WASHINGTON – U.S. intelligence officials paint a grim picture of the world’s future, writing in a report released Thursday that the coronavirus pandemic has deepened economic inequality, depleted government resources and stoked nationalist sentiments.
These assessments are included in a Global Trends report from the government’s National Intelligence Council. The reports, produced every four years, are designed to help policymakers and citizens anticipate the economic, environmental, technological and demographic forces that may shape the world over the next 20 years.
This year’s report focuses heavily on the impact of the pandemic, calling it “the most significant and singular global disruption since World War II, with health, economic, political and security implications that will reverberate through the world. years to come.”
Nations in different parts of the world set new records for deaths and new infections from Covid-19 on Thursday.
“Covid-19 has shaken long-held assumptions about resilience and adaptation and created new uncertainties over the economy, governance, geopolitics and technology,” the report says.
The document finds cause for concern in virtually every aspect of life.
He warns, for example, that the effects of climate change are likely to worsen the problem of food and water insecurity in poor countries and accelerate global migration. Although the health, education and prosperity of households have made historic improvements over the past decades, these advances will be difficult to sustain due to “headwinds” not only from the effects of the pandemic, but also from aging. population and “potentially slower economic growth”.
Advances in technology have the potential to solve problems such as climate change and disease, but can also cause further tensions, the report says.
“State and non-state rivals will fight for leadership and dominance in science and technology with potentially cascading risks and implications for economic, military and societal security,” the report said.
The report also warns of the erosion of trust in government and institutions and of a “trust gap” between the general public and the more informed and educated segments of the population.