its position of 2020, but it will want to discourage fur
ther expansion. The J
apanese and the T
urks, ho
wever
, will not see things this way
. F
r
om their perspectiv
e, the best- case scenario will be that the U
n
ited S
tates is tr
y=
ing to diver
t their attention from pr
essing issues by cr
eating insoluble inter=
1
7
0 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars national problems. W
o
rst case will be that the U
n
ited S
tates is pr
eparing the way for their geopolitical collapse. I
n
either case, both T
u
rkey and J
apan will have no choice but to assume the worst, and pr
epar
e to r
esist. T
u
rkey and J
apan won
t
have the extensive experience of the Americans in space. They may be able to constr
uct manned space systems, and will have cr
eated their o
w
n r
econnaissance systems by this point. B
ut the mili=
tar
y capabilities possessed by the U
n
ited S
tates will be outside their r
e
ach, cer
tainly within a time frame that might cause the U
n
ited S
tates to r
econ=
sider its policies. And neither the J
apanese nor the T
urks will be in a posi=
tion to r
econsider theirs. The U
n
ited S
tates will not plan to go to war with either J
apan or T
u
rkey
. I
ts intention will simply be to squeez
e them until they decr
ease their dy=
namism and become mor
e malleable to American demands. As a r
esult, T
u
rkey and J
apan will have an inter
est in limiting American po
wer and will ther
efor
e form a natural coalition. B
y
the 2040s, technological shifts in war=
far
e will have made a close alliance r
emarkably easy
. S
pace will change the global geopolitical equation. I
n
mor
e traditional terms as well, the T
u
rks and the J
apanese will be able to suppor
t each other
. The U
n
ited S
tates is a N
o
r
th American po
w
e
r
.
J
apan and T
u
r
key will both be E
u
rasian po
w
e
rs. This sets up a ver
y natural alliance, as well as a goal for these countries. J
apanese po
w
e
r hugs the P
acic coast, but b
y
2045 it will hav
e spr
ead throughout the Asian archipelago and on the mainland as well. The T
u
rkish spher
e of inuence will extend into Central Asia and even into M
uslim western China. The possibility will exist, ther
efor
e, that if J
apan and T
u
rkey w
e
r
e
to collaborate, they could cr
eate a pan- E
u
rasian po
w
e
r that would riv
al the U
n
ited S
tates. The y in the ointment, of course, will be P
oland, and the fact that T
u
rkish inuence won
t
penetrate beyond the B
alkans. B
u
t this won
t
pr
e=
vent T
u
rkey and J
apan from seeking out an alliance. I
f
just one E
u
ropean po
wer could be brought into the coalition, then P
oland would have a seri=
ous problem. I
t
s r
esources and attention would be diver
ted, giving T
u
rkey a fr
eer hand in Ukraine and R
ussia, and giving the T
u
rkish- J
apanese alliance a thir
d leg. The E
u
ropean countr
y they will have in mind is G
e
rmany
. F
r
om the J
apanese and T
u
rkish perspectives, if G
e
rmany could be persuaded that 171 the 2 040
s the thr
eat from a U.S.- backed P
olish bloc would be sufciently dangerous, and the cr
eation of a tripar
tite pact sufciently thr
eatening to force the U
n
ited S
tates to act cautiously
, then the possibility of securing E
u
rasia and exploiting its r
esources jointly would be viable. G
ermany will not believe for a moment that the U
nited S
tates would be deterr
ed. I
n
deed, it will fear that a tripar
tite coalition would trigger an im=
mediate American militar
y r
esponse. G
e
rmany also will r
e
ason that if the P
olish bloc is eliminated, it will shor
tly be facing the T
u
rks in the D
a
nube basin and it will have no appetite for that game. S
o
although I see the G
e
r=
mans as the most likely choice to form a coalition with T
u
r
key and J
apan, I also believe it will decline involvementbut with a caveat. I
f
the U
n
ited S
tates winds up in a war with T
u
r
key and J
apan and is allied with P
oland, P
oland might well be sever
ely weakened in that war
. I
n
that case, a later G
e
rman inter
vention would hold lo
wer risk and higher r
e
war
d. I
f
the U
n
ited S
tates won outright, G
e
rmany would be no worse off
. I
f
the U
n
ited S
tates and P
oland wer
e both defeatedthe least likely outcomethen G
er=
many would have an oppor
tunity to mo
ve in quickly for the kill. W
aiting to see what happens to P
oland will make sense for G
ermany
, and that is the game it will play in the middle of the twenty- rst centur
y
. The only other possible member of the coalition might be M
exico, ho
w=
ever unlikely
. R
ecall that M
e
xico was invited into an alliance by G
e
rmany in W
orld W
ar I, so this idea is har
dly unpr
ecedented. M
exico will be develop=
ing rapidly throughout the rst fty years of this new centur
y and will be a major economic po
wer by the late 2040s, although still living in the shado
w of the U
nited S
tates. I
t
will be experiencing a major outo
w of M
exicans to the southwestern bor
derlands after the new American immigration policy of 2030. This will be tr
oubling to the U
n
ited S
tates in a number of ways, but M
e
xico will har
dly be in a position in the late 2040s to join an anti- American coalition. U.S.
intelligence, of course, will pick up the diplomatic discussions be=
tween T
okyo and I
stanbul (the capital will shift ther
e from Ankara, r
eturn=
ing the capital of T
u
rkey to its traditional city) and will be awar
e of the feelers to G
e
rmany and M
e
xico
. The U
n
ited S
tates will r
e
aliz
e that the situ=
ation has become quite serious. I
t
also will have kno
wledge of the joint J
apanese- T
u
rkish strategic plans should war br
eak out. N
o
formal alliance 1
7
2 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars will be in place, but the U
n
ited S
tates will no longer be cer
tain it is facing two separate and manageable r
egional po
w
e
rs. I
t
will star
t to appear that it is facing a single coalition that could, in fact, dominate E
u
rasiathe pri=
mor
dial American fear
. This goes back to the grand strategies I discussed in the early sections of this book. I
f
it controlled E
urasia, the J
apaneseT
urkish coalition would be secur
e from attack and able to concentrate on challeng=
ing the U
n
ited S
tates in space and at sea. The American r
esponse will be a policy it has ex
ecuted numerous times in histor
yit will squeez
e each of the po
wers economically
. Both countries will depend to some extent on expor
ts, difcult in a world wher
e popula=
tions will no longer be gro
wing ver
y fast. The U
nited S
tates will begin form=
ing an economic bloc that will besto
w most-favor
ed-nation status on expor
ts into the U
n
ited S
tates for countries that ar
e pr
epar
ed to shift their purchases away fr
om T
u
r
key and J
apan and to
war
d thir
d countriesnot ev
en neces=
sarily the U
n
ited S
tatesthat could supply the same goods. I
n
other wor
ds, the U
n
ited S
tates will organiz
e a not par
ticularly subtle bo
y
cott of J
apanese and T
urkish goods. I
n
addition, the U
n
ited S
tates will star
t limiting the expor
t of tech =
nology to both of these countries. G
i
ven the American work being done in robotics and genetics, this will hur
t T
u
rkish and J
apanese high- tech capabil=
ities. M
ost impor
tant, ther
e will be a surge in U.S. militar
y aid to China, I
n
=
dia, and P
oland, as well as to forces r
esisting T
u
rkey and J
apan in R
ussia. American policy will be simple: to cr
eate as many problems as possible for these two countries in or
der to deter them from forming a coalition. B
u
t the intense activity of the U
n
ited S
tates in space will be the most troubling to J
apan and T
u
rkey
. The establishment of the B
attle S
tar constel=
lation will convince them that the U
n
ited S
tates will be pr
epar
ed to wage an aggr
essive war if necessar
y
.
B
y
the late 2040s, given all the actions of the Americans, the J
apanese and T
urks will have r
eached a conclusion about American intentions. The conclusion they will draw
, ho
wever
, is that the U
nited S
tates means to br
eak them both. They will also conclude that only the formation of an alliance will protect them, by ser
ving as a deterr
ent or make it clear that the U
n
ited S
tates intends to go to war no matter what. A formal alliance will ther
efor
e be cr
eated, and with its formation M
uslims 173 the 2 040
s throughout Asia will be energiz
ed at the thought of a coalition that will place them at the crossroads of po
wer
. The r
esurgence of I
slamist fer
vor built around T
u
rkey
s
confrontation with the U
n
ited S
tates will spill o
v
er into S
outheast Asia. This will give J
apan, under the terms of the alliance tr
eaty
, access to I
ndonesiawhich, together with its long- term pr
esence in the P
acic I
slands, will mean that U.S.
control of the P
a
cic, and access to the I
ndian O
cean, can no longer be assur
ed. B
u
t the U
n
ited S
tates will r
e
main convinced of one thingthat al=
though it might face challenges from the J
apanese and the T
u
rks within their r
egion and in E
u
rasia, they will never challenge America
s
strategic po
wer
, which will be in space. H
aving put the J
apanese and T
u
rks in an impossible position, the Amer=
icans will no
w simultaneously panic at the r
esult and yet r
e
main complacent about their ultimate capacity to manage the pr
oblem. The U
n
ited S
tates will not view the outcome as a shooting war
, but as another cold war
, like the one it had with R
ussia. The superpo
wer will believe that no one would challenge it in a r
e
al war
. CHAPTER 1 0 PREP
ARI NG FOR W
A
R.
T
he war in the mid-twenty-rst centur
y will have classic origins. O
n
e countr
y
,
the U
nited S
tates, will place tr
emendous pr
essur
e on a coali=
tion of two other countries. The U
nited S
tates will not intend to go to war
, or even to seriously damage J
apan or T
u
rkey
. I
t
simply will want these two countries to change their behavior
. The J
apanese and T
urks, to the contrar
y
,
will feel that the U
n
ited S
tates is tr
ying to destr
o
y
them. They also will not want war
, but fear will compel them to act. They will tr
y to ne=
gotiate with the U
n
ited S
tates, but while the Americans will view their o
w
n demands as modest, the T
u
rks and J
apanese will see them as existential thr
eats. W
e
will see the collision of thr
ee grand strategies. The Americans will want to pr
event major r
egional po
wers from developing in E
u
rasia and will be concerned that these two r
egional po
wers would merge into a single E
u
rasian hegemon. J
apan will need a pr
esence in Asia in or
der to deal with its demographic pr
oblems and to get raw materials; for that it will hav
e to control the nor
thwest P
a
cic. And T
u
rkey will be the pivot point of thr
ee continents that ar
e all in various degr
ees of chaos; it will have to stabiliz
e the r
egion if it is to gro
w
. While J
apanese and T
urkish actions will cause anxiety 1
7
5 p r
ep
ari ng f or w
a
r for the U
nited S
tates, J
apan and T
u
rkey will feel they cannot sur
vive unless they act. A
ccommodation will be impossible. Each concession made to the U
nited S
tates will bring new demands. Each r
efusal by J
apan and T
u
rkey will in=
cr
ease American fears. I
t
will come do
wn to submission or war
, and war will appear to be the mor
e pr
udent option. J
apan and T
u
rkey will have no illu=
sion that they could destro
y or occupy the U
n
ited S
tates. Rather
, they will simply want to cr
eate a set of circumstances in which the U
n
ited S
tates would nd it in its inter
ests to r
e
ach a negotiated settlement guaranteeing J
apan and T
u
rkey their spher
es of inuence, which in their vie
w will not af=
fect fundamental American inter
ests. S
ince they won
t
be able to defeat the U
n
ited S
tates in a war
, T
u
rkey and J
apan
s
goal will be to deal the U
n
ited S
tates a sever
e setback at the opening of the conict in or
der to put the U
n
ited S
tates at a temporar
y disadv
an=
tage. This would be intended to generate a sense in the U
n
ited S
tates that the prosecution of the war would be mor
e costly and risky than accom =
modation. I
t
will be T
u
rkey and J
apan
s
hope that the Americans, enjo
ying a period of prosperity
, and vaguely uneasy about M
e
xico
s
r
esurgence, will de=
cide to decline extended combat and accept a r
e
asonable negotiated settle=
ment. J
apan and T
u
rkey will also understand the risks if the U
n
ited S
tates doesn
t
agr
ee to settle, but will feel they have no choice. I
t
will be a r
e
play of W
o
rld W
ar II in this sense: weaker countries tr
ying to r
edene the balance of po
wer in the world will nd it necessar
y to launch sudden, pr
eemptive wars befor
e the other side is r
e
ady
. The war will be a combination of surprise attack and exploitation of that surprise. I
n
many ways, war in the mid-tw
enty-rst centur
y will be similar to war in the mid-
twentieth centur
y
. The principles will be the same. The practice, ho
wever
, will differ dramaticallyand that is why this conict will mar
k the dawn of a new age in war
far
e. a ne
w kind of w
a
r W
orld W
ar II was the last major war of the E
u
ropean Age. I
n
that age ther
e<
wer
e two kinds of wars, which sometimes occurr
ed simultaneously
. O
ne was<
1
7
6 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars global war
, in which the world as a whole was the battleeld. E
u
ropeans waged wars on that scale as far back as the sixteenth centur
y
. The other was total war
, in which entir
e societies wer
e mobiliz
ed. I
n W
o
rld W
ar II, a na=
tion
s
entir
e society was mobiliz
ed to eld armies and to supply them. The distinction between soldiers and civilians, always tenuous, completely col=
lapsed in the global and total wars of the twentieth centur
y
. W
ar became an extraor
dinar
y display of carnage, unlike anything yet seenboth global and total. The roots of total war ar
e to be found in the natur
e of war
far
e since the emergence of ballistic weaponsweapons that deliver
ed bullets, ar
tiller
y shells, and bombs. A ballistic weapon is simply one that, once r
ed or r
e
=
leased, can
t
change its course. That makes these weapons inher
ently inaccu=
rate. A bullet r
ed fr
om a rie, or a bomb r
eleased b
y
a bombar
dier
, depends on the handeye coor
dination of a soldier or airman tr
ying to concentrate while others tr
y to kill him. I
n W
o
rld W
ar II, the probability of any one pr
ojectile hitting its target was star
tlingly lo
w
. When accuracy is lo
w
,
the only solution is to saturate the battleeld with bullets and shells and bombs. That means that ther
e have to be masses of weapons, and that in turn r
equir
es masses of soldiers. M
a
sses of soldiers r
e
=
quir
e vast quantities of supplies, from food to munitions. That r
equir
es vast numbers of men to deliver supplies, and masses of workers to produce them. I
n W
o
rld W
ar II, gasoline was essential for vir
tually all weapons sys=
tems. Consider that the effor
t to drill oil, r
e
ne it, and deliv
er it to the battleeldand to the factories that supplied the battleeldwas by itself an under
taking far larger than the total effor
t that went into war
far
e in pr
e=
vious centuries. B
y
the twentieth centur
y
,
the outcome of wars r
equir
ed such a level of effor
t that nothing shor
t of the total mobilization of society could achieve victor
y
. W
ar consisted of one society hurling itself against another
. V
i
ctor
y depended on shattering the enemy
s
society
, damaging its population and infrastr
uctur
e so completely that it could no longer produce the masses of weapons or eld the massive armies r
equir
ed. B
u
t bombing a city with a thousand bombers is a vast and costly under=
taking. I
magine if you could achieve the same outcome with a single plane 1
7
7 p r
ep
ari ng f or w
a
r and a single bomb
. I
t
would achieve the goal of total war at a fraction of the cost and danger to one
s
o
wn nation. That was the logic behind the atomic bomb
. I
t
was designed to destro
y an enemy society so quickly and efciently that the enemy would capitulate rather than face the bomb
. T
echnically the atomic bomb was radically new
. M
ilitarily
, it was simply a continuation of a cultur
e of war that had been developing in E
u
rope for centuries. The br
ute natur
e of nuclear weapons generated a technological r
e
volu=
tion in war
far
e. N
uclear weapons wer
e the r
eductio ad absur
dum of global and total war
. I
n
or
der to ght nuclear wars, nationsthe U
n
ited S
tates and the S
o
viet U
n
ionhad to be able to see globally
. The only way to do that efciently was to y o
v
er enemy territor
y
,
and the safest and most effective way to do that was in space. While manned space projects wer
e the public side of space pr
ograms, the primar
y motiv
eand fundingwas driv
en b
y the need to kno
w pr
ecisely wher
e the other side had located its nuclear mis=
siles. S
py satellites evolved into r
e
al- time systems that could pinpoint enemy launchers within meters, allo
wing them to be targeted pr
ecisely
. And that cr
eated the need for weapons that could hit those targets. the american a
g
e: pr
ecision and the end of t
o
t
a
l w
a
r The ability to see the target cr
eated the need for mor
e accurate weapons. P
r
ecision- guided munitions (PGMs), which could be guided to their target after they w
e
r
e
r
ed, w
e
r
e
rst deplo
y
ed in the late 1960s and 1970s. This might appear to be a minor inno
v
ation, but its impact was huge. I
t
trans=
formed war
. I
n
the twentieth centur
y
,
thousands of bombers and millions of ries wer
e needed to ght wars. I
n
the twenty- rst centur
y
,
the numbers will be slashed to a small fractionsignaling an end to total war
. This change in scale will be of tr
emendous advantage to the U
nited S
tates, which has always been at a demographic disadvantage in ghting wars. The primar
y battleelds in the tw
entieth centur
y w
e
r
e
E
u
r
o
pe and Asia. These wer
e heavily populated ar
eas. The U
n
ited S
tates was thousands of miles away
. I
ts smaller population was needed not only to ght but to build sup=
1
7
8 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars plies and transpor
t them gr
eat distances, siphoning off manpo
wer and lim=
iting the siz
e of the force available for dir
ect combat. The American way of war has thus always focused on multiplying the ef=
fectiveness of each soldier on the battleeld. H
i
storically it did this by using both technology and masses of weapons. After W
orld W
ar II, ho
wever
, the emphasis was incr
easingly on technological multipliers rather than mass. The U
n
ited S
tates had no choice in the matter
. I
f
it was going to be a global po
wer
, it would need to maximiz
e the effectiveness of each soldier by wed=
ding him to advanced weaponr
y
.
I
t
has cr
eated a cultur
e of war in which smaller forces can defeat larger ones. As the use of technology incr
eases, the siz
e of the force needed decr
eases until ultimately what is r
equir
ed is a r
e
=
mar
kably small number of extr
emely w
ell- trained and sophisticated war=
riors. I
t
is impor
tant to see ho
w the weapons cultur
e cr
eated by the U
nited S
tates parallels its demographic shift. W
ith an aging and contracting popu=
lation, the maintenance of mass forces becomes difcult, if not impossible. The key to war
far
e in the twenty- rst centur
y
,
then, will be pr
ecision. The mor
e pr
ecise weapons ar
e, the fe
wer have to be r
ed. That means fe
wer soldiers and fe
wer defense workersbut mor
e scientists and technicians. What will be needed in the coming decades is a weapon that can be based in the U
n
ited S
tates, r
e
ach the other side of the world in under an hour
, ma=
neuver with incr
edible agility to avoid sur
face-to-air missiles, strike with absolute pr
ecision, and r
e
turn to carr
y out another mission almost immedi=
ately
. I
f
the U
nited S
tates had such a system, it would never again need to deliv
er a tank eight thousand miles away
. S
uch a weapon is called an unmanned hypersonic aircraft. The U
nited S
tates is curr
ently engaged in the development of hypersonic systems capa=
ble of traveling well in ex
cess of ve times the speed of sound. P
o
wer
ed by what ar
e called scramjet engines, the craft have air- br
eathing, not rocket, engines. Their range curr
ently is limited. B
u
t as scramjets develop during the tw
enty- rst centur
yalong with new materials that can withstand ex=
tr
emely high temperatur
es caused by friction with the airboth their range and speed will incr
ease. I
magine: T
raveling at eight thousand miles per hour
, or M
ach 10, a mis=
sile r
ed from the east coast of the U
n
ited S
tates could hit a target in E
u
rope in under half an hour
. I
ncr
ease this to M
ach 20, and a strike could be com=
1
7
9 p r
ep
ari ng f or w
a
r pleted in less than fteen minutes. The American geopolitical need to inter=
vene rapidly
, with sufcient str
ength to destro
y enemy forces, would be met i
n time to make a differ
ence. B
uilding enough hypersonic missiles to devastate a potential enemy would be extr
emely expensive. B
u
t considering the sav=
ings on the curr
ent force str
uctur
e, it would be manageable. I would also note that this system would r
educe the need for huge stockpiles of petro=
leum to fuel tanks, planes, and ships at a time when the hydrocarbon energy system will be in decline. The r
esult of deplo
ying hypersonic systems will be to r
everse the tr
end in war
far
e that has been under way since befor
e N
apoleon. The armies of the twenty- rst centur
y will be much smaller and mor
e professional than pr
evi=
ous forces, and highly technological. P
r
ecision will also allo
w the r
eintro=
duction of a separation between soldier and civilian: I
t
will not be necessar
y to devastate entir
e cities to destro
y one building. S
oldiers will incr
easingly r
esemble highly trained medieval knights, rather than the GI
s of W
orld W
a
r II.
Courage will still be necessar
y
,
but it will be the ability to manage ex=
tr
emely complex weapons systems that will matter the most. S
peed, range, and accuracyand a lot of unmanned aircraftwill sub=
stitute for the massed forces that wer
e r
equir
ed to deliver explosives to the battleeld in the twentieth centur
y
. Y
et these talents will not solve a cor
e problem of war
far
e, occupying hostile territor
y
.
