Your weekend reading — from the CIA

The National Inteligence Council — the intelligence community’s “center for midterm and long-term strategic thinking” — has released its latest version of Mapping the Global Future: Global Trends 2020 . For newspaper accounts, click on this USA Today story by John Diamond. According to the NIC’s home page, this time the project used some of ...

By , a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
590402_103993467_muslims_to_ethnic_europeans2.gif
590402_103993467_muslims_to_ethnic_europeans2.gif

The National Inteligence Council -- the intelligence community's "center for midterm and long-term strategic thinking" -- has released its latest version of Mapping the Global Future:
Global Trends 2020
. For newspaper accounts, click on this USA Today story by John Diamond. According to the NIC's home page, this time the project used some of that Internet stuff I've heard so much about:

Significantly, the NIC 2020 Project employed information technology and analytic tools unavailable in earlier NIC efforts. We created an interactive Web site which contained several tools including a "hands-on" computer simulation that allows novice and expert alike to develop their own scenarios. This "International Futures" model is now available to the public to explore.

In perhaps a troubling sign for the NIC, when I clicked on that link all I got was a "Service Unavailable" message. This glitch does not mean the whole project is without interest. For example, check out this graph:

The National Inteligence Council — the intelligence community’s “center for midterm and long-term strategic thinking” — has released its latest version of Mapping the Global Future:
Global Trends 2020
. For newspaper accounts, click on this USA Today story by John Diamond. According to the NIC’s home page, this time the project used some of that Internet stuff I’ve heard so much about:

Significantly, the NIC 2020 Project employed information technology and analytic tools unavailable in earlier NIC efforts. We created an interactive Web site which contained several tools including a “hands-on” computer simulation that allows novice and expert alike to develop their own scenarios. This “International Futures” model is now available to the public to explore.

In perhaps a troubling sign for the NIC, when I clicked on that link all I got was a “Service Unavailable” message. This glitch does not mean the whole project is without interest. For example, check out this graph:

muslims_to_ethnic_europeans.gif

muslims_to_ethnic_europeans.gif

Food for thought. UPDATE: Never have I seen so many comments posted asking me for further guidance in understanding a graph. First, click here to see the graph in context, and here to see the list of contributors to the project. From what I can divine, the graph’s y-axis is equal to (total # of muslims living in the EU)/(total # of ethnic Europeans living in the EU). That metric is a bit unusual — ordinarily one would show (total # of muslims)/(total # of people — including Muslims). The labeling of the y-axis and the unusual NIC metric suggest could lead a casual observer to conclude that there are more Muslims in Europe than there actually are. As for the trend lines, they look reasonable, given the low fertility rates of “indigineous” Europeans and high fertility and migration rates of Muslims. For harder data (as opposed to trend lines), click over to muslimpopulation.com

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he is the co-director of the Russia and Eurasia Program. Twitter: @dandrezner

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