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By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - national intelligence council
It took more than 60 years, but the days of America as a superpower are coming to an end. This is the finding of the Obama administration's latest report, "Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds," which the National Intelligence Council (NIC) released Monday. Analyzing geopolitical trends over the next 15 to 20 years, the document concludes China will have eclipsed the United States as the world's premier economic and military giant by 2030. The administration is convinced the United States and the West are in permanent decline.
According to research on the psychology and efficacy of predictions, long-term expert predictions have been found to be about as accurate as monkeys tossing darts at a board labeled with potential future outcomes. And yet forecasting remains a growth industry, in both the intelligence community and televised political punditry.
Nearly two-thirds of the world's population will live in cities by 2030, with most people middle class, connected by technology, protected by advanced health care and linked by countries that work together, perhaps with the United States and China cooperating to lead the way.
Rep. Mike Rogers is demanding that the U.S. and its allies "confront Beijing."
The Pentagon is asking the nation's 16 spy agencies to investigate the cost of theft of commercial secrets by foreign computer hackers, a loss some analysts say could be costing the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars a year.
In the past four years, Russia's intelligence services have stepped up a campaign of intimidation and dirty tricks against U.S. officials and diplomats in Russia and the countries that used to form the Soviet Union.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton questioned her Russian counterpart twice in recent months about reports of the Moscow government's involvement in the bombing attempt on the U.S. Embassy in Georgia in September.
An annual intelligence report to Congress has dropped language stating that Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions are a future option.
U.S. and Western intelligence agencies assess that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is terminally ill, and the Obama administration is closely watching the expected transition of power.
Ronald Reagan used to tell the story of a boy so optimistic that when he woke up on Christmas morning and was confronted with a huge mound of manure, he gleefully began shoveling. "There's a pony in here someplace," he exclaimed.