National Intelligence Council

ODNI Releases Global Trends Report, Forecasting Challenges Over Next Two Decades

By Tia Sewell
Friday, April 9, 2021, 3:36 PM

On April 8, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released the 7th edition of the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends report. The report, which has been published every four years since 1997, “assesses the key trends and uncertainties that will shape the strategic environment for the United States during the next two decades.”

This edition forecasts challenges facing the U.S. through 2040. The 156-page document examines existing forces in areas including demographics and human development, environment, economics, and technology, and it offers analysis based on the observed trends. The report predicts that the world will face more frequent and more intense crises as drivers such as climate change and emerging technologies stress the international system in unprecedented ways.

The report envisions a world dominated by the U.S.-China rivalry, which the authors predict will lead to “a more conflict-prone and volatile geopolitical environment.” It further notes that climate change will have physical effects on every country, asserts that “[t]he costs and challenges will disproportionately fall on the developing world,” and predicts that the fallout from changing weather will erode human security by causing health, infrastructure and migration crises. And it states that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has already “shaken long-held assumptions about resilience and adaptation” is likely to accelerate negative trends by reinforcing nationalist sentiment, deepening inequality and weakening governance globally.

You can read the report here or below:

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