1. Critique of Myself: Why an Israeli Engineer feels he can criticize an official American intelligence document? Because they published it in the internet and expect to be read and receive feedback. Because I don’t have any comparable document to criticize, not Israeli nor Palestinian. Because it is the very best there is in a field I am interested.
2. Sincerity. It seems authentic and honest, like most things American. It even quotes the critiques and suggestions it received, like past mistakes in the evaluation of the velocity of changes, and the lack of awareness to the role of ideology in history.
3. Methodology. They apply the latest methodology including role playing and modeling to identify dis-equilibriums. However, I feel that mechanically extrapolating trends does not predict history at all. They are missing the power that moves history, which is human will and motivation. We are living organisms who play the game and are not passive masses following Newton's Laws.
4. The study does not take into account past history. That is a fantastic omission. I think history repeats patterns in ways we don’t really know why, but we should take past event to model the future. For example, the contact with Europeans causes the fast collapse of non-European peoples. It happened innumerable times in the past, from the collapse of the Inca and the Aztec empires weeks after the arrival of Europeans, and also the collapse of the Chinese Empire say fifty years after the appearance of the first British merchants. Victorians were aware of this phenomenon, we have forgotten it. The PR of China may be doomed as in the flatworld scenario of Gengis Cohn . I know, the National Intelligence is a serious organization that cannot base its predictions on Invisible University scholarship. I have no bread in this game so I can. Seriously.
5. There is no joker. When a tribal council's had to take kife or death decisions, they used to have a big-headed dwarf who was charged with mocking the participants and could not be shut down nor punished. This report was elaborated by intelligent (per definition), serious, responsible officers of the Government of the United States, but there was no one to dis-inflate them and force them to face the ridiculousness of their milquetoast predictions.
6. There was an editor. I mean, the document seamlessly integrates different views. That is not how things work. It is like the closing speech of the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party resuming the work of the congress. I feel it should have been like the documents of the Soviet congresses in the nineteen twenties, where opposing fractions fought ferociously each other and tried to discredit the other faction. The policy documents reflect the night-and-day week-long debate that took part and are never unanimous. That was before Stalin's winning faction killed Trotsky and his followers. The socialist movement was a permanent debating club from Marx till Stalin, and their intelligence documents are a wonder of preparation for action. Read Lenin's What is to be done? They wanted studied the world to change it, the Trends is a passive, cool observer and shows no will of its own to change anything. Therefore, it is inherently wrong. I hope you follow my reasoning. I am tempted to elaborate.
7. Will the US be able to work with new partners to reinvent the international system? That question resumes my argument. The bureaucrat posing that question should be expulsed, purged from the National Intelligence office. Sent to a re-education camp. Is he an immortal sitting to the right of Zeus on the Olympus? Or is he an American decided to protect and extend American hegemony, national security and power? The question should have been: America is facing nuclear challenges, how can we change the world in a way that shall be secure and on the top?
8. Food, Water, Energy Nexus. Sheer nonsense. As a man totally immersed in the water thing, there is no water scarcity and never will be one. Humanity has solved that problem. What there is widespread incapability to apply existing technologies and that has nothing to do with water or energy but galloping dumbness.
9. "…largely reversing the historic rise of the West since 1750". The writer is an ignoramus. The West was born in Athens 2800 years ago and from that point it has being relentlessly rising. Alexander extended the West till India, did he? Then Rome civilized the known world. In 500 BC the Phoenicians colonized West Africa. In 1000 there were large Cruzades to take over the Middle East and in 1200 started a 800 years European colonizing movement towards Vladivostok and San Francisco.. By 1500 all of America has been Westernized and the Portuguese were all over the world. The Phillipines were European much before 1750. The expansion of England is not the rise of the West but a small part of it. The author has a very myopic view of history. How is going to be reversed this millenary expansion? By whom? And the bureaucrat is indifferent to the possibility? Are not his testicles on the table in this game?
10. "The shift in national power may be overshadowed by an even more fundamental shift in the nature of power." Since it does not define what is the nature of power, one cannot really follow what he is talking about. Power was defined as "to take their gold and fuck their women". That was the Hellenes did in Troy, the Spaniards in America, the British in Ireland and India, the Japanese in Batavia. What is the new nature of power the Washington bureaucrat is talking about?
11. "However, various developments—positive or negative—could push the world in different directions." No kidding. Oh boy, how right! Worthless, in J's best scenario. Otherwise, shit.
12." We believe the disincentives will remain strong against great power conflict: too much would be at stake." What historical precedents confirm this belief? Cyrus attacking Greece? WWI? WWII? The Mukden Incident? If the problem is nuclear weapons, the Patriot and the Iron Dome changed that game.
13. "Progress toward greater regional cohesion and integration in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa would promise increased stability in those regions." What is the National Intelligence report saying? Progress would blah blah blah. Would it, wouldn't it? Are they in the business of bland nonsense or preparing America for the future? Will be progress or not? I, in my humble J-cave, say no. Latin countries are trying to unite in the last 200 years, with no results. There will be no miracles in the next twenty years. I don’t think American experts are less smart than I am, but they sure lack beytzes (Yiddish for testicles).