Armies ar
e designed to de=
stro
y armies, and pr
ecision weapons will do that mor
e effectively than ever befor
e. B
u
t the occupation of territor
y will r
e
main a labor- intensive activity
. I
t
is, in many ways, mor
e akin to police work than to soldiering. A soldier
s job is to kill an enemy
, wher
eas a policeman
s
job is to identify a lawbr
eaker and arr
est him. The rst r
equir
es courage, training, and weapons. The latter r
equir
es all of these plus an understanding of a cultur
e that allo
ws you to distinguish enemies from law- abiding civilians. That task will never become easier and will always be the A
chilles
heel of any gr
eat po
wer
. J
ust as the R
o
=
mans and B
ritish str
uggled with their occupation of P
a
lestine, even as they easily defeated enemy armies, so too the Americans will win wars and then suffer through the aftermath. 1
8
0 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars sp
a
ce w
a
r
f
ar
e/
R
egar
dless of the changes taking place in war
far
e, ther
e is one thing that r
e
=
mains unchanged: the commander on a battleeld must hav
e kno
wledge of that battleeld. E
v
en though the global battleeld may be radically differ
ent from the traditional battleeld, the principle of the commander
s
kno
wl=
edge r
e
mains in place. O
n
a global battleeld, command and control must be tied together with kno
wledge of what the enemy is doing and ho
w your o
w
n forces ar
e deplo
yed. The only way to achieve this on a global battle=
eld, in r
e
al time, is from space. An essential principle of war
far
e has always been to hold the high ground, on the theor
y that it pro
vides visibility
. The same idea holds tr
ue in global war
. The high ground permits visibility
, and her
e the high ground is spacethe ar
ea in which r
econnaissance platforms can see the battleeld on a continuous, global basis. G
lobal war will ther
efor
e become space war
. This is not by any means a radical change. S
pace is alr
eady lled with r
econnaissance satellites designed to pro
vide a large number of countries intelligence on what is happening ar
ound the world. F
o
r some, par
ticularly the U
n
ited S
tates, space- based sen=
sors ar
e alr
eady cr
eating a global battleeld, identifying tactical targets and calling in air strikes or cr
uise missiles. The weapons systems have not yet ev
olv
ed, but the platforms ar
e alr
eady ther
e and mo
ving into maturity
. S
pace pro
vides line of sight and secur
e communications. I
t
also pro
vides clear tracking of hostile objects. B
attle management will ther
efor
e mo
ve from ear
th to space as well. Ther
e will be space stationscommand plat=
formsat various distances out from the ear
th
s
sur
face, tasked with com=
manding robotic and manned systems on land and at sea as they evade enemy attack, conduct operations, and attack enemy platforms. B
linding one
s
enemy
, then, would mean destro
ying the space- based sys=
tems that allo
w the enemy to select targets. I
n
addition, ther
e ar
e naviga=
tional systems, communications systems, and other space- based systems that must be destr
o
y
ed if an enemy
s
capability to wage war is to be crippled. Ther
efor
e, the destr
uction of enemy satellites will become an essential goal of tw
enty-rst-centur
y war
far
e. I
t
naturally follo
ws, then, that defending one
s
o
w
n satellites will be crit=
ical. The simplest way to defend a satellite is to allo
w it to maneuver out of 1
8
1 p r
ep
ari ng f or w
a
r harm
s
way
. B
u
t this is not as simple as it sounds. F
irst, it r
equir
es fuel to maneuver a satellite, which is heavy and expensive to send into orbit. S
ec=
ond, maneuvering won
t
save a satellite from an anti- satellite (ASA
T
)
system that can also maneuver
, and cer
tainly not from a laser beam. F
inally
, these ar
e orbital platforms, placed in a cer
tain orbit in or
der to co
ver the necessar
y terrain. M
a
neuvering shifts the orbit, degrading the satellites
usefulness. S
atellites must be protected, whether by deecting the attack or destro
y=
ing the attacker
. B
y
the middle of the twenty- rst centur
y this idea will have evolved in the mode of other weapons systems in histor
y
,
and the r
esult will be the satellite battle group
. Like a carrier battle group
, wher
e the carrier is protected by other vessels, the r
econnaissance satellite will be protected by auxiliar
y satellites with various capabilities and r
esponsibilities, from block=
ing laser beams to attacking other satellites. The problem of defending space- based systems will escalate rapidly
, as each side incr
eases the thr
eat and ther
eby incr
eases defense measur
es. W
eapons will also be r
ed from space to ear
th eventually
, but it is mor
e complicated than it appears. A w
e
apon in space is mo
ving at many thou=
sands of miles an hour
, and the ear
th is rotating as well. H
itting a target on t
he sur
face of the ear
th from space is a capability that will develop mor
e slo
wly than sur
veillance from space, but it will undoubtedly come to fr
uition eventually
. A satellite costs several billion dollars. A space-based battle group will cost even more. C
u
rr
ently
, ex
cept for rel
atively rare instances, a damaged o
r failed satellite is a total lossno par
t of it is ever r
eco
ver
ed. The mor
e ex=
tensively space is used, the mor
e valuable platforms will become and the less this total loss model will work. P
a
r
ticularly as space becomes a battleground, the need to r
e
pair space platforms will become urgent. And, to r
e
pair com=
plex, damaged systems, humans will have to go physically into space. Launching them into space each time a r
epair has to be done is inher=
ently inefcient, and launching spacecraft from ear
th will cost mor
e than mo
ving spacecraft alr
eady in orbit. A
t
a cer
tain point it will make mor
e sense and become mor
e economical to station personnel permanently in space to carr
y out r
e
pairs. O
b
viously
, they will become targets themselves and will have to have the capabilities to defend themselves. They will also be able to manage and o
v
ersee the space- based systems. 1
8
2 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars The task of efciently managing war
far
e fr
om space is not limited to r
e
=
pairing multibillion- dollar satellites quickly
. The communications link from ear
th to space is complex, and subject to inter
fer
ence. Ther
efor
e, any enemy will tr
y the most logical, and economical, attack rstdisr
upting commu=
nications between ground and space. This can be accomplished with lo
w-
tech maneuversthe simplest method might be the destr
uction of ear
th- based transmitters with car bombs, for example. Launch facilities might also be attacked. Assume that the two major U.S. launch facilities, Kennedy S
pace Center and V
andenberg Air F
o
rce B
ase, came under attack by enemy missiles, causing enough damage to shut do
wn operations for months. The U
nited S
tates would be unable to launch mor
e equipment, and whatever was alr
eady in space at the time of the attack would be all that was available. M
aintaining those systems could mean the differ
ence be=
tween victor
y and defeat. Ther
efor
e, having r
e
pair teams deplo
yed in space will be critical. As we can see, space war
far
e is a tricky subject. The deeper we explor
e it, the gr
eater the risk of sounding like science ction, but ther
e is no doubt that humans r
eally will experience all this in the coming centur
y
. The tech=
nology is ther
eas ar
e the strategic and tactical advantages. S
pace war
far
e, like naval war
far
e in the sixteenth centur
y
,
will spr
ead outwar
d. G
eostationar
y orbit is strategic, and ther
efor
e it will be fought o
v
er
. B
u
t orbits will be only one strategic point of conict. Another will be the sur
face of the moon. As far- fetched as it sounds, bases on the moon will pro
vide a stable platformnot encumber
ed by an atmospher
efor obser
v=
ing both the sur
face of the ear
th and any conicts occurring in space. I
t would take too long for a weapon on the moon to r
each ear
thprobably days. B
u
t a signal would be able to r
e
ach a hunter- killer satellite mo
ving in to destro
y a r
e
pair facility in seconds. S
ustaining and defending a base on the moon will actually be easier than doing the same for orbiting systems. B
attles will be fought for control of lo
w- orbit space, geostationar
y space, libration points (stable points between the ear
th and the moon), and the sur
face of the moon. The purpose of any battles, like all ear
thbound battles that pr
eceded them, will be to deny an enemy the ability to utiliz
e these ar=
eas, while guaranteeing a nation
s
o
wn militar
y access to them. T
r
eaties or 1
8
3 p r
ep
ari ng f or w
a
r not, wher
e humanity goes, war goes. And since humanity will be going into space, ther
e will be war in space. Controlling the world
s
oceans from space will be critical. E
v
en today
, the U.S. N
avy depends heavily on space- based sur
veillance for making the eet effective. B
uilding eets to challenge U.S. naval dominance is extraor=
dinarily difcult, expensive, and time consuming. M
astering the technolo=
gies and operational principles of aircraft carriers can take generations. M
ost navies hav
e abandoned any attempt to do so, and few will be in a position to attempt it in the futur
e. B
u
t in the twenty- rst centur
y
,
control of the sea will be less dependent on oceangoing eets than on space- based systems t
h
a
t can see enemy ships and target them. Ther
efor
e, whoever controls space w
i
l
l control the sea. Let
s
turn our attention for a moment to robots. While I expect humans in space to maintain and command space- based warghting systems, these will have to be augmented by robotic systems. Keeping a human being alive in space is a complex and expensive under
taking, and will r
emain so through=
out the centur
y
.
A
utonomous systems, though, ar
e alr
eady common, as ar
e r
emotely controlled systems. U
nmanned space ight is routine. I
n
fact, space is wher
e much of the pioneering work on robotics has been done, and will continue to be done. The technology is sufciently developed that the U.S.
D
e
par
tment of D
efense alr
eady has fairly advanced projects in this ar
ea. W
e
will seeor ar
e alr
eady seeingr
obotic air
craft, r
e
pair modules for satellites, intelligent torpedoes at sea. T
o
war
d the end of the centur
y a robotic infantr
yman for r
elatively simple tasks, such as r
ushing for
tied po=
sitions to avoid human casualties, is quite likely
. All of this leads to a vital change in war
far
eactually
, a r
e
version. P
r
eci=
sion means ther
e is no need to devastate. w
ar pl
ans B
y
the middle of the centur
y American po
wer is going to r
est in the global r
each of its unmanned hypersonic aircraft and space- based missiles. W
ith these systems the U
nited S
tates will be able to impose a naval blockade 1
8
4 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars ar
ound both T
u
r
key and J
apan, if necessar
y
.
I
t
could also strike at any land-
based facilities it might want to destr
o
y
. And it could strike dev
astating blo
ws against land forces. American warghting will consist of thr
ee stages. The rst will be an as=
sault on enemy aircraft that could strike at the U
n
ited S
tates, along with en=
emy air defenses, including space- based systems. The second will be a systematic attack on the r
est of an enemy
s
militar
y capability and key eco=
nomic facilities. The nal stage will be the inser
tion of limited ground forces, consisting of infantr
ymen in armor
ed, po
wer
ed suits with tr
emen=
dous lethality
, sur
viv
ability
, and mobility
, accompanied b
y
an array of r
o
=
botic systems. The U
nited S
tates will depend o
v
er
whelmingly not only on its satellites but on what I am calling its B
attle S
tar management platforms. The B
attle S
tars ar
e going to be the eyes, ears, and sts of the U
n
ited S
tates. They will command swarms of satellites and their o
wn onboar
d systems, as well as or=
biting pods that will be able to r
e missiles at the ground and at other satel=
lites. They will pro
vide targeting information to ground- based unmanned hypersonic aircraft, and even be able to control such aircraft from space. I
f B
attle S
tars ar
e destro
yed or isolated, the entir
e warghting system of the U
n
ited S
tates will be crippled. The countr
y will be able to strike at unmo
v=
able facilities whose locations it kno
ws, but as for anything mobile, it will be blind. By mid- centur
y
,
humans will have been in space on militar
y missions for several decades. The pr
e-2020 process of launching multibillion- dollar satellites into orbit and simply hoping they work will make no sense. C
riti=
cal systems that fail will have to be x
ed. T
o
day
s
space shuttle is capable of such r
e
pairs, but as space becomes mor
e and mor
e impor
tant, a permanent cadr
e of space r
e
pairmen will be needed. The most expensive par
t of space is the launch, and as I have said, constantly launching people into space will not be economical. B
asing them in space and giving them the ability to in=
tercept malfunctioning systems in orbit and r
e
pair them will become the norm. B
y mid- centur
y orbiting r
e
pair stations at v
arious altitudes will hav
e been in space for twenty years, and o
v
er time they will take on mor
e func=
tions in r
elation to r
econnaissance and warghting operationslike the de=
str
uction of enemy satellites. 1
8
5 p r
ep
ari ng f or w
a
r The B
attle S
tar will be designed to be sur
vivable. I
t
will be a large plat=
form, containing doz
ens or even hundr
eds of people to carr
y out its mission and to maintain it. I
t
will be constr
ucted fr
om adv
anced materials, and with multiple hulls, so that laser and other high- energy beams will not be able to destro
y the platform. I
t
will also be loaded with sensor systems that will be able to see any approaching objects at extr
eme distances, and will be heavily armed with pr
ojectiles and energy beams that could destr
o
y
anything that might thr
eaten it. S
ecurity will be built around the assumption that anything launched into orbit with the purpose of destro
ying a B
attle S
tar could not be large enough and robust enough to sur
vive a B
attle S
tar
s
weapons. A B
attle S
tar itself will be constr
ucted out of many components launched on thousands of missions. I
n
addition, it will be assumed that U.S. sensors on the ground or in space will r
eadily r
ecogniz
e any larger systems being constr
ucted by other countries. The B
attle S
tar will be able to see any danger and deal with any conceivable thr
eat. The Americans will constr
uct their systems rst, in=
cr
easing the risk to any other countr
y tr
ying to build one. I
n
light of this incr
edible advantage in the U.S. defense system, the T
u
r
k
ishJ
apanese Coalition will hav
e to devise a war plan that will simulta=
neously r
e
duce U.S. warghting capability dramatically
, allo
w a period in which the Coalition can attack American inter
ests worldwide without elic=
iting an effective counterattack, and set the stage for a negotiated settlement that the U
n
ited S
tates will be able to liv
e with better than it can liv
e with be=
ing hammer
ed. S
o
me approaches will be impractical, including invasion from the sea and naval sur
face war
far
e. N
uclear weapons, which the J
apa =
nese as well as the T
urks will have, will be out of the question. B
y
then the technology will be one hundr
ed years old, and ther
e won
t
be any myster
y to ho
w to build and deliver them. B
ut as we have seen, nuclear weapons ar
e mor
e frightening befor
e they ar
e used than after
. T
u
rkey and J
apan will be looking to secur
e their national inter
ests, not commit national suicide. A nuclear strike against the U
n
ited S
tates would devastate it, but a counter-
strike would devastate T
u
rkey and J
apan ev
en mor
e, and given their r
elative siz
es, the risk would be gr
eater for them than for the Americans. The key will be to deny the U
n
ited S
tates its command of space. I
n
or=
der to do that, the Coalition will have to achieve what the Americans will 1
8
6 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars believe is impossibledestro
y the B
attle S
tars. A
chieving that will open op=
por
tunities for the Coalition forces to r
edraw the map of the P
a
cic and East Asia, as well as of the vast r
egion surrounding T
u
rkey
. I
t
will all hinge on the small problem of doing the impossible. Launching a projectile large enough to destro
y a B
attle S
tar (and not to be shot do
wn by that B
attle S
tar) will be an enormous challenge. I
t
cannot be launched from ear
th, since the U
nited S
tates would detect the launch and destr
o
y
it immediately
. B
u
t the Coalition will hav
e one adv
antage: the B
attle S
tar will not be capable of maneuvering. P
a
rked in geostationar
y or=
bit, the B
attle S
tar will have enough propellant on boar
d to keep it in orbit, but it will not be able to ex
ecute substantial orbital shifts. That will r
equir
e too much fuel. M
o
r
e
o
v
er
, once it maneuvers it will lose its geostationar
y or=
bit and ther
efor
e the stability it needs to carr
y out its mission. This is one of the corners that planners will cut. The U.S. B
attle S
tar program will be a crash program in the 2040s. C
r
eating an orbiting space station housing doz
ens of cr
ewmen is one thing, but making it maneuverable will push the timeline far beyond what will be needed. S
o
the planners will bo
w to tech=
nical r
e
ality and rationaliz
e. The B
attle S
tar will be indestr
uctible, they will posit, so no capacity for maneuvering will be needed. Like the T
itanic
, it will be billed as unsinkable. The J
apanese will consider the problem of ho
w to take out a B
attle S
tar as early as the 2030s. They will dev
elop a r
o
bust space pr
ogram after 2020, substantially ahead of the T
u
rks, whose attention will be focused on events closer to their bor
der
. Both will develop lo
w ear
th- orbit r
econnaissance satellites and geostationar
y communications systems, but the J
apanese will be looking into the commercial uses of space as well and will be par
ticularly inter
ested in energy generation in space. H
ungr
y for energy at a rate that new nuclear r
e
actors would nd difcult to keep up with, the J
apanese will have been investing for a generation in all varieties of alternative energy
, in=
cluding space- based systems. O
ne of the r
esearch and development locations will be the sur
face of the moon. As with Antar
ctica in the 1950s, it is likely that sev
eral nations will have established r
esearch bases ther
e, with the American and J
apanese being the most ambitious. B
y
2040 the J
apanese will have a substantial colony op=
erating on the moon, and will have cr
eated large underground chambers for 1
8
7 p r
ep
ari ng f or w
a
r their work. T
rafc back and for
th to the moon will be common and unno=
ticed. The various nations working ther
e will cooperate and will be con=
stantly ex
changing personnel. N
othing that could be done from the sur
face of the moon militarily could not be done mor
e effectively from ear
th orbit, or so will go the thinking. The J
apanese will, of course, be planning solutions to potential war
far
e situations, as all militaries ar
e supposed to do
. The problem will be simple: ho
w to destro
y the center of gravity of the American warghting system the B
attle S
tar
. Launching an attack from ear
th, as noted, would be likely to fail and, if it failed, would thr
ust the J
apanese into war with the U
n
ited S
tates under the worst possible circumstances. The J
apanese will have to come up with a new strategy
. Think of 1941, when J
apan sought to initiate war by crippling the American militar
y center of gravity in the P
acicthe eet at P
e
arl H
arbor
. D
rawing out the Ameri=
can eet while it was still intact was too dangerous, and the Americans r
e
=
gar
ded their battleships at P
e
arl H
arbor as invulnerable. S
o
the J
apanese attacked using an unexpected means, an air
craft carrierbased attack with torpedoes in a harbor believed too shallo
w for them, and they attacked from an unexpected dir
ection, the nor
thwest, at a distance from home assumed to be too far for safety
. This is not just a J
apanese way of making war
, but the application of universal principles of war
far
e by the J
apanese. I
n
the mid-twenty-rst centur
y
,
the J
apanese will face the same problem in a differ
ent context. They will need to destro
y the B
attle S
tars. They must attack from an unexpected dir
ection with unexpected means. The unex=
pected dir
ection would be from the r
ear
, the equivalent of the nor
thwest P
a
cic. That would mean the moon. They would have to use unexpected meansweapons constr
ucted in secr
et on the moon, since shipping weapons ther
e for later use could be detected. The equivalent of P
earl H
arbor in the twenty- rst centur
y would have to involve the principles of surprise in di=
r
ection and means. Ther
e may well be alternatives to the scenario I am lay=
ing out, but this is cer
tainly an extr
emely plausible scenario given the geometr
y of space. Ther
e is an underlying geopolitical principle shaping my thinking. I
n W
o
rld W
ar II two emerging po
w
e
rsG
ermany and J
apanwanted to r
e
=
dene the global or
der
. I
n
the mid-twenty-rst centur
y
,
this continual cy
cle 1
8
8 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars of geopolitics will r
e
peat itself
. I
n W
o
rld W
ar II, J
apan had to strike unex=
pectedly to cripple U.S. po
wer in the P
acic and, it hoped, open the door for a negotiated settlement on its o
w
n terms. The geography of J
apan put it at a massiv
e long- term disadv
antage r
elativ
e to the U
n
ited S
tates, so J
apan had to cr
eate a windo
w of oppor
tunity through a surprise blo
w at the hear
t of American po
wer
. J
apan will be in the same position r
elative to the U
n
ited S
tates in the mid-twenty-rst centur
y
,
only this time allied with T
u
rkey in=
stead of G
e
rmany
. Ther
efor
e, whatever the details of J
apan
s
militar
y mo
ves and obviously we can only speculate on those detailsthe natur
e of the conict is rooted in the same dynamics in both centuries, and ther
efor
e so is the general strategy
. Earlier in this book I talked about histor
y as a chess game in which ther
e ar
e many few
er mo
v
es av
ailable than appears to be the case. The better a player you ar
e, the mor
e you see the weaknesses of mo
ves, and the number of mo
ves shrinks to a ver
y few
. W
e
can apply this principle to the futur
e. I have tried to lay out the logic of ho
w J
apan and T
u
rkey will become major po
wers and ho
w this will cr
eate friction with the U
n
ited S
tates. Looking at both histor
y and the likely conditions at the time, I
ve tried to imagine ho
w the J
apanese will look at the boar
dwhat they will be worried about and ho
w they might r
espond. The details ar
e obviously unkno
wn. B
ut I am tr
y=
ing her
e to give a sense of ho
w geopolitics, technology
, and war
far
e might play out. I can
t
possibly kno
w the details of this war
, or even its timing. B
u
t I can lay out some of the principles and imagine some of the details. The J
apanese will alr
eady have established multiple lunar bases, but one of them will be designed for militar
y uses with a civilian co
ver
. I
n
deep caverns secr
etly hollo
wed out, the J
apanese will cr
eate a series of projectiles simply built out of lunar rock. R
ocks ar
e ver
y heavy for their volume. S
o
me=
thing the siz
e of a compact car can weigh tons. At extr
emely high speeds, the kinetic energy of a rock can be fantastic, tearing apar
