Washington, Nov.19 : A top U.S. intelligence panel has predicted that by the year 2025, America will be playing a lesser role in global affairs, particularly on the economic and military fronts.
It also warns of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. The National Intelligence Council (NIC) report titled "Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World," is slated for release as early as Thursday. The report also predicts "a unified Korea" is likely by then, and that China will be the world's second-largest economy and a major military power.
"The United States will remain the single most powerful country, although less dominant," according to a "working draft" of the document obtained by The Washington Times.
"Shrinking economic and military capabilities may force the U.S. into a difficult set of tradeoffs between domestic and foreign-policy priorities."
A senior intelligence official said some details have changed in the final report, but "the thrust is the same."
The draft says: "The next 20 years of transition toward a new international system are fraught with risks, such as a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and possible interstate conflicts over resources."
"We see a unified Korea as likely by 2025 and assess the peninsula will probably be de-nuclearized, either via ongoing diplomacy or as a necessary condition for international acceptance of and cooperation with a needy new Korea."
The NIC's last such report, issued four years ago, sought to look at the world in 2020.