GTFS: Global Trends and Future Scenarios Index

2025 Security Environment: Final Report


The views, opinions and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author, and should not be construed as official National Intelligence Council position, policy or decision.

Executive Summary

In March, April, and May 2008 the Long Term Strategy Group convened three workshops on behalf of the National Intelligence Council’s Long-Range Analysis Unit in support of the NIC’s 2025 global trends effort. This report summarizes the findings of three workshops on the security environment in 2025 and develops themes raised at the workshops but not fully elaborated due to time constraints. It describes a baseline scenario in which currently observable trends continue to reduce the incidence and salience of interstate warfare, while the diffusion of technology and demographic trends increases the potential scope and intensity of intrastate conflict and warfare conducted by non-state actors. The impact of nuclear proliferation on the environment of 2025 is explicitly addressed. A key finding is that the potential increase in actors armed with nuclear weapons could increase instability in the zone from the eastern Mediterranean to and including Pakistan.

Building on the findings of the workshops, this report offers additional understandings of currently observable trends. In particular it focuses on ways in which those trends might have unexpected consequences or be reversed – in an attempt to illuminate surprises that could materialize that are not covered in the scenarios that emerged from the workshops. Finally, the implications for US policy-makers are explored, and critical questions and early-warning indicators are specified.

Discussion paper — does not represent the views of the US Government.