t large str
uctur
es it might hit. I
n
the airless moon, without friction or aerodynamic issues, it can be ver
y roughly shaped. R
ockets and fuel tanks can be r
eadily attached to the rock and launched. These projectiles will be designed to have two characteristics: heavy enough to destro
y any B
attle S
tar with kinetic energy but small enough to be boosted into orbit using rockets, taking advantage of the lo
wer escape ve=
1
8
9 p r
ep
ari ng f or w
a
r locity of the moon r
elative to the ear
th. G
i
ven the speeds at which the mis=
sile will impact the B
attle S
tar
, a few pounds will sufce. B
u
t it also will have to sur
vive impacts with much smaller kinetic defensive missiles. The J
apanese will build another secr
et base, car
efully camouaged on the far side of the moon, which they will use to test the system, ring away from ear
th and shielded from its vie
w
. The system will be per
fected o
v
er time, slo
wly so that trafc to the base, if noticed, will not raise undue con=
cern. U
nderground launchers will be pr
epar
ed and camouaged. As the B
at=
tle S
tars become operational, so will the J
apanese countermeasur
es. The J
apanese kno
w that any one missile could be destro
yed, so they will pr
epar
e doz
ens of missiles to be r
ed at each B
attle S
tar platform, in the hope that one will get through. And they will pr
epar
e to r
e them in a wide range of orbits, hoping not to be noticed. N
o
matter ho
w advanced technology be=
comes, ther
e is never enough budget or personnel to keep watch on ever
y=
thing. N
o
t being noticed will be impor
tant. I
t
will take about thr
ee days for the missiles launched from the moon to hit the B
attle S
tars. The time between the detection of the attack and the destr
uction of the B
attle S
tar will be the period of gr
eatest danger to J
apanese plans. O
nce the missiles ar
e detected, even though the B
attle S
tar might not sur
vive itself
, it could or
der strikes against J
apan with hypersonic systems and r
e its o
wn projectiles in a dev=
astating attack on J
apan and its space assets, while still leaving the B
attle S
tar cr
ew time to abandon ship in escape craft. The key will thus be to take out the B
attle S
tar without any warning, blinding the U
n
ited S
tates. That will not be something that can be guaranteed to succeed. The J
apanese will have to have a P
lan B. O
nce they r
e their rockets successfully
, the destr
uction of the B
attle S
tars will be assur
ed. B
ut between the time of disco
ver
y and destr
uction, disaster will be possible. The J
apanese will have one advantage. The B
attle S
tars will be focused on the ear
th and the ar
ea be=
tween the ear
th and geostationar
y orbit. Their primar
y mission will be of=
fensive, and they won
t
see themselves in a defensive role. M
o
r
e
impor
tant, the B
attle S
tars will not expect a thr
eat from behind. I
f
the B
attle S
tars think they ar
e going to be hit, they will be expecting it from belo
w
. They won
t conduct routine obser
vations at higher altitudes. The Americans will maintain a simpleand not par
ticularly effective 1
9
0 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars meteor watch, an obvious necessity for a manned space platform. S
pace is vast and, contrar
y to what you might imagine, complete co
verage of space is impossible today and won
t
be possible in 2050. Ther
e will be gaps, in both technology and application. Kno
wing this, the J
apanese will launch not a tight cluster of missiles, but rather a spr
ead, coming from all dir
ections. The watch radar might pick up one or two but would not interpr
et them as an attack. I
n
fact, the J
apanese will select orbits that will not be aimed at any of the B
attle S
tars; rather
, the missiles will be equipped to do a terminal rocket burn to shift orbits in the last hours of their journeys in or
der to impact the stationsthe fuel container and engine for the burn will be larger than the actual missile, r
eally no mor
e than a small, shaped rock. Any comp
u
t
e
r d
e
=
tecting a missile will r
e
ad it as a meteorite that won
t
thr
eaten anything close but not a danger
. The computeriz
ed systems might not even r
epor
t the missiles they see to human monitors on the B
attle S
tar
. The system will be robotic, not given to subtlety
. Ther
e will be thr
ee dangers for the J
apanese. The rst will be that the U
nited S
tates will detect the launch from the lunar sur
face using technology the J
apanese didn
t
kno
w it had. D
e
tection will also be possible in the period after launch and befor
e terminal adjustment of orbit, which will last sev
eral days. And in the nal few hours befor
e impact, the U
nited S
tates could still r
e
taliate. The later it detects the attack, the less time it will have to r
e
act, and the mor
e devastating the strike. The J
apanese P
lan B in case of detection will be to speed up phase two of the attack. I
f
they take out the B
attle S
tars, the J
apanese will then launch immediate hypersonic attacks against U.S. air and missile bases ar
ound the world, American submarines being tracked by the J
apanese space- based sys=
tem, as well as against all ground- based communications. I
n
the event of de=
tection, the J
apanese would ex
ecute the follo
w- up plan befor
e the B
attle S
tars ar
e destro
yed, in a desperate shot from the hip
, hoping the Americans will be slo
w to r
espond. They will assume that they can tell if the Americans have detected the attack because detection will dramatically incr
ease com=
munication trafc between B
attle S
tars, ground command, and other plat=
forms. The J
apanese might not be able to br
eak the codes, but they will see the surge in trafc. They will have orbited satellites for years with ofcial r
e
asons from navigation to weather but with another
, secr
et purpose: inter=
1
9
1 p r
ep
ari ng f or w
a
r cepting and gauging the quantity of communications among U.S. space=
based systems. The J
apanese will not shar
e the details of their attack plans with the T
u
rks. The secr
et lunar bases will r
epr
esent the cro
wn je
wels of the J
apanese militar
y
. The T
u
rks will be allies, but not family
. What they will be pr
epar
ed to tell the T
u
rks is that on a cer
tain date the J
apanese will commence hostil=
ities, and that they will plan a dev
astating strike against the U
n
ited S
tates with which they will need no dir
ect assistance. They will, ho
wever
, need some indir
ect assistance. The J
apanese will want to tilt the table a bit mor
e b
y
giving U.S. intelli=
gence and r
econnaissance something to look atsomething to keep them distracted. The J
apanese will plan to attack o
v
er the American Thanksgiving holiday
, when the American political leadership will be scatter
ed around the countr
y with family
. This is in keeping with both the militar
y principle of strategic surprise and J
apan
s
application of this in prior wars: the attack at P
e
arl H
arbor happened at dawn on a S
unday
, when the eet was in and the cr
ews had been out par
tying on S
atur
day night. O
b
viously
, it doesn
t
have to be Thanksgiving, but it has to be an unexpected time when U.S. leadership is not at its full str
ength. J
ust as N
o
r
t
h K
o
r
ea attacked S
outh K
o
r
ea on a summer S
unday in 1950, causing massive confusion, the J
apanese might at=
tack on Thanksgiving, a ver
y likely time to hit. The J
apanese and T
u
rks will do ever
ything they can to keep the weeks prior calm, making sur
e that the American leadership disperses and the gr
ound- based militar
y is operating on minimal stafng. The J
apanese will kno
w that the best way to accomplish this will be to stage a crisis and quickly settle it. W
ithout giving away the natur
e of the Thanksgiving surprise, they will arrange for the T
u
rks to generate a car
efully planned crisis between their forces in Bosnia and P
olish forces in C
r
oatia. The crisis will begin in mid- O
c
tober
, with the claim that C
r
oatian national=
ists have carried out terrorist strikes in T
u
rkey
. The T
u
rks will even hint that this was done with U.S. encouragement. N
o
w
,
obviously we can
t
kno
w that it will be this crisis in this place, but a system of deception is critical. The J
apanese kept negotiations going with the U
nited S
tates until the last minute in 1941. The V
ietnamese T
e
t O
ffensive occurr
ed during a holiday cease- r
e in 1968, and so on. D
eception is the key
. 1
9
2 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars A crisis will ensue, with the P
olish bloc and the T
u
rks coming to full aler
t. W
ith U.S. forces in S
e
rbia and the U
n
ited S
tates allied with the P
olish bloc, the B
alkan situation will dir
ectly impact the U
n
ited S
tates. The T
u
rks will keep bringing their air and missile systems outside the r
egion to full aler
t, just shor
t of launch, and then bringing them do
wn. They will deliberately tr
y to trig=
ger a P
olish strike. Kno
wing that the P
olish and U.S. defense networks ar
e linked, and having mapped out American sensitivity to T
u
rkish r
e
adiness o
v
er the years, the T
u
rks will push just past what appears to be the point of no r
e
=
turn in the rst week of N
o
vember
. The P
oles, r
eceiving data indicating an imminent launch, suddenly will conduct a limited air strike against a T
u
rk=
ish base. The T
urks will have succeeded in sucking in the P
oles and will be=
gin to cy
cle up their entir
e system. R
e
alizing that a B
alkan war is about to br
eak out, the American pr
esident will call the T
u
rkish and P
olish prime min=
isters within moments of the strike and warn both to stand do
wn. The T
u
rks will be par
ticularly belliger
ent, having lost an air base and some peo=
ple, but will r
eluctantly agr
ee to mo
ve back from the brink of war
. A peace confer
ence will be organiz
ed in G
eneva; wher
e else would one hold a peace confer
ence? N
o
settlement will be r
eached, but all sides will agr
ee to stand do
wn and av
oid pr
o
v
ocativ
e acts. The U
n
ited S
tates will commit itself to monitoring the situationa commitment it will take seri=
ously
, as it won
t
want the P
oles or H
ungarians dragging it into a B
alkan war
. The national security advisor will or
der U.S. space sur
v
e
illance to con=
centrate on the status of T
u
rkish and P
olish bloc forces. Things will calm do
wn by mid- N
o
vember
, and the situation will seem to be r
e
turning to nor=
mal, but the B
attle S
tar o
v
er U
g
anda will r
e
main heavily focused on the B
a
lkan situation, while the other two will be handling spillo
ver work from its collectors. The T
urks will continue to maneuver their forces well behind the lines, as will the P
olish bloc. That will keep ever
yone busy
. The J
apanese will have been cy
cling up their hypersonic forces and space capabilities at least once a quar
ter for several years. The U
n
ited S
tates will be watching these ex
ercises r
egularly and ther
efor
e won
t
be par
ticularly alarmed to see another ex
ercise kicking off a few days befor
e Thanksgiving. I
t
will be nothing out of the or
dinar
y to see the J
apanese go to full battle aler
t. I
n
fact, this time J
apan will seem somewhat undermanned, with some units not even cy
cling to aler
t. CHAPTER 1 1 W
ORLD W
A
R A Sce nari o T
hus far I
ve been doing geopolitical for
ecasting. I
ve been working with the major themes that ar
e unfolding in the twenty- rst centur
y and thinking about ho
w they would affect international r
elations. I
n this chapter
, I will change my appr
oach a bit. I want to describe a war that I think will take place in the middle of the twenty- rst centur
y
.
O
b
viously I don
t
kno
w when it will happen with any pr
ecision, but I can pro
vide a sense of what a twenty-rst-centur
y war might look like. Y
ou can
t
imagine the twentieth centur
y without some idea of what W
o
rld W
ars I and II wer
e like, nor can you r
eally get a sense of the twenty- rst centur
y until you
v
e described war
. W
ar is differ
ent from what I
ve been talking about so far because war is a matter of detail. W
ithout this, you miss its essence. T
o
understand war
, you need to understand mor
e than the r
e
asons a war was fought. Y
ou need to think about technology
, cultur
e, and other matters, all of them in detail. S
o
, for example, in talking about W
o
rld W
ar II we have to discuss P
e
arl H
arbor
. P
e
arl H
arbor was, geopolitically
, an attempt to buy time while J
apan seiz
ed S
outheast Asia and the N
e
therlands East I
n
dies. B
u
t to r
e
ally understand the r
eality of P
earl H
arbor
, you have to understand the detailsthe use of 1
9
4 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars aircraft carriers, the invention of a torpedo that would work in the shallo
w waters of P
e
arl H
arbor
, and the decision to attack on S
unday morning. What I
ve tried to sho
w in pr
evious chapters is ho
w the U
n
ited S
tates, P
oland, T
u
rkey
, and J
apan will get entangled in the next centur
y
,
and why the J
apanese and the T
urks will feel so thr
eatened that they will have no choice but to launch a pr
eemptive war
. This is a book about my perception of the events of the next hundr
ed years, so I no
w want to talk about the war itself
. T
o
do that, ho
wever
, I have to pr
etend to kno
w mor
e than I do
. I have to pr
etend to kno
w the times and dates of the battles and pr
ecisely ho
w they would be ex
ecuted. I do think I understand the militar
y technology that will be used in this war
. I think I have a rough idea of when in the centur
y the war will take place, and I think I have a good grasp of ho
w it will play out. B
u
t I don
t
think you can grasp the natur
e of war in the mid-twenty=
rst centur
y unless I go fur
ther and tell a stor
y that in some sense I have no right to
. B
ut if you will indulge me on this, I think I can give you a feel for the war
far
e of the tw
enty- rst centur
yand this par
ticular warif I take some license and give it r
eal specicity
. op
ening sho
t
s The destr
uction of the thr
ee B
attle S
tars will be planned for N
o
vember 24, 2050, at 5 p
.m. A
t
this time on Thanksgiving D
ay most people in the U
n
ited S
tates would be watching football and napping after digesting a massive meal. S
ome people will be driving home. N
o
one in W
a
shington will be expecting a problem. That is the moment that the J
apanese will in=
tend to strike. F
i
nal course corr
ections of the missiles targeting the B
attle S
tars will begin to be ex
ecuted at about noon, on the theor
y that even if they wer
e detected, getting hold of the W
a
shington national security team would eat up an hour or two, and that if the missiles wer
e detected by 3 or 4 p
.m. it would be impossible to r
e
act in time. I
n
or
der to do this, launches from J
apan
s
lunar base will have to take place at various times on N
o
vember 21, depending on orbit. H
ence, the N
o
vember 20 aler
t will be P
lan B cy
cling upthe afor
ementioned shot from the hip
. 1
9
5 w
orl d w
a
r The launches from the moon will go unnoticed. M
a
ny of the missiles will actually be detected by automated systems on boar
d the B
attle S
tars, but none will have trajectories that indicate impact with the stations or r
e
pr
esent a signicant thr
eat to ear
th. They will all be r
ed at differ
ent times in eccentric orbits. The data will not be passed on to human moni=
tors. O
ne technician r
e
ading the daily summar
y on the second day will note that ther
e appears to be a large number of meteors in the ar
ea, with several passing close to his station, but since this is not an extraor
dinar
y event, he will ignor
e it. O
n
N
o
vember 24 around noon, the rockets will r
eignite as planned, shifting the missiles
orbit. The collision- tracking radar on B
attle S
tar U
g
anda will pick up a single warning at about 2 p
.m. The computer will be asked to r
econrm the trajector
y
.
I
n
the next hour all thr
ee stations will pick up multiple projectiles on trajector
y to strike each of them. The command=
ing general of the thr
ee platforms, on boar
d B
attle S
tarP
er
u, will r
ecogniz
e at about 3:15 that his platforms ar
e under organiz
ed attack. H
e
will then notify S
pace Command H
e
adquar
ters in Colorado S
prings, which in turn will notify the J
oint Chiefs and the N
ational S
ecurity Council. M
eanwhile, the commanding general on B
attle S
tarP
er
u will, on his o
wn authority
, begin ring lasers and kinetic missiles at the targets, hoping to intercept them. B
u
t the number of incoming missiles will strain his ca=
pacity to engage, as the system won
t
be designed to cope with fteen simul=
taneous incoming missiles. H
e
will quickly r
ealiz
e that ther
e will be leakage, and that some of the missiles will hit. The pr
esident will be notied, but, it being Thanksgiving D
a
y
,
he won
t be able to immediately gather most of his advisors. The questions the pr
esi=
dent will ask ar
e the cr
ucial ones: Who launched the attack? Wher
e was it launched from? N
o
one will be able to answer the questions immediately
. The assumption will be that it is the T
u
rks, since they will have been en=
gaged in the most r
ecent crisis, but U.S. intelligence will be cer
tain that they won
t
have the ability to launch such an attack. The J
apanese will be quiet and no one would have expected such a strike by J
apan. As mor
e advisors gather
, two things will be appar
ent: no one kno
ws who launched the attack, and the B
attle S
tars ar
e about to be destr
o
y
ed. 1
9
6 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars The J
apanese will inform the T
u
r
ks as to what has happened at appr
o
xi=
mately 4:30 p
.m. The T
u
rks ar
e J
apan
s
allies, but the J
apanese ar
e not going to give them detailed information until the last moment, as they won
t
want the T
urks to double- cross them. B
ut the T
urks will kno
w that something is comingthe entir
e charade of early N
o
vember will r
e
volve around this, and they will be standing by to act as soon as the J
apanese get around to aler
ting them. Less than thir
ty minutes befor
e impact, the pr
esident will authoriz
e the evacuation of the B
attle S
tars. W
ith so little time, the evacuation won
t
be able to be fully ex
ecuted. H
undr
eds of people will be left behind. M
o
r
e
im=
por
tant, even though no one will kno
w who or
der
ed the attack, the pr
esi=
dent
s
advisors will convince him to or
der a dispersal of all ground- based hypersonic air
craft fr
om their primar
y bases to scatter
ed locations. That or=
der will go out at the same time the evacuation or
der goes out. Ther
e will be many glitches in the system. Controllersskeleton staffs, r
eallywill keep asking for conrmation. S
ome of the aircraft will disperse o
v
er the next hour
. M
ost will not. At 5 p
.m., all thr
ee B
attle S
tars will explode, killing all of the r
e
maining cr
e
w
members and knocking out the r
est of the U.S. space forcesensors and satellites that ar
e mostly hooked into the B
attle S
tarP
er
u command center
. They will be left uselessly orbiting in space. The J
apanese will have launched satellites years earlier whose only job is to monitor the B
attle S
tars. They will note the disr
uption of communication from the stations, and J
apanese radar will note the destr
uction of the stations themselves. The J
apanese will activate phase two as soon as destr
uction is conrmed. They will launch thousands of unmanned hypersonic aircraftsmall, fast, and agile to evade interceptorsat the U
n
ited S
tates and its ships and bases in the P
a
cic. The targets will be U.S. hypersonic aircraft, ground- based anti- aircraft missiles, and command and control centers. They won
t
go af=
ter population centers. That would achieve nothing, plus the J
apanese will want to negotiate a settlement, which would be inconceivable after massive civilian casualties. N
o
r will they want to destro
y the pr
esident or his staff
. They will need someone with whom to negotiate. At the same time, the T
u
rks will launch their o
wn attacks against targets they will have been assigned in joint planning for war with the J
apanese 1
9
7 w
orl d w
a
r o
v
er the years. J
oint contingency plans will alr
eady have been developed between the two countries. G
i
ven that the T
u
rks ar
e awar
e something is coming, and ar
e in near- crisis mode alr
eady
, they won
t
need extensiv
e pr
eparation to ex
ecute the war plan. The J
apanese will communicate what they have doneand T
urkish sensors will obser
ve the events in geosynchro=
nous orbit. They will mo
ve to quickly take advantage of the situation. M
any targets will be in the U
n
ited S
tates, east of the M
ississippi, but the T
u
rks will also launch a massive attack against the P
olish bloc and against I
n
dia, not a major po
wer but allied with the U
n
ited S
tates. The intention of the Coali=
tion will be to leave the U
n
ited S
tates and its allies militarily helpless. W
ithin a fe
w minutes, the missiles from the unmanned aircraft will be=
gin to hit U.S. forces in E
u
rope and Asia, but those targeted at the U
n
ited S
tates proper will take nearly an hour to r
e
ach their targets. That hour will bring the U
nited S
tates some valuable time. M
ost of its space- based sensors will be off-line, but an old system, used to detect the heat of ICBM launches and too old to be linked into the B
attle S
tar system, will still be do
wnload=
ing to Colorado S
prings. I
t
will pick up a vast array of launches out of J
apan and T
u
r
key
, but little additional information will be pr
o
vided. Ther
e will be no way to tell wher
e the planes and missiles ar
e going. B
ut the fact that the two countries lit up with launches minutes after the B
attle S
tars ar
e killed will be r
elayed to the pr
esident, who no
w
,
at least, will kno
w wher
e the at=
tack is coming from. The U
n
ited S
tates will maintain a database of militar
y targets in J
apan and T
u
rkey
. The J
apanese and T
u
rkish aircraft will alr
eady have been launched, and ther
efor
e hitting those targets will make no sense. B
ut ther
e will be x
ed targets in both countries, primarily command and control cen=
ters, airelds, fuel bunkers, and so on, that could be attacked. P
lus the pr
es=
ident will want his hypersonic eet in the air and not on the tarmac. H
e
will or
der a pr
eset war plan to be activ
ated. H
o
w
e
v
e
r
,
b
y
the time the or
ders ar
e transmitted and ight controllers ar
e in place, ther
e will be less than fteen minutes until J
apan and T
u
rkey hit their targets. S
o
me ights will take off and strike those two countries, but much of the force will be destro
yed on the ground. The devastation to the P
olish bloc will be even mor
e intense. The bloc command center in W
arsaw won
t
be awar
e of the destr
uction of the B
attle 1
9
8 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars S
tars, so it won
t
have the warning the U
n
ited S
tates will have befor
e missiles star
t hitting its bases. I
n
fact, hypersonic aircraft will be dropping pr
ecision-
guided munitions on bloc facilities with literally no warning at all. O
ne mo=
ment they will be ther
e, and suddenly the bloc
s
strike capability will be gone. B
y
7 p
.m., the U.S. space and hypersonic force will be devastated. The U
n
ited S
tates will have lost command of space and have only a few hundr
ed aircraft left. I
t
s allies in E
urope will have had their forces o
v
er
whelmed. U.S. warships around the world will have been attacked and sunk. The I
n
dians will have lost their assets as well. The American coalition will be militarily dev
astated. c
ounterstrike A
t
the same time, American society will be intact, as will be that of many U.S.
