A new global order

The National Intelligence Council, the center for mid to long-term strategic thinking within the U.S. Intelligence Community, recently released a report predicting world developments over the next 16 years. Intelligence officials drafted âÄúGlobal Trends 2025: A Transformed WorldâÄù to inform policymakers of international trends that will affect their decisions over the next decade-and-a-half. Covering issues ranging from global warming to terrorism, one theme in particular emerged again and again: U.S. clout is waning, fast. Contrary to the unilateralism which underscored our foreign policy for the last 20 years , the United States will be less able to âÄúcall the shots without the support of strong partnerships.âÄù The report suggested that the massive âÄútransfer of global wealth and powerâÄù from West to East âÄî due largely to âÄúincreases in oil and commodity pricesâÄù âÄî will usher in an era of international multipolarity , a global system where the United States is no longer the lone superpower, but the leading power among a host of other very powerful nations. The Obama administration and those after him must avoid placing war-hawks in foreign policy decision-making positions; our weakening arrow is more likely to return against us. Diplomacy will once again become relevant with the multipolar international system, and as such, ObamaâÄôs Secretary of State nomination of Sen. Hillary Clinton, who already has ties to myriad world leaders, appears all the wiser. After eight years of the Bush Administration flouting, international cooperation, and perhaps some sanity through consensus will return in a post-Sept. 11 world.