Global Insights: Charting the Global Future

Global Insights: Charting the Global Future

The National Intelligence Council (NIC) released Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World last week, with its avowed purpose to "stimulate strategic thinking about the future by identifying key trends, the factors that drive them, where they seem to be headed, and how they might interact." The release of the report was more specifically timed to inform the thinking of the incoming Barack Obama administration about the broader strategic challenges and opportunities it will confront upon assuming office on Jan. 20, 2009 -- and before officials of the new administration become overwhelmed by their daily inboxes.

The authors of Global Trends stress that their aim is not to predict what will happen or to offer their preferred vision of the future. Instead, they aspire to describe the key driving factors that will influence international developments during the next two decades. In fact, the NIC analysts clearly seek to help shape the future rather than simply describe it. By shedding light on important international trajectories, they hope to encourage U.S. and foreign policymakers to intervene in ways that promote the most benign outcomes and avoid the most adverse scenarios.

The NIC serves as a focal point for generating answers to broad strategic questions raised by senior U.S. policymakers. Its National Intelligence Officers (NIOs) and supporting staff solicit information and assessments from all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies as well as academic, private sector, and other nongovernmental experts. NIC products assess both current and possible future developments. The NIC is perhaps best known for its National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs), which attempt to identify and delineate areas of consensus and disagreement within the U.S. intelligence community on major foreign policy issues (such as Iran's nuclear aims).

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to WPR’s fully searchable library of 16,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Weekly in-depth reports on important issues and countries
  • Daily links to must-read news and analysis from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • The Weekly Wrap-Up email, with highlights of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review