allies. This is the underlying weakness of the Coalition strategy
. The U
n
ited S
tates is a nuclear po
w
e
ras, for that matter
, will be J
apan, T
u
r
key
, P
oland, and I
n
dia. A
ttacks on militar
y targets will not trigger a nuclear r
e
=
sponse. H
o
wever
, if the Coalition would tr
y to force capitulation by begin=
ning to go bey
ond militar
y targets and mo
v
e
to tr
ying to attack the American population itself
, the thr
eshold at which the Americans, or their allies, might go nuclear could be r
eached. S
i
nce the Coalition will be looking not for mutual annihilation but for a political settlement that the Americans in par
ticular could live with, and since the Americans ar
e often profoundly unpr
edictable, using their hypersonic forces to star
t inicting damage and casualties on American civilians would be incr
edibly dangerous. The posses=
sion of nuclear weapons will shape war to this extent. I
t
circumscribes the degr
ee of the conict. N
e
v
e
r
theless, the U
n
ited S
tates will be militarily damaged and won
t kno
w ho
w far the Coalition will go
. The Coalition
s
hope will be that when the degr
ee of damage is r
ecogniz
ed by the U
nited S
tates, together with the unpr
edictability of the Coalition, it will opt for a political settlement that would include accepting T
u
rkish and J
apanese spher
es of inuence, dening limits to America
s
spher
e of inuence, and introducing a workable, veri=
1
9
9 w
orl d w
a
r able framework for limiting conict in space. I
n
other wor
ds, the Coalition will wager that the U
n
ited S
tates will r
e
aliz
e that it is no
w one gr
eat po
wer among several instead of the only superpo
wer
, and accept a generous and se=
cur
e spher
e of inuence of its o
w
n. And it will hope that the suddenness and effectiveness of the assault in space will cause the U
nited S
tates to o
v
er=
estimate the Coalition
s
militar
y po
w
e
r
. The U
n
ited S
tates will in fact o
v
er
estimate the Coalition
s
militar
y po
wer
, but that will generate the opposite r
esponse from what the Coalition hopes. The Americans won
t
see themselves as engaged in a limited war in which the enemy has limited and denable political goals that the U
n
ited S
tates can live with. Rather
, the Americans will believe that the Coalition
s
forces ar
e vastly gr
eater than they r
e
ally ar
e, and that the U
n
ited S
tates faces the possibility
, if not of annihilation, then of a massive r
e
duction of po
wer and heightened vulnerability to fur
ther attacks by the Coalition and other po
w
e
rs. The U
n
ited S
tates will see this as an existential thr
eat. The U
n
ited S
tates will r
e
act viscerally and emotionally to the attack. I
f it accepts the political settlement that has been transmitted to it on the evening of N
o
vember 24, the countr
y
s long- term futur
e becomes uncer=
tain. T
u
rkey and J
apancountries unlikely to ght each otherwould be=
tween them dominate E
urasia. Ther
e would be two hegemons, not one, but if they w
e
r
e
to cooperate, E
u
rasia would be united and exploited systemati=
cally
. The ultimate nightmar
e of American grand strategy would be r
e
al, and o
v
er time the Coalition membersnot easily manipulable into war with each o
t
h
e
r
w
ould usurp command of space and the sea. Agr
eeing to the Coali=
tion
s
offer would end the immediate war but would also initiate a long American decline. B
ut this will not be car
efully thought out that night. J
ust as it did after the sinking of the Ma
i
n
e
, the attack on P
e
arl H
arbor
, and the shock of 9/11, the U
n
ited S
tates will go into a rage. I
t
will r
e
ject the terms and go to war
. The U
nited S
tates won
t
make a mo
ve while Coalition r
econnaissance spacecraft ar
e in place. The Coalition won
t
have anything to equal the com=
plex American B
attle S
tar system that has been destr
o
y
ed, but it will hav
e an array of last- generation satellites that pro
vide r
e
al- time intelligence on the U
n
ited S
tates. While they ar
e operational, the Coalition will be able to see and counter any mo
ves made by the Americans. The American r
econ =
2
0
0 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars naissance system will quickly have to be r
e
- architected so that r
e
maining satellitesof which ther
e will be manywill do
wnlink to ear
th rather than to the destro
yed B
attle S
tars. That will allo
w the U
n
ited S
tates to begin track=
ing enemy mo
vementsand to strike back. When that happens, the rst thing it will have to do is knock out any space launch facilities the Coalition might have, so as to keep it from launching any ne
w space systems. J
apanese intelligence on U.S. assets, while not per
fect, will be superb
. The U
nited S
tates will have deliberately placed launch platforms for rockets in a variety of secr
et locations, car
efully camouaged. I
t
will be one of the major black projects during the 2030s. B
y
the time the J
apanese begin sur=
veillance on the U
nited S
tates, the sites will have been constr
uctedand hiddenfor a long time. The secr
et launch facilities will not be manned during peacetime. M
o
ving personnel to the sites without detection will take several days, during which time the U
n
ited S
tates will send diplomatic feelers through the G
ermans, who will be neutral, about negotiations. The U
n
ited S
tates will be tr
ying to buy time. The negotiations will be a co
ver for planning and implementing a counterstrike. The U
n
ited S
tates will be tr
ying to even the playing eld a bit with what assets it still has. T
o
do that, it will need to blind the Coalition, taking out its space- based system (the U
nited S
tates will have stor
ed hundr
eds of anti-
satellite missiles and high- energy lasers at its secr
et r
eser
ve sites). C
r
e
w
s will mo
ve into place, car
efully so as not to give away locations to r
econnaissance satellites. While the Coalition will be eagerly engaged in negotiations with the U
n
ited S
tates, the sites will be r
e
adied. A
bout seventy- two hours later
, the U
nited S
tates will destro
y the bulk of the Coalition
s
sur
veillance capa=
bility in a period of less than two hours. The Coalition won
t
be blind, but it will be close to it. As soon as the satellites ar
e destro
yed, some of the U
n
ited S
tates
sur
viv=
ing hypersonic aircraft will initiate attacks on J
apanese and T
u
rkish launch facilities, hoping to make it impossible for them to launch new satellites or attack the r
e
maining U.S. satellites. U
nlike the J
apanese, the Americans will have an ex
cellent idea of the location of J
apanese launches based on past r
e
=
connaissance. The U
nited S
tates, follo
wing the end of the second cold war
, always had a massiv
e adv
antage in r
econnaissance capability
. The U
n
ited S
tates
map of the Coalition will be much better than the Coalition
s
map of 2
0
1 w
orl d w
a
r the U
n
ited S
tates. The aircraft will hit them all. S
hor
tly ther
eafter
, U.S. satellite controllers will begin capturing signals from sur
viving American satellites. The Coalition will no
w be the ones blinded. The J
apanese intelli=
gence failur
e about America
s
black anti- satellite capability will pro
ve their undoing. ne
w technol
ogies, old w
a
r The Coalition members will r
e
aliz
e their original plan has failed. They will not be cer
tain ho
w well the U
n
ited S
tates can see, but they will kno
w that it can
t
see all that well. M
ost disturbing, their belief that the entir
e U.S. air eet was annihilated will be pro
ven wrong, and they will kno
w that the U
n
ited S
tates still has the capacity to strike them. They can
t
kno
w that these ar
e only the r
emnants of the force that was dispersed in the time be=
tween the detection of the attack on the B
attle S
tars and the Coalition air strike. They won
t
kno
w ho
w deep American r
eser
ves ar
e, and they will have no way to nd out. The fog of war will be as thick in the twenty- rst cen=
tur
y as in the past. The U
n
ited S
tates will make one additional mo
ve. E
ngineers will ana=
lyz
e data to sho
w the origination point of the missiles that took out the B
at=
tle S
tars, and the militar
y then will launch a missile at the site and the base will be destro
yed. The U
n
ited S
tates will also or
der militar
y forces it will have quietly built up at its o
wn experimental stations on the moon to pr
e=
par
e and ex
ecute attacks on all J
apanese bases on the moon. The U
nited S
tates will make sur
e it is not surprised again. As fr
equently happens in war
, once the initial attack, planned o
v
er years, is ex
ecuted, ever
yone star
ts to impr
o
vise, working from uncer
tainty
. And most war plans anticipate that a war will be o
v
er quickly
. I
t
rar
ely is. This war will continue, divided into thr
ee par
ts. F
irst, having r
eestablished a tenuous command of space, the U
n
ited S
tates will put in place a crash program to incr
ease its hold and keep the Coalition out. The U
n
ited S
tates will gradually
, o
v
er the next year
, incr
ease its sur
veillance capability until it equals pr
eattack levels. The pace of r
e
=
sear
ch, dev
elopment, and deplo
yment in a time of war is extraor
dinar
y 2
0
2 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars compar
ed to peacetime. W
ithin a year of Thanksgiving D
a
y
,
the U
n
ited S
tates will have technologically ex
ceeded the space- based capabilities that were destro
yed. S
econd, the U
n
ited S
tates will mo
ve to r
eco
ver its hypersonic eet in the face of continual air attacks on kno
wn x
ed production facilities by Coali=
tion air
craft. B
u
t the Coalition will not hav
e the ability to maintain ade=
quate sur
veillance o
v
er the U
nited S
tates, and despite some setbacks the plants will quickly be in operation, building new hypersonic aircraft. Thir
d, the Coalition will use the period befor
e the U
nited S
tates r
econ=
str
ucts its forces to impose a new r
eality on the ground. The J
apanese will tr
y to seiz
e other ar
eas in China and Asia but will be far less aggr
essive than T
u
rkey
, which will see the period of U.S. pr
eoccupation as a chance to deal with the P
olish bloc and position itself as the decisive po
wer in the r
egion. The war will have begun with a head fake to
war
d the P
olish bloc. N
o
w it will become a concer
ted assault by T
urkey on the ground, suppor
ted by its aerial capabilities. The elimination of the P
olish bloc would give T
u
rkey a fr
ee hand ever
ywher
e. Ther
efor
e, rather than dissipating its str
ength in N
o
r
t
h Africa or R
ussia, the T
u
rks will bet it all on attacking nor
th, out of Bosnia into the B
a
lkans. The key weapon will be the armor
ed infantr
ymana single soldier
, en=
cased in a po
wer
ed suit that is able to lift substantial amounts of weight and protects the soldier from harm. The suit will also allo
w him to mo
ve rapidly
. Think of him as a one-man tank, only mor
e lethal. H
e
will be suppor
ted by many armor
ed systems, carr
ying supplies and po
w
e
r packs. The po
w
e
r pack will be critical. The systems will all be electrically po
wer
ed and driven by ad=
vanced electrical storage unitsbatteries with a lot of po
wer and life in them. B
ut ho
wever advanced, they need to be r
echarged. That means that access to electrical grids will be the single most impor
tant thing in war
far
ealong with the electrical po
wer plants pushing electricity through the grids. E
lec=
tricity will be to war in the tw
enty-rst centur
y as petr
oleum was to war in the twentieth centur
y
. T
u
rkey
s
goal will be to draw the P
olish bloc forces into a battle of anni=
hilation. U
nlike the ghting with the U
n
ited S
tates, this will be planned as a combined arms operation, including armor
ed infantr
ymen, robotic logis=
tics and weapons platforms, and the now ubiquitous hypersonic aircraft
serving as precision artillery.
Following the devastating opening strikes, the Polish bloc will seek to
avoid concentrating its ground forces in order to evade air strikes. The Turks
will want to pressure them to concentrate their forces by attacking in a way
that will compel them to defend major targets or, alternatively, rip the bloc
apart when the Poles refuse to commit their forces for such defense.
The Turks will attack north out of Bosnia into the Croatian plains, and
into Hungary, where the country is open, flat, and lacking in natural barri-
worl d war 203
RUSSIA
RUSSIA
IRAN
IRAN
ISRAEL
ISRAEL
KAZAKHSTAN
KAZAKHSTAN
SUDAN
SUDAN
CHAD
CHAD
BULGARIA
BULGARIA
ROMANIA
ROMANIA
ITALY
ITALY
UKRAINE
UKRAINE
POLAND
POLAND
Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
Black Sea
Black Sea
Arabian
Arabian
Sea
Sea
Caspian
Caspian
Sea
Sea
RUSSIA
IRAN
ISRAEL
TURKEY
KAZAKHSTAN
SUDAN
CHAD
BULGARIA
ROMANIA
ITALY
UKRAINE
POLAND
Mediterranean Sea
Black Sea
Arabian
Sea
Caspian
Sea
Turkish Sphere of Influence 2050
Frie_9780385517058_3p_all_r1.qxp:Layout 1 10/31/08 4:30 PM Page 203
2
0
4 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars ers. They will driv
e on to B
u
dapest, although their ultimate militar
y goal will be the Carpathian M
ountains in S
l
o
v
akia, U
k
raine, and R
o
mania. I
f they take the Carpathians, R
o
mania and B
ulgaria will be isolated and col=
lapse, turning the B
lack S
ea into a T
urkish lake. H
ungar
y will be occupied, and P
oland isolated and facing a thr
eat from the south. I
f
, ho
wever
, the P
oles decide to concentrate on the H
ungarian plain to protect B
udapest, and ther
efor
e attempt to hold the bloc together
, T
u
rkish airpo
wer would likely destro
y the bloc
s
forces. The P
oles will r
equest American air suppor
t so they can engage T
urkish forces as they advance into C
r
oatia, but the U
n
ited S
tates will have no air-
po
w
e
r to giv
e them. The T
u
r
ks, as a r
esult, will captur
e H
ungar
y in a matter of weeks and occupy the Carpathians soon after
. The R
omanians, isolated, will ask for and r
eceive an armistice. S
outheastern E
u
rope, to the P
olish bor=
der and Ukraine, will be in T
u
rkish hands. All that will r
e
main will be P
oland. T
u
r
k
ish for
ces will pr
oceed to
war
d Krako
w
,
with air strikes ripping apar
t the P
olish militar
y
. The U
nited S
tates will become concerned that the P
oles will be unable to r
esist and may be forced to sue for peace. The U.S. strategy will be to buy time to r
e
build its strategic assets and then launch a sudden global strike on T
u
rkey and J
apan. The U
nited S
tates will not want to dissi=
pate its str
ength to suppor
t tactical combat in southern P
oland. At the same time, it will not be able to risk losing its P
olish ally
, as that will end the game against T
u
rkey
. I
n
or
der to get the P
oles to carr
y on, the U
n
ited S
tates will have to seriously harm the T
u
rks. I
n
F
e
br
uar
y 2051, the U
n
ited S
tates will launch a substantial por
tion of its r
emaining air force, including some ne
w aircraft with advanced capabili=
ties, striking at T
u
rkish forces ever
ywher
e from southern P
oland to logistics centers back in Bosnia and far
ther south. I
t
will take serious losses from the T
u
rkish air force, but the T
u
rkish army will suffer serious losses as hundr
eds of armor
ed infantr
ymen ar
e killed along with the destr
uction of large num=
bers of robotic systems and supplies. T
u
rkey will be far from crippled, but it will be hur
t. The T
urks will soon r
ealiz
e that ther
e is no chance of their winning the war
. Their inability to r
eenter space, plus the Americans
ability to cr
eate a new air force quickly
, would, in time, defeat them. They also will r
e
aliz
e that the J
apanese won
t
be in a position to help them because they will be 2
0
5 w
orl d w
a
r tied do
wn with their o
wn problems in China. The gr
eat gamble will f
a
i
l
, and with that failur
e it will be ever
y man for himself
. The U
n
ited S
tates will be clearly focusing on T
u
rkey befor
e J
apan, so T
u
rkey will need to knock P
oland out of the war fast. B
ut T
u
rkish ground forces will by then be spr
ead around a vast empir
e. Concentrating on P
oland will mean stripping forces from elsewher
e, and that will, in the long r
un, not be a viable option. The T
u
rks would be deeply exposed to r
e
bellion from E
g
ypt to Central Asia. B
efor
e the beginning of the war
, the Coalition will have wanted G
er=
many to join in the attack on P
oland, but the G
e
rmans will have declined. This time when the T
u
rks approach them, they will offer quite a priz
e. I
n
r
e
=
turn for helping T
urkey in P
oland, T
urkey will r
etr
eat into the B
a
lkans after the war
, r
e
taining only R
o
mania and U
k
raine. T
u
r
key will build its po
w
e
r ar
ound the B
l
ack S
e
a, the A
driatic, and the M
e
diterranean, and the G
e
r=
mans will have a fr
ee hand from H
ungar
y nor
th, including P
oland, the B
altics, and B
elar
us. F
r
om the G
e
rman point of view
, what had been a T
u
r
k
ish pipe dr
eam befor
e 2050 will no
w be a ver
y practical proposal. The T
u
rks would be a M
e
diterranean and B
l
ack S
e
a po
wer and would need the B
alkans to secur
e t
heir hold. The T
urks would have no inter
est nor
th of ther
e, as such involve=
ment would soak up forces needed in these ar
eas. The G
ermans, like the P
oles and R
ussians, will be exposed on the nor
thern E
uropean plain, and this new arrangement would secur
e their eastern ank. M
ost impor
tant, this arrangement would r
e
verse the tr
end that had been r
unning against G
e
r=
many and W
estern E
u
rope since the collapse of R
ussia. The Eastern E
u
ro=
peans would nally be put back in their place. The G
ermans will kno
w that the Americans will eventually r
efocus on the r
egion, but it will take the Americans a while to come back. Ther
e will be a genuine windo
w of oppor
tunity for the G
e
rmans to seiz
e. S
elf- absorbed and risk averse, they won
t
be as adv
enturous as the T
urks. B
ut the alterna=
tive will be a T
urkish force to their east or
, worse, the defeat of the T
urks and an even mor
e po
wer
ful P
olish and American force facing them. The G
er=
mans will not be risk takers in general, but this is a risk they will have to take. They will mobiliz
e their forces, including their older but still capable air force, and strike the P
oles from the west in late spring of 2051, while the T
u
rks will r
elaunch their attack from the south. The G
ermans will r
ecr
uit 2
0
6 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars the F
r
ench and a handful of other countries into the ex
ercise, but their par=
ticipation will be mor
e political than militar
y
. B
ritain, on the other hand, will be appalled at what is happening. E
v
en though ther
e will be a giant game of global po
wer politics going on, the B
ritish will still be deeply concerned with the local balance of po
wer
. They will once again be facing the possibility of a G
e
rman- dominated continent, ho
w
e
v
e
r awkwar
dly achiev
ed b
y
G
e
rmany and ho
w
e
v
e
r dependent on T
u
r
k
=
ish underpinnings. The B
ritish will r
ecogniz
e that if this happens, any neglect to
war
d E
u
rope on the par
t of the U
n
ited S
tates, any cy
clical r
e
tr
eat into isola=
tion, could mean catastrophe. B
ritain will have had no intention of getting in=
v
olv
ed in this war
. B
u
t at this point it will hav
e no choice, and it could bring something valuable to the table: a small, intact air force that, when coupled with U.S. intelligence, could seriously damage the G
ermans and the T
u
rks. I
n addition, its adv
anced air defenses to pr
otect against T
u
r
k
ish and G
e
rman air strikes will make B
ritain a secur
e base of operations. B
ritain will appear to hold back, while stealthily r
e
deplo
ying a substantial por
tion of its air force to the U
n
ited S
tates, wher
e air defenses and warning time will be even gr
eater
. I
n
the end, P
oland will be attacked on two sides, from the west and south. The attacking forces will advance geographically as invaders have be=
for
e, but the technology will be quite differ
ent. I
t
won
t
be the massed in=
fantr
y of N
apoleon or the armor
ed formations of H
itler; the force that will attack will be quite small in terms of actual troops. The human force will consist of armor
ed infantr
ymen, fanned out as infantr
ymen usually ar
e, but with clear and o
v
erlapping elds of r
eand these elds no
w will measur
e doz
ens of miles. Linked together by computer networks, they will com=
mand not only the weapons they carr
y but also robotic systems and hyper=
sonic aircraft thousands of miles away that they can call on as needed. The robotic systems will live on data and po
wer
. C
u
t off either
, and they would be helpless. They need a constant str
eam of information and instr
uc=
tions. They also need a steady o
w of po
wer to keep them going. S
ince the space- based systems of the T
u
rks ar
e gone, the T
u
rks will substitute un=
manned aerial vehicles ho
vering, swooping, and ying around the battle space to give them information. The information will always be incomplete, as the U
A
Vs will constantly be shot do
wn. The U
n
ited S
tates will have much better data but will lack the air force to decimate the attackers. 2
0
7 w
orl d w
a
r P
r
o
viding enough po
wer for the infantr
ymen
s
armor
ed suits and robots will also be a problem. These suits will be electrically driven and will need to be r
echarged or have their massive batteries swapped out ever
y day or so
. T
r
emendous advances will have been made in the storage of electrical po
wer
, but in the end the batteries will still r
un out. A key r
esource, ther
efor
e, will be the electrical po
wer grid tied to electrical generation plants. D
estro
y the po
wer generation plants, and the attackers will have to ship in massive, charged batteries from wher
ever ther
e is po
wer and then distribute them around the battleeld. The far
ther the troops advance, the longer the supply line will become. I
f
the defenders ar
e pr
epar
ed to shut do
wn their o
w
n po
w
e
r grid and, when necessar
y
,
destr
o
y
their po
w
e
r plantsa scor
ched-
ear
th strategythe attack would be slo
wed by lack of po
wer
. E
v
er
ything will depend on the tactical deliver
y of electricity
. At a secr
et meeting of American, B
ritish, Chinese, and P
olish com=
manders, a strategy will be worked out: the P
oles will r
esist, and slo
wly r
e
=
tr
eat under the pr
essur
e of the Coalition forces. The two geographic thr
usts, one from the west and one from the south, will converge on W
arsaw
. I
t
will be agr
eed that the P
oles will r
esist, fall back, and r
egroup endlessly
, buying as much time as possible for the allies to r
ebuild their air forces. The P
oles will be r
einforced by several thousand American troops o
wn o
v
er the N
o
r
t
h P
ole to S
t. P
etersburg and deplo
yed with the P
olish troops in their delaying action. As the situation becomes mor
e desperate, in late 2051, available airpo
wer in B
ritain will begin to be r
eleased to fur
ther slo
w the ad=
vancing T
u
rkish armies. The H
e
rculean American industrial effor
t will be under way
, as thousands of advanced hypersonic aircraft ar
e built, capable of trav
eling twice as fast as pr
ewar systems, and with a payload double in siz
e. B
y
mid-2052, the American force will be available for a massed and devas=
tating strike that, when coupled with major impro
vements in space- based systems, will devastate Coalition forces worldwide. U
ntil then, the r
ule will be hold, r
e
tr
eat, and buy time. The Coalition will massively under
estimate U.S. industrial capacity
. I
t will think it has several years to battle the P
olish forces. At rst, the Coali=
tion will choose not to attack P
olish electrical generation systems, not want=
ing to have to r
e
build them after the war and needing their po
wer to ght after they
v
e captur
ed them. The P
oles, on the other hand, will destro
y their 2
0
8 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars grids as they r
etr
eat, wanting to complicate the Coalition advance and forc=
ing the G
ermans and the T
u
rks to diver
t r
esources to shipping heavy electri=
cal storage units to the battleeld. Those lines of supply ar
e exactly what will be most vulnerable when the counterattack comes in the summer of 2052. When the American armor
ed infantr
ymen arrive on the battleeld, with their sophisticated, space- linked systems, the Coalition will r
e
aliz
e that P
oland is not going to fall quickly
. The Coalition will also see that the elec=
trical generation plants ar
e the foundation of allied po
wer and that unless they ar
e taken outand the Americans r
e
duced to shipping electrical stor=
age units to the battleeld from their o
wn countr
ythe U
n
ited S
tates will be victorious. Ther
efor
e, in the summer of 2051, the Coalition will begin to destro
y the P
olish electrical system, hitting plants as far east as B
elar
us. P
oland will go black. The Coalition will wait for two weeks, forcing the U
n
ited S
tates and its allies (the Alliance) into continual combat to make them use up available electricity
. Then they will attack on all fronts simultaneously
, expecting P
ol=
ish and American troops to be out of po
wer and out of luck. I
nstead, they will not only meet intense r
esistance but also nd that the U.S. troops ar
e calling in air strikes that ar
e devastating Coalition lines. Allied command will send B
ritish air forces into combat, and the superbly coor
dinated space-
based r
econnaissance systemscoupled with a new
, mor
e sophisticated B
at=
tle S
tar management systemwill identify
, target, and destr
o
y
the G
e
rman and T
u
r
k
ish armor
ed infantr
y
. I
t
will turn out the U
n
ited S
tates will have learned not to put all its eggs in one basket militarily
, par
ticularly in terms of space- based systems. B
efor
e the war begins, the U
n
ited S
tates will hav
e another B
attle S
tara next-
generation systembuilt but not yet launched due to a lack of funds. Con=
gr
essional inaction will for once be a godsend. The station will be secr
et, and on the ground. I
t
will be launched into space just months after the sur=
prise attack and the destr
uction of J
apan
s
lunar base. The jur
y- rigged archi=
tectur
e cr
eated immediately after the war began will be r
e
placed by one center
ed around the new B
attle S
tar
, stationed near U
g
anda but capable of rapid maneuver to new points along the equator as needed, as well as tacti=
cal maneuvering to avoid attacks such as those that destro
yed its thr
ee pr
ed=
2
0
9 w
orl d w
a
r ecessors. The U
nited S
tates will r
estor
e its command of spaceto a degr
ee that will far surpass its space dominance of several years befor
e. The T
u
rks and G
ermans will be stunned by one thing. H
aving decided to destro
y P
olish electrical generation and distribution, they will expect r
e
=
sistance to weaken dramatically
, as their o
w
n forces r
un out of juice. Y
et the P
olish and American armor
ed infantr
y will be going full blast. I
t
will seem impossible that the Americans ar
e ying in enough batteries to maintain the troops. The question will be, wher
e is the po
wer coming from? The J
apanese won
t
be the only ones experimenting with the commercial uses of space. D
uring the rst half of the centur
y
,
a consor
tium of American entr
epr
eneurs will have spent a gr
eat deal of money both developing the in=
expensive, plentiful launchers the Americans will be using and tr
ying their hand at electrical generation in space, beaming energy to ear
th in micro =
wave form, then r
econver
ting it to usable electricity
. As the U.S. militar
y commanders game out the problem of defending P
oland, they will under=
stand from endless war games that the problem will be maintaining electri=
cal po
wer
. When the T
urks take only a fe
w weeks to o
v
err
un southeastern E
u
rope, the U
n
ited S
tates will r
e
aliz
e that defeating them depends on the supply of electrical po
wer to Alliance forces and the destr
uction of Coalition electrical supplies. The key to victor
y will be keeping P
oland supplied with electricity
. The cor
e technology will have been developed. The space launchers will be able to be built quickly
, as will the solar panels and micro
wave beaming systems. The r
eal challenge will be to get the r
eceivers built and out to the eld, but once again, with unlimited budget and motiv
ation, the Americans will be able to per
form miracles. U
nkno
wn to the Coalition, the new B
attle S
tar will have been designed for two purposes: battle management and man=
aging the constr
uction and operation of enormous arrays of solar panels and their micro
wave radiation systems. M
o
bile r
eceivers will have been deliver
ed to the battleeld. When the switch is ipped, thousands of r
eceivers on the P
olish side of the front will begin r
eceiving micro
wav
e radiation from space and conver
t=
ing it to electricity
. I
n
a way this will be like cell phones r
eplacing landlines. The entir
e architectur
e of po
wer will change. That will be impor
tant later
. 2
1
0 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars F
or no
w
,
it will mean that the r
esistance facing the T
urks will not decline, as their enemies inexplicably will have far mor
e electricity than T
u
rkey expected. The Coalition won
t
be able to take out the po
wer generation system in space or identify the micro
wave r
eceiving stations. Ther
e will be too many solar panels in too many differ
ent places, and they will be mo
ving around. E
v
en if they could be taken out, they would be r
eplaced faster than they could be destro
yed, given the Coalition
s
capabilities. The Coalition won
t
be able to br
eak the P
olish- American force through logistics. The defenders will sur
vive because the Coalition will have inade=
quate r
econnaissance, having lost its satellites early
. N
o
w
,
its command of the air will slip as well, as the smaller Allied air forces will have enormously better intelligenceand will ther
efor
e be innitely mor
e effective. end game Ther
e will be a stalemate on the ground until the summer of 2052, when the U
nited S
tates nally will unleash its new
, massive air forces. Combined with B
attle S
tar intelligence and weapons, the U.S. air forces will devastate Coalition forces in P
oland and smash their po
wer generation system. The Americans will do the same against J
apanese troops ghting in China. F
ur=
ther
, they will target J
apanese sur
face vessels. The counterstrike will stagger the J
apanese and the T
u
rks and leave the G
ermans in a complete shambles. Their ground forces will nearly evaporate on the battleeld. B
u
t no
w the Americans will face the nuclear problem. I
f the Coalition po
wers ar
e pushed to the point wher
e they believe that their national so
ver
eignty
, let alone national sur
vival, is at stake, they might well consider the use of nuclear weapons. The U
n
ited S
tates will not demand unconditional surr
ender any mor
e than it can give it. I
t
will not thr
eaten national sur
vival, nor ultimately will it hav
e intended to
. The U
n
ited S
tates will hav
e learned o
v
er the past fty years that the devastation of the enemy
, no matter ho
w satisfying, is not the best strategy
. I
t
s goal will be to maintain the balance of po
wer
, to keep r
e
=
gional po
wers focused on each other and not the U
nited S
tates. The U
n
ited S
tates won
t
want to destr
o
y
J
apan. Rather
, it will want to 2
1
1 w
orl d w
a
r maintain a balance of po
w
e
r betw
een J
apan, K
o
r
e
a, and China. S
imilarly
, it will want not to destro
y T
u
rkey or cr
eate chaos in the I
slamic world, but only to maintain a balance of po
wer between the P
olish bloc and T
u
rkey
. The P
oles and the P
olish bloc will scr
eam for T
urkish blood, as will the Chi=
nese and K
o
r
eans for that of the J
apanese. B
ut the U
nited S
tates will pull a W
oodro
w W
i
lson at V
ersailles. I
n
the name of all that is humane, it will make cer
tain that E
u
rasia r
e
mains chaotic. At a hastily organiz
ed peace confer
ence, T
urkey will be forced to r
etr
eat south in the B
alkans, leaving C
r
oatia and S
e
rbia as a buffer z
one and pulling back to
war
d, but not into, the Caucasus. I
n
Central Asia, T
u
rkey will have to accept a Chinese pr
esence. The J
apanese will have to pull all forces out of China, and the U
nited S
tates will transfer defense technology to the Chi=
nese. The pr
ecise terms will be actually quite vague, which will be exactly ho
w the Americans want it. Lots of new nations will be car
ved out. Lots of boundaries and spher
es of inuence will be ambiguous. The victors won
t quite win and the losers won
t
quite lose. The U
nited S
tates will have taken a major step to
war
d civilization. I
n
the meantime, the U
n
ited S
tates will have total command of space, an economy booming as a r
esult of defense spending, and a ne
w
,
advanced po
wer generation system that will begin to transform the way humans r
e
=
ceive po
wer
. I
n
the mid- twentieth centur
y
, W
o
rld W
ar II cost perhaps fty million liv
es. A hundr
ed y
e
ars later
, the rst space war will take perhaps 50,000 lives, the majority of these in E
u
rope during the T
u
rkish- G
erman ground offensive, and others in China. The U
nited S
tates itself will lose a few thou=
sand people, many in space, some during the initial air strikes on the U
n
ited S
tates, and some in ghting to suppor
t the P
oles. I
t
will be a world war in the tr
uest sense of the wor
d, but given the technological advances in pr
eci=
sion and speed, it won
t
be total warsocieties tr
ying to annihilate societies. This war will, ho
wever
, have one thing in common with W
o
rld W
ar II. I
n
the end, the U
n
ited S
tateshaving lost the leastwill have gained the most. J
ust as it roar
ed out of W
o
rld W
ar II with a tr
emendous leap in tech=
nology
, a r
e
vived economy
, and a mor
e dominant geopolitical position, so too will it no
w emerge into what will be r
egar
ded as a golden age for Amer=
icaand a new and gr
o
wing maturity in handling its po
w
e
r
. CHAPTER 1 2 THE 2060
s A G
ol de n D
e cade T
he outcome of the war will unequivocally afrm the position of the U
n
ited S
tates as the world
s
leading international po
wer and of N
o
r
t
h America as the center of gravity in the international system. I
t
will al=
lo
w the U
n
ited S
tates to consolidate its command of space, and with that, its control of international sea lanes. I
t
also will begin to cr
eate a pattern of r
elationships the countr
y will depend on in the coming decades. The most impor
tant outcome of the war will be a tr
eaty that formally will cede to the U
n
ited S
tates ex
clusive rights to militariz
e space. O
ther po
w=
e
r
s will be able to use space for nonmilitar
y purposes subject to U.S. inspec=
tion. This will be, simply
, the tr
eaty r
ecognition of a militar
y r
e
ality
. The U
n
ited S
tates will hav
e defeated J
apan and T
u
r
key in space, and it will not let that po
w
e
r slip away
. The tr
eaty will also limit the number and type of hypersonic aircraft that T
u
rkey and J
apan can have, though it will be well understood that this will be unenforceablemer
ely a gratuitous humil iation victors enjo
y imposing on the vanquished. The tr
eaty will ser
ve A
m
e
r
i
c
a
n inter
ests and r
emain in force only so long as American po
wer can enforce it. P
oland will have been the gr
eat victor
, expanding its r
each enormously
, 213 the 2 060
s although its losses will have been the most substantial of any major par
tici=
pant. The Chinese and K
o
r
eans will feel well rid of the J
apanese, who will hav
e lost an empir
e but will r
e
tain their countr
y
,
having suffer
ed only a few thousand casualties. J
apan will still be facing its population problems, but that will be the price of defeat. T
u
rkey will r
e
main the leader of the I
slamic world, go
v
e
rning an empir
e made r
estiv
e b
y
defeat. B
u
t P
oland will feel embitter
ed in spite of its victor
y
.
