Global Trends 2025 - National Intelligence Council

One of the more provocative projections in the NIC's "Global Trends 2025" report is a prediction of the end of U.S. dominance in world affairs.

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"What can be done about the growing threat of Somali piracy in the Gulf of Aden?" seems to be the question of the week.  Saturday's seizure of the Saudi ship Sirius Star, an oil tanker carrying about $100 million worth of cargo, set off a wave of pirate activity this week, culminating with news that an Indian frigate sank a pirate vessel late Tuesday.

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Thomas Fingar, the chair of the National Intelligence Council, spoke to the Atlantic Council tonight on the release of "Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World."

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The latest seizure of a Saudi oil tanker by Somali pirates presents an opportunity to improve relations between Russia and NATO. Russia's ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, has called for an international ground military operation to better combat rampant piracy in the region. "It's up to the European Union, NATO and others to launch a coastal land operation to eliminate the pirates…naval action alone will not be enough to liquidate the threat of piracy."  Rogozin is right: there are limits to providing armed escorts or security teams for merchant ships. 

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Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski, speaking at the Atlantic Council today, declared that Russia's justification for invading Georgia, that it was defending its friends abroad, is one that has been used by Russian autocrats for centuries to justify a doctrine of imperialism.

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General David D. McKiernan

During his address this evening to the Atlantic Council, ISAF commander General David McKiernan emphasized the many positive trends in Afghanistan, noting that he preferred a "Glass Half Full" view. 

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Last week's remarks by CIA director Michael Hayden at the Atlantic Council continue to draw widespread comment. My consternation at missing the lede notwithstanding, the focus continues to be on the fate of Osama bin Laden

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After several days of speculation, it is being reported that Hillary Clinton has been offered the post of Secretary of State and will accept it. While intrigued by Barack Obama's "team of rivals" concept, my initial reaction was unease with Clinton's credentials for the office.

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Terrorist networks are adapting their financing methods to circumvent new anti-terror laws passed after 9/11, say Michael Jacobson and Matthew Levitt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

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Nicolas Sarkozy and Dmitry Medvedev

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev told the Federal Assembly on November 5 that he will deploy SS-26 Iskander short-range semi-ballistic missiles in the heart of Central Europe.

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