Congratulations, Mr. President! Your country is in decline.

I have to wonder if John McCain and Barack Obama ever ask themselves if they really want the job they’re campaigning so hard for. Because on the victor’s first day in office, there won’t be much popping of champagne corks. From today’s Washington Post: An intelligence forecast being prepared for the next president on future ...

I have to wonder if John McCain and Barack Obama ever ask themselves if they really want the job they're campaigning so hard for. Because on the victor's first day in office, there won't be much popping of champagne corks.

From today's Washington Post:

An intelligence forecast being prepared for the next president on future global risks envisions a steady decline in U.S. dominance in the coming decades, as the world is reshaped by globalization, battered by climate change, and destabilized by regional upheavals over shortages of food, water and energy.

I have to wonder if John McCain and Barack Obama ever ask themselves if they really want the job they’re campaigning so hard for. Because on the victor’s first day in office, there won’t be much popping of champagne corks.

From today’s Washington Post:

An intelligence forecast being prepared for the next president on future global risks envisions a steady decline in U.S. dominance in the coming decades, as the world is reshaped by globalization, battered by climate change, and destabilized by regional upheavals over shortages of food, water and energy.

The report, previewed in a speech by Thomas Fingar, the U.S. intelligence community’s top analyst, also concludes that the one key area of continued U.S. superiority — military power — will "be the least significant" asset in the increasingly competitive world of the future, because "nobody is going to attack us with massive conventional force." 

The remarks are based on the forthcoming report Global Trends 2025, prepared by the U.S. intelligence community to anticipate threats to America in the next few decades. Most of the predominant challenges identified aren’t surprising: shrinking U.S. economic influence, weaker international institutions, energy insecurity and competition, and political and economic upheaval around the world due to climate change.

What is more interesting, perhaps, as the Post notes, is the absence of terrorism on that list. Fingar’s remarks seem to ignore any threat from Pakistan, focusing instead on the perils of nuclear-armed Iran. That does seem to smack of the intel community taking its eye off the ball.

Carolyn O'Hara is a senior editor at Foreign Policy.

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