I
ts territor
y will have been dir
ectly invaded by G
e
rmany and T
u
rkey
, its allies occupied. I
t
s casualties will be in the tens of thousands, the r
esult of civilian battle casual=
ties from ground combathouse-to-house ghting in which armor
ed in=
fantr
ymen ar
e safer than civilians. P
oland
s
infrastr
uctur
e will have been shatter
ed and, along with it, the nation
s
economy
. Though P
oland will be able to tilt the r
egion
s
economic table in its favor
, exploiting its conquests to quickly r
ebuild its economy
, the victor
y will still be a painful one. T
o
the west, P
oland
s
traditional enemy
, G
e
rmany
, will be weakened, subor
dinate, and sullen, while the T
u
rks, beaten for the moment, will r
e
tain their inuence a few hundr
ed miles south in the B
a
lkans and in southern R
ussia. The P
oles will have taken the por
t of Rijeka and maintain bases in western G
r
eece to pr
event T
u
rkish aggr
ession at the entrance to the A
driatic. B
ut the T
urks will be still ther
e, and E
uropeans have long memories. P
er=
haps most stinging, P
oland will be included among nations banned from the militar
y use of space. The U
nited S
tates will make no ex
ception to that. I
n
fact, the U
n
ited S
tates will be most uneasy about P
oland after the war
. P
oland will have r
egained the empir
e it had in the seventeenth centur
y
,
and added to it. P
oland will cr
eate a confederated system of go
v
e
rnance for its former al=
lies and will dir
ectly r
ule B
elar
us. I
t
will be economically weak and badly hur
t b
y
the war
, but it will hav
e the territor
y and time to r
eco
v
e
r
. The defeat of F
rance and G
ermany by P
oland will decisively shift po
wer in E
urope to the east. I
n
a sense, the eclipse of Atlantic E
urope that began in 1945 will complete itself in the 2050s. The U
n
ited S
tates won
t
r
elish the long- term implications of a vigorous, self- condent P
oland dominating E
u
rope. I
t
ther
efor
e will encourage its closest ally
, B
ritain, which will have thro
wn its weight decisively into the war
, to incr
ease its o
w
n economic and 2
1
4 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars political inuence on the continent. With W
estern E
urope in demog
raph
ic and economic shambles, and fearing P
olish po
w
e
r
,
E
ngland will will i
ngly or
=
ganiz
e a bloc oddly r
esembling the twentieth- centur
y NA
T
O, whose task it will be to r
ehabilitate W
estern E
u
rope and block P
olish mo
vement west=
war
d fr
om G
e
rmany
, A
ustria, or I
taly
. The U
n
ited S
tates won
t
join, but it will encourage the formation of this alliance. M
ost inter
estingly
, the Americans will mo
ve to impro
ve their r
elations with the T
u
rks. G
i
ven the old B
ritish adage that nations have no permanent friends and no permanent enemies but only permanent inter
ests, the Amer=
ican inter
est will be to suppor
t the weaker po
wer against the stronger
, in or=
der to maintain the balance of po
wer
. T
u
rkey
, understanding the long- term potential po
wer of P
oland, will happily accept closer ties with W
ashington as a guarantee of its long- term sur
vival. N
eedless to say
, the P
oles will feel utterly betrayed by the Americans. B
u
t the Americans will be learning. R
ushing into battle may satisfy some urge, but managing the situation so that battles either won
t
occur or will be fought by others is a much better solution. I
n
suppor
ting B
ritain and T
u
rkey
, the U
n
ited S
tates will mo
ve to cr
eate a E
u
ropean balance of po
wer matching the one in Asia. N
o
other countr
y will r
epr
esent a coher
ent thr
eat to the U
nited S
tates and, so long as it controls space, the U
nited S
tates will easily be able to deal with any other issues that rise to a level r
equiring its atten=
tion. O
ne inter
esting facet of geopolitics is this: ther
e ar
e no permanent solu=
tions to geopolitical problems. B
u
t for the moment in the 2060s, as was the case in the 1920s and 1990s, ther
e will appear to be no serious challenges facing the U
n
ited S
tates, or at least none that pose a dir
ect thr
eat. The U
n
ited S
tates will have learned that security is illusor
y but for the moment will luxuriate in that security nonetheless. The American economic expansion of the 2040s won
t
be interr
upted by the war
. I
n
fact, it will continue unchecked. As we have seen o
v
er the cen=
turies, the U
n
ited S
tates has historically pr
oted fr
om major wars. I
t
will be fairly untouched by the war
, and incr
eases in go
vernment spending will stimulate the economy
. S
i
nce the U
nited S
tates ghts its wars using tech=
nology
, any waror anticipation of waragainst other nation- states will incr
ease go
vernment expenditur
es on r
esearch and development. As a r
esult, 215 the 2 060
s a range of new technologies will be available for commercial exploitation at the end of the war
. S
o
w
e
will see in the postwar world, until about 2070, a period of dramatic economic gro
wth, accompanied by social transforma=
tion. The war will occur right in the middle of one of America
s fty- year cy=
cles, about tw
enty y
e
ars into it. That will mean that the war occurs at the point at which the countr
y is its strongest internally
. I
ts population prob=
lems, never as sever
e as the r
est of the world
s, will be well managed through immigration and the death of the boomers, r
elieving the pr
essur
e of a gray=
ing workforce. The balance between capital availability and demand for pr
oducts will be intact, and both will gr
o
w
. America will be mo
ving into a period of dramatic economic, and ther
efor
e social, transformation. H
o
w=
ev
er
, as with W
o
rld W
ar II, when a major war occurs in the early to middle stages of the cy
cle, the cy
cle is kicked into o
v
er
driv
e as the economy adjusts to the immediate after
effects of war
. That means that the mid- to late 2050s will be a jackpot period, similar to the 1950s. I
n
ever
y sense of the term, the fteen years after the war will be an economic and technological golden age for the U
n
ited S
tates. The U
nited S
tates will r
educe its defense expenditur
es after the collapse of the R
ussians in the 2030s but will raise them again dramatically as the global cold war in the 2040s intensies. Then, during the mid- centur
y war
, America will engage in extraor
dinar
y feats of r
esearch and development and will apply its disco
v
e
ries immediately
. What would hav
e taken y
e
ars to do in a peacetime economy will be done in months, and even weeks, due to the urgency of war (especially follo
wing the annihilation of U.S. space forces). The U
n
ited S
tates will hav
e dev
eloped an obsession with space. I
n
1941 P
e
arl H
arbor cr
eated a national belief
, especially among the militar
y
,
that a devastating attack might come at any moment, and cer
tainly when least ex=
pected. That mind- set go
v
e
rned U.S. nuclear strategy for the next fty years. An unr
elenting fear of surprise attack permeated militar
y thinking and planning. That sensibility subsided after the fall of the S
o
viet U
n
ion, but the attack in the 2050s will r
e
vive the terror of P
e
arl H
arbor
, and fear of surprise attack will become a national obsession again, this time focused on space. The thr
eat will be ver
y r
eal. Control of space means the same thing 2
1
6 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars strategically as control of the sea. P
e
arl H
arbor nearly cost the U
n
ited S
tates control of the sea in 1941. Conversely
, the war in the 2050s will almost cost the U
nited S
tates control of space. The r
esulting obsessive fear of the unex=
pected, combined with an obsessive focus on space, means that enormous amounts of both militar
y and commercial money will be spent on space. The U
nited S
tates is ther
efor
e going to constr
uct a massive amount of infrastr
uctur
e in space, ranging from satellites in lo
w ear
th orbit to manned space stations in geostationar
y orbit, to installations on the moon and satel=
lites orbiting the moon. M
a
ny of these systems will be robotically main=
tained, or will be robots themselves. The disparate advances in robotics in the pr
evious half centur
y will no
w come togetherin space. O
ne key development is that ther
e will no
w be a steady deplo
yment of troops in space. Their job will be to o
v
ersee the systems, since robotics, no matter ho
w good, ar
e far fr
om per
fect, and in the 2050s and 2060s this ef=
for
t will be a matter of national sur
vival. U.S. S
pace F
o
rces, a new branch of the militar
y separate from the air force, will become the biggest ser
vice in terms of budget, if not troop siz
e. A range of lo
w- cost launch vehicles, many derived from commercial versions developed by entr
epr
eneurs, will be con=
stantly shuttling from ear
th to space and between the space- based plat=
forms. The goal of all this activity will be thr
eefold. F
irst, the U
n
ited S
tates will want to guarantee enough robustness, r
edundancy
, and depth in defense so that no po
wer will ever again be able to disr
upt U.S. space capabilities. S
ec=
ond, it will want to be in a position wher
e it can shut do
wn any attempt b
y another countr
y to gain a toehold in space against American wishes. F
i
n
a
l
l
y
, it will want to have massive r
esourcesincluding space- based weapons, f
r
o
m missiles to ne
w high- energy beamsto control events on the sur
face of the ear
th. The U
n
ited S
tates will understand that it won
t
be able to control ever
y thr
eat (such as terrorism or the formation of coalitions) from space. B
ut it will make sur
e that no other nation can mount an effective operation against it. The cost of building this kind of capability will be enormous. I
t
will have almost no political opposition, will generate huge decits, and will stimulate the American economy dramatically
. As with the end of W
o
rld W
ar II, fear will o
v
erride caution. C
ritics, marginal and without inuence, 217 the 2 060
s will say that this militar
y spending is unnecessar
y and that it will bankr
upt America, leading to a depr
ession. I
n
fact, it will cause the economy to surge dramatically
, as decits normally hav
e in American histor
y
,
par
ticularly dur=
ing the centers of the fty- year cy
cles, when the economy is robust. r
e
v
o
l
ution in ener
g
y The American obsession with space will intersect another intensifying prob=
lem: energy
. D
uring the war
, the U
nited S
tates will invest huge amounts of money to solve the problem of deliv
ering po
wer to the battleeld from space. I
t
will be uneconomical, primitiv
e, and wasteful, but it will wor
k. I
t will po
wer Allied forces in P
oland in the face of the T
u
rkish- G
erman inva=
sion. The militar
y will see space- based po
wer generation as a solution to its massive logistical problem on the battleeld. I
n
par
ticular
, the deliver
y of energy to po
wer new weapons involving intense energy beams will be a crit=
ical problem. The militar
y will be pr
epar
ed, ther
efor
e, to under
write the de=
v
elopment of space- based po
w
e
r generation, as a militar
y necessity
, and Congr
ess will be pr
epar
ed to pay for it. I
t
will be one of the lessons learned from the warand it will instill a sense of urgency into the project. Ther
e ar
e two other episodes in American histor
y that ar
e instr
uctive her
e. I
n
1956, the U
nited S
tates under
took to constr
uct the interstate high=
way system. Dwight E
isenho
w
e
r fav
or
ed it for militar
y r
e
asons. As a junior ofcer he had tried to lead a convo
y across the U
n
ited S
tatesit took months. I
n W
o
rld W
ar II he saw ho
w the G
e
rmans had mo
v
e
d entir
e armies from the eastern front to the west to launch the B
attle of the B
ulge using their autobahns. H
e
was str
uck by the contrast. The militar
y r
e
asons for the interstate system wer
e compelling. B
u
t the civilian impacts w
e
r
e
both unexpected and unintended. W
ith the time and cost of transpor
tation r
educed, land outside of cities became usable. A mas=
sive decentralization of cities took place, leading to suburbs and the distri=
bution of industr
y outside of urban ar
eas. The interstate system r
eshaped the U
n
ited S
tates, and without the militar
y justications it might not hav
e been built or seen as economically feasible. A second example can be drawn from the 1970s, when the militar
y was 2
1
8 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars heavily engaged in r
esearch. I
t
needed the means to mo
ve information around among differ
ent r
esearch centers mor
e quickly than it could by courier or the mailsther
e was no F
edE
x. The D
efense A
d
vanced R
esearch P
r
ojects Agency (DARP
A) funded an experiment designed to cr
eate a net=
work of computers that could communicate data and les to each other at a distance. The cr
eation was called ARP
ANET
. I
t
was developed at some cost and effor
t for a highly specializ
ed use. ARP
ANET
, of course, evolved into the I
nternet, and its essential architectur
e and protocols wer
e designed and administer
ed by the D
e
par
tment of D
efense and its contractors until well into the 1990s. As with the automobile superhighways, the information superhighway might have come about on its o
wn, but it did not. The basic cost of cr
eating it was a militar
y under
taking designed to solv
e a pr
oblem the militar
y was experiencing. T
o
push this analogy a bit, the energy superhighway will have its origins in the same kinds of necessities. I
t
will be built for the militar
y
, and ther
efor
e its economics will make it mor
e competitive than other en=
ergy sources. S
ince the militar
y will absorb the basic capital cost and will de=
plo
y the systems, the commercial cost of this energy will be enormously lo
wer than it might be other
wise. Cheap energy in the civilian sector will be critical, par
ticularly as r
o
bots become mor
e and mor
e pr
ev
alent in the economy
. M
ilitar
y space programs will, quite literally
, r
e
duce the cost of commer=
cial endeavors by piggybacking them. A
d
vances in commercial launches into space will r
educe the cost of lifting payload but will never have the ca=
pacity to handle a massive project such as the development of space- based solar po
w
e
r generation. The militar
y pr
ogram of the 2050s and 2060s will solve this problem in two ways. F
irst, one of the impor
tant par
ts of the proj=
ect will be r
e
ducing the cost per pound of payloads. The U
n
ited S
tates will be putting a lot of stuff into space and will need to dramatically lo
wer the price of a launch. P
a
r
t
ly through ne
w technology and par
tly through the sheer volume being launched, cost will begin to decline dramatically
, even o
v
er that of commercial vehicles developed earlier
. S
econd, ther
e will be surplus capacity built into the system. O
ne of the lessons of the war will be that not having spar
e space- lift capacity left the 219 the 2 060
s U
n
ited S
tates scrambling to deal with the initial attack. That will not be al=
lo
wed to happen again. S
o
the nation will have a huge surplus of usable lift capacity
. P
rivate sector utilization of the project will be essential to r
e
duce costs. The period when the interstate highway system and the I
n
ternet came into being was a period of explosive economic gro
wth. The interstate high=
way system stimulated the economy by emplo
ying armies of constr
uction cr
ews and civil engineers, but it was the entr
epr
eneurial spin- offs that r
e
ally dr
o
v
e the boom. M
c
D
onald
s
was as much a cr
eatur
e of the interstate high=
way system as was the suburban mall. The I
nternet
s
constr
uction involved a lot of Cisco ser
vers and PC sales. B
ut the r
eal boom came with Amaz
on and iT
unes. Both had massive entr
epr
eneurial consequences. NASA has been involved in r
esearch on space- based energy since the 1970s, in the form space solar po
w
e
r (SSP). I
n
the war of the 2050s the U
n
ited S
tates will r
e
ally star
t using this new system. And in the space- based energy project of the 2060s, it will become a featur
e of ever
yday life. V
a
st numbers of photo
voltaic cells, designed to conver
t solar energy into electric=
ity
, will be placed in geostationar
y orbit or on the sur
face of the moon. The electricity will be conver
ted into micro
waves, transmitted to the ear
th, r
e
=
conver
ted to electricity
, and distributed through the existing and expanded electric grid. The number of cells needed could be r
educed by concentrating sunlight using mirrors, thus r
educing the cost of launching the photo
voltaic arrays. O
b
viously
, the r
eceivers would have to be installed in isolated ar
eas on ear
th, since the localiz
ed micro
wave radiation would be intense, but the risks would be far less than that from nuclear r
eactors or from the environ=
mental effects of hydrocarbons. O
ne thing that space has available is space. What would be unbearably intr
usive on ear
th (say
, co
vering an ar
ea the siz
e of N
e
w M
exico with solar panels) is swallo
wed up by the limitlessness of space. P
lus ther
e ar
e no clouds, and collectors can be positioned to r
eceive continual sunlight. These advances will lead to r
educed energy costs on ear
th, and thus many mor
e energy- intensive activities will become feasible. The entr
epr
e=
neurial possibilities that emerge will be astounding. Who could have drawn a line between ARP
ANET and the iP
od? All that can be said is that this sec=
2
2
0 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars ond wave of inno
vations will transform things at least as much as the inter=
state highway and the I
n
ternet didand bring as much pr
osperity in the 2060s as the interstate brought in the 1960s, and the I
n
ternet in the 2000s. The U
nited S
tates will also have cr
eated another foundation for its geo =
political po
werit will become the largest energy producer in the world, with its energy elds protected from attack. J
apan and China and most other countries ar
e going to be energy impor
ters. As the economics of en=
ergy shifts, other sources of energy
, including hydrocarbons, will become less attractive. O
t
her countries will not be able to launch their o
w
n space-
based systems. F
o
r one thing, they will not hav
e a militar
y making the do
wn payment on the system. N
o
r will any countr
y have the appetite to challenge the U
n
ited S
tates at that moment. An attack on American facilities will be unthinkable given the no
w vast imbalance of po
wer
. The ability of the U
n
ited S
tates to pro
vide much cheaper solar energy will cr
eate an additional lever for the superpo
wer to incr
ease its international dominance. W
e
will see her
e a fundamental paradigm shift in geopolitical r
e
alities. S
i
nce the star
t of the industrial r
evolution, industr
y has guzzled energy
, which was accidentally and haphazar
dly distributed ar
ound the world. The Arabian P
eninsula, which other
wise had little impor
tance, became cr
ucially impor
tant because of its oil elds. W
ith the shift to space- based systems, in=
dustr
y will produce energy instead of simply consuming it. S
pace travel will be the r
esult of industrialization, and an industrializ
ed nation will produce energy at the same time as it fuels its industr
y
.
