Critique Paper


By Anirudh Ramakrishna Phadke

The report titled “Mapping the Global Future: Report of the National Intelligence Council’s 2020 Project” has been chosen to write the following critique paper.

Summary of Key Assessments including Critique

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The end of Cold War has shifted the dynamics of power but the repercussions from those are still unfolding. Rise of new powers in Asia, Europe and the Middle East will pose new challenges to landscape of governance and security including terrorism. The role of United States will be an important influencing factor on deciding how the world will be constructed. The report suggests that China’s GNP will not exceed US anywhere in 2020. However, Global Times’ calculations show that China’s economy grew by $3 trillion in 2021 as compared to 2020, while US had grown by $2.1 trillion. China’s economy expanded by 2.3 percent in 2020 while the same year US’ economy contracted by 3.4 percent.

Recently China has dethroned US to become the world’s richest country. This could suggest that China’s GNP will exceed the US in upcoming years. Europe will either adapt their workforces, amend social welfare including tax systems, and education, accept growing immigrant population or face a period of protected economic crisis. Due to current Russia- Ukraine conflict, Europe will be more mediated towards facing an economic crisis. The war has impacted huge spike rate in Europe’s energy and food industries.

I agree with the report stating that Japan faces ageing crisis that could cripple its economic recovery eventually. Further achieving regional equilibrium in the Taiwan Strait followed by attempt to unify Taiwan and China would complicate the Cross-Strait relations. Russia is likely to be an important partner for established powers like US and for rising powers like India and China. The report also states that Russia has the potential to elevate its rising position as the leading oil & gas exporter. However, due to current Russian-Ukraine conflict, sources have estimated that Russia could lose 30 percent of its oil output thereby reducing its exports. Further economic sanctions from several countries including the US and the European Union’s ban on further investments in Russian oil industry will have bigger impact in the country in upcoming years. The Western oil companies are now focused on UAE and Saudi Arabia for satisfying their oil needs. Thus, oil export from the Middle East will scale up rapidly.

Originally the concept of Globalisation dealt with capital, goods, services, and information technology throughout the world, the oncourse of globalisation will occur in a different notion. Both state and nonstate actors including private entities and NGOs will race to shape its contours. As per report it tells that even in 2020 US will be the single most important country across all dimensions of power. However, the statement is not true as the US will witness its relative power being eroding away. Rising powers like China and India will exploit and grab every opportunity afforded by emerging global marketplaces.


More companies will become global from Asian region rather than Western regions. China and India will leverage this situation to become technological giants thereby making US run behind Asia. Even under-developed countries can profit from this situation by procuring modern technologies at cheaper prices. Thus, on course of Globalisation will take place increasingly on a non-Western notion with special focus to Asia region. Amid this the oil sector will be a key concern of uncertainty due to the growing demand-driven competition for energy resources.

The advent of technology has spurred the rise of virtual communities in Internet which inturn has complicated the state’s governing abilities. It has paved the way for new challenges in methods of governance. Furthermore, politicisation of religion will put greater pressure on governing authorities of a nation. The ‘third-wave’ of democratisation will be partially reversed post 2020 among the former USSR states and Southeast Asian countries where they never embraced democracy.

Another aspect born because of above is ‘pervasive insecurity.’ Technological innovation on one hand has educated young working population and on other hand made cost-effective source of labours. However, this transformation is a double-edged sword as it also increases the young employment competition. Especially the Asian region can…..

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All the views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. This article was originally published by the author in his book titled “Research Papers on Defence & Strategic Studies Vol. 2”. For image credit, click here.

About the Author

Anirudh Phadke is the Founder/Editor of The Viyug. He holds a Master of Science (Strategic Studies) and a certificate in Terrorism Studies from S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.

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Th Viyug (A Strategic & Defence Research Publication) is an digital and print media publication producing cutting edge analytical research papers, opinions, rebuttals and other forms of writings on various disciplines of international affairs.

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