S
pace will become mor
e im=
por
tant than S
audi Arabia ev
er was, and the U
n
ited S
tates will contr
ol it. A new wave of American- generated cultur
e will sweep the world. R
e
=
member that we dene cultur
e not simply as ar
t, but in the broader sense of ho
w people live their lives. The computer was the most effective introduc=
tion to American cultur
e, far mor
e profound than mo
vies or TV
. The robot will r
epr
esent the computer
s
logical and dramatic conclusion. I
n
a world that needs economic gro
wth but no longer has a surging population, robots will become the driv
er of pr
oductivity
, and with space- based solar systems ther
e will be ample electricity to po
w
e
r them. R
o
bots, still primitiv
e but de=
veloping rapidly
, ar
e going to sweep the world, and will be par
ticularly em=
braced b
y
the population- constrained adv
anced industrial world, and b
y 221 the 2 060
s countries that will be closing in on the rst tier and nearing or passing pop=
ulation peaks. G
enetics science will continue to extend life expectancy
, and will eradi=
cate or bring under control a series of genetic diseases. This will lead to in=
cr
easing social instability
. The radical shifts that have wracked E
u
rope and the U
nited S
tates, transforming the role of women and the str
uctur
e of the family
, will become a worldwide phenomenon. D
eep tensionsbetween suppor
ters of traditional values and new social r
ealitieswill become in=
tense throughout the second- tier countries, and all major r
eligions will be wracked by them. Catholicism, Confucianism, and I
slam will all be arrayed with traditional understandings of family
, sexuality
, and the r
elations be=
tween generations. B
ut the traditional values ar
e going to collapse in E
u
rope and the U
nited S
tates, and they will then collapse throughout most of the r
est of the world. P
olitically
, this will mean intense internal tensions. The late twenty- rst centur
y will become a period in which tradition tries to contain a medically and technologically driven upheaval. And since the U
nited S
tates will be the originator of much of the contro
versial technology
, and its model of internal social chaos will be becoming the norm, it will become the enemy of tradi=
tionalists ever
ywher
e. T
o
the r
est of the world, America will be seen as dan=
gerous, br
utish, and tr
eacherous, but it will be tr
eated with cautionand envied. I
t
will be a time of international stability
, r
egional str
ess, and inter=
nal unr
est. O
u
tside the U
n
ited S
tates two po
wers will be thinking about space. O
n
e will be P
oland, which will be busy consolidating its land empir
e and still smar
ting at its tr
eatment under the peace tr
eaty of the 2050s. B
u
t P
oland will also still be r
eco
vering from the war and surrounded by American allies. I
t
will not be r
eady for a challenge. The other countr
y thinking about space will be M
exico, which into the late 2060s will be emerging as one of the top economic po
wers in the world. M
exico will see itself as a rival of the U
nited S
tates, and will be stepping onto the continental and world stage, but it will not yet have dened a coher
ent national strategy (and will be afraid of going too far in challenging American po
wer). Ther
e will be other emerging po
wers whose economies begin to surge as 2
2
2 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars population gro
wth pr
essur
es decline. B
razil will be a par
ticularly impor
tant emerging po
wer
, a generation behind M
e
xico in population stability but mo
ving rapidly in that dir
ection. B
razil will be considering a r
egional eco=
nomic alliance with Argentina, Chile, and U
r
uguay
, all of whom will be mak=
ing major strides. B
razil will be thinking in terms of peaceful confederation but, as is often the case, will in due course enter
tain mor
e aggr
essive ideas. The B
razilians will cer
tainly have a space program by the 2060s, but not a compr
ehensive one, and not one linked to immediate geopolitical need. Countries like I
s
rael, I
n
dia, K
o
r
e
a, and I
ran all will hav
e limited space programs, but none of them is going to have the r
esources or the motivation to make a play for substantial space pr
esence, let alone tr
y to deny the U
nited S
tates space hegemony
. Ther
efor
e, as happens at the end of global wars, the U
n
ited S
tates will hav
e a wide- open shotand will take it. The U
nited S
tates will be living in a golden moment, lasting at least until around 2070. CHAPTER 1 3 2080 The U
ni ted S
t
a
t
es, M
exi co, and the /
S
t
r
uggl e f or the G
l
o
bal H
e
ar
tl
and/
F
rom the beginning of this book, I
ve talked about N
o
r
t
h America be=
ing the center of gravity of the international system. U
ntil no
w I
ve basically equated N
o
r
th America with the U
n
ited S
tates, simply be=
cause U.S. po
wer in N
o
r
t
h America is so o
v
er
whelming that no one is in a position to challenge it. The gr
eat global war of the twenty- rst centur
y will make clear that no E
urasian po
wer is going to emerge to challenge the U
n
ited S
tates for quite a while. I
n
addition, a cr
ucial geopolitical principle will be tested, and moderniz
ed: whoever controls the Atlantic and P
a
cic oceans will control global tradeand whoever controls space will control the world
s
oceans. The U
nited S
tates will emerge in unchallenged control of space, and ther
efor
e in control of the world
s
oceans. R
e
ality
, ho
w
e
v
e
r
,
is mor
e complex than appearances. The U
n
ited S
tates will have an underlying weakness in the second half of the twenty- rst cen=
tur
y
,
one that it will not have confronted for two hundr
ed years. The rst geopolitical imperative of the U
nited S
tatesthe one that all others r
est uponis that the U
n
ited S
tates dominate N
o
r
th America. S
ince the
M
e
xican- American W
ar and the T
r
eaty of G
u
adalupe H
idalgo that 2
2
4 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars c
o
n
cluded it in 1848, the U
n
ited S
tates has been in practical control of the continent. I
t
has simply seemed to be a for
egone conclusion. B
y
the end of the twenty- rst centur
y
,
this will no longer be the case. The question of M
exico
s
po
wer r
elative to the U
nited S
tates will be raised again in the most complex and difcult way imaginable. M
e
xico, after two hundr
ed years, will be in a position to challenge the territorial integrity of the U
nited S
tates, and the entir
e balance of po
wer of N
o
r
t
h America. I
f
this sounds far-fetched, go back to my introductor
y chapter and think about the way the world changes in just twenty years, r
e
membering that we ar
e talking about nearly a centur
y her
e. The M
exican challenge will be rooted in the economic crisis of the 2020s, which will be solved by the immigration laws that will be passed in the early 2030s. These laws will aggr
essively encourage immigration to the U
nited S
tates in or
der to solve America
s
labor shor
tages. Ther
e will be a massive inux of immigrants from all countries, and this will obviously in=
clude M
exico
. The other immigrant groups will behave much as pr
evious immigrants did. B
u
t the M
e
xicans will behave differ
ently for a single r
e
ason, having nothing to do with cultur
e or character
, but having to do with geog=
raphy
. And that, coupled with the gro
wing str
ength of M
e
xico as a nation, will shift the N
o
r
t
h American balance of po
wer
. H
istorically
, other immigrant groups have had what we might call a lumpy distribution in the U
n
ited S
tates. They have lived in ethnic enclaves, and while they might have dominated in those neighborhoods and inu=
enced surrounding politics, no one group simply o
v
er
whelmed any r
egion or state since the late nineteenth centur
y
.
As the second generation r
eached adulthood, they became culturally assimilated and distributed themselves around the countr
y as they pursued economic oppor
tunities. The life of the ethnic enclave was simply not as attractive as the oppor
tunities available in the wider society
. I
n
the U
n
ited S
tates, minority populations wer
e never an indigestible masswith the major ex
ceptions of the one ethnic group that did not come her
e voluntarily (African Americans) and those who wer
e her
e when E
u
ropeans arrived (American I
n
dians). The r
est all came, cluster
ed and dispersed, and added new cultural layers to the general society
. This has always been the str
ength of the U
nited S
tates. I
n
much of E
u
=
rope, for example, M
uslims have r
e
tained r
eligious and national identities 2 08 0 2
2
5/
distinct from the general population, and the general population has given them little encouragement to blend. The str
ength of their o
w
n cultur
e has ther
efor
e been o
v
er
whelming. I
n
the U
nited S
tates, I
slamic immigrants, like other immigrant groups, wer
e transformed o
v
er generations into a popula=
tion that bought into basic American principles while r
e
taining r
eligiosity almost as a cultural link to the past. This both bound the immigrants to the U
n
ited S
tates and cr
eated a chasm between the rst generation and later ones (as well as between the American M
uslim community and M
uslims elsewher
e in the world). This has been a well- worn path for immigrants to the U
n
ited S
tates. I
mmigrants from M
e
xico will behave differ
ently star
ting in the 2030s. They will distribute themselves around the countr
y
,
as they have in the past, and many will enter the mainstr
eam of American society
. B
u
t unlike other immigrant groups, M
e
xicans ar
e not separated from their homelands by oceans and many thousands of miles. They can mo
ve across the bor
der a fe
w miles into the U
n
ited S
tates but still maintain their social and economic links to their homeland. P
r
o
ximity to the homeland cr
eates a ver
y differ
ent dynamic. Rather than a diaspora, at least par
t of M
e
xican migration is sim=
ply a mo
vement into a bor
derland between two nations, like Alsace- Lorraine between F
rance and G
ermanya place wher
e two cultur
es intermingle even when the bor
der is stable. Consider the map on page 226, drawn from U.S. census bur
eau data, of H
ispanic population concentration in the U
n
ited S
tates in 2000. I
n
2000, looking at H
i
spanic r
esidents as percentages of counties in the U
nited S
tates, we can alr
eady see the concentration. Along the bor
der from the P
a
cic to the G
ulf of M
exico ther
e is an obvious concentration of peo=
ple of M
exican origin. The counties range from about one- fth M
exican (we will use that term to apply her
e to ethnicity
, not citiz
enship) to o
v
er two- thir
ds M
e
xican. I
n T
e
xas, this concentration goes deep into the state, as it does in California. B
u
t the bor
der counties tend to be the most heavily M
e
xican, as would be expected. I
ve superimposed the outline of the territor
y that used to be par
t of M
e
xico and became par
t of the U
n
ited S
tates: T
e
xas and the M
e
xican Ces=
sion. N
o
tice ho
w the M
e
xican community in 2000 is concentrated in these formerly M
e
xican territories. Ther
e ar
e pockets of M
e
xicans outside this area, of course, but they are just that, pockets, behaving more like
other ethnic groups. In the borderland, Mexicans are not isolated from
their homeland. In many ways they represent an extension of their home-
land into the United States. The United States occupied Mexican terri-
tory in the nineteenth century, and the region maintained some of the
characteristics of occupied territory. As populations shift, the border is in-
creasingly seen as arbitrary or illegitimate, and migration from the poorer
to the richer country takes place, but not the reverse. The cultural border
of Mexico shifts northward even though the political border remains
static.
That’s the picture in 2000. By 2060, after thirty years of policies encour-
aging immigration, the map we saw in 2000 will have evolved so that areas
that had been around 50 percent Mexican will become almost completely
Mexican and areas that had been about 25 percent Mexican will move to
226 the ne xt 1 00 years
Gulf of
Gulf of
Mexico
Mexico
Paciic
Paciic
Ocean
Ocean
MEXICO
MEXICO
Republic of Texas
Republic of Texas
Annexed by U.S.
Annexed by U.S.
1845
1845
Gadsden Purchase
Gadsden Purchase
1853
1853
Ceded to U.S. by
Ceded to U.S. by
Treaty of
Treaty of
Guadalupe Hidalgo
Guadalupe Hidalgo
1848
1848
CANADA
CANADA
Gulf of
Mexico
Paciic
Ocean
CANADA
MEXICO
Republic of Texas
Annexed by U.S.
1845
Gadsden Purchase
1853
Ceded to U.S. by
Treaty of
Guadalupe Hidalgo
1848
Percentage of
Hispanic Residents
61–100
36–60
16–35
6–15
0–5
U.S. Hispanic Population (2000)
Frie_9780385517058_3p_all_r1.qxp:Layout 1 10/31/08 4:30 PM Page 226
2 08 0 2
2
7/
o
v
er half
. The entir
e map will have turned one to two shades darker
. The bor
derland, extending far into the U
n
ited S
tates, will become pr
edomi=
nantly M
exican. M
exico will have solved its nal phase of population gro
wth by extending its nonpolitical boundaries into the M
exican Ces=
sionwith the encouragement of the U
nited S
tates. popul
a
tion, technol
og
y
, and the crisis of 2080 S
u
rging immigration into the U
n
ited S
tates and the after
effects of the war will kick off an economic boom from about 2040 to 2060. The availability of land and capital in the U
n
ited S
tates, coupled with one of the most dy=
namic labor pools in the advanced industrial world, will stoke the economic r
es. The r
elative ease with which the U
n
ited S
tates absorbs immigrants will giv
e it a massiv
e adv
antage o
v
er other industrializ
ed countries. B
u
t ther
e will be another dimension to this boom that we must ackno
wledge: technology
. Let
s
consider this and then r
eturn to our discussion of M
exico
. D
u
ring the crisis of 2030, the U
n
ited S
tates will look for ways to com=
pensate for labor shor
tages, par
ticularly in developing technologies that can take the place of humans. O
ne of the dominant patterns in technology development in the U
nited S
tates has been: 1. B
asic science or designs ar
e developed at universities or by individual inventors, fr
equently r
esulting in conceptual br
eakthroughs, modest implementations, and some commercial exploitation. 2. I
n
the context of a militar
y need, the U
n
ited S
tates infuses large amounts of money into the project to speed development to
war
d spe=
cic, militar
y ends. 3. The private sector takes advantage of commercial applications of this technology to build entir
e industries. The same is happening with robotics. At end of the twentieth centur
y basic development in robotics had alr
eady been under
taken. Cor
e theor
eti=
2
2
8 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars cal br
eakthroughs had taken place and ther
e wer
e some commercial appli =
cations, but robots have not become staples of the American economy
. The militar
y
,
ho
wever
, has been pumping money into both basic robot=
ics theor
y and its applications for years. The U.S. militar
y
,
through DARP
A and other sources, has been actively funding robotics development. B
uild=
ing a robotic mule to carr
y infantr
y equipment and cr
eating a robotic air=
craft that would not need a pilot ar
e but two examples of work in robotics. D
eplo
ying in space intelligent robotic systems that don
t
need to be con=
trolled from ear
th is another goal. Ultimately
, it is a matter of demograph=
ics. F
e
wer young people means fewer soldiers. H
o
wever
, U.S. strategic commitments will incr
ease, not decr
ease. The U
n
ited S
tates, mor
e than any other nation, will need robotic suppor
t for soldiers as a matter of national inter
est. B
y
the time the social and political crisis of 2030 occurs, robotics appli=
cations will have been eld- tested and pro
ven by the militar
y and thus r
e
ady for commer
cial application. O
b
viously
, r
o
bots won
t
be r
e
ady for mass de=
plo
yment by 2030. And in no way will robots eliminate the need for immi=
gration. This situation will sound familiar to many of us, as we
v
e been her
e befor
e. Computing was at this stage in 1975; the militar
y had paid for the development of the silicon microchip
, and many militar
y applications could be found. Commercialization processes wer
e just beginning, and it would take sev
eral decades to transform the civilian economy
. S
o
the mass deplo
y=
ment of robotics technologies will not be taking place until the 2040s, and the full transformative po
wer of robotics will not be felt until about 2060. I
r
onically
, immigrant technologists will be critical in developing robotics technology
, a technology that will undercut the need for mass immigration. I
n
fact, as robotics enters the mainstr
eam of society
, it will undercut the eco=
nomic position of those migrants engaged in unskilled labor at the bottom of the economic pyramid. O
nce again, the solution to one problem will be the catalyst for the next one. This situation will set the stage for the crisis of 2080. The system for encouraging immigration will be embedded into American cultur
e and pol=
itics. R
ecr
uiters will continue offering incentives for immigrants to come to the U
nited S
tates. An emergency measur
e will have become a routine par
t o
f go
vernment. The problem is that by 2060 or so, the crisis will have passed, 2 08 0 2
2
9/
both because of migration and due to new technologies like robotics. The last boomers will be gone and buried, and America
s
demographic str
uctur
e will look mor
e like a pyramidwhich is what it should look like. A
d
vances in robotics will eliminate the need for an entir
e segment of immigrants. T
echnology has fr
equently promised to eliminate jobs. The exact oppo=
site has always happened. M
o
r
e
jobs have been cr
eated in or
der to maintain the technology
. What has happened is a shift from unskilled to skilled labor
. That will cer
tainly be one r
esult of robotics. S
omeone will have to design and maintain the systems. B
u
t robotics differs from all prior technologies in a fundamental way
. P
rior technologies have had labor displacement as a by-
product. R
obotics is designed explicitly for labor displacement. The entir
e point of this class of technology is r
eplacing scarce human labor with cheaper technology
. The rst goal will be r
eplacing labor that is no longer available. The second will be to shift available labor to suppor
t robotics. The thir
dand this is wher
e the problem star
tswill be the dir
ect displace=
ment of workers. I
n
other wor
ds, while robotics will be designed to r
eplace disappearing workers, it will also cr
eate unemplo
yment among workers who ar
e displaced but don
t
have the skills to mo
ve into robotics. As a r
esult, unemplo
yment will begin rising, beginning around 2060 and accelerating throughout the next two decades. Ther
e will be a tempo=
rar
y but painful population surplus. Wher
eas the problem of 2030 will be coping with a population shor
tage, the problem by the 2060s to the 2080s will be coping with a surplus population driven by ex
cessive immigration and str
uctural unemplo
yment. This will be compounded by advances in ge=
netics. H
u
man life may not be extended dramatically
, but Americans will r
e
main productive longer
. W
e
shouldn
t
discount, either
, the possibility of massive incr
eases in longevity as a wild car
d. R
obotics, coupled with genetics and attendant technologies, will simul=
taneously r
eplace labor and incr
ease the labor pool by making humans mor
e efcient. I
t
will be a time of incr
easing turmoil. I
t
will also be a time of tur=
moil in terms of energy use. R
obots, which will both mo
ve and process in=
formation, will be even mor
e ubiquitous energy hogs than automobiles. This will kick off the energy crisis discussed in pr
evious chapters and the end of hydrocarbon technology rooted in the E
uropean Age. The U
nited S
tates will be forced to look to space for energy
. 2
3
0 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars D
evelopments in space- sourced energy systems will have been under way well befor
e 2080. I
n
fact, the D
efense D
e
par
tment is alr
eady thinking about such a system. The N
ational S
ecurity S
pace O
f
ce r
eleased a study in O
c
tober 2007 entitled S
pace- B
ased S
olar P
o
w
e
r as an O
ppor
tunity for S
trategic S
ecurity
. I
t
states: The magnitude of the looming energy and environmental problems is sig=
nicant enough to warrant consideration of all options, to r
e
visit a concept called S
pace B
ased S
olar P
o
wer (SBSP) rst invented in the U
n
ited S
tates almost 40 y
e
ars ago
. The basic idea is v
e
r
y
straightfor
war
d: place v
e
r
y
large solar arrays into continuously and intensely sunlit Ear
th orbit, collect gi=
gawatts of electrical energy
, electromagnetically beam it to Ear
th, and r
e
=
ceive it on the sur
face for use either as baseload po
wer via dir
ect connection to the existing electrical grid, conversion into manufactur
ed synthetic hy=
drocarbon fuels or as lo
w- intensity broadcast po
wer beamed dir
ectly to con=
sumers. A single kilometer- wide band of geosynchronous ear
th orbit experiences enough solar ux in one year to nearly equal the amount of en=
ergy contained within all kno
wn r
eco
verable conventional oil r
esources on ear
th today
. B
y
2050 early installations of this new solar technology should be in place, and the crisis of 2080 will propel development for
war
d. A signicant drop in energy costs will be essential to the implementation of the robotics strategy
, which is, in turn, essential to maintaining economic productivity during a period of long- term population constraints. When population doesn
t
gro
w
,
technology must compensate, and for this technology to work, energy costs must come do
wn. S
o
in the U
n
ited S
tates after 2080 we will see a massive effor
t to extract energy from space- based systems. O
b
viously
, this will have begun decades befor
e, but not with the intensity r
equir
ed to make it the primar
y sour
ce of po
wer
. The intensifying crisis of 2070 will mo
ve the project for
war
d dra=
matically
. As with any go
vernment effor
t, the cost will be high, but by the end of the twenty- rst centur
y
,
when private industr
y star
ts taking advan=
tage of the vast public investment in space, the cost of energy will drop sub=
2 08 0 2
3
1/
stantially
. R
o
botics will be evolving quickly and dramatically
. Think of the evolution of home computers between 1990, when most homes and ofces still did not even have e-mail, and 2005, when literally billions of e-mails w
e
r
e
sent daily ar
ound the planet. The U
nited S
tates will be one of the few advanced industrial countries experiencing a temporar
y surplus in its population. The economic impera=
tive of the pr
evious fty yearsencouraging immigration by all means possiblewill have r
un its course, and it will have become the problem rather than the solution. S
o
the rst step to
war
d solving the crisis will be limiting immigration, a massiv
e and traumatizing r
e
v
e
rsal that will cause a crisis, just as the shift to
war
d attracting and incr
easing immigration had fty years befor
e. O
nce immigration has been halted, the U
n
ited S
tates will have to man=
age the economic imbalance caused by its population surplus. Layoffs and unemplo
yment will strike dispropor
tionately at the working poorand par
ticularly the M
exican population in the bor
derlands. S
erious for
eign pol=
icy issues will then arise. A
dd to this pictur
e soaring energy prices, and all of the catalysts for the crisis of the 2080s ar
e in place. mexic
o
s ec
onomic de
vel
opment M
exico
s
economy is curr
ently ranked fteenth in the world. S
i
nce its eco=
nomic meltdo
wn in 1994, it has r
eco
v
e
r
e
d dramatically
. M
e
xico
s
per capita GDP
, measur
ed in terms of purchasing po
wer
, is a little o
v
er $12,000 a year
, which makes it the wealthiest major countr
y in Latin America, and places M
exico in the ranks of developed, if not advanced, economies. And we have to r
e
member that M
e
xico is not a small countr
y
.
I
t
has a population of about 110 million, making it larger than most E
u
r
o
pean nations. W
i
ll M
exico
s
economic str
ength incr
ease substantially o
v
er the next sixty or seventy years? I
f
it does, considering its star
ting point, M
e
xico would then become one of the world
s
leading economies. G
i
ven M
exico
s
internal political instability
, outo
ws of population, and histor
y of economic prob=
lems, it is difcult to imagine M
e
xico in the top tier of nations. B
u
t it is 2
3
2 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars equally difcult for most people to understand ho
w it has alr
eady risen as high as it has. Ther
e ar
e several things working in M
exico
s
favor economically
. The rst is oil. M
e
xico has been a major oil producer and expor
ter o
v
er the last centur
y
.
F
o
r many
, that is an argument against M
e
xico becoming a major po
wer
. O
i
l expor
ts fr
equently undermine the abilityor appetiteof a na=
tion to develop other industries. I
t
s
ther
efor
e impor
tant to understand one other fact about M
e
xico: despite the surge in global oil prices since 2003, its energy sector actually r
epr
esents a declining por
tion of M
exico
s
o
v
erall economy
. O
il constituted about 60 percent of M
e
xico
s
expor
ts in 1980, but by 2000 it was only about 7 percent. M
e
xico has oil r
eser
ves, but it doesn
t depend on oil expor
ts to gro
w
. The second factor in M
e
xico
s
economic gro
wth has to do with its pro
x=
imity to the U
n
ited S
tatesthe same thing that will later pose a geopolitical challenge. M
e
xicowith or without NAFT
Awill be able to expor
t ef=
ciently into the world
s
largest and most dynamic market. While NAFT
A cut the cost of expor
ts and incr
eased the institutional efciency of the r
ela=
tionship
, the fundamental r
e
ality is that M
e
xico
s
pr
o
ximity to the U
n
ited S
tates has always given it an economic advantage, despite the geopolitical disadv
antage that goes with it. Thir
d, ther
e ar
e massive amounts of cash o
wing back to M
exico from the U
n
ited S
tates in the form of r
e
mittances from legal and illegal immi=
grants. R
e
mittances to M
e
xico have surged and ar
e no
w its second- largest source of for
eign income. I
n
most countries, for
eign investment is the pri=
mar
y means for developing the economy
. I
n
M
exico, investment by for
eign=
ers is being matched by for
eign r
e
mittances. This r
e
mittance system has two effects. I
t
leverages other sources of investment when it is banked. And it ser
ves as a social safety net for the lo
wer classes, to whom most r
emittances o
w
. The ino
w of money into M
exico has meant a gro
wth in technologically based industr
y and ser
vices. S
e
r
vices no
w account for 70 percent of M
ex=
ico
s
GDP
, and agricultur
e for only about 4 percent. The r
est is made up of industr
y
,
oil, and mining. The propor
tion of ser
vices center
ed around tourism is r
elatively high, but the mix as a whole is not typical of a develop=
ing countr
y
. There is an interesting measure, created by the United Nations, called
the human development index (HDI), which charts global standards of liv-
ing, including factors like life expectancy and literacy rates. The HDI di-
vides the world into three classes. On the map that follows, black represents
the advanced industrial world, medium gray indicates the middle- tier and
developed countries, and light gray shows the developing world. As the map
shows, Mexico already ranks with Europe and the United States on the hu-
man development scale. That doesn’t mean it is the equal of the United
States, but it does mean that Mexico cannot simply be viewed as a develop-
ing country.
When we drill deeper into the HDI, we see something else interesting
about Mexico. Mexico as a whole has an index of 0.70, which puts it in the
same class as the United States or Europe. But there are enormous regional
inequalities within Mexico. The darker areas on the map below have rank-
ings equal to some European countries, while the lightest areas are the equiv-
alent of poorer, North African countries.
This tremendous inequality is exactly what you would expect to see in a
country in the process of rapid development. Consider the descriptions of
Europe written by Charles Dickens or Victor Hugo. They captured the
essence of nineteenth- century Europe—tremendous growth amid inten -
2 08 0 233
Advanced Industrial
Mid-level Industrial
Undeveloped Industrial
Levels of Economic and Social Development
Frie_9780385517058_3p_all_r1.qxp:Layout 1 10/31/08 4:30 PM Page 233
sifying inequality. In Mexico, one can find that contrast in Mexico City
or Guadalajara. But one can also see it regionally, contrasting the relative
wealth of Mexico’s north with the poverty of the south. Inequality does not
mean lack of development. Instead, it is the inevitable by-product of devel-
opment.
It is interesting to note in this map, of course, that the areas bordering
the United States and the tourist regions in the south—as well as Mexico
City—are at the highest levels of development. As one moves away from the
U.S. frontier, the HDI declines. This indicates the importance of the
United States in Mexican development. It also reveals the real danger facing
Mexico—which is an insurgency in the south fueled by its inequality. This
inequality will intensify as Mexico develops.
There is one other important factor driving Mexico’s growth: organized
crime and the drug trade. In general, there are two types of crime. One is
simply distributive and consumptive—someone steals your television and
sells it. The other creates large pools of capital. The American Mafia that
234 the ne xt 1 00 years
Gulf of
Gulf of
Mexico
Mexico
CENTRAL
CENTRAL
AMERICA
AMERICA
Gulf of
Mexico
PACIFIC
PACIFIC
OCEAN
OCEAN
CENTRAL
AMERICA
UNITED STATES
PACIFIC
OCEAN
Advanced Industrial
Mid-level Industrial
Undeveloped Industrial
Mexican Social and Economic Development
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2 08 0 2
3
5/
dominated bootlegging used that money to mo
ve into legitimate business, until, at a cer
tain point, the original money had been merged into the gen=
eral o
w of capital such that its origin in criminality was no longer r
elevant. When this happens inside a countr
y
,
it stimulates gro
wth. When the trans=
fer is between two countries, it r
e
ally stimulates gro
wth. The key is that the cost of the product is ar
ticially inated by its illegality
. This encourages the emergence of car
tels that suppr
ess competition, maintain high prices, and facilitate the transfer of funds. I
n
the case of the contemporar
y dr
ug trade, the sale of dr
ugs at ar
ti=
cially high prices to American dr
ug consumers cr
eates huge pools of money available for investment in M
exico
. The amount of money is so large that it must be invested. Complex money- laundering operations ar
e designed to allocate the funds legally
. The next generation becomes heir to a fairly legit=
imate pool of money
. The thir
d generation becomes economic aristocrats. This obviously o
v
ersimplies the situation. I
t
also neglects the fact that in many cases, dealers located in M
e
xico will not r
e
patriate the money to M
exico but will instead invest it in the U
nited S
tates or elsewher
e. B
ut if M
exico is becoming incr
easingly productive, and if the go
vernment can be corr
upted to pro
vide a degr
ee of protection while the money is being laun=
der
ed, then r
einvesting dr
ug money in M
exico makes a gr
eat deal of sense. Listen closely: the giant sucking sound you hear is investment capital leav=
ing the U
nited S
tates and going to M
exico via the dr
ug car
tels. The problem with this process is that it is politically destabilizing. B
e
=
cause the authorities ar
e complicit in the process, and the cour
ts and police ineffective, the situation cr
eates instability from the str
eet to the highest r
eaches of go
vernment. A society can rip itself apar
t when this much money is involved. Y
et societies that ar
e sufciently large and complex, and in which the amount of money r
epr
esents a r
elatively small fraction of avail=
able capital, can eventually stabiliz
e themselves. The U
n
ited S
tates, wher
e organiz
ed crime has play
ed a critical r
ole since the 1920s and did destabiliz
e entir
e r
egions, ultimately r
echanneled criminal money into legal activities. I
t
is my view that this is the most likely path for M
e
xico and that this activ=
ity will ultimately contribute to M
e
xican economic gr
o
wth. This is not to say that ther
e will not be a fearsome period of instability in M
exico
. D
uring the coming years, the ability of the state to control the car=
2
3
6 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars tels will be challenged and M
exico will face extensive internal crises. B
u
t in the long term, viewed in terms of the centur
y
,
M
exico will both weather the crises and benet from the massive ino
ws of money from the U
nited S
tates. F
i
nally
, when we look at M
exico
s
population, we see not only continued gro
wth during a time when labor will be needed to fuel it but also a soft landing in population gro
wth by mid- centur
y
,
indicating social stabilization as well as easing demographic pr
essur
es on society
. The population pattern also allo
ws for incr
eased migration to the U
n
ited S
tates during the 2030s, r
esulting in incr
eased r
emittances and ther
efor
e enhanced capital formation without the bur
den of the o
v
erpopulation within M
exico
s
boundaries. Al=
though not critical for M
exico
s
development, this migration will cer
tainly be something that suppor
ts it. Thus, we can see M
exico, which has joined E
urope in some measur
es of its standar
d of living, passing through an inevitable period of turbulence and gro
wth on the way to or
der and stability
. Then, around the middle of the twenty- rst centur
y
,
while the world is at war
, M
e
xico will emerge as a matur
e, balanced economy with a stable populationand will rank among the top six or seven economic po
wers in the world, with a gro
wing militar
y po
wer to boot. M
e
xico will be the leading economic po
wer of Latin Amer=
ica and, perhaps allied loosely with B
razil, will pose a challenge to U.S. domination of N
o
r
th America. mexic
o
s geopolitics D
u
ring the 1830s and 1840s, M
e
xico lost its nor
thern r
egions to the U
n
ited S
tates, follo
wing the T
exas r
ebellion and the M
exican- American W
a
r
. Essen=
tially
, all of the lands nor
th of the Rio G
rande and the S
onoran D
eser
t wer
e taken b
y
the U
n
ited S
tates. The U
n
ited S
tates did not carr
y out ethnic cleansing: the existing population r
emained in place, gradually being o
v
er=
lain by the arrival of non- H
ispanic American settlers. The bor
der was his=
torically por
ous, and both U.S. and M
e
xican citiz
ens w
e
r
e
able to mo
v
e r
e
adily across it. As I said befor
e, a classic bor
derland was cr
eated, with clear political boundaries but complex and murky cultural boundaries. 2 08 0 2
3
7/
M
e
xico has never been in a position to attempt to r
e
verse the American conquests. I
t
adopted the view that it had no choice but to live with the loss of its nor
thern land. E
v
en during the American Civil W
a
r
,
when the S
outh=
west was r
elatively unprotected, the M
e
xicans made no mo
ve. U
n
der the emper
or M
aximilian, M
e
xico r
e
mained w
e
ak and divided. I
t
couldn
t
gener=
ate the will or po
wer to act. When M
e
xico was approached by the G
e
rmans in W
o
rld W
ar I with the offer of an alliance against the U
n
ited S
tates and the r
eturn of nor
thern M
exico, the M
exicans declined the offer
. When the S
o
viets and C
u
bans tried to generate a pr
o- communist mo
v
e
ment in M
e
x=
ico to thr
eaten America
s
southern frontier
, they failed completely
. M
exico couldn
t
mo
v
e
against the U
n
ited S
tates, nor could it be manipulated b
y
for=
eign po
wers to do so, because M
exico couldn
t
mobiliz
e. This was not because anti- American sentiment wasn
t
pr
esent in M
e
xico
. S
uch sentiment is in fact deeply rooted, as one might expect given the histor
y o
f M
e
x
i
c
a
n
American r
elations. H
o
wever
, as we have seen, sentiment has little to do with po
wer
. The M
e
xicans wer
e absorbed by their o
wn fractious r
egionalism and complex politics. They also understood the futility of chal=
lenging the U
nited S
tates. M
e
xico
s
grand strategy was simple after 1848. F
irst, it needed to main=
tain its o
w
n internal cohesion against r
egionalism and insurr
ection. S
econd, it needed to secur
e itself against any for
eign inter
vention, par
ticularly by the U
n
ited S
tates. Thir
d, it needed to r
eclaim the lands lost to the U
n
ited S
tates in the 1840s. F
inally
, it needed to supplant the U
n
ited S
tates as the domi=
nant po
w
e
r in N
o
r
th America. M
exico never r
eally got past the rst r
ung in its geopolitical goals. I
t
has, since the M
e
xican- American W
a
r
,
simply been tr
ying to maintain internal cohesion. M
e
xico lost its balance after its defeat by the U
n
ited S
tates and never r
egained it. I
n
par
t this was due to American policies that helped destabiliz
e it, but mostly M
e
xico was w
e
akened b
y
living next to a dynamic giant. The force eld cr
eated by the U
n
ited S
tates always shaped M
e
xican r
e
alities mor
e than M
e
xico City did. I
n
the twenty- rst centur
y
,
the destabilizing pro
ximity of the U
n
ited S
tates will instead become a stabilizing force. M
exico will still be affected by the U
n
ited S
tates, but the r
elationship will be managed to incr
ease M
e
xican po
wer
. B
y
the middle of the twenty- rst centur
y
,
as M
e
xican economic po
wer 2
3
8 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars rises, ther
e will inevitably be a rise in M
e
xican nationalism, which, giv
en geo=
political r
e
ality
, will manifest itself not only in pride but in anti- Americanism. G
i
ven U.S. programs designed to entice M
e
xicans to immigrate to the U
n
ited S
tates at a time when the M
e
xican bir
thrate is falling, the U
n
ited S
tates will be blamed for pursuing policies designed to harm M
exican eco=
nomic inter
ests. U.S.M
exican tensions ar
e permanent. The differ
ence in the 2040s will be a rise in M
exican po
wer and ther
efor
e a gr
eater condence and asser
tive=
ness on its par
t. The r
elative po
wer of the two countries, ho
wever
, will r
e
=
main staggeringly in favor of the U
n
ited S
tatesjust not as staggeringly as fty y
e
ars earlier
. B
u
t ev
en that will change betw
een 2040 and 2070. M
e
x=
ico will cease being a national basket case and become a major r
egional po
w
e
r
.
F
o
r its par
t, the U
n
ited S
tates will not notice. D
u
ring the mid- centur
y war
, W
a
shington will think of M
exico only as a potential ally of the Coali=
tion. H
aving maneuver
ed M
exico out of any such considerations, W
a
shing=
ton will lose inter
est. I
n
the euphoria and economic expansion follo
wing the war
, the U
n
ited S
tates will maintain its traditional indiffer
ence to M
e
xican concerns. O
nce the U
n
ited S
tates r
e
aliz
es that M
e
xico has become a thr
eat, it will at once be extr
emely alarmed at what is happening in M
e
xico and among M
e
xicans, and calmly cer
tain that it can impose any solution it wants on the situation. U.S.M
exican tensions, always pr
esent under the sur
face, will fes=
ter as M
exico becomes stronger
. The U
nited S
tates will view the str
engthen=
ing of the M
exican economy as a benign stabilizing force for both M
exico and its r
elations with the U
n
ited S
tates, and will ther
efor
e fur
ther suppor
t the rapid rate of M
e
xican economic development. The American view of M
e
xico as ultimately a client state will r
e
main unc
h
a
nged. B
y
2080, the U
n
ited S
tates will still be the most o
v
er
whelmingly po
wer=
ful nation- state in N
o
r
th America. B
u
t as Americans will learn r
e
peatedly
, enormously po
wer
ful does not mean omnipotent, and behaving as if it does can r
e
adily sap a nation
s
po
w
e
r
.
B
y
2080, the Americans will again face a challengebut this one will be much mor
e complex and subtle than what they faced in the war of the 2050s. The confrontation will not be planned, since the U
nited S
tates will not have ambitions in M
exico and the M
exicans will be under no illusion about 2 08 0 2
3
9/
their po
wer r
elative to the U
n
ited S
tates. I
t
will be a confrontation that gro
ws organically out of the geopolitical r
eality of the two countries. B
u
t unlike most such r
egional conicts, this will involve a confrontation be=
tween the world hegemon and an upstar
t neighbor
, and the priz
e will be the center of gravity of the international system, N
o
r
th America. Thr
ee factors will drive the confrontation: 1. M
e
xico will emerge as a major global economic po
wer
. Ranked four=
teenth or fteenth early in the centur
y
,
it will be rmly within the top ten b
y
2080. W
ith a population of 100 million, it will be a po
w
e
r to be r
eckoned with anywher
e in the worldex
cept on the southern bor
der of the U
n
ited S
tates. 2. The U
n
ited S
tates will face a cy
clical crisis in the 2070s, culminating in the 2080 elections. N
e
w technology coupled with the rationaliza=
tion of the demographic cur
ve will r
educe the need for new immi=
grants. I
n
deed, pr
essur
e will gr
o
w
to r
e
turn temporar
y immigrants, even those her
e for fty years with childr
en and grandchildr
en born her
e, to M
exico
. M
a
ny of these will still be menial labor
ers. The U
nited S
tates will begin forcing long- term r
esidents back across the bor
der
, loading do
wn the M
e
xican economy with the least desirable workers, workers who had been American r
esidents for many decades. 3. I
n
spite of this, the massive shift in the population of the bor
derlands cannot be r
eversed. The basic pr
edominance of M
exicansboth U.S. citiz
ens and notwill be permanent. The par
ts of M
e
xico occupied by the U
n
ited S
tates in the 1840s will again become M
e
xican cultur=
ally
, socially
, and in many senses, politically
. The policy of r
e
patriating temporar
y workers will appear to be a legal process from the Ameri=
can point of view
, but will look like ethnic cleansing to the M
exicans. I
n
the past, M
exico would have been fairly passive in the face of these shifts in American policy
. H
o
wever
, as immigration becomes the dominant issue in the U
nited S
tates during the 2070s and the pivot around which the 2080 elections will turn, M
exico will begin to behave in unpr
ecedented ways. The crisis in the U
n
ited S
tates and the maturation of the M
e
xican economy and society will coincide, cr
eating unique tensions. A major social 2
4
0 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars and economic shift in the U
n
ited S
tates (that will dispropor
tionately hur
t M
e
xicans living her
e) and a dramatic r
e
denition of the population of the American S
outhwest will combine to cr
eate a crisis that will not be easily solved by American technology and po
wer
. The crisis will begin as an internal American matter
. The U
n
ited S
tates is a democratic society
, and in large r
egions of the countr
y
,
the E
nglish-
speaking cultur
e will no longer be dominant. The U
nited S
tates will have become a bicultural countr
y
,
like Canada or B
elgium. The second cultur
e will not be formally r
ecogniz
ed, but it will be r
e
al and it will be not mer
ely a cultural phenomenon but a clearly dened geographic r
e
ality
. B
iculturalism tends to become a problem when it is simply ignor
ed when the dominant cultur
e r
e
jects the idea of formalizing it and instead at=
tempts to maintain the status quo
. I
t
par
ticularly becomes a problem when the dominant cultur
e begins to take steps that appear designed to destro
y the minority cultur
e. And if this minority cultur
e is essentially an extension of a neighboring countr
y that sees its citiz
ens as inhabiting territor
y stolen from it, the situation can become explosive. B
y
the 2070s, M
e
xicans and those of M
e
xican origin will constitute the dominant population along a line r
unning at least two hundr
ed miles from the U.S.M
exican bor
der thr
ough California, Ariz
ona, N
e
w M
e
xico, and T
exas and throughout vast ar
eas of the M
exican Cession. The r
egion will not behav
e as other immigrant- heavy ar
eas hav
e. Rather
, as happens in bor
der=
lands, it will be culturallyand in many ways economicallya nor
thwar
d extension of M
exico
. I
n
ever
y sense but legally
, the bor
der will have mo
ved nor
th. These immigrants won
t
be disenfranchised peons. The economic expan=
sion in M
e
xico, coupled with the surging American economy in the 2050s and 2060s, will make these settlers r
elatively well-to-do
. I
n
fact, they will be the facilitators of U.S.M
exican trade, one of the most lucrative activities in the world in the late twenty- rst centur
y
. This group will dominate not only local politics but the politics of two whole statesAriz
ona and N
e
w M
exicoand much of the politics of California and T
exas. O
nly the sheer siz
e of the latter two will pr
event immigrants from controlling them out=
right as well. A subnational bloc, on the or
der of Q
uebec in Canada, will be in place in the U
n
ited S
tates. 2 08 0 2
4
1/
At a cer
tain critical mass, a geographically contiguous group becomes conscious of itself as a distinct entity within a countr
y
.
M
o
r
e
exactly
, it be=
gins to see the r
egion it dominates as distinct, and begins to ask for a range of special concessions based on its status. When it has a natural afnity to a neighboring countr
y
,
a por
tion of the group will see itself as native to that countr
y but living under for
eign domination. And across the bor
der
, in the neighboring countr
y
,
an annexation mo
vement can arise. This issue will divide the M
e
xican- American bloc. S
o
me inhabitants will see themselves as primarily Americans. O
thers will accept that Americanism but see themselves as having a unique r
elationship to America and ask for le=
gal r
ecognition of that status. A thir
d group
, the smallest, will be secession=
ist. Ther
e will be an equal division within M
exico
. O
ne thing to r
emember is that illegal immigration will hav
e generally disappear
ed after 2030, when migration to the U
n
ited S
tates will be encouraged as American national pol=
icy
. S
ome on each side of the bor
der will see the problem as solely American and will want to have nothing to do with it lest it inter
fer
e with peaceful economic r
elations with M
exico
. O
t
hers, though, will see the demographic problems in the U
nited S
tates as a means for r
edening M
exico
s
r
elations with the U
n
ited S
tates. I
n
ex
change for a hands- off policy r
egar
ding migra=
tion, some will want the U
nited S
tates to make concessions to M
exico on other issues. And a minority will adv
ocate annexation. A complex political battle will develop between W
ashington and M
e
xico City
, each manipulat=
ing the situation on the other side of the bor
der
. Large numbers of senators and r
epr
esentatives of M
exican origin will be elected to ser
ve in W
a
shington. M
a
ny will not see themselves as legislat
o
r
s who just happen to be of M
exican o
rigin, representing their states.
Rath
e
r
, they will see themselves as r
epr
esentatives of the M
exican community living in the U
n
ited S
tates. As with the P
a
r
ti Q
uébécois in Canada, their r
egional r
epr
esentation will also be seen as the r
epr
esentation of a distinct nation liv=
ing in the U
nited S
tates. The r
egional political process will be beginning to r
e
ect this new r
e
ality
. A P
a
r
tido M
e
xicano will come into existence and send r
e
pr
esentatives to W
ashington as a separate bloc. This state of affairs will help drive the r
e
versal on immigration policy that is going to dene the 2070s and the election of 2080. B
e
yond the de=
mographic need to r
e
dene the immigration policies of the 2030s, the ver
y 2
4
2 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars process of r
e
dening them will radicaliz
e the S
outhwest. That radicalization will, in turn, frighten the r
est of the American public. Anti- M
exican feeling will be gro
wing. A primal fear that the outcome of the T
e
xan R
e
volution and the M
e
xican- American W
a
r
,
in place for mor
e than two centuries, could be r
e
v
e
rsed will whip up hostility to
war
d M
e
xican Americans and M
e
xico in the U
n
ited S
tates. This fear will not be irrational. The American S
outhwest is occupied ter=
ritor
y into which American settlers str
eamed from the mid-1800s to the early tw
enty- rst centur
y
.
S
tar
ting in the early tw
enty- rst centur
y
,
M
e
xican settlers will be str
eaming back in, joining others who never left. P
opulation mo
v
e
ment will thus r
e
v
e
rse the social r
e
ality that was imposed militarily in the nineteenth centur
y
.
Americans imposed a politico- militar
y r
e
ality and then cr
eated a demographic r
e
ality to match it. M
e
xicans, mor
e through American policy than anything else, will cr
eate a new demographic r
e
ality
, and will be discussing several options: whether to attempt to r
e
verse the
politico- militar
y r
e
ality cr
eated by the Americans; cr
eate a new
, unique r
e
al=
ity; or just accept the existing r
e
alities. Americans will be discussing whether to r
e
verse the demographic shift and r
e
align population with bor
ders. H
o
wever
, any discussion will take place in a context of immobility of bor
ders. The bor
ders ar
e not going to change simply because M
exicans on both sides ar
e discussing it, nor will the demographic r
eality change because Americans want it to
. The bor
der will have an o
v
er
whelming political and militar
y force enforcing itthe U
n
ited S
tates Army
. The M
e
xican popula=
tion in the M
exican Cession will be deeply embedded in the economic life of the U
n
ited S
tates. R
e
mo
ving the M
e
xicans would cr
eate massive instability
. T
h
e
r
e will be po
wer
ful forces maintaining the status quo and po
wer
ful forces r
esisting it. A major backlash in the r
est of the U
n
ited S
tates will lock do
wn the bor=
der and exacerbate tensions. As M
e
xican rhetoric becomes mor
e heated, so will American. S
plits in the M
e
xican American community will become less and less visible in the r
est of the countr
y
,
and the most radical gur
es will dominate the American perception of the community and of M
e
xico
. M
o
r
e radical gur
es in W
a
shington will dominate the M
exican perception of the U
n
ited S
tates. A
ttempts will be made at moderate compr
omise, many of them quite r
easonable and well intentioned, but all will be seen as a be=
2 08 0 2
4
3/
trayal of the fundamental inter
ests of one side or the other and sometimes both. F
undamental geopolitical disputes ar
e rar
ely amenable to r
e
asonable compr
omisesimply consider the ArabI
sraeli conict. While all of this is going on, M
exican citiz
ens who ar
e living in the U
nited S
tates on temporar
y visas granted decades befor
e will be forced to r
eturn to M
exico, r
egar
dless of ho
w long they have been in America. The U
nited S
tates will have placed incr
eased controls on the M
exican bor
der
, not to keep out immigrantsno one at this point will be clamoring to get inbut to drive a wedge between M
e
xico and ethnic M
e
xicans in the U
n
ited S
tates. I
t
will be por
trayed as a security measur
e, but what it will r
eally be is an effor
t to r
e
inforce the r
e
ality cr
eated in 1848. These and similar actions will be mer
ely irritating to most M
e
xicans on either side of the bor
der
, but will pro
vide fuel for the radicals and pose a thr
eat to the vital trade between the two countries. W
ithin M
exico political pr
essur
e will gro
w for the M
exican go
vernment to asser
t itself
. O
ne faction will emerge that will want to annex the occupied r
egion, r
e
versing the American conquest of 1848. This won
t
be a marginal group but a substantial, if not yet dominant, faction. O
thers will be de=
manding that the U
nited S
tates r
etain control of the r
egions within the M
exican Cession and protect the rights of its r
esidentsespecially by halt=
ing the expulsion of M
exicans r
egar
dless of visa status. The group that sim=
ply wants to maintain the status quo, driven by businesses that want stability
, not conict, will become weaker and weaker
. Calls for annexation will com=
pete with demands for r
egional autonomy
. Anti- M
e
xican elements in the U
n
ited S
tates will use the radicalization of M
e
xican politics to argue that M
e
xico intends to inter
fer
e with internal American affairs, and even to invade the S
outhwestsomething the most radical M
e
xicans will, in fact, be calling for
. This, in turn, will justify the American extr
emists
demand for even mor
e draconian measur
es, includ=
ing the depor
tation of all ethnic M
exicans, r
egar
dless of citiz
enship status, and the invasion of M
exico if the M
exican go
vernment r
esists. The rhetoric on the fringes will feed on itself
, driving the process. Let
s
play this for
war
d, imagining what the conict might look like, bearing in mind that w
e
can
t
possibly do mor
e than imagine the details. I
n
the 2080s, anti- American demonstrations will begin taking place 2
4
4 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars in M
exico Cityand in Los Angeles, S
a
n D
i
ego, H
ouston, S
a
n Antonio, P
hoenix, and other cities in the bor
derland that will have become pr
edomi=
nantly M
e
xican. The dominant theme will be ethnic M
e
xicans
rights as American citiz
ens. B
u
t some will demonstrate for annexation by M
e
xico
. A small radical faction of M
e
xicans in the U
n
ited S
tates will begin carr
ying out acts of sabotage and minor terrorism against federal go
vernment facili=
ties in the r
egion. While not suppor
ted by either the M
exican go
vernment, the state go
vernments dominated by M
exicans, or most M
exicans on either side of the bor
der
, the terrorist acts will be seen as the rst steps in a planned insurr
ection and secession by the r
egion. The American pr
esident, under in=
tense pr
essur
e to bring the situation under control, will mo
ve to federaliz
e the N
ational G
u
ar
d in these states to protect federal proper
ty
. I
n
N
e
w M
e
xico and Ariz
ona, the go
vernors will argue that the N
ational G
u
ar
d r
e
por
ts to themand will r
efuse the or
der to nationaliz
e. I
nstead they will or
der the G
u
ar
d to protect federal facilities but will insist that the forces r
e
main under state control. The G
u
ar
d units, pr
edominantly M
e
xi=
can in these states, will obey the go
vernor
. S
ome in Congr
ess will argue that a state of insurr
ection be declar
ed. The pr
esident will r
esist but will instead ask Congr
ess to permit the mobilization of U.S. troops in these states, lead=
ing to a dir
ect confr
ontation betw
een N
ational G
u
ar
d and U.S. Army units. As the situation gets out of hand, the problem will be compounded when the M
exican pr
esident, unable to r
esist pr
essur
e to do something deci=
sive, mobiliz
es the M
e
xican army and sends it nor
th to the bor
der
. H
is jus=
tication will be that the U.S. Army has mobiliz
ed along the M
e
xican frontier and he wants to pr
event any incursions and to coor
dinate with W
ashington. I
n
r
e
ality
, ther
e will be a deeper r
e
ason. The M
e
xican pr
esident will be afraid that the U.S. Army will upr
oot M
e
xicans in this ar
eaciti=
z
ens, gr
een car
d holders, and visa holders alikeand force them back o
v
er the M
exican bor
der
. M
exico will not want a surge of r
efugees. M
o
r
e
o
v
er
, the M
e
xican pr
esident will not want to see M
e
xicans in the U
n
ited S
tates stripped of their valuable proper
ty
. When the M
e
xican army mobiliz
es, the U.S. militar
y will be placed on full aler
t. The U.S. militar
y is not ver
y good at policing hostile populations, par
ticularly not those that include U.S. citiz
ens. O
n
the other hand, it is v
e
r
y good at attacking and destro
ying enemy armies. U.S. space forces and 2 08 0 2
4
5/
ground troops will ther
efor
e begin focusing on the possibility of confronta=
tion with the massed forces along the M
exican bor
der
. A meeting between the two pr
esidents will defuse the situation, as it will be clear that no one r
eally wants a war
. I
n
fact, no one in po
wer will have wanted the crisis in the S
outhwest. B
ut the problem is this: during these ne=
gotiations, ho
wever much both sides want a r
e
turn to the status quo ante, the M
exican pr
esident will, in effect, be negotiating on behalf of American citiz
ens of M
exican origin who ar
e living in the U
nited S
tates. T
o
the extent the crisis is defused, the status of M
exicans in the M
exican Cession is being discussed. F
r
om the moment the discussion turns to defusing the crisis, the question of who speaks for the M
exicans in the M
exican Cession will be de=
cided: it is the pr
esident of M
e
xico
. While the crisis of the 2080s will subside, the underlying issue will not. The bor
derland will be in play
, and while the M
e
xicans will not have the po
wer to impose a militar
y solution, the American go
vernment will not have the ability to impose a social and political solution. The inser
tion of American troops into the r
egion, patrolling it as if it wer
e a for
eign countr
y
, will have changed the status of the r
egion in the mind of the public. M
exi=
can negotiations on behalf of the people of the r
egion will have extended that change. A radical secessionist mo
vement in the r
egion, heavily funded by M
e
xican nationalists, will continually irritate the situation, especially when splinter terrorist groups begin carr
ying out occasional bombings and kidnappingsnot only within the M
exican Cession but throughout the U
nited S
tates. The question of the M
exican conquest will be opened up yet again. The r
egion will still be par
t of the U
n
ited S
tates, but its lo
yalty will be loudly questioned by many
. E
xpelling tens of millions of people will not be an option, as it would be logistically impossible and would have devastating consequences for the U
n
ited S
tates. At the same time, ho
wever
, the idea that in the r
egion those who ar
e of M
e
xican origin ar
e simply citiz
ens of the U
n
ited S
tates will br
eak do
wn. M
a
ny will no longer see themselves that way
, and neither will the r
est of the U
n
ited S
tates. The political situation will become incr
easingly radi=
caliz
ed. B
y
about 2090, radicals in M
e
xico will hav
e cr
eated a new crisis. I
n
a change to the M
exican constitution, M
exicans (dened by par
entage and 2
4
6 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars cultur
e) who live outside of M
exico, r
egar
dless of citiz
enship
, will be no
w permitted to vote in M
e
xican elections. M
o
r
e
impor
tant, M
e
xican congr
es=
sional districts will be established outside of M
e
xico, so that M
e
xicans living in Argentina, for example, can vote for a r
e
pr
esentative in the M
e
xican con=
gr
ess, r
epr
esenting M
exicans living in Argentina. S
i
nce so many voters will qualify in the U
nited S
tatesthe whole point of the change after allthe M
exican Cession will be divided into M
exican congr
essional districts, so that ther
e might be twenty congr
essmen from Los Angeles and ve from S
a
n Antonio elected to Congr
ess in M
exico City
. S
i
nce the M
exican communities will pay for the elections out of private funds, it is unclear whether this will violate any American law
. Cer
tainly
, while ther
e will be rage in the r
est of the countr
y
,
the federal go
vernment will be afraid to inter
fer
e. S
o
the election to Congr
ess will go for
war
d in 2090with M
e
xicans in the U
n
ited S
tates voting for both the Congr
ess in W
ashington and the Congr
ess in M
e
xico City
. I
n
a few cases, the same per=
son will be elected to both congr
esses. I
t
will be a clever mo
ve, putting the U
nited S
tates on the defensive, with no equivalent countermeasur
e avail=
able. B
y
the 2090s, the U
n
ited S
tates will be facing a difcult internal situa=
tion, as well as a confrontation with a M
e
xico that will be arming itself furi=
ously
, afraid that the U
n
ited S
tates will tr
y to solve the problem by taking militar
y measur
es against it. The Americans will have a tr
emendous advan=
tage in space, but the M
exicans will have an advantage on the ground. The U
n
ited S
tates Army won
t
be par
ticularly large, and contr
olling a city like Los Angeles still will r
equir
e the basic gr
unt infantr
yman. G
r
oups of M
exican paramilitaries will spring up throughout the r
egion in r
esponse to the U.S. occupation, and will r
e
main in place after the troops withdraw
. W
ith the bor
der heavily militariz
ed on both sides, the possibility of lines of supply being cut by these paramilitaries, isolating U.S. forces along the bor
der
, won
t
be a trivial matter
. The U
n
ited S
tates will be able to destr
o
y
the M
e
xican army
, but that doesn
t
mean it could pacify its o
w
n S
outhw
est, or M
e
xico for that matter
. And at the same time, M
e
xico will begin to launch its o
w
n satellites and build its o
w
n unmanned aircraft. As for the international r
e
action to this situation, the world will stand aside and watch. The M
e
xicans will hope for for
eign suppor
t, and the 2 08 0 2
4
7/
B
razilians, who will hav
e become a substantial po
w
e
r in their o
wn right, will make some gestur
es of solidarity with M
exico
. B
ut, while the r
est of the world will secr
etly hope that M
exico will bloody its neighbor
s
nose, no one is going to get involved in a matter so fundamentally critical to the U
n
ited S
tates. M
exico will be alone. I
t
s strategic solution will be to pose a problem on the American bor
der while other po
wers challenge the U
nited S
tates else
wher
e. The P
oles will have developed serious grievances against the Americans, while emerging po
wers like B
razil will be stied by the limits placed on them by the U
n
ited S
tates in space. The M
e
xicans won
t
be able to ght the U
n
ited S
tates until they can r
e
ach militar
y parity
. M
e
xico will need a coalitionand building a coalition will take time. B
u
t M
e
xico will have one enormous advantage: the U
n
ited S
tates will be facing internal unr
est, which, while not rising to the level of insurr
ection, will cer
tainly focus U.S. energies and limit U.S. options. I
n
=
vading and defeating M
exico would not solve this problem. I
t
might actu=
ally exacerbate it. America
s
inability to solv
e this pr
oblem will be M
e
xico
s major adv
antage, and the one that will buy it time. The U.S. bor
der with M
exico will no
w r
un through M
exico itself; its r
eal, social bor
der will be hundr
eds of miles nor
th of the legal bor
der
. I
n
=
deed, even if the U
nited S
tates could defeat M
exico in war
, it would not solve the basic dilemma. The situation will settle into a giant stalemate. U
nderneath all of this will be the question that the U
nited S
tates has had to addr
ess almost since its founding: what should be the capital of N
o
r
t
h AmericaW
ashington or M
e
xico City? I
t
had appear
ed likely at rst that it would be the latter
. Then centuries later it appear
ed obvious that it would be the former
. The question will be on the table once again. I
t
can be post=
poned, but it can
t
be av
oided. I
t
is the same question that faced S
pain and F
rance in the seventeenth centur
y
.
S
pain had r
e
igned supr
eme for a hundr
ed years, dominating At=
lantic E
u
r
o
pe and the world until a new po
w
e
r challenged it. W
ould S
pain or F
rance be supr
eme? F
i
ve hundr
ed years later
, at the end of the twenty-
rst centur
y
,
the U
n
ited S
tates will have dominated for a hundr
ed years. N
o
w M
e
xico will be rising. Who will be supr
eme? The U
n
ited S
tates will r
ule the skies and the seas, but the challenge from M
exico will be on the ground, anda challenge only M
exico will be positioned to makeinside 2
4
8 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars the bor
ders of the U
nited S
tates. I
t
is the kind of challenge that U.S. mili=
tar
y po
wer will be least suited to ght. Ther
efor
e, as the twenty- rst centur
y draws to a close, the question will be: N
o
r
th America is the center of gravity of the international system, but who will control N
o
r
t
h America? That is a question that will have to wait until the twenty- second centur
y
. EP
I L
OGUE.
I
t might seem far-fetched to speculate that a rising M
e
xico will ultimately challenge American po
wer
, but I suspect that the world we ar
e living in today would have seemed far-fetched to someone living at the beginning of the twentieth centur
y
.
As I said in the introduction to this book, when we tr
y to pr
edict the futur
e, common sense almost always betrays usjust look at the star
tling changes that took place throughout the twentieth centur
y and tr
y to imagine using common sense to anticipate those things. The most practical way to imagine the futur
e is to question the expected. Ther
e ar
e people being born today who will live in the twenty- second centur
y
. When I was gro
wing up in the 1950s, the twenty- rst centur
y was an idea associated with science ction, not a r
e
ality in which I would live. P
ractical people focus on the next moment and leave the centuries to dr
eamers. B
u
t the tr
uth is that the tw
enty- rst centur
y has turned out to be a ver
y practical concern to me. I will spend a good deal of my life in it. And on the way her
e, histor
yits wars, its technological changes, its social trans=
formationshas r
eshaped my life in star
tling ways. I did not die in a nu=
clear war with the S
o
viets, though I did witness many wars, most of them unfor
eseen. The J
etsons did not dene life in 1999, but I write these wor
ds 2
5
0 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars on a computer that I can hold in one hand and that can access information on a global basis in secondsand without wir
es connecting it to anything. The U
n
ited N
ations did not solve the problems of mankind, yet the status of blacks and women under
went br
eathtaking changes. What I expected and what happened wer
e two ver
y differ
ent things. I
n
looking back on the twentieth centur
y
,
ther
e wer
e things we could be cer
tain of
, things that wer
e likely
, and things that wer
e unkno
wn. W
e
could be cer
tain that nation- states would continue to be the way in which humans organiz
ed the world. W
e
could kno
w that wars would become mor
e deadly
. Alfr
ed N
obel kne
w that his invention would turn war
far
e into endless hor=
ror
, and it did. W
e
could see the r
e
volutions in communications and trav
elradio, automobiles, airplanes alr
eady existed. I
t
took only imagina=
tion, and a will to believe, to see what they would mean to the world. I
t took the suspension of common sense. Kno
wing that wars w
e
r
e
inevitable and that they would gr
o
w
worse, it did not take a gr
eat leap to imagine who would ght whom. The newly united E
u
r
o
pean po
w
e
rsG
ermany and I
talyand newly industrializ
ed J
apan would tr
y to r
e
dene the international system, controlled by the At=
lantic E
u
ropean po
wers, B
ritain and F
rance chief among them. And as these wars ripped apar
t E
u
r
o
pe and Asia, it was not har
d to for
ecastindeed many did for
ecastthat R
ussia and America would emerge as the gr
eat global po
w
e
rs. What follo
w
e
d was mur
kier
, but not bey
ond imagination. Early in the centur
y H. G. W
ells, the science ction writer
, described the weapons that would ght wars in the coming generations. All that was r
e
=
quir
ed was that he look at what was alr
eady being imagined and what could alr
eady be built, and tie it to the war
far
e of the futur
e. B
u
t it was not only the technology that could be imagined. W
ar gamers at the U.S. N
a
val W
a
r College and on the J
apanese defense staff both could describe the outlines of a U.S.J
apanese war
. The G
e
rman general staff
, befor
e the two world wars, laid out the likely course of the wars and the risks. W
i
nston Churchill could see the consequences of the war
, both the loss of B
ritain
s
empir
e and the fu=
tur
e cold war
. N
o
one could imagine the pr
ecise details, but the general out=
line of the twentieth centur
y could be sensed. That is what I have tried to do in this bookto sense the twenty- rst 2
5
1 e p i l
ogue centur
y with geopolitics as my primar
y guide. I began with the permanent: the persistence of the human condition, suspended between heaven and hell. I then looked for the long- term tr
end, which I found in the decline and fall of E
u
rope as the centerpiece of global civilization and its r
eplacement by N
o
r
th America and the dominant N
o
r
th American po
w
e
r
,
the U
n
ited S
tates. W
ith that profound shift of the international system, it was easy to discern both the character of the U
n
ited S
tatesheadstrong, immatur
e, and brilliantand the world
s
r
esponse to it: fear
, envy
, and r
esistance. I then focused on two issues. F
irst, who would r
esist; second, ho
w the U
nited S
tates would r
espond to their r
esistance. The r
esistance would come in waves, continuing the shor
t, shifting eras of the twentieth centur
y
.
F
irst ther
e is I
slam, then R
ussia, and then a coalition of new po
wers (
T
urkey
, P
oland, and J
apan), and nally M
e
xico
. T
o
understand American r
esponses, I looked at what seemed to me a fty- year cy
cle in American society o
v
er the past sev
eral hundr
ed y
e
ars and tried to imagine what 2030 and 2080 would look like. That allo
w
e
d me to think of the dramatic social change that is al=
r
e
ady under waythe end of the population explosionand consider what it would mean for the futur
e. I could also think about ho
w technologies that alr
eady exist will r
espond to social crises, char
ting a path between robots and space- based solar po
w
e
r
. The closer one gets to details, the mor
e likely one is to be wrong. O
b
vi=
ously I kno
w that. B
u
t my mission, as I see it, is to pro
vide you with a sense of what the twenty- rst centur
y will look and feel like. I will be wrong about many details. I
n
deed, I may be wrong about which countries will be gr
eat po
wers and ho
w they will r
esist the U
n
ited S
tates. B
u
t what I am con=
dent about is that the position of the U
n
ited S
tates in the international sys=
tem will be the key issue of the twenty- rst centur
y and that other countries will be grappling with its rise. I
n
the end, if ther
e is a single point I have to make in this book, it is that the U
nited S
tatesfar from being on the verge of declinehas actually just begun its ascent. This book is emphatically not meant to be a celebration of the U
n
ited S
tates. I am a par
tisan of the American r
egime, but it is not the Constitu=
tion or the F
e
deralist P
apers that gav
e the U
n
ited S
tates its po
w
e
r
.
I
t
was J
ackson
s
stand at N
e
w O
rleans, the defeat of S
anta Anna at S
an J
acinto, the 2
5
2 the ne xt 1 00 y
e
ars annexation of H
awaii, and the surr
ender of B
ritish naval bases in the W
est=
ern H
emispher
e to the U
nited S
tates in 1940along with the unique geo=
graphical traits I have spent much time analyzing in these pages. Ther
e is one point I have not touched upon. Any r
eader will have no=
ticed that I do not deal with the question of global warming in this book. This should be a glaring omission. I do believe the environment is warming, and since we have been told by scientists that the debate is o
v
er
, I easily con=
cede that global warming was caused by human beings. As Karl M
a
r
x, of all people, put it: M
ankind does not pose problems for itself for which it does not alr
eady hav
e a solution. I don
t
kno
w if this is univ
ersally tr
ue, but it does seem to be tr
ue in this case. T
w
o forces ar
e emerging that will moot global warming. F
irst, the end of the population explosion will, o
v
er the decades, r
educe the incr
eases in de=
mand for just about ever
ything. S
econd, the incr
ease in the cost of both nding and using hydrocarbons will incr
ease the hunger for alternatives. The obvious alternative is solar energy
, but it is clear to me that ear
th- based solar collection has too many hur
dles to o
v
ercome, most of which ar
e not pr
esent in space- based solar energy generation. B
y
the second half of the twenty- rst centur
y
,
we will be seeing demographic and technological trans=
formations that, together
, will deal with the issue. I
n
other wor
ds, popula=
tion decline and the domination of space for global po
wer will combine to solve the problem. The solution is alr
eady imaginable, and it will be the un=
intended consequence of other processes. The unintended consequence is what this book is all about. I
f
human beings can simply decide on what they want to do and then do it, then for
e=
casting is impossible. F
r
ee will is beyond for
ecasting. B
ut what is most in=
ter
esting about humans is ho
w unfr
ee they ar
e. I
t
is possible for people today to have ten childr
en, but har
dly anyone does. W
e
ar
e deeply con=
strained in what we do by the time and place in which we live. And those actions we do take ar
e lled with consequences we didn
t
intend. When NASA engineers used a microchip to build an onboar
d computer on a spacecraft, they did not intend to cr
eate the iP
od. The cor
e of the method I have used in this book has been to look at the constraints placed on individuals and nations, to see ho
w they ar
e generally forced to behave because of these constraints, and then to tr
y to understand e p i l
ogue 2
5
3/
the unintended consequences those actions will have. Ther
e ar
e endless un=
kno
wns, and no for
ecast of a centur
y can be either complete or utterly cor=
r
ect. B
ut if I have pro
vided her
e an understanding of some of the most impor
tant constraints, the likely r
esponses to those constraints, and the out=
come of those actions on the broadest level, I will be content. As for me, it is extraor
dinarily odd to write a book whose general tr
uth or falsehood I will never be in a position to kno
w
.
I ther
efor
e write this book for my childr
en, but even mor
e for my grandchildr
en, who will be in a po=
sition to kno
w
.
I
f
this book can guide them in any way
, I will have been of ser
vice. A
CKNO
WLEDGMENT
S.
This book could not have been even imagined, let alone attempted, without my colleagues at S
tratfor
. M
y
friend D
on K
uykendall has been steadfast and suppor
tive throughout. Scott S
tringer has been patient and imaginative with the maps. All at S
tratfor have tried to make me and this a better book. I par
ticularly want to thank R
o
dger B
aker
, R
e
va B
h
alla, Laur
en G
oodrich, N
ate H
ughes, Aaric E
isenstein, and Colin Chapman. I
n
par
ticular
, I want to thank P
eter Zeihan, whose meticulous and withering critiques helped me, and irritated me, immeasurably
. O
u
tside the S
tratfor family
, I want to thank J
ohn M
auldin and G
usztav M
olnar
, who taught me other ways to look at things. S
usan Copeland made sur
e that this, and many other things, got done. F
inally
, I want to thank my literar
y agent, J
im H
o
rnscher
, and J
ason Kaufman, my editor at D
oubleday
, both of whom made gr
eat effor
ts to tr
y to lift me beyond the impenetrable. R
o
b B
loom made sur
e it all came to=
gether
. This book had many par
ents, but I am r
esponsible for all its defects. 
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